Always look for opportunities to enhance your team’s skills and knowledge about your business. The more your team knows—and the more they can do—the more they will be able to help you grow your business. Use cross-training so that team members can step in and help on a big project or when someone is sick. Use “stretch assignments” to give employees experience beyond their comfort zone: owning a more complex project, making a sales call to a larger client, or “managing” a project are a few examples.
Finally, use your resources. If you are part of a franchise system, don’t try to reinvent training—take what the franchisor has developed and modify it to your needs. Also look into what tools vendors and manufacturers provide; many companies have learning centers on their websites with videos, how-to guides, and other helpful resources. Additionally, social media sites are full of resources where companies post short videos on sites such as YouTube or Facebook pages that demonstrate how to use equipment or unique applications.
Training doesn’t have to be a burden or sacrifice to other aspects of your business. With a little planning and smart use of resources and time, you can quickly and seamlessly transition a new employee into a productive member of your team and expand the skill set of your existing team. The key is to have a (simple) plan, communicate it, and get the rest of your team engaged in helping facilitate and fulfill the training.