It’s back to school time in our house. Anastasia is starting her first year of nursing at the University of Regina. Julia is starting her final year of high school and completing grade twelve. It’s exciting when their educational milestones are so clear.
How clear are your milestones for developing and educating your employees?
One of the best investments you can make in your business, and often the lowest cost, is to train your employees so they provide better service to your customers, including your internal customers. Yet unlike structured education from the days of our youth, there are often no clear frameworks for developing employees within companies so they continually improve performance.
Here are four ideas to try in your business.
Figure 7.1 Enhancing Employee Education and Performance
Codifying Your Knowledge
Your employees do many things for your customers and to support your internal operations. Codifying these steps into documented policies and procedures does not create bureaucracy; it creates structure which supports speed.
One client has set up an internal university where they have their employees—who are experts in their areas—put on training sessions for other employees. The cost is minimal, usually just the employees’ wages. The employees develop the curriculum based on your existing procedures and teach others. This creates a learning culture. Teaching others provides recognition and status to your best employees.
When you’ve codified your procedures, you can video people performing them properly or improperly, and use these videos for training. The videos can be watched by any employee at any time, further reducing travel costs and increasing knowledge transfer. You could also ask your best customers to participate in the videos and provide valuable feedback on your training and systems.
You may grant people certifications for achieving certain levels of training and performance. Just make sure the certification is for performance and success, instead of simply completion. There needs to be demonstrated competence that generates results. The acknowledgement can be a simple certificate or an extensive training and performance monitored process.
Some companies have formal quality designations which prove they have created systems and can follow them. Their larger customers respect companies that have formal certifications. Why not certify yourself?
Tip: Have your employees develop the procedures and curriculum because they are closest to the action and are the best ones to teach others.
Training and certifying your employees can help make performance evaluation and compensation—which are two separate issues—easier and more effective.
To discuss how I can help you improve employee performance so that you can increase your revenues, profits, and valuation, please give me a call.
If you are a business leader or business association director, I’d be happy to host a free webinar for your managers or members on growing revenues, profits, or business valuation.
Thanks for reading!