The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines

Episode 20: How To Build An Award Winning Training Program

September 02, 2022 Scott Scully, Jeff Winters, Eric Watkins Season 1 Episode 20
The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines
Episode 20: How To Build An Award Winning Training Program
Show Notes Transcript

In honor of our team being awarded the Brandon Hall Group Silver award for excellence in the New Hire Onboarding, our hosts are diving into what goes into creating an effective onboarding and ongoing training program. This includes ensuring there's no such thing as tribal knowledge, offering training above people's current positions, and tying results to your training team. Learn more about creating cognitive, emotional, and physical mastery for your employees in episode 20.

Thanks for listening!

Eric Watkins:

Welcome to the grove show where we make it easier for entrepreneurs and leaders to grow their businesses. You'll hear from real leaders with real stories about their successes and failures. So you don't have to make the same mistakes. We won't break out textbooks or talk theory only raw stories from the front lines with actionable takeaways.

Unknown:

The gross show is sponsored by Heil sound, world class microphones for stage studio, broadcast and podcast. Find your sound it Heil. sound.com Here's the next episode of the gross Show.

Eric Watkins:

Welcome back, everybody to the gross show. I'm here with my partners and gross Scott scoli.

Scott Scully:

What's up everyone?

Eric Watkins:

Jeff winters. Hey, everybody. It's been a while since we've been all back in the studio. Scott, we have you back here. Tell us a little bit about your your time off. You know, you dropped your daughter off at college, university of Arizona. How was it? Was there some tears?

Scott Scully:

On my end, there were tears on her end there were like you've outstayed Your welcome, dad. Time to go home. Time to get out of there. Yeah, I'm super excited for her. It's an awesome school and she feels comfortable and it's just going to be an incredible experience. It was tough though. Dropping the first one off college for sure.

Eric Watkins:

Jeff, how about you dropping the the first one off at grade school, we had second grade, second

Jeff Winters:

grade, we had kindergarten and today we had preschool and my wife, you know, like everybody they do you do the thing where you you stand in front of the door and you hold like a piece of paper or in our case, a premade chalkboard? And it's like I am such and such years old. My teachers Miss Mary. And, and then she included this year when I grow up I want to be which I thought was clever. Like my oldest son's like a baseball player. And my, my preschooler said he wants to be a pancake mix. Who wouldn't want

Eric Watkins:

mixer or just met?

Jeff Winters:

No, he wants to be in the mix. He just so clearly like he was just doing it. They made pancakes for breakfast, and he just didn't. I think she needs to, again, my wife does more than words could possibly say. But I do think we need to do a little better job filtering the answers of the preschooler on what they want to be when they grow up, because we he's not going to be I got bad news like my middle son's got a better chance of being an all star baseball player. And then my youngest does it being pancake mix.

Eric Watkins:

And we had him on the podcast Friday. Yeah, that was a treat. disagree, disagree. Where do you get that from? Is that from you?

Jeff Winters:

I know my my two oldest kids. Eric was very nice. We had him come sit on the podcast. And all my second grader wanted to say afterwards is when is it coming out on Spotify. He's so mad that it's not going to be on Spotify.

Eric Watkins:

So my my niece and my nephew did the same thing with the chalkboard. And my niece is like the angel like perfect, perfect kids. And she put teacher of course like she's gonna be a middle school teacher, smarter. Best teacher ever smart. My nephew put Chick fil A worker. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But I wanted to bring it up because we've been using Chick fil A is like an example of a business that's just run so efficiently. Like you didn't have people saying like they wanted to work at McDonald's. You got people that want are striving to work at Chick fil A, they make great money. make great money. Treat them well. They're always happy, like, yeah, and the food tastes good.

Scott Scully:

Food tastes really good. Really good.

Jeff Winters:

I was at Chick fil A on Saturday. We went in to order and there was a young man behind the counter. And I got to ask him I'm not being rude. Feel free not to answer. How old are you? He goes 14. I was like you're hired like I will. I will right now. Advance hire you. Is that over whenever you're ready.

Eric Watkins:

Is that illegal? Shout out. If

Jeff Winters:

it's illegal. Maybe you said 50 Whatever the

Eric Watkins:

legal it was secret that get them in there at 14 I would have hired this kid

Jeff Winters:

to morrow.

Scott Scully:

What's What do you think? What's the secret for Chick fil A on why they're so good.

