Saturday, June 29, 2013

Gardening, Training, and the Three Bears

The rains have been pouring down here at my store. Last night the river crested to the highest I have seen it in over 20 years. It touched the back corner of the building.


My wife reported that all of our potted plants at home were swimming in their pots.

That's not good for potted plants. Almost as bad as no water at all. Everyone knows that gardening requires continued diligence; a little watering, a little weeding, a little pruning done consistently and continuously. You can't just do the weeding and watering once and expect the garden to thrive.

Yet isn't that what we often do with our staff?

They show up. We give them a name badge, show them where the restroom is, teach them how to run the cash registers, and set them loose. No follow up, no continual training.  No additional information. If they're motivated, they'll learn it on their own (or at least that's what we tell ourselves).

Then we wonder why there is no growth.

Training is like gardening. It needs to be consistent and continuous if you want your staff to grow to their full potential. A little training, a little evaluation, a little polishing, a little pushing.

Just like the Three Bears, you also have to find that "just right" amount of training. Too little and they don't get the skills they need, too much and like my potted plants at home, they cannot absorb it all.

Staff training should be a lot like how we water the potted plants. Pour some water in. Wait until it is absorbed. Pour in a little more. Keep checking back, pruning, weeding and watering. Add in a heaping amount of sunlight (praise), and watch them grow.

Are you tending to your staff garden?

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS Thanks to my wife for this powerful analogy. Thanks to Mother Nature for this awesome display of her power. And Thank God that the water receded back to normal levels rather quickly. Forty seven years on the banks of the Grand River and that is the first time the water touched the building.

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