Staff training budgets are often among the first things to be hit when budgets are tight, but they shouldn’t be. They should be sacred, and here’s why.
They impact your bottom line
We are all customers of someone. We know how much good customer service makes a difference. Also, how much difference bad customer service makes. Some of the best training practices can be seen in the behaviour of bar staff, where the training really pays off.
What are the best practices?
1. Knowing the why
Of course you want your people to know how to do what they do and do it well. But to get buy-in you need them to understand why they are doing it. If you get this right, the chances are, they will find even better ways of doing things themselves.
2. Cater to different learning styles
There is no one-size-fits-all in training. People have different learning styles and trainers must cater to all of these. It’s worth checking, before engaging external trainers, how they deal with different learning styles, and maybe how they deal with difficult customers too. That will affect your employees’ learning and feedback.
3. Real-life scenarios
Going back to our bar staff, for roles like that, it’s easy to give them real life scenarios to deal with. Maybe less so if you are an accountancy firm, but it’s worth taking the time to do so. People are likely to remember them better and even transfer the similarities to their day-to-day work.
4. Positive reinforcement
If you’ve ever had doubts about this, now would be the time to discard them. There is a wealth of evidence to suggest that even just something as simple as a trainer saying, “That’s a great answer,” makes a huge difference to class engagement. Of course, trainers can go further and give out sweets (or similar) for right answers, so long as they don’t alienate the ones who answer less frequently.
5. Planning and feedback
It’s worthwhile reviewing your training regularly (at least once a year, unless there have been major changes in your business). Discuss it with your teams too and get their views about what they need. When they’ve undertaken the training, get feedback. Make sure that your feedback forms are fit for purpose and relevant to the training.
Good staff training is essential to keeping your workforce engaged (it helps to make them feel special and valued) and helps them do their jobs properly. It may not all be practising life-saving skills, but you do want all your customers to feel valued and the right training goes a long way towards this. Satisfied customers equal more sales equals more profit. So, it makes perfect sense to keep your training up-to-date and to ensure it is effective.