We know making training a priority isn’t easy. We recognize the greatest challenge in starting something new is the decision to take the first step. It’s too bad we can’t all approach every new conquest with a Neil Armstrong attitude. I’m assuming this famous astronaut dreamed of what he would say when he took that first step on the moon. I’m certain he could hardly wait to start or take that first step.
We’re not suggesting training is as big a deal as walking on the moon. However, the step you need to take to make it happen might seem as monumental. When you decide to take the next step, you will realize the sky is the limit. One of my favorite sayings is that “it’s better to shoot for the moon and miss than aim for the gutter and land right in it!”
So what’s keeping you from scheduling and providing training for your team? Here are six obstacles we often hear and how to overcome them.
Obstacle 1: What about labor costs?
A well-trained team member feels confident in their position and is vested in the company they work for. Untrained team members are not. Statistics show us the costs associated with a high rate of employee turnover are staggering. The average turnover costs for an employee who makes $9.50 an hour and who is hired and trained by a manager or supervisor who makes $18.50 an hour is around $2500. If you want to see how much it costs when you turn over an employee, download this calculator. We believe most employers don’t realize the high costs involved with training and turnover or discount those costs because they have minimum wage employees.
When comparing the financial impact of hiring and training new staff, it is easy to see it’s much wiser to invest those dollars in training your current team. Teaching a new employee the job is very expensive financially and quality customer service can suffer during the ramp up time. Why would you want to lose them once you have hired them? The math is easy. You can decide to invest in training and watch your bottom line increase or you can spend the same money over and over to have someone who knows how to do the basic functions of the job. Set yourself apart in the marketplace!
Obstacle 2: What if no one shows?
If you plan a training session and no one attends, ask yourself a few questions. Is training fun? Did I include everyone? Did I give enough notice? Did I get commitments from the staff about attending? Did I follow the team training guidelines? Do they fit into our culture and core values? Maybe it just takes some time for the concept of training to catch on. Remember, you are providing training for those in attendance. The team members you want to develop are those who care enough to attend the training.
Obstacle 3: I stink at training!
When you make training a fun part of your leadership style, you will get serious results. We promise! Cultivate and nurture those around you who can help you with training. Our guess is you don’t stink at training; you just don’t have enough experience and confidence. Commit to the process and seek additional information.
Obstacle 4: I’m terrified to speak in front of a group!
Many people are terrified to speak in front of groups. Dale Carnegie says speaking in public rates right at the top of most people’s fear list. Doesn’t it stand to reason you may wind up with a lot of empathizers in your audience?
Many times fear comes from feeling unsure of your topic. While some people appear to be very good at “winging it,” it makes more sense for us to be prepared.
Training doesn’t have to be stressful. When you speak, the audience does not know what you are supposed to say. They know they want something from you. The training process is that you give and the audience gets. Humor and storytelling can go a long way.
Obstacle 5: The training is important to me. How do I inspire the team to make it important to them?
Make it fun! You inspire your team and set the tone for training with your attitude. Feed them. If you are a “fun” place with games or other entertainment, let them test your product. Your team is your best sales force. They become great salespeople when they are product experts.
Let them sample the product or reward them with movie tickets, a bowling party, or another fun opportunity. I guess we are saying….bribe them!
Remember to create an environment that helps you and the team look forward to monthly get-togethers. If everyone is buzzing about the meeting, it will encourage all team members to attend – they won’t want to be out of the loop!
To encourage broad participation, include different team members in training, ask for participation before the meeting, include a surprise announcement and tease them that a surprise is coming. This is your opportunity to provide a strong team building environment that will ultimately pay off with your customers and the development of a loyal team.
Obstacle 6: What do I do if I get discouraged or don’t feel like doing it?
Remember, it doesn’t always have to be the same person who does the training. Utilize your resources and delegate – supervisors and team members who are leaders-in-training are an excellent resource. Implementing monthly training is one more thing to do and you have to follow through consistently. Remember the ultimate result of monthly training is going to save you time and money, increase sales, and improve your guest’s experience.
Take your team to the next level. Incorporate monthly team training to create a culture that sets you apart from your competition.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions and success stories that come as a result of incorporating training topics and strategies into your day-to-day operations. If you aren’t ready to do it on your own, we can help you get started.
Excerpt from Fun Training, Serious Results.