One of the biggest challenges to owning and operating your own pet care facility is training your staff. In fact, here at The Dog Gurus we so often hear the phase “The staff sucks the life out you me” from exhasuted business owners who are tired of the revolving door of turnover on their team.
However, there is hope….but that hope starts with taking a hard look at how you are setting up your new staff and your entire team for success.
- Are you hiring individuals who understand the value you will provide in education and training or do you hire the first warm body that walks in for an interview?
- Do you consistently train staff using a standardized process or do you just tell the closest team member to show the new employee the ropes?
- Do you know what success looks like for any given employee and does the employee know that as well?
The bottom line is you have a key role in setting up a good hiring and onboarding process for your staff that will eliminate drama and turnover. Have you done that?
Here are the five steps we would use to set up a formal training process for your team.
Identify the roles you need in your facility. (daycare, lodging, enrichment, lobby attendant etc) – these roles will be dependent on the type of service you offer. These roles will also become the foundation for your job descriptions and your training process. Each role will have its own training schedule although there may be training components that overlap roles.
Identify the skills and knowledge the person needs to have for each role. What does success in this job look like for that role? This will take some time, but if you can’t describe it how does your new employee have any chance for success?
Determine the order in which you want to teach skills and knowledge. Start with the basics and build on them. For instance your employee needs to know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing before you start to show them how to do it.
Write down how and when each skill or knowledge from Step 3 will be taught to your new staff. List this out day by day, week by week, for 4-12 weeks depending on the role. Don’t include too much at once…the staff needs time to learn and practice the skills. And remember to include check-ins so you can ensure the staff is grasping all the things you are teaching.
Start using your new training program and adjust as needed. As you hire your next staff member, ask them for feedback. Did they get overwhelmed with too much information? Did you forget to teach a basic skill before expecting them to master something more advanced. Do you want to change the order of your training? Tweak your program as needed.
For more information on these five steps and developing your own staff training program, check out the video below.