By Joe Lipham, Training Account Manager, Signature Worldwide
I thought I had hired the perfect person for the front desk. She was bright, articulate, and eager to learn the hotel business from the ground up. She was going to be my front desk star. I arranged an interview with the front office manager and she agreed: star material! Imagine my surprise and disappointment when two weeks later my new star was in my Human Resource director’s office offering her resignation.
I sat down for the exit interview with a list of prepared questions, and the only thing I could blurt out was, “What happened?” She looked away as she explained that she thought everyone at the front desk was nice and professional, and felt the front office manager was first rate. However, she confessed to me, the real reason for leaving was a simple one: No one took the time to train her. She felt horrible that she was not pulling her weight; however, she was just not comfortable in what she was doing. Simply put, she did not feel knowledgeable enough to do the job and she did not want to let anyone down. In her mind, quitting was the best option.
When we play a game, we always ask the questions: “What are the rules?” and “Howcan I win at this game?” When new employees are asking these questions and the questions are not answered for them up front, they can become frustrated and upset because they do not know how to win at their job.
I learned during my career in Human Resources and Training that most employees want to do a good job. People enjoy coming to work when they feel their efforts make a difference for the company. Oh, to feel the sweet effects of success! They also enjoy receiving recognition for the contributions they make to the company.
The fear for many companies is that they spend time and money developing people, only to see them take those newly acquired skills to another company. However, training actually can increase employee retention, when the training reinforces the value of the employee. In addition, a well-designed training program plays a critical part in nurturing associates’ psyches. Associates want to feel that the job they do is important to the success of the business and that the business is investing time and money in them to have the job done correctly, and at the highest level.
Training also allows associates the opportunity to learn new skills and hone existing skills they bring to the job. Being able to grow in a position and feel good about the job theyare doing is important to an individual and their view of the organization. By investing the appropriate training in an employee, they will develop a greater sense of self-worth as they become more valuable to the company. The company, too, will gain specific benefits from training and developing its workers, including increased productivity, reduced employee turnover, and decreased need for constant supervision.
As a Human Resource Director for 12 years, I saw employees leave organizations for better jobs and more pay, but I can honestly say I never saw an associate leave a job for merely more pay. Keep your employees interested in continuing their career by using training as a way to demonstrate that the company values them. Training is a bridge that can lead to employee satisfaction and a higher retention rate for your company.
Joe Lipham is a training account manager for Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, OH-based company offering sales and customer service training, marketing, and mystery shopping services for a variety of service-based industries. For information, call 800.398.0518 or visit www.signatureworldwide.com. You also can connect with Signature Worldwide on Twitter @SignatureWorld and on Facebook.