Mini Episode with The Vendor's Daughter
Episode 25 of The Vendor's Daughter
Have you hired well?
If not, go back and listen to Episode 23 of The Vendor's Daughter for some hiring tips.
If yes, now you need to train well. In Episode 25 of The Vendor's Daughter I'll be sharing 4 Tips on How to Train Employees for Success. I'll also be sharing a recent house-sitting experience that opened my eyes to what I believe is the MOST important thing you can focus on during training.....BEING SPECIFIC.
If you'd like to listen to the episode you can stream it on Sticher or iTunes.
Episode goes live on Wednesday August 13th 2018.
Or if you just want the 4 tips, read below:
When you get something new (a video game, a kitchen gadget, any electronic on the planet) do you take the time to read the instructions or do you jump right in and figure it out as you go?
I’ve always been the jump on in and figure it out as you go kind of girl; which served me well in my youth because most video game functions are the same (or at least they were then).
In my career it also served me well. When I started at J&J there was no role for me. I was taught sales and given the freedom to make it in to any program I wanted. I was given the flexibility to create my own role, in other words, I was told to jump and figure it out as I go. So I did.
10 years later, things are different.
The world is moving faster; we no longer make cold calls but get our leads from a little thing called the World Wide Web and the business has just about doubled in size.
For the first time in my career I have a team of people who report to me (say what?!) and they have questions on the way things get done.
And me, well, I had the audacity to be annoyed at this. “Why can’t they just figure it out?” is a thought I ashamedly have thought more often than I care to admit.
The reality is, is that it’s already been figured out. There are processes and procedures already in place; they are just in the heads of the people who have been there the last 10-40 years and not readily accessible for newcomers.
This of course isn’t fair to fun for anyone involved.
So what did we do?
Based on the suggestion of a newer team member we created an online knowledge base that was accessible to every employee on our team. That way if someone needs to know how to create an invoice, update a customer’s menu, etc. they can look up easy instructions without having to ask their direct supervisor.
We’ve also started to transfer documents from individual computers to shared Google Drives: sales brochures, company menus, master contracts, etc. are now all readily accessible to everyone who needs them regardless of where on the planet they are.
Finally, we got specific, like VERY specific.
When I first started documenting processes and procedures for our staff I felt a little like a micromanager and that perhaps all of the details were too restricting. But then….
Ryan and I spent a week housesitting for a friend and her family. They have a beautiful home and A LOT of plants. I was a little overwhelmed at the idea of having to keep all of them alive for a week (I have a bad history of killing beautiful things….quickly). That was until, a few days before their trip, I stopped by to pick up the key and do a walk-thru of responsibilities. I was prepared to take notes on my phone but instead was given a printout of VERY detailed instructions with corresponding photos.
Get the mail every other day
Turn the porch light on every night and off every morning
Water these plants with this hose. Each plant receives 10 seconds of water.
My friend apologized for all of the notes and my response was, “are you kidding?! This is amazing!!”
Knowing exactly what to do gave me peace of mind, it made me feel like I could deliver on the requests that were made because I knew exactly what success looked like.
In the details I also was given flexibility (i.e water in the morning or the evening), which I think was key too. I still had discretion on when to best fulfill my responsibilities, making me feel like I wasn’t a mindless contributor.
It was an eye opening moment for me, one that made me realize that employees at J&J might just be craving some details in their work life too. So…I started getting more detailed. Taking the time to really show what needed done.
You know what happened?
Employees thanked me!! Said this is EXACTLY what they wanted!
When I started sales at J&J it was my job to determine success for myself. Now, ten years later, it’s my job to help others see what success looks like, to give them the detailed instructions they need to get there, and to encourage them along the way…I’m doing that by paying attention to the details.
To recap: The 4 Tips Are:
1. Create a Knowledge Base that is Accessible to ALL Employees
2. Share Key Documents on Web Based Platforms
3. Be Flexible - Trusting Employees to Manage Their Schedules
4. BE SPECIFIC - Set Employees Up For Success by Clearly Defining What Success Looks Like!