Not long ago, I helped a business owner solve a problem that was costing her money. She was pretty frustrated about her employees not meeting work deadlines. She had planned for the people and equipment needed to fill customer orders. She hired qualified and experienced people. Still, deadlines were being missed. It was my job to find out why and help her to fix it.
After my review, the reasons for low productivity became clear. Employees were spending a lot of time fixing mistakes and re-doing work tasks. Employees were often unaware of how the timing and condition of their work impacts the next person’s work.
How did this happen? None of the employees were trained for their specific roles and responsibilities. Just as important, the employees were not trained to work as a team. In spite of all her planning, the business owner did not include training the people she was depending on to fill customer orders.
Training is an investment in your business. Even seasoned employees need help knowing how things are done and what is expected. Effective training in these four important areas will help:
Employees need to be familiar with their assigned procedures. They also need to be aware of procedures impacted by their work. Review procedures with each employee and as a group to make everyone more aware of roles and responsibilities.
Employee may have used systems just like yours before in another job. Even with that experience, you need to clarify how that system is used in your organization. Otherwise, that new person could make errors that reduce overall productivity and disrupt business operations.
Training is an opportunity to set expectations and get your employees on the same page. People are more productive when they know what is takes to get the job don’t and how they fit into the picture.
Many errors and issues start with poor communications. Training helps employees know when and how to follow-up to keep the business owner and each other informed.
So did the business owner take my advice? Absolutely. She invested a few hours in training her employees right away, and planned some periodic refresher training. The results? Productivity increased, costs and frustration decreased. Customer orders were filled more quickly. Pretty good return on investment, don’t you think?