I am a huge believer in staff education. Too many offices have an ‘on the job’ training program, with no long term plan in mind. In addition, many old time staff think they know it all and don’t want to take the time or financial investment to continuing education if their employer’s don’t care. I have heard over the years from staff education is not important. Well I think everybody should care. How do you compete with large chains such as Costco and Wal-Mart who have standing long term training programs? Most importantly having well trained staff is crucial to the success of your business. This is especially true in a tight economy. If you want your employees to make good decisions, it is important that they are well informed and have such goals as your long term business strategy. Having an ongoing staff training program leads to:
- Staff Retention
- Team Building
- Patient Retention
- Patient Referral
- Saves Money over the long run
- Competitive Advantage
Top 10 Training Tips
1.) Consider Training as an Investment-
- Many offices view training as an expense rather than an investment. Untrained staff leads to mistakes in the office (costing money) take up time (costing money)
2.) Determine your needs
- Start backward- make a list of what they need to know that is crucial to the success.
- Keep this list in the employee handbook and make a check off once the topic has been learned
3.) Promote an Office Culture of Learning
- Even the most experienced need to be reminded of new products and services.
4.) Set up a schedule of Training classes
- Make Training a priority-whether in a staff meeting, in the am, or after office hours.
- Make it ongoing and consistent
5.) Choose your instructors
- Use your vendors, staff members, your local suppliers, trips to a lab, trade shows
6.) Encourage your employees to Communicate
- Have your employees make up their own list of topics they would like to learn about
- Encourage each employee to become and expert in something to teach the others.
7.) Cross Train
- Nothing is worse, when your dispenser is out of the office and another person cannot adjust the glasses or even dispense. People having to come back over and over leads to poor customer service
9.) Set Up a Library
- Set up a section in your office as a reference library, where all can access it.
- Set up time for staff to have a ‘quiet’ learning time to study
10.) Measure Results
- Staff want to know if education will make a difference. It helps to build morale and encourages staff to continue to learn and strive to be the best.