What does getting employees to “released” mean?

It means you’ve trained and verified what they do know so they can be entrusted to do the tasks assigned to them at their spot on your organizational chart.

In other words, you don’t have to keep mopping up when they’ve made costly mistakes!

Getting your employees to “released” is a lovely place to be. And it’s what all my clients strive to reach when we first begin our work. Know that it’s a never-ending process, and the work is never fully done. But here’s the good news: The more you do the right way in this process, the more things go better for your customers, your company and yourself.

There are five steps in the Staffing Power! process I teach and they are:

  • Recruiting: The better you do at attracting the “right stuff” willing type of potential employees, the better the result will be. The right way to look at recruiting is that it’s just like marketing, except instead of trying to attract the right type of prospective customers, you’re seeking to attract the right type of prospective employees to make your company stronger;

  • Hiring: This is typically the interview and testing phase of your candidates. Here’s where you try to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are and whether or not they possess willingness. Your ability to hire on willingness versus skills is directly proportionate to your ability to provide the skills training they will need.

Note:  Your best employees are typically the ones you build from scratch the right way versus trying to rewire potentially high skills people with a bad attitude;

  • Orienting: This is where you ensure that they get off to the best start possible with your company. Your ability to orient them the right way is also proportionate to the documented and repeatable systems you have in place and your investment of time and effort in them;

  • Training: This is what can make you the employer of choice because you can offer a career, not just a job. To make it a reality, you must be able to provide all the training they need to move up the boxes on your organizational chart and be successful at whatever they’re doing at your company today and in the future; and

  • Retaining: This last step is often the most overlooked. It means you don’t neglect the members of your team after they’ve been onboard for a while. Instead, you bond with them by rewarding them with a compliment and/or compensation when you find them doing good work. You must continue to invest in their future by creating a never-ending training process that allows them to advance to higher and higher levels with your company versus jumping ship because they feel stuck.


What it takes

Okay, here is some more on what it takes to get an employee to “released:”

Someone in the accounts receivable, accounts payable and credit departments need to do the following to teach and verify what the new employee can do:

The trainer says and does this: “I’ll do this task in the manual while you watch and read the manual out loud and let me know if there are any questions.”

The trainer then says: “Okay, now it’s your turn. You sit here and do it and I’ll watch.”

The trainer then says: “Alright, you enter this invoice [as an example] and I’ll come back and see how you did.”

The trainer can initial the procedures signed off on a copy of the Table of Contents of the manuals if they’re on paper, or you can keep track of progress with a digital checklist.

Note: The process is pretty much the same for customer service representatives and dispatchers, but in addition to the reading of the manual, there needs to be a lot of phone role-plays and recording of calls.

Apprentices get your Employer-Employee Manual and a dedicated Apprentice Manual that directly addresses what they must do in this position and how they can advance their careers with the company. Reading through these policies and procedures together goes quickly.
Note: Remember, what you wrote in the manuals and what they think it means are two very different things. Think of all the times you’ve misinterpreted email communications.

Techs need to have a structured 5- to 10-day orientation process, which means besides your stock Employer-Employee Manual, they must have a trade manual that addresses the types of tasks your company does and those that they’d be expected to perform.

 Note: If you’ve committed to building a training center, you can set up problems and expose what they do and don’t know in a safer environment and then go about filling in the holes in their knowledge.

Do this and experience for yourself the power of having a company filled with employees who are released!