One of the most common things I see when I begin my work with a new contracting client is the resistance to train employees. This is mainly because they’ve been burned by people they’ve trained who have then left.
My bet is it’s probably happened to you, too.
I always address this elephant in the room right away by saying: “So, what you’re saying to yourself is, ‘What if I train them, and they leave?’ The only thing I can say to you next is, ‘What if you don’t train them, and they stay?’”
Usually, the client says, “Yes, I know you’re right. And I hate that.”
Once it’s out there, we can get down to the not-optional business of addressing how to get them and the company to embrace never-ending training, which always starts with teaching them how to become great trainers.
Good training is contractor focused, but great training focuses on the different audiences for all the multitude of positions at a company. Training is not just about the techs.
The goal is to build a culture at your company where everyone is getting better — because everyone is always in some form of training for as long as they’re on your team. The mission for you and your management team should be: “Get them good, or get them gone. Either way, the company and our customers are better served.”
Note: This isn’t meant to be mean or dismissive, but it’s a reality. We want to do more of “getting them good” and less of “getting them gone,” but we must be willing to do both.
What to look for
So, what kind of training do you need to be providing all of them? Ready for more consultant speak? “It depends.” The reason it depends is based on the following:
1. Do you have a well-structured organizational chart?
2. Do you have well-written policies and procedures for each box on that organizational chart so the person being trained knows objectively what they need to master to own their box today?
3. Do you have the necessary training in place required for them to move from the box they’re successfully occupying today to the next box higher on your organizational chart?
4. Have you invested in your own training skills with training classes such as Dale Carnegie, to name just one example?
5. Are there weekly meetings for team members to review the resources you have in place at this point?
6. Are these weekly meetings well run with things similar to my “10 Meeting Guidelines”? (You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a free copy of them).
7. Are there salary guidelines and bonuses in place for coming to training and earning your way higher up the company’s organizational chart?
What do you get for all this training? You get to live my company’s tagline: “Run your contracting business with less stress and more success.”