One of the most important, and often least attended to, duties of managing a convenience store is training the employees who will be the face of your business. Many times an employee is hired and put to work with a minimal amount of training and with the expectation that theyll learn along the way. Although there are many situations that will be dealt with as they come up, thorough training will ensure that your staff is prepared to deal with most situations the way that youve directed.
Its important to remember that people have different dominant learning styles. Some people have a written learning style and learn best from reading, others may learn better from listening or hearing instructions, while others may benefit most from a hands-on approach and actually doing a task. If you dont allow for each of these different learning styles, your training may not be successful; and in the eyes of the employee, it will be because you were a poor teacher. Although people learn best from their one dominant learning style, the best approach is to use all of these methods to be sure that you clearly communicate your message to your new employee. One alternative might be to combine these different styles into a video type training format.
Three Keys to Successful Training
1. Set Clear Expectations:
Let your employees know exactly what you want including the consequences for not meeting those expectations. This is both the what and the why parts of their training. Show, and tell them why their work is important to the success of your store, and what would happen if it were not performed correctly.
Communicate clearly and often exactly what you expect. Ask your new employee if he understands, and ask him to tell you what he thinks your expectations and consequences are. If your staff knows exactly what you expect and they understand how their performance impacts the overall business, theyll make better decisions, and keep to the course that youve set.
2. Provide the Necessary Skills:
This is the how to part of the training. Make sure that youve given your new employee all of the knowledge and skills that she might need to complete her job duties. It is unfair and unreasonable to expect someone to just magically know how to perform a job the way that you expect.
3. Eliminate Obstacles:
Be proactive. Ask yourself what might prevent your employee from performing his job in the way that youve clearly explained and trained him. Have you provided the proper equipment? Are the working conditions favorable to efficient job performance?
This step can set you apart from other employers. Take an objective look at your store and ask how you could make your employees job performance better, more efficient and more effective. Make it easier for your staff to make you and your store more successful.
Unless you are running a very small operation and can operate your convenience store entirely by yourself, youll need to hire staff to help operate your business. Training your new employees so that they understand your clear expectations and then providing the skills and clearing a path for them to succeed will make both you and your store successful.