Even with the best science available, no one knows for sure what will happen economically in the coming year or two. It’s even harder to predict on a local scale. Still, regardless of what items you’re renting and what types of customers you draw, there are certain constants when it comes to growing your rental business successfully (and profitably).
Here are just a few important points to consider concerning training:
Involve everyone in training efforts. It’s natural to think training should be only for the lowest performers. Everyone should receive advanced training.
Develop and use a comprehensive training program. Most rental businesses do not have one.
Make training a real priority. Set up a schedule of training dates and times.
Use repetition in your training effort. Proper training is not a “one and done” event.
Use incentives. Let the people being trained know what’s in it for them. Incentives need not be complicated.
Stress the basics. Don’t assume those with plenty of rental experience are well trained. They might not have the skills of well-honed professionals that will be needed to overcome all the economic uncertainty.
Be careful who you assign as the teacher. Don’t assign the newly hired employee to just anyone. Ensure what is being taught is of the quality you need going forward.
Be sure your managers receive management training. Far too many managers do not have the leadership skills needed to take your company to the next level. So it isn’t surprising that many in supervisory positions are not good leaders. Most can become proficient with proper training, however.
Be certain those receiving any type of training are trainable. You could be attempting to make a round peg fit into a square hole. Size up each person’s potential as objectively as you can. Regrettably, sometimes the best option is to cut your losses. But often it’s possible to reassign the worker to a position in which they can excel.
Stress the customer interaction part of the person’s responsibilities. Don’t teach just the equipment knowledge portion of the business. Communication skills are worth the time invested in training.
Teach employees to use basic selling techniques. All employees who have any kind of contact with customers should understand the fundamentals of effective selling.
Teach them how to be safe on the job and how to keep others safe. There is no such thing as common sense. Everything they need to know must be learned.
Be creative concerning the timing of training and other meetings. Some training experiences are most effective when held before or after store hours.
Develop and use well-crafted job descriptions as training aids. The reasons given for not using job descriptions in a company have easy remedies.
Test to make sure the training “sticks.” Retrain where and when needed.
Regardless of what the fickle winds of the economy blow into your individual market area, be prepared. Fortify your company with employees well educated to not only help you withstand the ill winds but also to help you to capitalize on the positive winds.