Discover a NEW way to EFFECTIVELY Train your Tradesmen and office staff that provides a Win/Win for you both
There is a common misconception that talking ‘AT’ your new employees is an effective form of training. The truth is, employees only retain 20% of what they hear which makes the whole process completely redundant. But how CAN you effectively train your staff?
Over the years we have had many plumbers come to work for us, all of whom needed to be trained so that they understood our business systems. In the early years, all of our systems and processes weren’t written down and were simply taught verbally.
Back then I believed that having a tradie sit in my truck listening to me smash out my thoughts at a hundred miles an hour on ‘how to do something’ was going to stick with them forever.
I was often left wondering why mistakes were being made and why I was hit with hundreds of questions after the ‘so-called’ training was complete; but then we discovered exactly why.
Did you know that people will only remember approximately 20% of a new task when you tell them what to do BUT will remember approximately 90% of a task when they have the opportunity to physically perform the task for themselves?
Why would you want to teach people any other way?
You wouldn’t put a learner driver behind the wheel having only read a manual or listened to your verbal instructions, right? So why would you do this to a tradie or any new employee in your business?
It reminds me of a quote I read once by Benjamin Franklin-
“Tell me and I forget,
Teach me and I may remember,
Involve me and I learn.”
We took this quote literally and now do things differently in our own business. I thought you might benefit from hearing about it…
We took the ‘involve me’ aspect of that quote to a whole other level. We developed one page visual flowcharts for each process/system within our business. A single page that ensures we achieve positive predictable results every time.
We use these in conjunction with our hands on training so that our tradies (and office staff) can follow the steps while actively applying. This way they learn by DOING which helps to speed up the learning process.
Through the onboarding process of a tradesman we’ve shrunk the time it takes to have tradesmen comfortably operating in a truck on their own and following our systems to a tee; from 6 weeks to 2 weeks. Now that’s saying something!
I know the members have LOVED that we shared our flowcharts with them. We’ve heard comments like ‘you’ve saved me hours’, ‘I didn’t need to re-invent the wheel’ and my all time favourite ‘how did I ever cope without them!’.
It’s great they have reaped the benefits from them like we have, because here’s the thing…
There are plenty of benefits gained by your team when you take the time to help them learn by doing. Let’s take a moment to discuss 3 of these advantages;
#1 Retention Increases
Studies have found that university and TAFE students who practice what they’re learning can retain up to three and a half times as much as those who actively listen throughout lectures.
Think about how much and how long you ‘verbally spew’ at your new apprentice or tradie at lightening speed. You could have saved hours (and perhaps prevented losing your voice) simply through a 10 minute demonstration with them repeating your actions. Time waster, right?
Especially when there is proof that there is a better way…
#2 Confidence and Competence Increases
New employees who follow the right onboarding process, given the correct training to understand WHY we do things the way we do (using flowcharts and hands-on application), are WAY happier to follow what we teach.
In addition to that they are more confident in their actions and hence less prone to silly mistakes that can arise from indecisiveness.
Overall the right training, in conjunction with the flowcharts and DOING, has a long-term positive effect on the employee. A win/win for everyone!
# 3 Overall Skills are developed
Hands-on-learning allows the development of a broader skill set. Rather than questioning each move (and wasting time in the deliberation), the employee simply follows each step of the one page flowcharts. This helps them gain confidence due to the repetition of their actions.
We all know that the development of a trade specific skillset is important (for a tradie), but it’s the other (just as important) part of operating a trade business, where the development of skills is needed most. This part is the step-by-step flow of a job to maximise time and increase efficiency, invoicing and collecting money onsite and how to leave a great impression on the customer, to name a few.
This is achieved when you learn by DOING on a daily basis.
As a business, your employees are your greatest assets, so why wouldn’t you want to provide them with the benefits of hands-on training. Take it to a whole other level and incorporate a one page flow chart to follow!
Whilst in the short term this training process might seem tedious, in the long term your business will benefit as your employees feel valued and their confidence will grow. Trust me, this makes the effort well worth it when you are rewarded with long-term, loyal employees and additional profit to the business!
- Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
- Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.