Training your staff appropriately is what will make your business work. You can be the most competent franchisee possible, but without proper training for your staff, your store is doomed to fail. If you’re not good at training, you should hire someone who is to specifically train because without properly trained associates who do everything from services to cash handling and customer service, you’re going to have a hard time. It’s also important to note that training never really ends. While you do get the basics out of the way at the beginning, working and training is an ongoing project and you and your employees will always be learning something, be it further education in their duties or changing company policies.
So there are a few different ways to handle training. There’s online or computer based training, which is one of the worst ways to do it, then there’s having a specific employee who is trained in training who handles the training and then there’s you, who can do the training. You can use a combination of the three, you can combine book reading training with hands-on training. You’ll need to understand where training will happen, will it be in-store, at home, or is there are corporate training facility? Are there training costs that you should be aware of? If there is a corporate training facility, who is in charge of the transportation and lodging? These are all things you’ll need to know. The franchisor should have gone over the training methods with you before this and it should have been listed in the FDD to some extent.
Most franchisors should provide onsite training in your home store when you’re first starting out, so don’t panic. Later down the line with ongoing training, you may have to pay a fee for a field consultant or to send employees away for further training at a corporate location. Most franchisors offer training programs to train-trainers as well as intranet training methods. With all that said, your only responsibility will be knowing your method of training and making sure it gets done.
There’s no one way to best train an employee. Everyone works differently, everyone learns differently, and everyone processes information differently. Some people hear the information once or twice and are professional and others struggle for a week before they have it down pat. Just be patient and get to know your employees for who they are individually.
If you feel like there are problems with the training, others have probably felt them as well. Write down the issues you’re having because your franchisor will more than likely hold a training problem solving meeting at some point. If your franchisor doesn’t, write down the information and maybe send it to your franchisor’s corporate office that deals with the training and let them know of the problems you’re having. Follow up with them if there was a meeting for changes that should be made to the training. Also follow up with your employees who are new and going through training to be sure they are absorbing the material.
It’s easy to forget everything but the numbers when you’re a franchisor, franchisee, or manager. You want to see results. You’re trained for results, but you can’t forget what causes those results. While pressure is good to a point, don’t forget what it was like for you being under the pressure of unrealistic expectations. There will always be competing demands, sell more, do more, etc. but if training is neglected, you’re not going to get the results that you want. Take the time that you need to properly complete training to insure a strong foundation in your employees. When you rush training, you set your employees, and yourself, up for failure.
Training should always avoid lecture-like seminars instead of hands-on training. Getting your employee involved from the start is a great proactive way to start awesome work habits that will carry over into the job later on. Prepare your employees by:
Explain the job and preface the training with what they will be learning and for what job.
Whatever your method of training is, do it. Present the information through lecture, reading, hands-on, etc.
After your employee has received the information, let them apply it. What typically works best is presenting some, then practicing it then presenting more, then practicing it and so on.
As you complete training, follow up with the employee to be sure that what you said or did went through and was saved in their memory. By following up, you’ll learn not only what your employee picked up and knows, but what parts of your training program might not be as strong as it should be.
It’s also important to congratulate your employee on finishing their training. It will show camaraderie and build the relationship between the two of you. Always show your gratitude or pride to your employees when they do something it will bring you more together and show that you are more than someone who makes the rules.