Bare Bones Biz
As a contracting business owner, one of your responsibilities is making sure that you, and the people who work for you, have the information necessary to do the job. The job may be selling, driving, troubleshooting, installing, repairing, cleaning, filling out paperwork, etc. You are the trainer, the teacher. And once someone knows the basics, it’s your job to help them master the finer points, too.
Consider the US Marine Corps. Their slogan: We’re looking for a few good men. (And, a few good women!) Notice that the Marines don’t require candidates to have weapons handling experience, foreign language skills or be in excellent physical condition. They are looking for good people, and then they will train those people to the USMC standards to shine their shoes as well as all kinds of specialized tasks.
The better your training program, the less skilled your prospective employees need to be. In other words, the more and better training you do, the more choices you have when it comes to building your team…and getting things done.
Responsibilities vs. Procedures
Position Descriptions list the Responsibilities for each Position. Responsibilities are WHAT to do. Procedures are HOW to do it. For each listed Responsibility, there should be one or more Procedures. Procedures are the curriculum for your training program. Procedures are lists of behaviors that you teach your team members to DO.
Level One and Level Two Training
Level One is the training you provide so that team members can perform their assigned Procedures to the minimum acceptable level. Level One Training ends when your employee can do the Procedure well enough to be held accountable for it.
Level Two is the training you provide to enhance your employees’ skills and abilities beyond the minimum levels. Level Two Training is for increasing performance and efficiency.
For example: You could teach me how to do a “free throw” shot in basketball. I could learn what line to stand behind and which hoop to aim at when I throw the ball. That’s Level One training on the Procedure. I could “sign off” on that after a few minutes of training.
To get good at shooting “free throws” I would work on my technique. I may need to try holding the ball in different ways. I may do some specialized weight training. I may need to practice shooting the ball 50 times in a row. That’s Level Two Training.
Depending on the Procedure, you would decide whether or not to offer Level Two Training. For instance, the Procedure for Turning on the Warehouse Lights requires no additional training. When it comes to selling Procedures, a Salesperson is well served to continue Level Two Training…forever!
Start by making sure all your team members are trained on the Procedures – Level One. Then, add the Level Two Training, for the Positions and Procedures that require it.
Ready to go? Or help them grow!
Putting together a formal training program may seem daunting. Keep it simple. Procedures can be written in pencil on a piece of paper, three-hole punched and put in your Operations Manual – a three ring binder. Now, you have a curriculum. Don’t count on finding super skilled people who will miraculously make all your business dreams come true. Look for willing team members. Offer them the opportunity to be part of something great…your extraordinary business. Promise to help them succeed…by training the basics and exploring the expert levels of performance.