4 Tips To Accelerate Employee Training
Training new employees often takes a lot of time. We hear many advisors say that training a service associate can take a year or sometimes even as many as two years. And we understand, it’s a complicated industry. You have a lot of products and services, many different software programs to learn, and often an employee needs to study to get their license(s). It’s a lot, but it’s a lot more when the training isn’t organized.
When the training for current or new employees isn’t organized it’s more likely that something will get dropped, forgotten about, started but not finished, etc. There’s already a lot going on and training tends to be put on the back burner, leaving room for missteps.
While we can’t promise you that a new service associate can be trained in a week, we are challenging the assumption that it needs to take a long time for an employee to be fully trained. With the right process, systems and organization in place you can ensure your training is top notch, and that it won’t take a full year to train a new employee. These tips can also work to train current employees.
Use these 4 tips to help accelerate your training:
- Implement Upside Down Meetings. Our first tip is to schedule time in your week to talk with your employee about what they need from you. We call these Upside-Down Meetings because we encourage you to flip the structure of the meetings upside down so that the employee leads the meeting. One of the questions on the agenda that structures these meetings is, “What training/tools/resources, etc. do you need?” While we encourage you to hold meetings weekly with your team members, for new employees it may be necessary to hold shorter, daily meetings until they have time to get on their feet.
- Have a Training Path. In our Optimal Outcome program we have well-defined training paths for employees which helps to outline what they need to focus on and when. The sink or swim method is popular in this industry, but it doesn’t work well. While you may need someone to help now, you’re better to have a new employee carve out chunks of time to practice rather than learning on the job. Your training path will include foundational points of view such as your culture value statement or your customer service promise but will also include skills such as how to enter a PC quote. Ask us for samples!
- Use Systems. When you work one on one with training an employee, you’re investing in that person but neglecting your business. When you put your time into developing processes and systems you will not only develop that person, but also if they leave, your business still has the system to use in the future. It’s a better investment to work on your systems while you train instead of just developing your people. Ask your Optimal Outcome Business Coach for help in developing your systems, which should include the “how-to,” and also the “why.”
- Use Vendor Resources. Many advisors have the unique advantage of being able to access and use their vendor’s resources when training. This might include systems, video libraries or even trainers. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your vendors and see what they have available. If you’re one of our clients, ask your Optimal Outcome Business Coach for ideas on using our materials as training materials. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel; you just need to set it into motion.