Standing in front of the 7supervisors who managed the day-to-day operations at the plant of my new client, I had a lot to accomplish. The company just hired me to help them be the company employees never want to leave. With an 81% turnover rate, I needed to find out why employees came and went. I went around the room and heard several valid reasons, but one supervisor’s explanation stood out. “People don’t know how to do their job,” he said. “I will randomly go up to employees and ask, do you have a good understanding of your job? And they say no.”
Confidence of Competence leads to employee retention
In my book Retention: Key Mindsets That Retain Top Talent, I talk about what I call the confidence of competence. The idea is this, when a person is good at something, say their job, they develop a confidence about their work, and they enjoy it more. Their competence breeds confidence.
One of the best things you can do for your employees is make them competent through training. A trained employee is competent; a competent employee is confident; a confident employee is engaged; an engaged employee is productive; a productive employee enjoys success; and a successful employee is more likely to stay with your company.
Inside this chain reaction of good it isn’t difficult to see the benefit training has to the organization. Zig Ziglar has a well-known quote that I have repeated from the speaker’s platform more times than I can count. “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” By giving your employees the development and training they want, in return you get an experienced and knowledgeable workforce that is able to keep the promises you make to your customers and clients. This is huge!
Training, Documentation, and Experience
So back to my client with the high turnover rate. With the help of the HR administrator and supervisors, we have set out to create a 2-week training program for every position in the plant. Each supervisor has been assigned the task of writing down all that is required for a person to do each job in their department, backed up with written standard operating procedures (SOPs). When completed, every hour of every day, for the first 2 weeks of a new employee’s employment, will be accounted for with training, along with all who will be in charge of that training.
In addition, plans are in place to produce quality training videos for every machine operation in the plant. When completed, these videos will be viewed by a new employee, accompanied with an online test to ensure the employee learned the procedures. Repetition is the key to learning, so as the new employee watches the videos, coupled with the hands-on training of an experienced operator, the employee will achieve competence. No longer will an employee answer no, when asked if they understand their job.
If your company lacks a robust training program, I hope you are getting inspired! Now, regardless of how developed your training process is within your organization, let me pass on a couple suggestions to be mindful of.
A Teacher’s Heart
Assign a specific person, or persons, to be in charge of training your new employees. In no way leave who will train them to chance. The last thing you want is for a new employee to feel like they are in the way, asking questions like what do you want me to do now? New employees are constantly evaluating their experience working for you, from the interview process, all the way up to 90 days and beyond. Surveys show the first 30 days are critical in determining if they keep working for you long term, so a great training experience is vital.
If at all possible, choose trainers who have a teacher’s heart. The person with the most knowledge is not necessarily the best choice if they lack the empathy and patience to teach. You can recognize the teachers among you without too much difficulty, but having your employees take personality assessments, like DISC, can really help the process. As a certified DISC trainer, I am very familiar with the 4 personality types within DISC. Each type communicates and receives information differently and each can make for a great teacher. Knowing who is what type can take your training to the next level. For instance, if you have an outgoing/people-oriented person, they are sure to make the training engaging and fun because they love to influence and inspire others. All of this can make a great impression on the new employee!
You might be saying to yourself, this all sounds great, but we don’t have time to create a repeatable training program; it is all we can do to get today’s work done. I get it! I have experienced the same in my business when I want my team to create new processes. And that is where I come in. What I do for businesses is provide the spark and the energy to help them implement their wish-list initiatives.