Remember that game we played we played as kids, Telephone? We all sat in a circle and the teacher whispered a sentence or two in the first kid’s ear and that kid whispered it in the next kid’s ear, and so on until the messaged made its way through 20 children and the last one had to say it aloud. Remember how the message had changed dramatically, every time? Each of us listens differently, hear things differently, and repeat information differently. We each have experiences and ideas that make various parts of the message stick and the rest of it is just filled in by our brains. When a message begins at 20 to 25 words long, if each child swaps two words or alters one, or completely forgets what was said and leaves out part or makes something up, it dramatically changes the information that is passed along. The same is true for training.

New Employee Training

How is training conducted for your business? When you hire a new employee, is there formal training or is it on-the-job training? Do you host regular training or is it all reactive when someone messes up? If you are like most business owners, it is some combination. The benefit of standardized training is that every employee receives the same message. Everyone hears the original message directly from the teacher’s mouth. Yes, it is inevitable the message will still be altered upon being received by each individual, but it will be minimal.

With franchises, it is critically important to the success of the brand, to have corporate standard training. Where every franchisee receives the same training and the same training materials to use to train their employees. This approach will ensure that each location is as similar as possible, after all, branding is how franchises succeed.

A good franchise will have a detailed training manual so employees who are hired today are trained the same as an employee who was hired six months ago and will be trained the same as an employee who will be hired next month. Standardized training can be delivered in various ways: attending in-person training at a corporate location, online learning modules, and reading policy manuals. Ideally, new employee training would include all of these modes, and the worst training would be having employees read policy manuals.

On-Going Training

Training should not stop once an employee completes new employee-orientation. Regular refreshers or in-services can reinforce current good practices and correct small issues before they become problems. Regardless of how long an employee has worked for you, there is something to be learned. Even if they have been doing something for 10 years, perhaps they see a different way of doing it in a refresher training that helps them save time.

Retraining or remedial training when someone messes up is a great way to correct problems. It can be valuable to take the opportunity to conduct training for the entire team. It should not be presented as mass punishment or correcting a problem but should be presented as a learning opportunity to improve the business.

Standardized training ensures that all employees are trained the same. This can be invaluable to the success of a franchise by creating consistency across locations.