Many people and organizations put more effort into the purchase, initial familiarization and upkeep of a car than the hiring, onboarding and training of an employee.
When you buy a car, you research reliability and check which bells and whistles are available. You compare prices. Finally, you pick the car that fits you best. You make your purchase, and you drive home. Then you stay up all night reading the 1,000-page owner’s manual so you and your new car are in alignment.
You can now drive this beauty with relative ease. It’s all very exciting.
After going through all that, how could you not do regular maintenance on your new baby? You do the standard carwashes, oil changes and tire rotations. As the years go by, you perform checkups at 30,000 miles, 45,000 miles, 60,000 miles and beyond. You’re doing anything and everything to keep your car running smoothly and problem-free.
As an employer, what training do you give your employees to keep them engaged and effective? How can you expect an employee to give you consistently excellent results for years without continual training?
After those all-important first 90 days of employment, it is imperative to keep employees engaged with four types of training for their skills, knowledge, loyalty and growth:
- Company-specific training.
- Job-specific training.
- Industry-specific training.
- Personal and career development training
Open lines of communication are essential for company-specific training. When employees are aligned with your company’s vision, mission and goals, they become engaged and loyal employees. The key is to communicate and reinforce those areas with constant reminders, company outings and visual aids.
Every email, meeting or training is an opportunity to calibrate the alignment process. If your company is growing and changing, making sure your employees are growing and changing at the same pace can make or break an organization.
Fostering loyalty this way is huge. Sadly, this type of training is usually an afterthought.
Job-specific training is easy, and most businesses do it because they see an immediate impact. These are typically skills-building areas.
Sales people are given sales training. Office staff is sent to organization workshops and computer software skills classes. Technicians are trained to do their jobs at a high level. Customer service people are given the right scripts to help with customers.
This is a base level of training for operations, offered even by mediocre organizations.
Industry-specific training is self-explanatory. Keeping employees up to date with industry changes will help to make the company an industry leader. There are many fairs and expositions to attend, as well as technology-changing seminars. This training can be looked at as knowledge base training.
Again, a high percentage of companies help employees this way.
The most important training is personal and career development, which is at the core of a people-first organization.
When you take care of the personal development of your employees, you show you value them for who they are as people and not just for the work they can do. Career development shows you care about their future as well as your own.
Get them coaching, or allow them to spend valuable work time on becoming better people. Provide a budget for them to buy books, or establish an in-house library for them to read during the workday. Bring in experts to help people become the best they can be.
Remember, the better you take care of your employees, the better they will take care of your customers. Only the best organizations take this final step.
If business owners, executives and leaders want to have the best organizations, they should adopt a model that has been proven over time. The most successful companies follow a similar pattern — the pattern discussed in the first article in this series. These companies take excellent care of their employees with the model and mindset of people first.
The simple but not easy steps to achieve this are to hire correctly, onboard completely and train continually.
If you can’t do all that, think about buying a new car.
Next up: Millennials vs. boomers in the workplace.
Jason Adler is a John Maxwell-certified executive coach (www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/jasonadler) helping people and their organizations hire and keep quality employees.