Here’s something I bet you didn’t know… over 40% of potential employees say that they look for the development opportunities within a business when they’re deciding where they want to work. (Udemy)
Every successful entrepreneur recognises that training and development isn’t just a tool to keep people sweet – it’s an essential investment in their business growth. They know that a business owner who invests in training their team, has a 24% higher profit margin than someone who doesn’t. And they know that they’ll get the best return from their investment when their training is systemised, consistent and focused on continuous improvement. (I developed The Team Training Map (download below)* as a tool to help you achieve that consistency – but more of that later.)
The Learning Journey
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘the customer journey’ referring to the path your customer follows through your business when they want to buy your product or service.
Well, just like your customer, every employee in your business goes on a journey with you that starts on day one, and ends on the day they leave you. It’s known as the employee journey, but I prefer to think of it as the learning journey, and it has five distinct stages.
At each stage of their learning journey, your team member will need input from you in the form of information, training and feedback. You want to be fully prepared to give them all of the right information at the right time. You’re building a relationship here so you want to be on your game, professional, prepared, for every interaction with them.
Stage 1 – Their Memorable First Day
This is your first opportunity since the interview, to share information with your new team member – to tell them what the business is all about – the culture, the values – where it came from, why it exists, and how much they are going to grow and develop as part of your team.
This first day should be 90% inspiration and 10% information, so give them only the information that have to have on day 1, and leave the rest to day 2 and beyond. You want them going home buzzing; knowing they’ve made a great decision to join you. A memorable first day for all the right reasons.
Stage 2 – Their orientation/induction
This is their first week in your business so what do they need to know straight away, and what do they need to learn now, that’s going to set them up for success?
You may want them to pass a Health & Safety test for example, or understand your key policies. Or maybe you want them to spend a day in each area of the business, or with each individual if you have a small team, to get a feel for how the whole business operates day to day.
Stage 3 – Their first 90 days
The first 90 days, or probation period, is crucial for every new team member in every business. For each role, there will be key tasks that you want your new team members to learn and be able to perform well, in order to pass their probation.
The key to this crucial period in their learning journey, is to test them out with some of the more complex and challenging tasks that they will be faced with day to day in their role. Don’t give someone an easy ride, and then be disappointed when they can’t do the job you need them to in 6 months time.
These first 90 days give you and your team member the opportunity to work out if you’re right for each other, so don’t waste them.
Stage 4 – Their first 12 months
Once a team member has passed their probation, there will be more tasks that they need to learn in order to master their role and become a productive member of the team. As their manager it’s important that you know what each of those tasks are, and that you map out their development.
Stage 5 – Their ongoing training
Team training is an ongoing process. As your business evolves, so will your systems, your products, your needs as a team. With every change, every evolution, every improvement, every addition to your operation, your team will need training in the one right way to perform the new/evolving tasks.
The Team Training Map
The Team Training Map (download) is a tool I developed to capture the learning journey for every role (or in smaller teams, every individual) in your business. If you download it now the following will make more sense.
You’ll see that the map is split into sections that follow the five stages of the learning journey we’ve just gone through.
Your first task is to identify the different roles in your team. For example, you may have a till person role, a receptionist, a customer support role, a cleaner role, a designer role, an admin role etc.
As in the example, the first box will be labelled ‘everyone’. This column will capture all of the information and training that you want everyone to have.
Once you have identified the roles, you’ll begin to map out the training you want each role to receive, in their first week, first 90 days and so on. Don’t worry about duplication of tasks across roles, just capture everything that you want the team member in that role to be able to do, in the particular timeframes.
What you’ll end up with is a complete map of the training required for your team, which will double up as a list of How To guides that you need to create!
Do one thing:
Download your Team Training Map template here. Agree a time to sit with your team, to map the training for each role.
Investing in your team’s training will pay huge dividends when they are all following your ‘one right way’ to do everything in your business, giving you consistency, flexibility, and ultimately freedom from the day to day of your business.
How good would that be?
NB Team Development is step 4 of a 9 step roadmap that we lead our clients along, to build the business-critical systems that will make their business sale-ready, and free them from their day to day operation.