5 Compelling Reasons to Methodically Train Your New Hires

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Ray started a business designed to provide cleaning services to homes in a large residential area where both heads of household normally worked outside of the home. The business became popular quickly and Ray was swamped with orders. He found it necessary to hire two people to help provide the services. He quickly hired people recommended by one of his friends. It appeared the new hires had plenty of experience so he was happy to add them to his business.

After about a month, Ray noticed he was running out of supplies. He projected the need according to what he was using each time he serviced a customer. It seems the new hires needed more. He also began to notice a decline in service requests. After about three months, he learned that he couldn’t make payroll. He spent money on supplies, gas and other operating expenses he had not planned for. Ray wasn’t able to secure additional funds, so he scaled back as the only one working in the business and never grew to the great business he hoped for.

Ray’s situation is difficult but it’s not that unusual. He experienced great success while he was working alone but transferring that skill was not in his plans. He assumed skilled workers would work the way he worked. It doesn’t automatically turn out that way.

Owners must consciously design their business to get the results they project. It won’t just happen. Unfortunately, too many owners don’t accept or know about this reality. They think if they work hard, the business will just grow and they’ll learn as they go.

One way to build the business you project is to make sure the new hires help you get to your Vision. The only way to do this is to carefully train each new hire.  I know, this is time consuming when you’re already too busy. However, if you want to build a great business, you’ll have to find the time to carefully train your new hires. At some point, they will be able to train new hires for you, but the owner must lay the foundation for business sustainability as you have envisioned it by basically ingraining your Vision and Values and Systems into your employees minds.

Below are some compelling reasons to methodically train your new hires.

1.You will embed your Mission/Purpose, Values and Vision into your business through your employees. Preparing for training will require you to determine a System for sharing and embedding your Mission/Purpose, Values, Vision and Systems in your business through your new hires. Employees will know the principles and expectations of your organization. Without training, they will work according to their perceptions of what results are expected and how they should be achieved. This is your business and you must direct it.

2. All employees will provide the service/product according to a documented System described by you from your professional experience. Preparing for training will require you to describe and document a System for service/product delivery that has worked well for you in the past. You will always make improvements, but everyone will begin from the same base which helps you keep control of your progress.

3. You will be able to control the level of responsibility each new hire will have. You can incrementally coach new hires to differing levels of responsibility. This will allow you to eventually take on more of a role as the business builder rather than acting as just a worker in the business.

4. You will be able to control the growth and scalability of your business. You can have accurate measures of productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. Careful training and coaching gives you confidence that your measures are correct because of the abilities of your workers that you have developed.

5. A collaborative approach to training and subsequent coaching will bring improvements and innovation to your business. Encouraging questions helps the new hire feel valuable to your enterprise. As you listen to an outsiders questions, you’ll often see ways to improve your business in several areas. Just keep to your basic Mission/Purpose,Values and Vision as well as your proven processes. You can improve after the new hire has learned the fundamentals.

Carefully training new employees is important to business building. Planning for training and coaching can eliminate a lot of potential employee and business problems. Hiring the right fit is also important. Manage well.

Clear Management Skills recipes in “20 Directives for Small Business Success: Do or Die”

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5 Vital Management Skills That Prevent Common Problems

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Steve started his business about eight years ago. He has enjoyed a decent amount of success. He has 7 employees now and a friend suggested he might need an operations manager to halt the decline in business he is currently experiencing. Steve hired Sara and she has been on the job for four months. She was excited about her new position and just knew that she could do a great job of improving productivity and efficiency. She had been very successful in her last job. After some time on the job, she was a little concerned about whether she could do a good job with this new company. So, she made an appointment to talk to Steve about problems with implementing her plans. The discussion went like this:

Sara: “Steve, I’m just not satisfied with the way things are going. I’m having trouble motivating my people. Everybody cleans their desk and rushes out of here at 5:00 p.m. They even walk out of meetings that run a little pass 4:30 p.m. because they don’t want to miss the car pool. I schedule morning meetings instead.”

Steve: “Sara you have to know that in this business our people know that they come first and the business needs come second. This is the way we work around here.”

Sara: “I’m always asking the people to come to me if they have problems but it seems that they don’t think they need or want help. They just don’t communicate with me enough.”

Steve: “The people working here have been here quite a while and are mostly over forty. They are pretty set in their ways and you are the first operations manager that I have hired. Some of them may not like being managed by a younger person.”

Sara: “There is one person that seems to be interested in becoming an operations manager one

day, but his supervisor said as long as the person is working well for him, he would never think of releasing him to move up.” We also planned to test a new product last week but two of my people said that they had planned to go on vacation and would not change it. One woman had planned a long distance shopping trip and the other had planned a community project. They we not willing to change their plans for the test.”

Steve: “In our company, we encourage outside interests and community involvement. We just hope that these interests don’t interfere with their jobs. Many of the workers can’t advance in our company because they are at the top of their pay scale, so they look outside for interesting things to do. It is

your job to work with and motivate these people. Perhaps some research on how to motivate others would help you.” Adapted from Harold Kerzner, Ph.D “Project Management Case Studies”.

Considering the limited information we have to work with, we can broadly analyze the essential Management skills this manager should apply to save his business. It appears that Steve had no knowledge of the skills needed to sustain a growing business. The skills prescribed below could have prevented the problems he is experiencing. Applying them now will be difficult for Steve to do, but possible.