Eric Watkins:

You know, I? There's a lot of things. I think it's gotta be in their onboarding. I think it might be I think they have to bring people in the right way. And that's actually the topic for today. And to start out we have some exciting news, shared this with the leadership team on Monday. We won an award, an onboarding training award, big big deal. Brandon Hall group, HCM excellence group award, which is human capital management. So abstract actually won it with our onboarding training. So little background on the award to win the award. We had to submit our entire onboarding process and then we had to do a two out Our video explaining and walking through the process and the content and how we measure success and the effectiveness. So they're looking at, did it fit the needs of the business? What was the design? And how did you deliver it? What's the engagement throughout the process? What are the measurable benefits of the program, and then overall training, and we were a silver award winner. And just to name some of the other companies that were in this. Some of them are kind of a big deal Salesforce. Have you heard of that one?

Jeff Winters:

That's a software company. Yeah,

Eric Watkins:

I think it's a software company. Deloitte, you heard of that one, we Equifax. That's a big one, Airbnb, American, or Delta Airlines, Pepsi, Microsoft, Verizon, this is a big deal. And what's cool about it, company, and to, you know, establish some credibility for this training is, we were if not the only one, one of two or three, only privately held companies on this list, and the only one that doesn't use outside training in their onboarding, we do it entirely in house. So what we felt would be, you know, kudos. First off to Jessica Syntel, our VP of training job in Swier, Mikayla Gilligan, Kelsey Chitwood, Ina Taylor, our whole training team, and anyone that's ever been a part of that. They put a lot of work into this. And this was a huge, huge deal for them. But for today, we thought it would be important to talk about, you know, your business, no matter the scale, how do you put together an incredible onboarding for any individual that comes into your business? And then how does that establish the foundation for all of your ongoing training? So Scott, you know, one thing I wanted to talk about with you first, because you had a huge, you know, we sat in a conference room two and a half years ago, and we literally, were lining out the training with our training team and going through that. And you put a huge importance of having different executives across the company, including yourself, come in meet with that training class, right off the bat, talking about the history of abstract, you know, a lot of people think onboarding, I just need to teach them how to do the job. But you really saw the importance of bringing everything else to the table. Could you talk a little bit about that? And why that's so important, and why you like meeting with the class yourself? And the value in that?

Scott Scully:

Yeah, well, first of all, that the markets competitive, people have other options. And I just genuinely appreciate the fact that they picked, abstract as a career choice, and, you know, they want to grow with us to a really, really big deal. And I want to acknowledge them for that. I love to hear a little bit about where they came from, and what they want out of their experience. And, and then, you know, we open it up and just talk about whatever they want to talk about. They ask questions about me, the company where we're growing, things like that. And I just think it's a nice first step, right to connect with the people that are on the front lines that are doing the important work that caused us to grow period. As far as training goes. Us, you know, top across the whole team, we always need to continue to develop, that's why we made it an important piece of our culture where everybody gets at least an hour every week of ongoing professional development. So not only is it important for us in our, in our onboarding, to bring people on the right way, but we want to make sure that people are always thinking that, that they're growing, growing their knowledge base, whether it's about their job, business, in general, or just in life, if we're helping fuel the fire. They're more powerful in their lives and in our companies in a better spot. makes people feel better, helps retain really good team members, if they always feel like they're continuously getting better, helps our recruiting process when we can talk about the amount of training that we're doing. This is another one of those topics. I know that we always say that but making sure that you're offering really good onboard wording, and then continuous training and development. You're just going to be a better organization because of it. We've seen it, yeah, proven.

Jeff Winters:

I think it's very easy to overlook onboarding. And I think the reason that it's easy to overlook onboarding, is because it's very rarely identified as the root cause for why people leave. But it often is. So let me let me unpack that. When people onboard at your company, that is when they are at their happiest, like when you start a new job, that's the best day ever. You could give me the dumpee just onboarding for a couple of weeks and I'm still telling everybody on LinkedIn, all my friends all my family like this new job, it's awesome. It's amazing, even if you're literally watching training videos all day. And so what happens is you get people who are in the onboarding phase, who are not really onboarding, but they're just so happy, like the happiness is just taking them through and they're liking it. And then they get to a point where they start their actual job. And they're not winning. And they're not winning for a while. And then they're like, I don't like my job. And so people then attack that phase, six months a year in whatever your ramp period is, as opposed to going, Wait a second, why didn't we look at onboarding because the surveys are great. People love the onboarding, okay, did the survey say they love the onboarding of the peoples, the survey is basically saying, hey, they're just happy that they're at their job, and they're not at their old shitty job that they hate it. And so like that, to me is the first step is to recognize how important onboarding is. And that even though it doesn't look like a red light problem area, it probably is if you're not maniacally focused on making it great.

