Here we are in September, and many of you are prepping for the SGI EXPO in New Orleans. You may be sharing that valuable experience with some of your team, if not then, but when you return. It’s important that you make the most of your SGI resources, and the training of your office staff and technicians is vital. But keep in mind that the outcome of education is knowing facts, understanding concepts and acquiring values.
Training, on the other hand, is the appreciation of how that knowledge is useful in practice. The ideal outcome of training is doing something correctly until it becomes company policy.
Problem is, your technicians and CSR’s (like everyone else) are good learners, but quick forgetters. And it’s not totally our fault. We live in a fast-paced, busy world that is constantly feeding us new information. Television, news, media and advertisements are all around us every second of the day. In response, the brain appropriately filters out information that is no longer being used, and that is no longer important. People forget 70% of new information within 24 hours regardless of what the information is. It affects everyone the same way. It doesn’t matter your IQ or age, if you attend a conference but don’t use the information until two weeks later, your brain most likely will have discarded what you learned.
You’ll know when training has been successful when behavior transforms and ignites profits. And the more people interact as with that training, the more effective it becomes.
Goals & Benefits of Better Training
Improving lives. Giving your staff keys to greater success, not just in work but in life, increases their confidence. This strengthen trust and relationships outside your door, in the customers’ homes, as well as inside the office and training room. Is it possible that they may take that confident swagger to a competitor? That’s a chance you have to take. But isn’t the upside worth it?
Use real-life examples, but in various set-ups. People learn best when they can make the mental leap to something they can relate to easily. But while roleplaying works well for your more outgoing employees, the more reserved types may feel more comfortable with small group discussions, case study reviews, quizzes and demonstrations.
Make it relevant. Examine the “Why”. While your staff may understand what they need to do and how to do it, that’s not enough. Being able to explain why they do what they do, to themselves, to you and, most importantly, to any customer who asks, THAT is an important way to reinforce procedures and attention to detail. You must provide your employees with opportunities to recall the information and therefore reinforce learning. Like athletes and musicians, practice makes perfect.
Train in easy, bite-sized segments. New information or reinforcement of concepts are best taken in small, easy-to-digest portions. Neuroscientists call it “encoding.” More and more, these digestible elements are being delivered on mobile devices, which is attractive to Gen Y’s in the workforce.
Stand on the desk. Okay, maybe not literally. But remember the scene from Dead Poets Society when Robin Williams had his students stand on his desk to gain a different perspective? Learning sticks better when it’s new & unique. If you generally have one-to-many sessions, shake it up by dividing into smaller groups. Take a field trip. Do something different!
Train, Measure, Reward, Repeat. A point that is often overlooked in staff training is that it isn’t a static process. Like any part of life, exemplary home service is a constant process of learning and improvement. It therefore makes perfect sense to consistently monitor the skills and performance of your team’s training and execution. By doing this, you can identify the areas where you can help your team grow and improve. Collect this sort of data, and you can more precisely identify the areas of strength and weakness – both on a department and individual level. Then apply support and training precisely where it’s needed.
Training: Use It …Or Lose It
When you spend as much as you do on attending EXPO, make sure you don’t waste the trip. Bring back more than souvenirs and photos. Return with the knowledge and training you need to answer your questions, assist your staff, and exceed your goals. But use it …or lose it!
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