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  • Larissa Summers

Clockwork Training Your Team

Note From Larissa for Donna… Donna recently shared with me how she does the training and on-boarding process for her team members. The method largely resembles Run Like Clockwork’s capture systems with a few iterated details to make the training process smooth and even collaborative. Since Donna hires individuals that are more knowledgeable than her the majority of the time she ensures that she is drawing as much talent out of her team as possible when developing her business. 

YouTube is probably the most visited website in the western hemisphere ever. It’s a platform that has created multiple industries and revolutionized online communication. However, it’s also revolutionized how we educate ourselves. I cannot count the number of times I have had some niche task that I’ve taught myself how to do by going to the website and typing: How to do X. As a matter of fact, Larissa is learning to code through YouTube tutorials. Large corporations have already been aware of the power of video training for decades, and use it every year to train an unfathomable number of employees. However large corporations are massive and inflexible, and while we should strive for that efficiency we can make even better use of video training. When we use video training correctly we can instill our business with better flexibility, train nuanced tasks easily, and create a sense of collaboration within the business. 

When we need something to be done by our team members what do we do? We train them, give them documents, and test their knowledge after the fact. This should be the end of it, but – show of hands, who's been here? – then a process changes or we realize we’ve been making a mistake. A client needs something new and the terms of work change. Suddenly we have to train our employees out of bad habits and have to go through the entire process again. God forbid that during this process we leave out exceptions because our employees will definitely come back to us with questions. This forces us out of our own work and takes the mental load of their work onto our shoulders, slowing down our operations. Constantly updated videos allow us to quickly train our team members, and notify them when a video has been updated with the new process. Our employees, if we hired the right people, should be more than capable of learning a job through a video explaining the process. And, if we have an exception? Well, we can add an appending video explaining exceptions in the same place. The best part? Because we are narrating ourselves doing a job we simultaneously finish that task as well! Two birds, one stone! 

However, just because we understand the reasons why video training is useful for our business doesn’t mean it’s Runs Like Clockwork. Far from it actually, since we are still stuck doing all of the work. This is where we embrace our ability to collaborate with our team. As business owners, we should generally be hiring people that we believe to be skilled, intelligent, capable people. (At least, in a world that makes sense.) Therefore, when a team member comes to us with the news that they’ve discovered some new exception, or that a part of the process has changed due to external means then we shouldn’t rush to record a new video. Instead, we should ask questions and assign that team member to record an updated video themselves. (If that sentence made you wince in discomfort, that should be a red flag to examine how your business operates.) Not only does this reinforce the learning process for our teams, it fosters an environment where teammates feel empowered to add suggestions to the workflow of our businesses. 

There are many methods to capture the systems our businesses need to operate efficiently, and each industry is individually unique. However in order for our business to run like clockwork we must embrace the best in both technology and the collaborative expertise of our team members. 


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