The Importance of Training and People Development

The Importance of Training and People Development in Your Franchised Business

Research Shows That Investing in Your Team Pays Off

A staggering number of employees, over 70%, have suggested that they lack the skills and have not had adequate training to execute their job duties. Perhaps even more shocking is a study conducted by West Monroe Partners, a U.S. national management consulting firm, which found that most American managers have received no management training.

Such a significant gap in leadership training is alarming and paints a bleak picture of the experience for the team members working under these managers and the likelihood that they will stay with the organization. According to a poll conducted by Gallup of over one million American workers, the main reason people quit their jobs was because of a bad manager. These statistics help highlight for us the urgent need for all team members and those who lead them to undergo standardized training programs. The benefits to your franchise could be many.

The Importance of Consistency

When your new hires experience a robust training program, it immediately enhances their overall knowledge and skills related to their job, leading to a higher level of confidence in their ability to get the job done effectively and efficiently. A robust onboarding and training experience also shines a light on your franchise’s goals, values, and working culture. Team members who feel connected to your business and its goals are more likely to experience job satisfaction and want to stay. When team members in the same or similar roles experience the same approach to training and the same content, it can directly impact consistency, and consistency is essential for overall success, specifically in a franchised environment.

When employees lack proper training, a full 40% leave within their first year, resulting in more hiring and training.

A lack of consistency in employee performance can negatively impact your customer experience, product wastage, and the amount of supervision your team members need, which affects your franchise’s unit economics, but can also negatively impact your working culture. When employees lack proper training, a full 40% leave within their first year, resulting in more hiring and training and additional workloads spread amongst your existing team while the new people get up to speed. Making investments in people’s training and onboarding signals to your new hires that they are valued and that you care about their experience working as a part of your business.

Training Sytems

Training comes in many forms, and using the right approach when building your training systems and tools is essential. For example, when training new regional managers, I often relied heavily on techniques that delivered knowledge about the entire customer experience and the operating systems required to execute that experience. I also relied on an on-the-job mentorship program with up to three other regional managers so that the new team member could see firsthand how their roles came to life in various real-world situations. For example, a restaurant struggling to execute the operating systems would have a different level of engagement and support from its regional manager compared to a restaurant that is achieving great results following all the standardized programs, systems, and tools. This hands-on experience becomes invaluable when the new team member is ready to ‘go live’ in their region.

Considering the content and duration required to get your new employees up to speed quickly and efficiently is essential. First, you must evaluate the hard skills necessary to complete the job. You would put things like product and system knowledge, specific technology and process needed to execute the job, and administrative tools and techniques in this bucket. The second bucket to consider is the soft skills required to perform the job at a high level. This type of training can be a little trickier to execute, and I’ve often found that mentorship and job shadowing are two of the best methods that deliver results. Another benefit of this training style is the expedited rate that it helps the new team member build relationships on the team and within the company. Consider this style for aspects related to culture, leadership philosophy, and hands-on practical ‘day-in-the-life training.’

My final word on training would be this; remember that training is precisely that, training the core functions and tasks required to do the job. Training should not be confused with practice; practice happens once the initial training is complete, and the new team member is on their own. Based on how they performed during training and what skills and abilities they brought to the job, each team member will require different lengths of time to practice and build their confidence. Ensuring that you have a buddy system in place during this time of practice will help them as they begin to apply their new knowledge. Your new hires will need someone to go to when they inevitably forget an element of their training or encounter their first set of problems or challenges. They may need additional training or support, and the buddy system ensures you wrap your new hires in a safety net during the all-important first 90 days as you help them build skills and foster strong relationships enabling them to assimilate much quicker into the culture.

Most Millennials suggest that further development in their current position is critical to their overall job satisfaction. Generation Z has very similar sentiments.

Millennials, Gen-Z and Job Development

Most Millennials suggest that further development in their current position is critical to their overall job satisfaction. Generation Z has very similar sentiments. Not delivering in this area could have serious and far-reaching impacts on your ability to attract bright new talent and retain the talent you already have. These folks are passionate about advancing their careers and see professional and personal development as the holy grail of making it happen. Considering the significant number of managers who received no formal training themselves when they began leading people and teams, it’s not surprising that many organizations are having issues in the age of the great resignation. Two leadership styles resonate most with these generations – a coaching leadership style and an appreciative leadership style. Coaching is the pathway to professional development. With some planning, training, and support from your company’s senior leaders, you can get started developing coaching and appreciative leaders almost immediately with very little financial investment.

Invest in developing your people; not only will it help you attract and retain top talent, but it will also help you be more profitable.

So, if we already know how important coaching and development are to the younger workforce, why are so many companies struggling to find and keep great talent? Why are so many from these generational cohorts leaving for what they hope to be greener pastures on the other side? There’s no way to sugarcoat this; the truth is the truth. Many businesses don’t invest in training and development for their team because instead of looking at it as an investment, they consider it an unnecessary cost in the name of higher profits. This thinking is outrageously outdated and a huge reason the younger generations are quitting their jobs in droves. In the wake of so much research and data, inaction at this point is perplexing.

The Benefits of Investing in Employees

Research conducted by Right Management, a global expert in helping organizations retain top talent, found that 70% of all organizations surveyed agreed that turnover hurts financial results. According to HR Magazine, 24% of employers who spent $1500 or more on employee development costs had a 24% higher profit than those who spent less. Finally, research conducted by HR.org found that a 10% increase in team member developmental activity yielded an additional 8.6% in productivity. Honestly, the research is clear: invest in developing your people; not only will it help you attract and retain top talent, but it will also help you be more profitable – another win-win!

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Laura Darrell lives in Mexico City, and as a former leadership executive, she has over 25 years of senior leadership experience at some of the world’s most beloved brands like Starbucks and Apple. Her time spent working in franchised operations for large multi-unit franchisees at A&W Restaurants Canada complemented her executive leadership skills as vice president of operations and training at Boston Pizza Restaurants, Canada’s largest casual dining chain.

She prides herself on her ability to build strong, collaborative relationships between franchisees and franchisors. She is a regular contributor to FranchiseWire and other publications in the franchise periodical space, where she writes about the leadership skills required to lead in a franchised organization and many other topics relevant to franchisee success and strengthening unit economics. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Royal Roads University in British Columbia, Canada, where she conducted her thesis research on multidisciplinary collaborative leadership practices within franchised organizations that enhance business results for all key stakeholders.

She has written three books: The Principles of Franchisee Success – Apply Them and Take Control of Your Business Results; The Promotability Gap – The Real Reasons You’re Not Advancing in Your Career; and The Great Resignation – How a Culture of Coaching, and Appreciation Can Help You Win the War for Talent. She travels frequently in the US, Canada, and Mexico to speak at franchised organizations that are looking to develop strong and effective leadership talent as well as helping them to enhance their relationships with their franchisors. She is also the founder of Laura Darrell Leadership Coaching.
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