When my son was young, I was always amazed at the questions his mind developed. It usually started with “Is it possible…” or “What if…” Things such as, “Is it possible for a man to fly?” and “What if cows could suddenly give chocolate milk?” I would take the question, try to reason with it and figure out a logical conclusion as to what exactly could happen. One day as we were getting an oil change for my car, my son asked, “What if you never changed the oil or put any oil into a car what would happen?” It was an easy answer; the car would cease to run. I explained to him that if you fail to change the oil, the oil becomes dirty and fails to lubricate the engine. Once that happens the car engine stops working and the car is no longer able to function.
The same can be said of an organization who fails to train its associates. A great company, one that is built to last, understands that customer service and satisfaction will drive that business to great heights. What they also understand is that well trained and motivated associates are the key to driving the engine of success.
Managers look for associates to fill a spot in the organization. They want to plug this person into a spot where the person they hire will perform adequately enough for the organization to continue. Forward thinking leaders realize that hiring an associate is only the beginning of the journey for the company and the associate. They need to hire the right associate. Because, like a living organism, organizations change and well-trained associates can keep up with the changes and take advantage of opportunities change presents.
A Culture of Training comes before the beginning of the hiring process – it begins at the very top of organization, in the values and mission that each company starts with. Everyone, from the top on down, should follow those values and missions.
Leaders are on the lookout for applicants who will follow those values and missions. Leaders look not only for skills and abilities, but also an applicant’s willingness to learn and grow in the position. Leaders realize that the position the applicant was hired for will indeed change over time and the skills the applicants has now will be out of date. Leaders invest time and money into training, not just for the job at hand, but for what the job will be in the future.
To run smoothly, your staff must have the aptitude and skills to carry out the mission and vision of the company, now and in the future. That can only be accomplished by having a well-trained, customer service focused staff that treats each customer with an overwhelming appreciation of their business. It all boils down to this question: Are your associates confident in their abilities to handle the change that each day brings in this new economy?
So, have you checked your oil lately?