Most local business owners recognize staff training as one of the most time-consuming challenges of running a small business. As an owner, your day is full of the myriad things that keep your business ticking. Whether you’re baking bread or repairing cars, you also stay busy with your accounting and customer service, and by the time you’ve finished updating your social media or writing a newsletter, there’s hardly a moment to rest, much less train new staff. We know how tough it is to onboard new workers while still hitting all your small business goals, so we put together a list of training hacks to make that process a snap.
Last year, we covered some recruiting tips for restaurant owners, many of which can be applied to any recruiting for any small business. Now, we want to help you make those new employees the best that they can be!
Prepare your topics ahead of time, and compile them into a guide
Do your work ahead of time – there are many business topics to cover with new staff members at your small business, from knowledge about your menu to store layout and how to greet customers. Organize and prioritize your topics, and use that document both as a handy reference while you walk your new staff through your procedures, and then as a guidebook for them to check in on later.
The best way for your employees to learn is by watching how you and your more experienced staff navigate your business. This will not only expose them to small business problems and solutions but will also make them proactive in their own operations and improve their speed.
Ask sudden questions
Sure, as an employer, it’s important to make your new employees feel comfortable in their new workplace and answer as many of their questions as possible. But be sure to throw questions at your new hires, too. Ask random (but relevant) questions that will take them off guard – for instance, a question about the ingredients in certain menu items. By doing this, you are already preparing your new employees to answer random customer questions.
Become the customer
One of the fastest ways to train your new employee is to pretend to be a customer and let the new employee practice on you. This practical training goes a long way in teaching him how to behave in the workplace.
Biggest training tip: spoil Your customers
Finally, before your new employees go out there and start serving your small business’s customers, let them know that it’s appropriate to spoil new customers. This can be done in different ways depending on the type of business you run. A free drink, an entrée on the house, a free oil change with a tire change–things like this go a long way in making customers feel wanted. Let your new employees spoil new customers by innovating a pleasant customer experience in their own ways. You’ll be surprised how far this goes in making employees feel like their contribution matters, which will make your employees feel engaged in their work, and make customers feel a personal connection to your business.
With these few steps, you can give your new employees the best possible introduction to your business in the shortest amount of time.
Keep checking back for more small business marketing ideas, small business social media tips, and customer engagement hacks – or follow us on social media for bite-sized info anytime!