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”