There are few things more important to a business than a well-trained staff, which is why it’s essential to have a solid training program in place before taking on new hires. However, it’s not just about showing them what they need to do but about really immersing them into the brand so they feel committed and empowered.
In addition to developing a consistent client experience, a well-trained staff will be involved in the company’s future and may bring a new perspective to the table.
One of my best suggestions is to start new hires out with an internship program. This way, you can go through the training while simultaneously evaluating their performance. You can quickly determine whether they’re a good fit for your brand, and they’ll also know whether or not the job is right for them.
The trial period is great because you’ll also be able to gauge how quickly they learn and how detail-oriented they are, which is essential in the world of events.
It can help to have an onboarding guide that walks interns and employees through their responsibilities so they can learn on their own. Keep in mind that this is something you’ll need to create in advance of the hiring process, so set some time aside to put together a comprehensive guide.
Will they be confirming appointments? Include a sample template that they can start out with. Do they need to understand a specific computer program? Write up detailed step-by-step instructions that will take them through the process--screenshots are a bonus! The more they are able to teach themselves, the more empowered they will feel, which leads to increased organizational commitment.
However, that’s not to say you should leave them to fend for themselves. Always make yourself open for questions and issues—they should want to figure things out on their own, but they should still be able to rely on you when they need help. In this way, you can foster their creativity and independence without leaving them to feel overwhelmed.
One thing to expect is that they will make mistakes--it’s inevitable. However, they should be honest about them and eager to find a solution.
Try to avoid being upset with them--you were new in the industry once too! Instead of knocking down their ego, push them to learn from their mistakes and share some of your own mishaps with them. It truly is the best way to develop as a professional!
Keep in mind that the way your staff is trained will reflect on your company when they work with clients, so don’t brush over the important things. With a bit of commitment, you’ll be well on your way to a solid team in no time!
Jennifer Taylor is the owner of Taylor’d Events Group, a planning firm that specializes in celebrations of all kinds in the Pacific Northwest and Maui. She is also the creator of The Taylor’d Plan, a self-administered class for wedding planners who are new to the industry and looking to grow and develop their skills.
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