The ability to clearly define and commit to a business Mission, Vision, Values and Strategy. Steve might have begun with a clear Mission and Vision for his company, but it seems he lost sight of the importance of embedding these elements into his business. There is no evidence that Values, other than “people first”, were conscientiously promoted. They just evolved as the business grew.

The ability to clearly communicate the Mission, Vision, Values and strategy.Communications of all types seem to be missing. Steve needs  to acquire skills in business communications at all levels.

The ability to manage organizational change. It appears that Steve is unaware of the change management processes available to help him make the changes he needs to help his business survive and flourish.

The ability to hire, train and coach new employees. Steve was fortunate to get the workers he has and a qualified person to fill his operations manager position. However, he didn’t have an orientation, training or coaching plan in place. These are required if he wants his new hires to carry on his Mission, Values, Vision and Strategy. Of course, the big problem is that it doesn’t appear that he has these elements clearly defined, committed to and promoted in his business.

The ability to design up to date pay systems. Steve is using an old system of pay that is not sufficient for business sustainability and growth. He should research the best pay systems for his business and apply them. Several sources are described by Culpepper and Associates in “Salary Stru

ctures: Creating Competitive and Equitable Pay Levels”.

Steve’s business seems to be in big trouble. It’s going to take a lot of hard and determined work to help it survive in our ever changing environment.

He can do it if he takes on the role of the CEO and not just the technical expert.

There are many questions we could ask about Steve’s situation. Feel free to leave comments about your thoughts concerning the state of his company and any questions you might ask Steve.

Clear, easy to follow Management Skills recipes in “20 Directives for Small Business Success: Do or Die”

 

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7 Mindsets That Differentiate the Professional From The Business Builder

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All new business owners begin with the intent to grow a great business. The results are painfully different. The SBA reports that only about one third of new businesses survive 10 years or more. Why does this happen? What contributes to the success of the surviving businesses?

Martin Zwilling reported, “Over 25 years ago, Michael E. Gerber wrote a best-selling business book called The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. The E-Myth (“Entrepreneurial Myth”) is the mistaken belief that most businesses are started by people with tangible business skills, when in fact most are started by “technicians” who know nothing about running a business. Hence most fail.”

The importance of business management skills isn’t widely appreciated even with the Google Library and You Tube University where all the information you would ever need is available to everybody. Most new business owners don’t realize the need for “tangible business skills”.

Therefore, most businesses are started by professional technicians with great skills and no knowledge of the management skills needed to help the business grow and survive.

With the help of Martin Zwilling, contrasting the mindsets of the professional and the business builder will highlight the change in perspective required for building a strong and enduring business.

The Professional Perspective

  1. How much work should I do to get the income I need to stay in business? The owner is concentrating on the volume of work that he/she must personally complete to keep the business running.
  2. What should we offer the customer? Concentration is on the size and scope of the service or product and what is required to please the customers.
  3. How much should your product/service cost to produce and what should be the cost to the customer? Understanding the financial requirements and results in the business is foremost.
  4. How will we get the basic materials we need to supply the product? Supply chain requirements are considered and chosen.
  5. How can I get additional funding? Venture capital or loans are considered for operating costs.
  6. How can we market this business to get more customers? Marketing options are considered and chosen according to available funding.
  7. How will I hire people when I need them and how will I pay them? Hiring workers or getting volunteers are contemplated but often avoided.

The focus is on the present and attempting to keep things as they are now. Seeing what has worked in the past and what seems to be working now is the total consideration of the owner. This perspective often fails.

Of course, these tasks must be completed in any business, but with a different perspective, a good amount of stress is removed because you have business skills to design a Vision and plan for handling the required tasks with projected timelines.

Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. Sun Tzu

The Business Builders’ Perspective

  1. How should my business work in today’s environment? This perspective takes into account the changing environment of the business and research is completed to help design how the business will work today and in the future.
  2. What are my competitors doing that I should know about? A careful analysis of existing successful, related businesses is completed to determine the state of the art in the chosen discipline. Internet searches make this task easily accomplished.
  3. What meaning can we bring to the marketplace? The contribution to society the business willmake is taken into consideration and held as guiding principles in the business.
  4. What should my business look like in the future? A Vision of the future is carefully described and used as a business target.
  5. What strategy should I adopt to get to that Vision? An analysis of where you are in the business building process, what targets you wish to reach and how you are going to reach these targets is thought through and designed. This is your strategy.
  6. What systems should be in place to ensure consistent results that satisfy customers and create the best results? These will be routine ways of running the business that can be easily repeated in all important operations. Examples would be a marketing system, a financial system or a customer service system that works the same every time unless changes are indicated.
  7. How can we be better than the rest? Attention to innovation, improvement, excellence and industry leadership are important considerations for this owner.

There are other elements, of course, for each perspective. The listed ones are just a few major differences in the thinking processes of the professional and the business builder. The truth is, the business owner must carry out both roles. Your artistic application of management skills helps you organize and control all aspects for the sustainability and growth of your business.

The business builder takes the perspective of the CEO who sees the big picture then plans for business fortification, endurance and expansion. He/she doesn’t see themselves as always keeping their heads down grinding out the work and hoping they will eventually get help or maybe even afraid to get help. They see themselves as the founder of a great business that will be a benefit to society, financial freedom and personal independence.

Clear management skills recipes: “20 Directives for Small Business Success: Do or Die”

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