I’m always getting asked how we train our staff at Beechworth Bakery. About 10 years ago I met Roger Simpson from Productivity Increase Group. We were both presenting for a group in Malaysia. I was really impressed with Roger’s ability to connect with the audience.
Roger specialises in sales and customer service. When I got back to Australia, I encouraged my team to employ Roger to do our sales training. Up until then, we had tried many trainers and also had our own people do the training. But we always got too busy or short-staffed or had some other excuse to not follow through.
We really believed we could make effective training happen. It never did, until we employed Roger. Then, after a couple years, my managers said Roger was costing a lot of money. They wanted to cut back on his training work (madness, I know). Anyway, they did, and it hurt the bottom line. As it does.
Today training never gets cut from the budget. If anything, we do more.
People say they haven’t got the time or money to train staff. They say, “What if I train them and they leave?”
I say, “What if you don’t train them and they stay?” It’s not lack of time or money; it’s lack of priority. No train, no gain.
Staff training is the key to success – the way to grow your business begins with training. You can do everything else right, like purchasing and marketing, but it’s your employees that have the greatest effect on your bottom line. The best investment is in staff.
I also have to invest in myself and keep learning. My job isn’t getting any easier. I just have to get better.
We do a lot of other training: our apprentices go to TAFE, and we use TAFE for computer courses, admin, retail, etc. My staff are more likely to embrace training if it comes from a skilled presenter, as they tend to switch off if it’s coming from me. By employing an external trainer, the training actually happens.
Don’t look at training as a cost; it’s an investment in the future of your business. Don’t make excuses; make it happen.