Situation: A young company is in the process of hiring new employees. Good customer service, including excellent communication skills and empathy are the most important qualifications. Good follow-up skills are more important than educational background. How do you train new employees?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Training new employees may be putting the cart before the horse. The first task is to solidify the company’s business model. The next task is to determine what roles and positions fill that model. Only then can the company determine how best to train employees.
- Build an organizational chart for a $1 million company.
- Who will the company serve?
- What are the positions and roles?
- This is future that the company will be building and determines how to select and train people to fill the positions.
- Suggested Reading: The eMyth Revisited by Michael Gerber – a guide to envisioning the future of the company and how to build it.
- A word of caution. As CEO, you don’t want to be training people like yourself. This is both difficult and risky. You may be training future competition.
- As an alternative, think of a series of distinct roles or functions that make up the business, then select and train different individuals to handle each role. It’s difficult to find people who can do it all. It’s much easier to find people who can bring in new clients, establish and nurture relationships with partners, network to develop a referral base, or counsel new clients on alternative solutions to fit their needs.
- Organizing this way means training and creating experts in segments of the business, but nobody knows the full business the way that the CEO does.
- Each position within the company will need individualized objectives and performance evaluation criteria. What are the key metrics for each position? This helps to build efficiency.
- Think about both one-time and recurring income models. This may call for different employees or at least a different sales activity to build each business segment.