Investing in your staff training

FlowersIf you have staff in your business they are one of your biggest assets. As a small business owner you have to wear a lot of hats, HR, OHS, Recruitment, Manager, Social coordinator but one of the most important hats is a mentor to your staff. If you find yourself complaining to your friends or partner about a staff member who works for you then stop and think about it. The old proverb of “you reap what you sow” applies here. You are the one who prepared the job advert, read their CV, interviewed them and offered them a job. You are responsible for what’s in their contract and what they should and shouldn’t do. The problem isn’t your staff member – unfortunately it’s you and the systems you have in place. To help with this problem I’ve outlined some ways you can invest in your staff.

Regular meetings – Having regular meetings with staff is very important for a number of reasons. You can pick up on issues you may not see in an email or over the phone such as body language, appearance and general stress levels. I recommend meeting with key staff at least once a fortnight to discuss issues and review performance. With new staff I would do it more frequently and less frequently with older staff who know your systems

Library – Have a staff library or an itunes account for your company so your staff have access to all the resources possible for learning. This creates opportunity to improve their performance in their down time (when they are not actively seeing clients). It also encourages staff to take a keener interest in their development within your industry.

Training time – Hands on training is one of the best ways to learn. No matter how many training manuals you write, I always find hands on training to be the best. For admin staff I would recommend using Screencast O-Matic which allows you to record videos of what you do on your PC. Then save it to an online folder so it’s available to all staff.

Continued Professional Development (CPD) Allowance – You are not going to be able to teach your staff everything they need to know so it’s important to get outside influence. Within all industries there are courses and qualifications that can really enhance your experience in the industry making you and your staff experts in their field. It’s important to ensure these courses are relevant to the core values and goals of the  business. Any knowledge acquired is then reinvested within the business.

Performance Reviews – Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a great way to grade staff performance. The KPIs should be clearly outlined in the staff members initial contract which you should have drawn up in line with government and industry standards. If staff members are struggling with certain aspects of their KPIs then you need to put strategies in place to help improve their performance. If their performance does not improve after every effort has been made to facilitate better results, then I suggest terminating their contract (seek legal advice first as this can be a minefield of litigation)

All the above sounds like a lot of work, but if you have good systems in place then it makes things easier, good employees will gravitate towards well organised companies and remain loyal. To find out how PracticeNav can help organise your workplace to ensure you spend more time developing your staff please email or take our Free business audit. Also feel free to share your experience of how investing in your staff helped your business.

Colin Phillips
Business Consultant


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