How To Cross Train Your Staff In 30 Days Or Less
Josh had been in business over five years, and had done a great job of building up a loyal clientele and solid product portfolio. His biggest reason for coming to Maui Mastermind had to do with his lack of owner-independence. He felt that if he were to take a vacation or got sick, the business wouldn’t be able to survive without him. He relied on a few key team members, and struggled to give them time off for vacations and events as well. So I sat down with him to talk about his staffing pain points and what to me seemed like a clear cut case of “a lack of cross training.”
I explained to him that by cross training his staff in small, manageable pieces he would be able to start strategically removing himself from the equation all together, without having his business or customer base suffer.
Here were the four secrets I shared with him:
1. Start with the WHY?
Whenever I train a team member on any task or process, I make it a point to explain to them why it matters in the first place. This simple step will help them realize that the information about to be presented to them is worth paying attention to.
- Why does it matter to them?
- How will it help them further things to them, professionally? personally? (I.e. able to be more effective, more autonomy, flexibility by training others if you need to be gone for kids’ event…etc.
- Why it matters to company? I.e. We recognize that you are the only one that knows how to do this task, and we would like you to be able to take time off.
- Why to clients?
2. Strategically invest just 10% more.
While you are doing an actual job, train as you go. For many business owners, our first instinct is to set up the training documents on our own and then present them to the staff to train. But in reality, that just makes it more time consuming for all parties involved. It is easier to pause, assess the task at hand and then teach it in small chunks as you go.
When learning a new skill, you remember what we hear at the first and end of a lesson the most…it’s the middle we don’t remember. So, think of your training as a series of starts and stops.
3. Think versions.
Nothing is final. Take the pressure of yourself by thinking of your training process in terms of version. Progress not perfection.
4. UBS while training
Creating systems and controls while we train is something we do every single time we onboard a new team member. As you bring on a new person take the last UBS created and improve upon it. Give some thought for how training will be run.
- Record while training – Audio? Video? Screen share?
- Consider transcribing after record
- Think “modules”. This will make the materials more useful down the road. Take five to ten minutes of focus time and record those sessions. This will also make it easier to replace/update modules if a particular step changes in the future.