IS ALL ABOUT TRAINING
Zahira J. Coll
a friend and I wanted to do something pampering and special together.
I had been to a local Day Spa (very renowned) and had loved
a particular pedicure. Remembering
this experience I suggested to my friend to go together and get
the same service.
awaited day came and we arrived for our appointments, we were
offered a glass of champagne, given our lockers and off we went
to enjoy the Jacuzzi and steam room.
When the time for our Pedicure came we were ready to be
pampered. We were
seated next to each other in those throne chairs that
make you feel super special.
To my horror as the service started I realized
that the Nail technicians were not performing the same service
on each of us nor where they performing the service I had bought
the month before. My
friend had only read a description in the brochure but she looked
at me with questioning eyes when she saw essential oils being
dropped into my pedicure water and not on hers.
I did not want to make a big deal about it because the
whole idea was to relax and enjoy together.
So I waited. As the service progressed and things continued to be so different,
I asked the employee how long she had been there.
She said to me I started working one week ago.
So I asked, Have you been trained in the services
here to which she replied, Oh, no. I have more than
5 years experience they did not think I needed any training, I
took the brochure home and read it. At this point my friend
was paying more attention to my conversation with the employee
than to her treatment, so I dropped it!
I wanted to know more but decided against it an
opted for enjoying the service as much as I could even though
it was not what I expected or bought.
I definitely will not go back to this particular Spa or
two weeks later I was teaching a seminar on the value of training
employees and how to make it fun for the staff.
I shared with the class my Pedicure experience and they
were all as horrified as I was.
Most of the attendees were Salon & Spa owners and they
could not believe that this could happen in such a renowned place.
So I asked them to share with me the training programs
they used at their facilities.
How did they ensure that every single employee performed
every service in the exact same way it was suppose to be?
Needless to say most of them did not have a structured
and/or consistent method. Some of them did not think they could afford any training
program. Yet they
all understood the value of training, they all wanted to avoid
experiences like mine from happening at their business.
Even those that had some sort of training program or method
admitted to putting it in the back burner every time other more
pressing operating issues came up.
How Can You Afford
Not to Train
is like staffing, it costs money, it requires a lot of work, effort
and commitment and without it you, your staff & your business
will suffer. You
will not be able to provide excellent service and stay ahead of
the big guys (who by the way have the money, effort
and commitment invested in training their staff).
keep in mind that your customers, talk to their friends and they
compare notes. Customers
like to get what they buy or read about, not something else.
Your staff will feel more confident in the execution of
their duties if they are given guidelines and if they are shown
exactly what we mean when we have written in our brochures descriptive
words such as transported, sense of calmness,
soothing, therapeutic, etc.
You will not have to deal with customer dissatisfaction
because they did not get the service, as it was promise.
If I Train Them Will
depends on how you train them.
Adults learn very differently from other age groups.
As individuals we all learn in different ways at different
speeds. You have
to take all of this into consideration when designing your training
plan. That is precisely your starting point, an outline of what you
want to teach them, in what time frame and what is the ultimate
goal. Ask yourself
if you have someone in your staff that has the ability to explain
things and/or teach others?
Do you like teaching others; are you comfortable doing
it? Sometimes it
is more effective if the person teaching is a coworker, liked
and respected by its peers.
second step is to SHARE, share with your staff why you want to
have training, what do you expect to accomplish and sell them
you tell an employee you have to sit in class for
2 hours, they may go because it is mandatory but they will not learn much.
To be fair, if you have a commission based pay system when
you ask them to attend a training they are losing income.
This is part of selling it to them, you have to come up
with an agreement with your staff about how to pay for them to
sit and learn instead. Make
How do I train them?
have found one of the most successful approaches to teaching adults
to be similar to learning how to cook using recipes.
you schedule your first training session, take the time to prepare
utilizing the recipe method;
Write each service in recipe format
Explaining every ingredient used and every step
List all the steps in the treatment in the order the should
Time the steps to ensure that the time allocated to the
treatment is exactly what is needed (also this helps you to evaluate
performance at a later time)
Have a meeting with your staff to read the recipes and
discuss them. Make
corrections, after all they are the ones that will be performing
Demonstrate the service step by step
Take pictures of the steps or draw them
Have your trainers demonstrate the services to the class,
using class volunteers (people learn best by teaching others)
Have them practice on each other as you are observing and
correcting when necessary.
Practice makes perfect.
visual aids, such as handouts, pictures or drawings, flip charts.
If you are very computer oriented a power
point presentation with music and sounds keeps them awake
and they will remember more.
Did they really learn?
individuals know that they will be tested or evaluated they learn
more because they pay more attention.
Some people have a competitive nature and enjoy participating
in any type of score keeping process at work.
I have found that using some competitive game with small
simple prizes gets everyone excited about the services and it
allows you to verify who has really learned to perform them to
your standards and who needs more practice.
Evaluation process: Design
a simple evaluation form with a built in point system, have the
staff perform the service on the other staff members (receptionist,
sales staff, and locker attendants).
They evaluate the services received (anonymously).
You then tally the scores and give prizes/certificates
to the highest scores. The
lower scores go back to practicing before they can perform the
service on a customer.
is an added benefit to this system.
Not only have you accomplished training your staff, when
we involve other employees to received the services, they will
be better able to speak to your customers about it and sell it
from a personal experience.
way of evaluating the outcome of the training program is to have
them perform the service to a co-worker in front of you.
You will need to create an evaluation form (preferably
with some type of point system).
In this case you are the one evaluating the process and
how well they are performing.
The disadvantage would be that the exposure to the rest
of the staff is limited and you will not have the added benefit
of having everyone understanding all the services and selling
Is it ever finished?
not forget training is on going.
Every time you add a new service, change an existing service
or hire a new employee it all has to start again.
Once you have your system in place your materials and your
trainers it is easier to keep it going.
all want to be creative and artistic, we want to add our personal
unique touch to the things we do, but this is in direct conflict
with our business service goals.
You and your staff would benefit by deciding together which
services have to be by the book and which ones (if
any) allow for flexibility and creativity.
you set all this up and give it the priority it requires, you
will be able to stay ahead of your competition by providing excellent
consistent services to all your customers.
As an added bonus your staff will work in a more confident
manner because they will now know exactly what is expected of
not forget that the more we practice the same recipe the better
Practice does make perfect