I recently read a Forbes article about lack of employee development and appreciation at most companies. It reminded me of numerous interactions with motorcycle dealership employees who appeared to lack the skills and enthusiasm necessary to perform and provide exceptional services to their customers. The Forbes article reminded me that such employees are not necessarily bad employees, but more likely employees who did not receive adequate training and do not feel appreciated at work.
One of the most prominent examples of poorly trained employees that comes to mind is a sales person who has not been taught the major steps of the company’s sales funnel. Recently, I listened to a recorded sales call that came in to a Harley dealership. The caller was calling the dealership to inquire about a particular motorcycle she saw on their website. The sales person who took the call told her that the bike sold. The caller then mentioned that her husband is on the road and that they will have to look at some other bikes during the upcoming weekend. The sales person told her that it was a good idea and hung up the phone without collecting any information or asking to follow up with the caller. This is a prime example of an employee who does not understand the full scope and goals of his job. His employer did not teach him the importance of customer service, follow up, and sales.
Another very common example of poorly trained employees at motorcycle dealerships is a receptionist with an unprofessional telephone greeting who puts callers on hold for too long. Even worse, this receptionist puts caller on long hold for too long and then transfers the call to an incorrect department. This type of employees need to be taught the importance of customer service, attention to detail, and company’s overall goals.
Companies overlook employee training for the following reasons:
- Most managers focus on day-to-day tasks that prevent them from considering each employee’s long-term goals and potential.
- Companies’ training policies and procedures are often outdated and cumbersome, and are therefore only done once and abandoned.
- Employee training is time consuming.
In addition to enabling employees to better perform their tasks, proper training also increases employee appreciation and job satisfaction because:
- Employees care more about companies that show interest in their personal future.
- It builds loyalty and increases productivity.
- It prompts employees to take ownership of their tasks and company goals.
Here are some negative effects of bad or no employee training:
- Unhappy employees
- Low production
- Increased expenses
- Loss of customers
- Loss of revenue
In a nutshell, proper raining makes employees feel empowered and appreciated, and it also increases customer satisfaction and revenue. Employees are not robots. They want to work for companies who care about their individual skills and goals, and incorporate those skills into the overall company vision. Companies must make sure that their employees have the tools needed to perform their job and that they are given opportunities to learn and grow.