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The More You Train, The More You Gain

The More You Train, The More You Gain

May 21, 2014

The more you train, the more you gain. Yet most business owners are resistant to this concept in their own businesses.

Why?!

Usually, it’s “I can’t give everybody the path to becoming CEO. I need them in their jobs.”

What a mistake. Business leaders are shortsighted when it comes to the payoff of training. Nothing creates deeply engaged, excited team members like a clear Path of Ascension. Ongoing business training creates more capable employees, and it frees you up to make high-level decisions, find major deals, and even enjoy some freedom.

Why not train employees at your own company‘s university?  Keep on reading to find out how simple it really is.  

The Path of Ascension

Too many business leaders make the mistake of training employees once, and leaving them to either remain at that initial level, or to self-train to work their way up.

“We are looking for self-directed self-starters: employees who take initiative. We will support them if they want to grow. We don’t hold anybody back.” Yikes. If you hear this, run. This comes from the mouths of businesspeople who don’t have the foresight to lay out a path for their team.  It’s like a school providing only entry-level courses and telling people “now go out and learn the rest on your own.”  

Sample Path of Ascension

At Brand Launcher, we utilize the Path of Ascension for both our own company and our clients. This involves ongoing training of personnel, so that they can keep moving up, just as you would in a university.     

For one of our clients, an auto sales company, we helped create a company university at which employees constantly learn more about the auto sales business, from the basics to the fine points behind the sales process. As a result of having “graduates”, the owner has much more freedom to work on his business, rather than being knee-deep in it. That should be your goal: to work at your business rather than simply in it.   

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Take our free Business Assessment now and get a complimentary Quick Start to see if a Path of Ascension is right for you.

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Why a University?

The concept of setting up a company university has its advantages.  Providing ongoing training means that everyone in your organization will use proven best practices and modern techniques. There will be consistency in the process, which is how you build a brand experience.

Without training, everyone will do things their own way. The cost of inconsistency will be recreating the wheel again and again. And when that happens, you end up babysitting rather than training. This especial hurts sales because without consistency there is no "brand experience" and each customer has a different engagement with your company. When this happens you lose your unique approach to the market.

Ultimately, a company university will also attract better employees who want to ascend to higher levels in your business while developing their skills and abilities in the process.  

Finally, this will help you develop a Freedom Team that can step in for you, handle more tasks, and free you up to focus on what you do best. This is how you gain the room to make significant business decisions, and the space to take a much-needed break once in a while. All work and no play… well, you know the rest.   

What if some people don’t want to participate? That’s okay. Not everyone in your business will want to attend your company university. Some people are quite content doing the job they were hired to do — nothing more and nothing less. Having that kind of dedicated employee on board can be a good thing, but you also want to have people learning the business and moving up.

Levels of Ascension

Forget the ABC’s of business. You want to focus on ABT, which stands for Always Be Training.  But be clear it's not just the cliche of "training".  What you must create is an environment of learning. Show me a team that's not continually learning and growing and I'll show you a company that's dying and losing market share.

Class is in session:

  • Your entry level 101 courses cover the basics of how to work in the company.  Everyone, including administrative, operational, sales, and technical employees learn how the basics behind the business work, whether your company is building decks, selling insurance, or providing IT services. Consider Mallon pest control where everyone learns about identifying insects and the basics of pesticides.
  • Intermediate 201 courses focus on the unique job and learning to excel at the tasks that makes the best deck builder, the best insurance salesperson, or the best IT tech.  This also includes answering the “how” and “why” questions. Left-brain learning will answer the “how” questions, providing step-by-step guidance. The “why” questions are answered by right-brain learning, which is intuitive, experiential, and explains the process behind the steps. The essence of 201 is unique job training for each job.
  • Advanced 301 courses come from the heart and focus on leadership training and development. These include communication skills, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence and understanding finance and management. Not everyone will make it to this level, but such training when be provided creates a team of leaders. When you do this you'll build a team of "leader-leader" instead of "leader-follower" which is your ticket to freedom.

Of course, training should not be so rigid as to stifle creativity, nor should it be so unstructured that everyone simply ends up doing things their own way.   

Slowing Down to Speed Up

As I mentioned last week, here’s the rub: first and foremost, you need to recognize that this process will take time. You will need to slow down to speed up. But don’t panic; it pays off!  If you commit just 5% of your time to creating a training system in which employees can grow and learn, you will see increased profits and more free time.

Don’t have the time? Consider the three S’s: Supercuts, Subway and Starbucks. Two of these companies, Supercuts and Subway, are among the top five franchises in the country. The third, Starbucks, went from two Seattle locations to more than 17,500 locations worldwide.  Why? Because they took the time to train everyone in their best practices and internally created a brand. You can follow in their footsteps, creating your own processes and training program, within your company university.

Four Steps to Get You Started

1.      Have your employees find an “A” player in your business (this could be you) to track.  Part of the responsibility of the trainee is to simplify, codify, and document the activities of the person being tracked. The trainee should find someone who is further along the Path of Ascension, but on the same path.

2.      Have ongoing face-to-face training sessions. Welcome questions.

3.      Create a system so your internal organization offers a clear structure for the Path of Ascension, and through which each employee has his or her own file.

4.      Develop an evaluation and feedback process to hold your team accountable to ensure they actually get it and use it.

The goal is to break down every activity that is scalable, creating a system where employees can master an activity and move up the Path of Ascension.  It’s what I call nail it and scale it.

Taking you from where you are to where you want to be,

Jon