New employees can bring new energy and excitement to your work place, but finding the time and methods to train them can be confusing and time consuming. Maybe this is your first employee you will be responsible for training, or maybe you’ve been doing this for years but want to brush up on your skills. As a retail manager, and trainer, here are my tips and tricks of how to train employees without the headaches.
Read the Training Guides
The first thing I do before I train a new employee is read the manuals and paperwork I will be giving my new employee. Even though I have probably read this material when I was hired or at a previous time, it’s a good time to refresh on the important topics. Read it over, highlight what is most important to your business, and prepare what you do with your trainee each shift around what your corporate offices have deemed the critical points.
If you own your own business, now is the time to make a training manual. Even though you may know everything off the top of your head, having a paper copy of their expectations can make a trainees life a little less stressful. Include any register procedures, customer service standards, opening and closing duties and anything else important to your business. Buy a binder for your employee and keep anything important at arm’s reach for them.
Create a Plan
Some businesses provide you with an overview of what each day should look like for your new employee. I have worked at businesses that do a day by day breakdown of tasks, training areas and goals for the trainee. But I have also worked for companies that have little structure for training. If you have either program, sit down an decide how you want each day to look. For example, register training should occur on a day that isn’t busy, but training someone on how to unload shipment should be done on a day when shipment comes.
Making a plan not only helps you structure the trainee’s day, but also your day. As a manager you probably have many tasks every day you must complete, and having someone shadow you all day might make you less than productive. Schedule assistant managers or your most reliable employees to support you on the days you’re training, and skip training on days when you have meetings or calls to make.
Prep Your Team
Hiring a new employee means that a new person is going to be thrown into the mix of your staff. Talk to your employees about how busy you will be with training, but also emphasize that they can help. Ask your top performers to let the trainee shadow them and learn their skills. Tell your team about the new employee, their qualifications, and why you chose them to help everyone feel comfortable with your decision. Also ask them to be patient with the trainee and help them, not get frustrated, when they make mistakes. I like to have a store meeting shortly after training to help the staff bond, but also to introduce any new promotions or products with everyone.
With a little planning, training can go smoothly and be a fun experience for you and your staff. When troubles or frustrations arise, keep things light hearted and guide your trainee with your expert advice. In no time, they will be a productive member of your team and succeeding in your field.