While an interview may have gone well, you won’t truly know if a candidate can perform their role to the level you wish without actually doing the job. Equally true, they won’t know the performance standards you expect unless you outline it for them and train them.
Prep Them Your Way | Unlearn Behaviors
Proper training is critical if you expect your employees to accomplish specific tasks in a particular way.
Realize you may have to un-train behaviors of employees coming in with experience in the same type job. The method your servers should present plates of food to the diners may differ from what they did at their previous wait-staff job. The way you want an employee to support an upset customer will probably be different from their previous job.
Be ready to patiently provide constructive feedback in these type situations.
Don’t Work Them Until They’re Ready
We Will Serve No Wine Before Its Time
There were television ads for Paul Masson wine in the 1970s – featuring American actor Orson Welles. They described how they were patient to wait until the wine was perfectly ready before making available for purchase.
This type of patience is how we need to be with our new employees. We should not let them freely work until they’ve completed all the necessary training to perform their job in front of customers, confidently.
We know this can be difficult, we often need staff so desperately, we’re willing to let training happen “on the job” to get them working sooner than later.
But this cheats the employee of the appropriate time to make mistakes when it is safe and learn the proper way to handle different situations.
Training First, For Executives Too
At Starbucks in the 90s, executive and management in Seattle, weren’t allowed to think about our job until they completed an immersion – a combination of in-store training followed by shadowing a peer employee.
Every single partner (employee) was required to learn how to pull espresso shots, make great foam and make a perfect latte. We all worked shifts in-store to experience what the store partner experienced. We learned what the customers were like in the real world.
Zappos and “The Offer”
Zappos – a company that prides itself on providing excellent customer service – offers a four-week intensive training program – immersing new hires in culture, strategy, and process.
One week into this training, Zappos makes “the offer” to the new employees, “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you have worked, plus a $2,000 bonus.”
It is a better investment to excuse those who won’t or can’t maintain their standards with a $2,000 bonus than to let them enter the company and potentially ruin the customer experience.
That covers the main topics related to training, now let’s talk about recognizing and rewarding employee performance.