Eric Watkins:

I love that point. And I think one of the one of the things if I look at on our onboarding from when I came on to abstract to now, there's like a couple key elements that you need to look at, I'd say the first one is timeframe, how long are you going to invest in training somebody before they go live? And I feel like there's two we do two weeks here. At one point we did, I think four or five days, and it was a little bit quicker. Two weeks has been the longest we've done just because it's kind of the nature of our business. And how quickly would that we need the people to be live and performing. I see two issues. When I look at other companies. One is like fire by trial by fire, right, you're going to come in, we're not going to have any little real formal training, and you're just going to shadow. So your training is as good as the person that you got stuck with, to see how they do the job. And majority of the time the person training them is not training them the way that the company feels like their training should go. So I think in a lot of cases, a business is going to have to make the choice. All right, we're going to invest in our onboarding. And we're going to invest by putting people over it, and having that expense. And then we're also going to invest in making it a substantial enough time for him to learn. I do think you can go the other way too. You can have somebody in a classroom for a month, or six weeks, especially when it comes to sales training, where they know everything about sales other than how to sell because they've just been in a classroom, learning about it. And I think that timeframe, it was a difficult decision for it was an investment. If you think about the number of people we bring on paying all those people in an extra six, seven days, but it's, it's worth it.

Scott Scully:

You know what I'm thinking about as I'm hearing you guys talk. The other things that people probably don't think about, like vision. Like somebody's joint, like Jeff has said that they're in the honeymoon phase, they joined the organization, they're loving it, they're open their their wall, their guards down, right? What a perfect opportunity to make sure that they they understand where we're going, why we do it, what's ahead, what opportunities lie ahead for them, really get them to understand that. So when they're in the difficult phase of the first couple of months learning how to do the job, and maybe they're not feeling as successful yet. You get those people through that first phase by making sure that they understand the importance of the work and where the company's going and how they tie into it and their opportunities for growth. And I think a lot of times, even if somebody does have onboarding that they fail in that area, like this is a new member of the tribe. And yeah, you're teaching them how to do the job. But what if they don't like that job, ultimately, forever, you still want that really good, talented person to stay in the mix, maybe playing another role. They, they have to understand where you're going the company the opportunity, I think that's missed a lot.

Eric Watkins:

That's such a good point. And if you think about someone with vision and someone without so if you don't have vision, and something bad happens, say your manager you don't like your manager, or someone gives you bad feedback, whatever it may be. That seems so much worse if you don't have this vision this like long term vision of where you want to go if you have the long term vision it's just a pothole you have a little obstacle in the way but if you don't, it's like oh, this huge mountain like this is I can't even do this

Jeff Winters:

completely agree. I think and even maybe if you even zoom that out, that's culture like part of culture, probably is, is Vision and it's, it's so easy to not do culture in onboarding or an ad, let it be 45 minutes if somebody comes in during a launch, and it's like, yeah, you know, our culture is accountability and pass the taco sounds like that's not, that's not getting, you don't want, I think, a couple of points first, to go back to what Eric said, shadowing is not onboarding, shadowing is not training. And everyone should hear that, because I know we did it forever, like, how do you want word, Amy's the best X at the company, go watch Amy. And then you'll be able to just be Amy, like, that's a great idea. Let's just do that all the time. And so at the company, what we had was we had Amy sitting at her desk, and six people watching Amy do Amy's job. And there's all sorts of reasons why that's wrong. But like it can be a component of the onboarding, it can't be onboarding to his culture, you must ensure that people aren't just fitting in that they are adding to the culture. And I think that little turn of a word is meaningful, they have to be, they have to make the culture even better. That is part of their job here is to make the culture even better. And I think it's so easy to skip over that and say, well, the culture is, you know, Brian, and I started the business back in the 80s. And you know, a couple of guys from Duluth or whatever. And that's not culture, culture is the expectation of how people behave in this business, how you treat other people in this business, what are the norms that go on in this business, and if you don't explicitly tell people that they won't know, and they won't add to the culture, and they won't adhere to the unwritten rules of what goes on in the business.

