A more knowledgeable and prepared staff will only make your company better.

Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/VisualField.

No matter how smart and talented you, the owner, are, you can’t do everything yourself. And if you have employees, you’re probably tempted to delegate work to others. If you’re hiring new staff, I bet you’ve had interviews where the new person told you he could do  pretty much anything you asked of him.

But how do you know applicants can do what they say they know? There are only two ways they can demonstrate they really know something:

    1. They tell you in a convincing way the actual steps it takes to do a task.
    2. They can show you in person that they can do the specific task.

I learned to put these two steps into place on the front end of my own recruiting, hiring, orienting and training process.

The Hiring Interview

I would ask, “So, you can do a toilet reset?”

The applicant would reply, “Sure. Done hundreds of them.”

I continued with, “Great! Give me the first five steps you do each and every time.”

OK, now we’re cooking! I don’t care if they respond with cover the floor to protect it or check the existing toilet to see if it’s worth fixing because of the age and/or its condition. When they’re speaking and spelling out just the first five steps, I’ll know in a hurry if they have a clue. The only bad thing about stopping at this point is sometimes they can talk a good game but they can’t do what they say.

That’s why the next step is to have them demonstrate. I would ask, “So, you can do a toilet reset?”

The applicant would reply, “Sure. Done hundreds of them.”

I continued with, “Great! I’ve got a toilet in our training center [yes, it can be your own office bathroom] and I want to see you do a toilet reset. I’ve got all the parts and a tool box unless you prefer to use your own.”

Now you’re really going to find out if he can do a toilet reset. And isn’t it better to know now before he gets into the field and you discover what he really doesn’t know?

Once You Know, What's Next?

How can you teach someone something once you know he needs to learn it or just get better at it?

You need to create a training curriculum for each task your company does.

The first good step in creating a training curriculum is to establish a procedure that can be as simple as a checklist or a series of bulleted steps. The great thing is if you do enough of these, you will be laying the groundwork to formalize these procedures in an operations manual down the road.

But when it comes to training, having procedures (whether a simple checklist, a set of bulleted steps or intense manuals) is just one phenomenally good step that will still fall far short unless you learn how to become a better trainer.

Here are seven steps that will serve as a very brief overview of the many tools and techniques I use when I teach my Staffing Power! course. These steps help clients develop and create the type of employees they’ve always dreamed of. Implement them at your company, learn how to become a better trainer immediately and start to experience the same results with your staff.

1.Have your opening remarks or a story ready to begin every training session. People aren’t receptive to learning until you’ve unlocked their minds by teasing them with why they need to learn this.

2.Be very positive and enthusiastic.

3.Believe you’ve earned the right to be at the front of the class. Practice by visualizing yourself in the training center (or conference room if you don’t have a training center yet) feeling confident you’re getting positive feedback from the trainees.

4.Select the three to four main points you want to make in each class and have very strong benefits (the “What’s in it for me?” factor) so they are invested in learning this material.

5.Give out only the training materials they need as they need them so they stay in sync with you. If you give them a 10-page photocopy of a troubleshooting guide before you’re ready to use it, they’ll be flipping through it while you’re talking.

6.Close every training session with a summary of what was covered and, whenever possible, get attendees to sign off on the training completed so they know they’re  responsible for doing those tasks in the real world.

7.Capture your training on video so you can watch yourself. It’s painful at first, but it’s the very best feedback you can get. It’s the fastest way I know to get better at training.

Start with these seven tips and become a better trainer. After that, you won’t have to be the only “doer” at your company!