Employee training is a vital part of any retail operation, whether for corporate big-box stores or for small independent stores. Unfortunately, many small retailers view employee training as an unnecessary expense that can be overlooked in favor of “on-the-job” training. Of course, on-the-job training is an important part of any employee’s training process. Real world experience is invaluable; however, there are many reasons why an organized, well thought out training program should be a priority for small independent stores. Here are just a few of those reasons.
Strengthened Skills/Weaknesses Addressed – All employees have strengths and weaknesses, and a good training program can reinforce those strengths, and more importantly, strengthen the “weak spots”. Providing proper training for staff increases overall knowledge so that employees can take over for other employees as needed and also work on their own without the need for constant supervision and guidance.
Improved Performance – A well-trained employee will have a more thorough understanding of their role and responsibilities, and therefore will be a more confident and productive employee. An employee who has been trained how to greet customers, how to operate the equipment necessary to complete a sale, and in any specialty knowledge he or she needs to converse with customers about the products being recommended will naturally be able to perform his or her job at the highest level. Always remember, the competence level of employees reflects directly on the business for which they work – in other words, your brand reputation is only as good as your employees make it.
Consistency and Service Improved– Your customers will come to expect great service from your store and the best way to ensure that they will consistently receive that great service is to make sure your employees are trained properly. When customers don’t receive a high level of customer service every time they enter your store, they stop coming back.
Employee Satisfaction – A satisfied employee will most certainly be a good employee. An employee who is not well trained will be less confident and will not feel valuable to the team, and thus will not be satisfied with their overall job experience. Training an employee in every aspect of the job signals to him that you are an employer who cares enough about your workers to make sure they are equipped to handle any and all situations that may come up.
Reduced Employee Turnover – Employee turnover is expensive. Every time you have to advertise, interview, hire and train a new employee, your bottom line takes a hit. As noted above, an employee who is well trained is more likely to be satisfied with his or her job and more likely to stay put.
Want to provide great training for your employees? PDRA offers two online classes to our members that will get them up to speed quickly and efficiently. Each employee who successfully completes our Customer Service Specialist and/or our Coatings Specialist online courses receives a certificate that you can proudly hang in your store. It’s a win-win-win for everyone: your employees know you care enough to get them the training they need, your store operates more efficiently, and your customers know you care about the service they receive!
Stay tuned for more information on PDRA’s latest education initiative – The Trainer’s Toolbox!