As I write this, college athletics Power Five Conference Presidents and Chancellors are meeting to discuss the viability of playing college sports, and in particular college football for the fall of 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These must be grueling conversations as thousands of athletes, millions of workers and fans, and billions of dollars stand to be affected.
Another element of college sports will be massively impacted…training.
Sports of all varieties are hinged on thoughtful, planned, repetitive, and vision-centered training.
Military members train constantly.
Athletes train constantly.
Large corporations train constantly.
But what about small business owners? Do they embrace small business training programs?
Busy, chaotic business owners who are leading teams between two and twenty five employees often feel so overwhelmed that they buy into the lie, “we don’t have time to train.”
If coaching and training is that important to so many areas of society, why would the businesses that account for the overwhelming majority of jobs around the world not take the time to invest in small business training programs?
Two reasons I can see.
First, training is hard.
Second, training requires a belief that training is crucial.
When budgets sink marketing and training seem to get quick axes.
Imagine a professional sports team ending their season with a losing record and in response they shorten their practice times, cut the number of coaches, spend less time on the road recruiting, and downgrade their facilities.
Does that sound like a proven plan for success?
We do it with small business training programs all the time.
Here are four proven small business training programs that business owners can implement immediately to start having predictably winning seasons year after year.
First, host weekly team meetings. Why have weekly team meetings?
My wife and I text and have short phone calls all throughout the day, but if we hinged our entire marriage on those intermittent chats we would struggle.
Instead we sit down most evenings without loads of distractions and we visit together. Intentional, thoughtful, clear conversation working out issues of life, marriage, parenting, future, etc.
Your team needs a devoted, intentional, distraction-free time to meet together that is agenda-driven, leader-led, and no more than one hour.
These weekly team meetings will act as a drip by drip training around the basics of the business; vision, mission, values, systems, and processes.
Second, you can implement a simple 90 day, weekly onboarding check-in for every team member.
Once weekly you would sit down for 15 minutes and walk them through this list of questions and use this as a time of intentional listening. As you listen your team feels valued, and you will walk away with a powerful list of items for you to use as training both now and in the future.
Here are the list of questions that we use here at Business On Purpose:
- How have you seen us hit our Mission/Values?
- What are you seeing/thinking?
- What blind spots are we missing?
- What role questions do you have?
- What new ideas do you have?
- What do you need from me?
- Here is what I see in you…
- Action Items to install, improve, etc.
Third, you can implement a 90 day weekly employee training and development focus where you tack on an additional 30 minutes to each weekly meeting.
During that additional 30 minutes you can walk your team through intentionally repetitious employee training and development material. Here is a sample list of 12 employee training and development topics that we recently built out for a business owner:
What Is A Business?
Where Are We Going? (Vision)
The “Why” and the “How”
How do we give the team feedback? (FORD)
Financial Literacy: “A dollar is not a dollar”, Profit Sharing
DISC Personality Training
DISC Plot and how they interact
Client Experience Review “Where are we now?”
Client Experience “Where can we improve?”
Personal Care: Habits you can implement to help you win!
Master Process Roadmap: How, Where & Why we use it
5 Stages Of A Business: What are they and where are we today?
The imposter inside of you may say, “how would I come up with all of the content to fill out those weeks of training?”
Remember, it takes work, but the payoff is exponential.
Finally, you can host a special one-day training event for your team like Taylor’s Landscape Supply, Shoreline Construction, Premier Exteriors, or Coastal Shores Landscaping.
In the past three years, all four of these businesses have completely shut down their operations for one full work-day and invited speakers to come in and deliver employee training and development while the owners and key leaders also played major roles in delivering content.
During these one day events, each business also invites their vendor partners to help sponsor and participate in the event. If you are a vendor, which business would you rather do business with?
The business that invests relentlessly into their people, product, and process?
Or the business that, when feeling overwhelmed, starts cutting people, product, and process?
You can do this.
You have the capabilities for training your team members. More importantly, your team members are longing for it!
Scott Beebe is the founder of Business On Purpose, author of Let Your Business Burn: Stop Putting Out Fires, Discover Purpose, And Build A Business That Matters. Scott also hosts The Business On Purpose Podcast and can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com.