Research shows that staff members who feel valued and prepared perform better, have a much greater retention rate and seek greater opportunities to contribute to the business. Those businesses that fail to properly train staff can have a full list of ills to tackle ranging from a revolving staff door to low productivity.
So why is training something that EVERY business should do well but does not?
The answer to that question is complicated.
Each business is a living breathing entity that is at various stages of life. There are new businesses, well-established businesses, transitional businesses and those that are past their prime. Each one has a different approach or a different reason for either failing to train their staff or for implementing their staff training program.
Let’s take new businesses for example. These new companies are barely off the ground and the owners are still figuring out processes, procedures and staffing while trying to keep the lights on. Training is something many of these have not even begun to think of yet. An opportunity is ripe here to get correct training from the start.
When launching a new business, trial and error often is the method used to figure out how to make things happen. As these trials occur, the business owner who assigns the task of documenting the processes to the staff person performing it is wise. Why? It is much simpler to dive into this task right from the start than to try to remember what happened at various functions three, four or six months after they are completed.
The documentation, regardless of how exact it is, will serve as the beginnings of the company manual that, like the company, is a living breathing document that will change, grow and be rewritten over and over as growth happens and better ways of performing duties emerge.
These documented processes then become the foundation of training as staffs rotate off and out the door or rotate upwards to advanced positions.
The business owner who takes the time to schedule Policy & Procedure meetings regularly on the calendar to reflect on these is the owner who will find he must only do things once because the manual then is written and serves as a tool to continue training staff.
However, well-established businesses will likely have some of the same issues as the new business but with added issues. What issues?
- Veteran staff that have the knowledge in their heads but with nothing documented.
- A mixture of the “old guard” and the “new guard” where methods of performing duties now have newer, faster or more streamlined ways of doing them. The problem lies in the middle of these two groups of employees who wrestle over change.
- “Old Guard” employees see new staff training as an insult and often reject it.
Approaching a training program in this scenario is best approached with some finesse. The best means of getting buy-in is to involve the veteran and new employees in the process of creating the training materials so both can see one another’s perspective. Buy-in is far easier when the groups to be trained are involved in the process.
Finally, the business that is past its prime may begin declining if it has failed to keep up with trends and likely has bigger issues to solve than training. However, given the scenario that a new regime of leadership takes over, it is possible the company will be treated more like a new company moving forward. In this instance, the training may be designed the same as the process for a new business or a hybrid of both new businesses and well-established ones.
People are any organization’s greatest resource. Investing in them with training demonstrates a commitment to improving not only the business but also the confidence of its workers. As a business leader, one may or may not have the gift of teaching. Luckily, there are many training programs available today to employ. If you are seeking topical training, there are programs for human resources, sales, conflicts of interest, communication, or technical skills.
Finding training that has been created expressly for law firms can be tricky. To learn more about Your Staff Trained, our proprietary training program for law firm staff, contact us and we can share more about this dynamic and powerful training for your practice.