Is employee training worth it? It’s expensive, pulls them away from work, occupies weekends and/or evenings, and they may even get paid to go. We’re talking a lot of money here! How can anyone justify it? The answer is, you can’t afford not to train them or have them trained. Stop, I repeat STOP trying to avoid training your staff!
I’d rather pay to train someone and have them quit than not train them and have them stay! Having employees who are untrained is at very least annoying but can be a true liability. Front line employees need to be trained and able to handle anything that comes at them. Yes, ANYTHING! Do you really want them coming to you to ask you every question about anything that happens? I hope the answer is no. Of course, what’s worse is having them not ask and making bad decisions.
As owner and managers, it is common to have your hands in everything. You are likely the best mechanic, best service adviser, and of course you are going to count the money and keep the books. You can do it all yourself!? The truth is you as the owner or manager can’t do everything yourself. You’ll work yourself into the ground. You’ll lose customers, and you’ll go through staff like crazy. You also can’t do all the training in house. Do you even know how to train people?
Most employers train by example. It is the most common way for employees to get training. By this method, you’ll be lucky to have people ever be as good as you are. The training will be slow and full of mistakes. Be very careful about duplicating the work (doing the same job) you’ve hired people to do. They will watch you and make all the same mistakes. You’ll constantly be stepping all over each other. Write down their responsibilities. Give them bite sized pieces of the work they can handle, increasing the load of work progressively.
For example; all front-of-house staff need to learn how I want the phone answered first and foremost. I want short, confident, and friendly conversations that lead to booking appointments. So, the first thing they do is watch a 1-hour video detailing how to handle the phones. Then, they are given scripts that allow them to take messages properly, or answer questions properly. Now they start answering phones. See how that is done in a progression? The next training is to learn the shop management system. In between taking messages and answering basic questions they study and practice the software to learn how to write and schedule appointments. It will be a week or two of all that before they ever work with a live repair order and customer. At the very least you need to write scripts. Scripts allow the employee to answer common questions the exact way that you need them to. They make people efficient, accurate, and decisive. They will be more productive for having them. Once your employee has the basics of the job down, find a coach you like and sign them up for professional training.
The Best Coaches
The best NFL, NBA, NHL, etc. teams are coached by the best coaches. If you want your team to be the best, sign your employees up for the best training. The result will be that they end up doing their job better than you’ve ever seen it done. Perhaps they will do that job even better than you…
So, what is the Return on Investment of training? The first thing that will happen is you’ll have employees who stay longer. Why? Because they succeed! They feel valued, that you are willing to invest in them. They know the rules and the goals, and they follow those rules and achieve those goals that they learned in training. They WIN.
You’ll have more satisfied customers. Satisfied because they are dealing with winners, professionals, people who can take care of business. These customers stay and spend money on their cars. They spend more money because they are comfortable with your staff’s recommendations.
The cars your customers drive will last longer. They last longer because they are better maintained. And that only builds your customers’ trust more, so they continue choosing to come back to your auto shop.
Training is like the ultimate circle of success for your business. Train staff = satisfied customers = longer lasting cars. And repeat!