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Straight talk.

If your staff is not succeeding, it is probably your fault.

Why? Most business owners don’t document their processes. Worst, some business owners do not even have processes to document.

A bit of background

The magic of the industrial era, in our opinion, is the creation of processes that enable ordinary people to work together to build highly complex machines, everything from automobiles to the MacBook. Everyday people build machines and products that, by and large, work well for millions of consumers.

The key to this magic is creating detailed processes that make it easy for a generally trained workforce to put together and create highly complex products. If you are like many business owners, you have probably done every job in your company. As the business grew you needed to bring in more people deliver to your products or services to your clients.

Do you still find yourself double-checking everyone’s work, or doing everyone’s work because they cannot or will not do what you need?

What is a manager or a business owner to do?

Document, document, document. It is not enough to tell people how to do something. Why? Well for starters, every time you hire a new person you have to be present to train them because you have to tell them what to do.

How exhausting.

To build a successful staff, you need to have processes clearly and concisely documented. You need to have some sort of training program in place to communicate the processes. Training programs can be as simple as reading the manual and repeating, or a detailed computerized training and testing system.

(1) Creating Processes

Think about how you do the big things in your company now. How do you process orders, how to bring in a new client or client company? How do you do the big and the little things that make your company run? Get them in your mind and then commit them to paper. Often, if you are using machines or software provided by a third party, they have training materials that you can supply to your staff.

If you get stuck on this part of the process, search for professionals to help you.

(2) Training (i.e. clearly communicating your processes)

For critical processes, telling people something once or even twice is not enough to train them. Likely, the staff will need documentation and time to learn and master the new process. In my experience, for large processes, people need to be shown once or twice, then have some time to work through the procedures to gain mastery.

Put a timeline on your training once you have established your processes. Be reasonable with these expectations. As the boss or the manager, try to remember what it was like when you were new to an organization. Put benchmarks on your training schedules. Check in with your staff regarding their progress. With adequate documentation and support, you can share the responsibility of training with your employee.

Happy training!