Updated: Nov 22, 2019
This is going to be akin to a flu shot for some of you.
Or a Monday at work after the weekend of Mardi Gras in which you participated with flying (bead) colors. Or sitting cross-legged for several hours at the DMV.
Or picking out beige carpet samples.
Because you know what? You’re proud of your grassroots-roll-up-your-sleeves-DIY approach to hiring and training new people! Is it exhausting? Yes! Is it mind-numbing? Definitely! Does it often not work out and you seem to deal with turnover more than you’d like? Of course! But that’s just the joys of owning a small business, right?
You’ve put off the idea of setting up an on-boarding and training process because of the gross corporate taste it leaves in your mouth. Or maybe it’s been something you’ve been meaning to do along with ‘update website’ and ‘network more’. Developing processes of any kind is not a fun task but they are a necessary evil that will eventually bring you peace of mind to focus on more important things.
But seriously, creating a training and on-boarding process will"
Help your employees feel connected to your business,
Create a sense of culture, and
Give you the space and time to focus on growing and sustaining your business.
Hear me out.
Over the course of your business’s existence, you’ve probably hired plenty of people whether they’ve been contracted, in-house or hourly employees (and yes, asking your sibling to help out counts!) It’s frustrating and time consuming, but you know that if you want to eventually grow your business, you have to hire people.
And here’s the truth. You should only have to set up this process once. You should never have to repeat it. It should be documented and systematized. And the reason you’re bitter about the whole idea of hiring again is that you haven't created a repeatable model that you can refer back to and build upon.
By creating a training system, you have a step-by-step process to educating your new employees and help them feel connected to your business model and sales goals. And guess what? You can even have your new employees build out this process for you as their first task so they can be the ones to train next time around.
Beyond that, not only do you need a training system, you need to teach people about the mission and values of your organization. This is a crucial component to building your business’s culture. It will help your new employees feel included and aid you in finding the best people for your business.
Leveraging your mission and values to find quality candidates and differentiate your business will give your business sustaining power and success. Consider the attributes and values that are important to your business’s ethos and include them in your on-boarding process.
Once you’ve automated your training and on-boarding, you’ll have the head space to focus on your customers and the sales of your business. The idea is that you could literally walk away from your company and it would not only continue, but prosper. If you’re noticing a lack of sales when you’re not around, it could be because you haven’t properly trained your employees.
While major corporations certainly have a reputation for being soul-sucking and unoriginal, consider their positive attributes. These big companies work because they have a set training process and a defined culture. They have consistency, accountability and trust across the board.
Similarly for small business owners, there is great benefit to automating aspects of your processes so you can spend more time focusing on the parts you enjoy.