You’ve made the decision. You’ve set the plan into motion, bridging the gap between goal and reality. You’re ready to move your leaders and your staff to the next level with cost-effective customer service training that will boost employee engagement, systematize real-time communication skills and provide your team with the competitive edge necessary to stand out in a crowded consumer marketplace.
If you’re the kind of leader who constantly strives for the best, you’ll also want to know what you can do to maximize the training in which your employees are about to engage. Here are some tips on the best ways to push learning even further with a little pre-workshop prep, straight from our trainers in the field.
#1. Leadership Must Commit To It
Have a leader kick off the day with opening remarks about why the training is important, and the leader’s personal commitment to it.
Make no mistake. Your staff will be looking to company leadership for cues on how they should engage with this training.
Is it something you take seriously, or is it just “Do as I say, not as I do?” Demonstrate your commitment to the process and to the program with both words and actions.
Remind your employees why it’s important, both personally and professionally, to give the workshop their best. And what’s even more important? Have your leadership team participate too! A manager or boss actually taking the time to “get in the ring” alongside his or her staff during a training not only boosts morale, but ensures everyone is on the same page when it comes to the skills they’ll be applying long after the trainer goes home. Actions garner respect far more than words ever will. Make yours count.
#2. Set The Tone
Have leaders share the importance of arriving a few minutes early to a workshop. This demonstrates respect for people’s time and allows the kick off to every training to start smoothly.
There are many things in life you can’t plan for, but one of the few things you can usually control is being on time. It’s a great way to communicate respect for fellow employees, and for the process, without saying a word. Encourage your staff to plan ahead that morning so they can arrive a few minutes early, ready to have fun! This isn’t supposed to be an ordeal, but rather a meaningful day of growth, learning and change. Treat it as such from the get-go with a positive attitude and on time attendance.
#3. Have Measurable Outcomes
Ask leadership to share key messages with their teams before the training. Use measurable criteria to define the expected performance outcomes. Let your staff know what the training will accomplish for the organization, and for themselves.
Share with your staff what’s most important before they go to the workshop. What can they expect to learn from this? Why are they being asked to go? Frame these performance outcomes for your team by providing context. Giving them reasons to participate beyond just “you must attend” results in a better outcome and greater satisfaction with the process.
Examples for organizational performance outcomes might be improved customer retention, or fewer complaints about service and personnel. Examples for individual performance outcomes might be streamlining time spent on certain tasks, or improved accuracy with a certain process.
And don’t forget the final, and perhaps most important performance outcome to share. What can your employee expect to gain personally from the workshop?
As a seasoned trainer explains, understanding ‘what’s in it for me’ is critically important information for your team members. How will it benefit the individual? You might mention increased job satisfaction, or letting the team member know it will help improve relationships with people in other departments. Prepping your employees ahead of time will also allow them to be more relaxed and more open to learning during the event.”
#4. Be prepared
Don’t underestimate the importance of having all the logistics in order. These include room set up, AV needs, markers and flip charts, etc.
This is a no-brainer, but easy to forget during the last-minute preparation for a large-scale company training. Make sure you have everything you need ahead of time. Who wants to be searching for a pen to write with when someone is sharing something important? Plan ahead…and of course, don’t forget the snacks!
Research has shown that the best group outcomes AFTER the training come from leaders who have provided active support BEFORE the training. Plan ahead, and you’ll find that your Bonfire customer service training experience is even more memorable and effective, developing a useful skill set for your team that endures the test of time.