Connect with us

Business + Management: Marty Mcghie

The Importance of Training

Formalized training should begin at the top of the ladder.




In my December 2005 column, I addressed the challenges of
hiring good managers for your company. This month, I want
to focus on another aspect of personnel”?training the people
within your organization.

As much as we hear about it, talk about it, and even meet
about it, most of us are guilty of not focusing enough on
employee training. This is usually true for all company levels”?
from the entry-level worker to the top strata of management.
And while there are several options for training outside of your
organization, the successful companies are those that have
excellent training programs within their own companies.

Organization and structure
If your goal is to develop a truly successful training program in
your operation, begin by formalizing it. This should include training
curriculum from top to
bottom”?for your managers
as well as your newest hires.

All too often we discuss
the importance of training
with our managers and
then send them out with
the mandate that they need
to “train your people.” The
problem with this scenario
is we have never trained our
managers in the first place!
Whether your supervisors
are managing three people or 30, if you expect them to properly
train their people you must first train them. Then move down
your organization.

You also need to make certain that your training programs
are structured”?not only in their format but also as to their
schedule. Whether sessions are held daily, weekly, or monthly,
they should be held at the same time in order to create consistency.
And once you set the schedule, stick with it. If your training
is held regularly, you'll find that your employees will take
it seriously, and attendance at these training sessions will be
much higher. On the other hand, if your classes are held haphazardly,
you will likely find that your personnel will begin regarding
them as somewhat optional, rather than mandatory.

Mix it up
In my own company's training curriculum, we use a variety of
instructors to keep the training fresh. Sometimes we will have
our president lead the session, while other times it may be one of
our department heads.


But we also have gone out-of-house, utilizing outside
resources as “guest speakers” at some of our training sessions.
Often, people outside of your organization will provide a unique
view on a subject that otherwise may be received as “the same
old stuff” if taught by someone within the organization. For
example, you could bring in someone with extensive sales
experience to share his or her perspective on how to interact
with their customers, how to develop sales leads, how to retain
customers, etc. While you may be able to tackle these subjects
within your own management group, utilizing a variety of
resources can be a very effective approach to your training.

Another way to invigorate a training program is to intermingle
personnel from all your departments into a training
session. This works particularly well with general subject matter:
If you have a training topic that a large group or all of your
employees need, divide the training up into smaller groups and
organize the groups with representatives from every company
department. This ensures that your employees have a chance
to mingle with various people in your organization and to do so
in a different setting from the standard one.

Who do you train?
One of the challenges of training is deciding who exactly do you
train in your organization and when you train them. The answers
are: a) everyone, and, b) all the time.

Let's begin at the top of the ladder: Your philosophy should
be that every manager must be in the process of training his or
her replacement. This may seem threatening to some, but it's
the only way people within your organization can grow. How
many times have you had a key employee quit, only to find that
you have no one even close to being qualified to replace them?
That is a direct reflection on your training program.

Nor can your sales force ever have enough training. In
addition to training them in sales skills, make certain they are
trained in the technical aspects of your business. In our industry,
the most successful sales reps are the ones that have the
technical expertise to “talk the talk.” Your customers demand
it”?and if they don't get it from your sales rep, they will find
someone else who does.

Establishing successful training programs at the management
and sales levels will make it easier to get additional training
programs off the ground and running. Remember, every
employee at every level needs some training.


Marty McGhie ([email protected]) is VP finance/
operations of Ferrari Color, a digital-imaging center with
Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Sacramento locations.



Printvinyl Scored Print Media

New Printvinyl Scored wide-format print media features an easy-to-remove scored liner for creating decals, product stickers, packaging labels, and more. The precision-scored liner, with a 1.25” spacing on a 60” roll, guarantees a seamless and hassle-free removal process.

Promoted Headlines





Most Popular