Eric Watkins:

And that's such a good point, because you're looking at, you know, the culture really ties in, I would call it the intangible piece of the job. Yeah, versus the tangible, the x is the X's and O's, this is how you do the job. I'm reading a book called The Happiness Advantage. And they talk about a commercial cleaning company. And they take one group of employees in training, and they tell them, hey, this is the job, go do it. And then they take the other group, and they say, Hey, I just want you to know how good this is for your health. Like, based on the number of steps that you have in a day, and the activities that you're doing, you're really burning X amount of calories. And we're gonna track this for you, and you're just making yourself a healthier individual. Same job, the group that thought they were doing something, not thought that we're doing something with more intent and reason, way outperformed, had higher retention. And I think like part of this culture piece is in that training, training above the job, like, Yes, this is the job, this is what you need to do. But training, the mindset, this is the approach, this is why it's so important. This is what it's going to get you in the future. This is why it's worth those tough days, here's how to deal with those tough days. And here's why you're going to be so much better. And doing that. I think that's a huge piece, you know,

Scott Scully:

no one else I think is missed as follow up. So somebody does a week or two weeks, then they're out in the field, or they're doing their thing. And a lot of times, there's not a part of the onboarding process where or another part of the team that all of a sudden takes them from their second week, completed to maybe three weeks through 10 weeks, you know, to now implement what they learned, right? So a lot of onboarding is thought and process procedure. But then there isn't a lot of times somebody that's there to make sure that they know how to implement all that knowledge. We learn that right. That's why we've got this second team that works with people in their first 90 days out of onboarding. So I think there's probably people out there that have some pretty good training when people come in, and, and not the follow up to make sure to help implement.

Eric Watkins:

That's a great point. I think of that. Yeah. And that's been a huge advantage for us in making sure what doesn't happen is like someone goes in shadows, Amy, and they end up doing it exactly opposite of how you trained on it. So it provides that consistency of your experience.

Jeff Winters:

And what's what has to be true in order for Scott to be able to say that is you must have been measuring how long it takes people to onboard and ramp to a point of effectiveness. Or that we need a longer time to ramp to the point of effectiveness. And one thing that shouldn't be lost on people is the importance of measuring how long it takes to get someone to the point of full productivity. Because maybe at a smaller size business it's you have like a kind of an understanding, as you start to get bigger as you get to 50 100 million to infinity. Like those things start to matter for resource planning for capacity planning. Okay, it takes our sales rep for example, on average 90 days to get to 15,000 a month and quota attainment. Okay, well, now that's really important because I can then look at, okay, my next year's quota is x. So I need to hire y number of people over the coming months. But next, like, wait a minute, let's not make it 90 days. Can we make it? 60? I mean, Eric, you alluded to it earlier, we thought it was so many business days, and then it went to two weeks. How can we continue to shorten the cycle? Because that it's so easy to not measure onboarding and training people on necessarily tangible metrics, measurements off stuff, but how quickly? Are we getting people fully ramped? And then how are we improving the time it takes to get fully ramped,

Eric Watkins:

this has been the biggest helped our organization, we put results on our training, we put average points, we put retention of new hires. So we're we're stubborn on the results. And we're flexible on the details of how to get those results. Or I think you have companies that are like, Oh, I ran them through the training program. Like they're trained. They passed, they went through the training program, but they're not tracking the performance. And more than just tracking the performance is putting like, does your training department feel ownership? Over those numbers? Do they have to present those numbers? Do they talk about them weekly? Like our training department? Like, if our numbers aren't right, they've, they don't feel good? Like they're trying to work to improve however they can do that.

Scott Scully:

You know, I think something else we learned along the way was, it's not good enough? Well, first of all, we started like, we're talking with some of the things we're saying not to do, right, we got people in a room, maybe or we had them shadow or we then we went to having a pretty tight agenda. Like in the next week, we want to go over these 12 things. But in order to be successful, I think and training ongoing and making sure that people are learning the same way, and operating the same way as to make sure that all of these processes are documented. You know, we've really put a lot of time, money and energy behind documenting all of our processes, so that we can make sure people are doing things the same way. And that's why we've been able to scale. But I don't think we talked enough about how getting all those processes documented, has made it that much easier to train people.

