At More Floods, we believe that every aspect of running a water damage restoration business should be systemized, including the hiring and training of new team members. As your business grows, your staff will, too. This is an important time to evaluate how you will train new staff members when they are hired and how you will turn that training into a repeatable process that won’t get neglected or missed when you get busy.
Well-trained employees are truly the backbone of a strong, growing business. When the people who work for you are confident in their skill set and what is expected of them, you can expect higher performance. You can also step away, confident they will manage their day-to-day tasks well, so you can focus on the task of growing your business. Here’s how to plan ahead for efficient, repeatable training of restoration employees.
Step 1: Pick Your Method
There are many ways to train an employee in the water damage restoration. Some employers prefer on-the-job training. They hire their employee and send them to a job right away to watch and learn from more experienced staff members on their team.
Others prefer to front-load their new employee training in a formal, classroom setting. This can be done at your company, using e-learning training materials and videos. Some companies also take advantage of the opportunities for conference training or training classes offered by industry organizations.
All of these methods have their strengths, and they certainly have weaknesses, too.
On-the-job training offers the hands-on approach that classroom training is often missing. This allows for new employees to make mistakes and ask questions long before they’re on a job alone. However, the success of the method of letting an employee shadow another really depends on the strengths of the training employee and their ability to stick with a plan for making sure all important training topics get covered.
A conference or training class is great because it is a chance to review industry standards and policies in a formal way, however, these classes are not customized to your company or each employee. Additionally, the cost of tuition might be prohibitive to some small companies.
A combination of on-the-job training and formal training classes or e-learning might be the best approach to make sure each and every training need is met.
Step 2: Put the Method on Paper
Whatever you choose as your method for training your new employees, formalize it! Make it clear what you expect by documenting it, from the first day of work until the end of a new employee’s probationary period, and into yearly requirements for continued training.
One of the simplest ways to outline a training period is to create a new employee handbook. Create a chronological document of new hire training as the index and then fill the handbook with the resources that new employee will need to learn how to succeed at their job.
When it comes to preparing a new team member for work on the field, there is rarely a problem with overkill. Remember, you are equipping them for success or setting them up for failure as you train them for their work! Communicate what is expected in as much detail as possible so that they can move forward with their new role as confidently as possible.
Step 3: Make it Automatic
While writing down the training process is a helpful step in making sure it happens, it isn’t enough. Training needs to be built into a repeatable system from start to finish so that you are certain nothing is getting missed if you step away to focus on other things.
We suggest creating a check-off list for new hire training and making it the responsibility of the new hire. As part of their on-boarding, review the check-off list with them and make it very clear that, in order to move on past their initial probationary period, they will need to check off every box on the list.
During this time, make sure they understand how to start working through the items on their list, who to talk to learn new these new skills, and who to email to set up training classes if that is part of your company’s method for training. Make it clear that, although it is their responsibility to follow through with this list, you and other employees at the company are anxious to help them succeed.
We believe this is a great way to manage training because it takes the responsibility off of you, the busy business owner, and places it on the back of the employee, who is the most motivated to make this a successful venture.
At More Floods, we love helping business owners grow and scale their business and training new employees is an essential part of the process. We provide resources, like check-off lists, and access to training materials through our More Flood network membership. To learn more about the network, click here or call 1-866-667-3356 to talk with a member of the More Floods team.