How to train and motivate front-line staff

I’ve been writing a lot about amazing front-line staff and about how to recruit the best ones. The staff I’m writing about are the staff we remember. The staff makes us wonder just how someone could be that great. We end up thinking, if every front-line staff was like this, it would be a much better world. Everyone would walk around smiling all the time. 

I hope you would want staff like this as well, and if you do the right things, that’s who you’ll get.

5 things to consider when training front-line staff to be the best

1. Don’t get confused by great on-boarding

On-boarding is very important, but just remember that it’s not an eternal solution. On-boarding should primarily be done by the store manager and/or high performing front-line colleagues. Don’t spend most of the on-boarding time telling the new employee things you know will be forgotten within a few days. Those things can wait.

2. Less is more

To tap into the everyday life of employees, you should only provide them with small fractions of the knowledge they need to have at any time. This means you should let them watch a 45-second video one day, read a 2-minute text the next day, take a 1-minute pop quiz two days later, then finally watch a different video later in the week. This way you keep all necessary knowledge fresh in the mind without boring the staff, which will inevitably lead to the staff not watching, reading or answering pop quizzes at all.

3. Remember what you are training for

A lot of companies spends most of the allocated training time doing a procedure or product-specific training. If you train front-line staff, you should, of course, train those skills, but remember the most important thing –  sales and communication ability. Train body language, open questions, sales closure, etc.

4. Make sure you time your training

Timing means a lot when you are training. In jobs where the front-line staff is needed, shifts are often a part of it, which means that the staff has differentiated working hours. While everyone should be trained to perform the days and hours they are working, the training should be based on the individual employee’s personal work schedule.

5. Remember that people are not the same

People learn in different ways and lead individual lives. The training should consider this and optimize content, timing, etc. for each individual employee.

I promised to write about motivation as well, which is quite simple – you can just replace the word ‘training’ with ‘motivation’ in the 5 pointers above to get my view on it.

You might think achieving above-mentioned pointers are unrealistic without expending a tremendous amount of time, but technology has evolved to the point where you can get there with minimum effort using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

– Danny Fabricius Fogel, Great front-line staff is right here, Front-line staff ambassador

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