Eric Watkins:

But yeah, for For context, every hour of our two week training is scheduled, and every hour has a either a sign like workbook where people are filling it out for engagement throughout. And then it also has a training guide. So if you're running the course, you know how you should be running the session. That's a, I overlooked that. And that's a huge part, it's probably a huge part of why we won the award. And a huge part of like having a world class training is like it needs to be detailed out

Scott Scully:

or even in a will in addition to that, if there is a way to log a new prospect or a way to put people into a particular stage, that that's fully documented. So that when somebody goes and does that part of the process, they do it the same way every time. We train it the same way every time. So yeah, not only documenting and having manuals throughout the training and exercises and things like that, but the people are learning processes, like it may be I don't know how to go out and do a bid, or which you don't want all your new people that go out and do bids on huge roofs where, you know, mistakes could cause profit issues. You want them to go out and go file the same bid process all the time, the way you're going to be able to train that and the way you're going to be able to get people doing the same thing as having that exact bid process documented. All of that makes sense.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, that makes perfect

Jeff Winters:

sense. Well, not only does it make sense, but think about this. Like if you don't have that, then who knows how to do it like Larry knows how to do it. Then he leaves and Larry leaves like Larry like Larry might I know you love Larry. Larry comes over to your house and your buddies Larry might get a different job. And you if you're out there you've felt this or you will feel this or you've luckily you haven't but it's like oh we've got real danger Larry's gone we need to get everything Larry knows out of Larry's head right now because he's got two weeks to tell us everything he knows because he's taught every adjuster or bitter or salesperson or account manager whatever how to do their entire job it's all in Larry's head any of your divisions processes are in somebody's head. Just know the next evolution is get those down even if it's an Scott you made the point it's the best point and I didn't do this and I had five Larry's and I bid me in the ass because they did leave. Don't Don't do that. Get get your processes down. It is worth it. It is smart and You can't onboard without it. But the continuity of business and customer excellence can't happen unless you have really well documented processes, which I hate. But I understand is important.

Scott Scully:

I bet there. I bet there are people that are out there that have somebody that's really good at training, new hires. And I wasn't thinking about that. Well, first of all, they don't have it down. They haven't don't have it documented. It's tribal knowledge in the head of the trainer, not even the person that's good at doing the bids, but the person that's trained them on the way and that person leaves or retires or moves into a different job. Who's Training the new hires? Where's the documentation? How do we do it? What's the flow? It's all lost?

Jeff Winters:

Like you gotta call Larry, on your day, like, hey, Larry, can you talk to us at six? Because we forgot

Scott Scully:

to get the tribe tribal knowledge on paper? Now? Yeah,

Jeff Winters:

there should be no tribal knowledge, you should work to eliminate it,

Scott Scully:

that's a great point.

Jeff Winters:

Question, do you have to have done the job to train on the job or to onboard people to do the job?

Eric Watkins:

I, I would say, if at all possible, do it. It always helps, it's never going to hurt you if you've done the job before. But I trained people how to set appointments before I knew how to set appointments. Like I think you the right person, who's good at training, and if your programs good to do the job, but it's always gonna be a benefit of,

Scott Scully:

so I'm gonna, I'm gonna pile on to this. Think about the professor at college, that's teaching your business class that been in business for 20 years. I don't know, I like I'm listening to that person a little bit more. They have real world experiences. You know, your college professors that actually have the experience as well, and they're teaching the content are just that much better. But I don't think they have to be the best. That's a good. Like, if they're training salespeople, they didn't have to be the best salesperson, a lot of people make that mistake, whether it's putting the best salesperson in training or putting them as a manager. A lot of times that best salesperson isn't the best at that. But you do have to understand you have to have walked in the shoes, I think to get the respect and to be able to talk

Eric Watkins:

to sales. I think sales training is maybe different, like there may be other trainings. But even even Tiger Woods has a Swing Coach,

Jeff Winters:

I want to double click on sales, onboarding. I think that's a worthy gross show. You probably not doing all that much growing if you're not onboarding sales, but I want to do it because I agree with what Eric said, I think it's a different different thing. And also, you know, taking advice from a previous episode I'm doing I'm in on salesperson onboarding right now. And I'm telling you, a couple of things that I'm noticing and doing that I think are working. And I'm sure there's a lot that isn't, but I think having the pitch written out word for word. And then sort of demanding this level of test out, particularly from salespeople and giving them the space to like rigorously practice. I think there's a tendency in sales to make it more of an art than it needs to be like, at first, it can be an art. But at first, it's a science like, I don't need you to go outside and color outside the box. Initially, when you become advanced, you can. But with sales, onboarding, and particularly script, rigid, practice it your salespeople will be shocked at how good they can get how fast they can get their

Eric Watkins:

art within a science is what I was like to say, like the science is there, you can get creative within the script, like on your tone and how you present it. But it's like that's the that's the script. Yeah, like, we're within that we're within that

Jeff Winters:

box. I'm gonna give you a quick framework here. It's cognitive emotion of emotional and physical mastery. And I'm stealing this may be Tony Robbins, I forget who cognitive mastery is. In other words, emotional mastery is I know the words well enough where I can change my tonality. And physical mastery is I could do this so well, I could do something else and do this perfectly. Like use that for your salespeople, cognitive mastery, get them to say the words emotional mastery, get them to the tone, then get it so they can make pancakes and do a sales pitch. I have we have one sales guy mix, I want to call out my guy Tony. Like he could he could be doing forth. He could be mowing the lawn playing a video game and do the sales pitch and it doesn't even it's like he's using 5% of his brain to do it. It's like got it dialed in that well.

Scott Scully:

I used to do it in the shower. Literally every morning when I was selling. I did a pitch in the shower every morning to the wall. Same every day. You know, it's interesting. We this goes years and years back but we've added dozens and dozens of salespeople to teams and it's why we grew but the only thing that was in the first week was a sales pitch. It was word for word. And they literally had to know it word for word by the end of the weekend. And we'd have them pitch our existing sales team and do contests. And, you know, the existing sales team would pound on him. But you know, and then over time, they learned how to add their own stories. But you had to know the pitch word for word, by the end of the week,

Jeff Winters:

period one week.

Scott Scully:

Yeah, that, yeah, that particular piece of sales training in the past, but it worked. People were successful, because before they knew the ins and outs of the product, and, and had a bunch of knowledge about the organization, like they knew that like, to the person that was sitting on the outside listening to them, it was a, it was a great pitch,

Eric Watkins:

like, in that, you just said it, like it worked for to make them successful. And then they stay. If you are successful, the whole point of training is to make them successful, as quick as possible. You don't lose people who are successful, people love being successful in achieving and feeling like they're growing and developing. And like, that's one, one element of what we do is we send out the rankings every day, every day, an email goes out to all of our new hires, and all the important statistics. And it's something we pulled back that we did in the past that we didn't do before. And people love seeing their name on the leaderboard in green. Like, there's got to be some level of competition in your training, I feel like

Jeff Winters:

I like that and look like success is a byproduct of expectation. So we got to be realistic with our onboarding people. And like I love how you all do it, you're competing against other people in your class, or things are totally within your control. But if you come in and you say, Hey, Mr. Mrs. New salesperson, we're really excited, your quota is 30 grand, you're going to close 10 deals in your second month, and it's going to be awesome. If that person doesn't, then they're way behind. And they're upset, because they're not winning. Like Eric, you said it, I'd say just a smidge different. It's like, the goal of onboarding is to get people winning. And you're only going to win if the onboarding team sets the expectations, right?

Scott Scully:

Sure. That's a great point. And then the trainings never over. Never over, let's

Jeff Winters:

talk about that this company, the frameworks that you all have set up, I think are really novel.

Scott Scully:

I just, it's one of the major pillars of our culture, we make sure people have at least an hour, every week, forever, you know, 52 hours minimum of continuing education, on the job, about the company industries, processes, just so somebody's always growing. And that helps us retain people longer and helps them become successful. We're a better company because of training. That's like if there was a top five, training is one of them.

Eric Watkins:

i And it's interesting, right? I was listening to a podcast with the CEO of zoom info. And he was like, you know, I was talking to my leadership team. And I was like, what people care about these days, like, what are they? Why did they come here? Why did they stay here? And people would say, work life balance, D AI initiatives. They want to support the environment. And he was like, I don't know. I just kind of think like, those things are important. But I don't think that's why they come here every day. Like why did they come here? So he just went and I may be paraphrasing this a little bit. Met with a ton of individuals in the company, why'd you come? Why are you staying 99% of them? Were for growth and development. I am here to develop all that stuff is great. But that doesn't mean anything if I'm not here developing and growing every day. So if you're listening this podcast, and you feel like training and development is on the backburner for your organization, fix it. Like ASAP if you want to grow a growing company. The only way you do that is if you can promote people and have people come in develop to do the job.

Jeff Winters:

I think that's a really important point and two quick stats and then a question. So nearly two thirds of employees get no workplace training at all. And three quarters feel like they're not reaching their full potential due to the lack of training opportunity. So like this is a problem. But what I noticed as an outsider coming into this organization, is that the problem that you all solved was training always goes to the backburner in lieu of other more pressing urgent priorities. Constantly, it constantly happens and you all forced it. across every manager, every individual contributor every VP I guess I'm curious, like, what was the problem and then maybe share with folks out there how you solved it.

Eric Watkins:

I'll tell you how Scott, I mean, it's best weekly best practices is a common term. It's in every position now every single week. It wasn't a thing like we didn't do it. And Scott was like we need to. We have so many young leaders in the building. We We have to get them some ongoing development. Why don't we do we'll call it best practices, we'll do it weekly. And we'll make sure that they are getting what they need to continue to get better in their role. So just something like that, then turned into, it was for sales managers, then it went to account managers, then it went to sales reps, then it went to operations specialists, and like that theme spread out. And then with our maps, you can listen to the map episode. It's our way, it's really our way of a business of making sure certain things get done every week, we added it as a project, because that is, it's one of the top five, so why wouldn't it be one of the things they're responsible for every week? Those are two simple ways we did it.

Scott Scully:

Jeff, you're gonna, you're gonna think I'm crazy. Eric can back me up on this because he's seen it. So can any salespeople that I've worked with, I walk in for training in the room full of salespeople, and someone still on the phone, and I'll tell them to get off the phone in the middle of a pitch. Like, because they know when training is it's on their schedule. And somebody always, you know, there's always one that figures out how to not plan their schedule and how to have something going on during training. And I tell people to get off the phone, and it pisses them off. But like them developing over time management's a whole nother thing we could talk about, right, but and their development, ongoing professional development, I think it needs to be more important than anything else. And that one call that they might have been on is less important than what they're going to learn in the next hour so that they can be more impactful on the next five calls they're on.

Jeff Winters:

Yeah, I just I think for people out there, it's one thing to say we want to train, we want to get better, let's be about training. It's another thing to put in place, the structures and mechanisms to force it to happen. And then maybe more than that penalize when it doesn't happen. So for instance, in this business, and these are just these are just things that have worked for us, take them, leave them do nothing. But in this business, there are 15 priorities of this business training is one of those 15. And probably if you had to narrow it, it would be one of a smaller list. Second, it's really hard to get promoted as an individual contributor, if you don't do 52 hours of training a year.

Scott Scully:

It's true minded me of the whole thing we do internally here, which is fun in the tracking of the points and people earning belts and the ability to get to a black elebrate Black Belt and you know, given people different prizes and certifications and things like that, because of the training that they're that they're completing, making them eligible for other roles because they've finished certain training classes.

Eric Watkins:

as well. We had a great episode today on training, proud of the team on the award, we gave you a little bit of insight on how we did it. Jeff, what were some of your key takeaways from today?

Jeff Winters:

Well, I'm excited to this feels like an episode of like, well, why the fuck should we like you should like this feels like hey, we just got this, it was timely it's on. I'm happy about that. My my key takeaway from today is I go back to shadowing, I just think there's so much shadowing going on Shadowing is not training, shadowing is not onboarding, it's just a part of it.

Scott Scully:

I'd say make sure in your onboarding that you are getting people bought into the vision, not just training them on the job. Have all of the things that you're trying to get somebody to understand and and know and learn, have those things documented. And then have check ins, you know, along the way to make sure that they're implementing the training and in the right way would be my key points.

Eric Watkins:

And the only thing I would add is if you don't already have very clear, tangible results on your training department and stretch them, like give them a high goal to live up to and hold them accountable to reaching that goal. Because in order to do that, they're going to have to work hand in hand with the management of whoever wherever their trainees are going. And the other thing is be intentional with your training. Schedule it out hour by hour. What are we training on? What's the goal of the training? What do we want our people to get out of it? To do those? Those things I think you'll be in a better spot.

Jeff Winters:

You know what else you learned today? When my kid grows up he wants to be pancake mix

Eric Watkins:

pancake mix. You brought it back you missed I called it a call back. It's a call back you said pancakes something earlier

Jeff Winters:

pancake mix.

Eric Watkins:

Which which? Does you have a favorite best quick always be growing? Always be growing?

Scott Scully:

Always be growing.

Eric Watkins:

Thanks for listening to the Grow show. Leave us a review and let us know how we're doing or if there's a top If you'd like us to cover in the future

Unknown:

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