Irina burgess team training

Have you ever had that feeling that your team members are working at less than optimal capacity or that they aren’t as happy to be working with you as you (and probably they), would want?

Here are 5 tell-tale signs that your team need training and or further support, and FAST.

1.   Constant high turnover rate

A higher than standard staff turnover rate is one of the first signs things are not going as planned. Whether your staff turnover is due to poor management, the motivation for higher pay and career satisfaction, inability to complete the tasks requested or an issue within the organisational culture – it needs to be addressed!

Adequate staff training in both ‘soft’ people skills and hard technical job skills will highlight to team members that the company is invested and will support their needs as workers, team members and as individuals.   Increased overall team happiness, reduced stress levels and greater job satisfaction will lead to a better retention rate.

2.   Low productivity

Low productivity can be the cause of many variables, but more often than not the first place you need to turn for improvements is understanding what is stopping team members from performing to their potential. Your employees may not have the necessary knowledge or skill set to complete their tasks effectively and efficiently, or they have not been able to transfer their training off the job, to the task at hand on the job. It can also be that tasks, systems, processes and rewards are not aligned. To find the specific reason we need to investigate.

If low productivity is occurring hand in hand with increased accidents and safety concerns, and the urgency to address the issue becomes even more critical.

3.   Customer Satisfaction rates are low

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” Girl Scouts Song

Did you know based on your industry, it can be 5 to 25x more expensive to gain new clientele, than focusing on retaining your existing customer base?
** Data Source **

It makes sense to pay attention to the data relating to customer complaints and identify if it is as a result of inadequate training. If team members don’t have the skills to handle conflict, then the best motivational chat is not going to enable them adequately.

Review the type of customer service that occurs and those that are escalated.

It will give a good insight into the reasons why customers feel like the team or the company is not handling the situation well.

Negative reviews or feedback, especially in the digital age, can impact not only your online presence but feedback into customer loyalty and profitability long term. Potential consumers look to the experiences of past consumers before purchasing. An absence of positive reviews can mean a downturn in your business brand.

If you are receiving negative feedback or complaints, it may be time to revisit and revise the skillset and drivers of your team members and the ways their actions (consciously or unconsciously) contribute to customer success over individual or organisational self-interest.

4.   Inability to keep pace with technology and advancements

Technology, depending on your industry, can move at quite a rapid rate.

Your workplace training needs to be pro-active rather than re-active in helping team members keep up.

Aim to keep your team up to date with new platforms or systems, new products, processes or technology, by providing adequate and regular workplace training before the rollout of a new or updated system. Failure to do so slows down productivity as team members struggle to not do or unlearn what they did, as well as discover how to do things differently AND continue to deliver on their “business as usual” BAU work.

5.   Disengaged Team Members

Happy workplaces make for more productive and profitable team members.

If your team members seem disconnected, it is important to understand why and do something about it.

Your first action needs to focus on opening the lines of communication with your team members.

Talk to them one on one, or if there is a broader issue, utilise questionnaires, surveys, regular performance reviews, team meetings and a suggestion boxes to gather team member feedback. And if you aren’t sure where to start, check out google forms or Survey Monkey for ideas on how to set up surveys and manage the responses.

Identify any themes and aim to provide coaching and on the job training or team building activities to help get your team members back on track.

Aim for a combination of ‘soft skills’ training in problem-solving, supported by communication, critical thinking and collaboration. A behavioural tool to diagnostic can really help individuals to better understand themselves and others, as well as create a common language for discussing and understanding similarities and differences between team members. There are many tools available; what’s useful is to use the same one for all team members. A few I have used are listed below. Each has relative merits and while no tool is “a panacea” the 3 below have served me well in increasing understanding, compassion and tolerance for individuals and teams.

MBTI –Step I & Step II Reports. – I prefer Step II because the report is more detailed and allows you to consider your preferences in relation to communicating, making decisions, managing change, and managing conflict, including strengths, challenges and development tips.

Mary McGuiness is a Sydney based expert in this space and her book “You’ve got Personality”  is brilliant value and a great introduction if you want to read more about how personality type is constructed and plays out.

The Cliftons strengthfinder is also a fantastic tool for allowing team members to see each other in terms of their strengths, in 4 contextual domains of Strategic Thinking, Executing, Influencing and Relationship Building. and are also useful individual and team diagnostics for organisations and leaders to consider including in their toolkit.

If you can identify at least one of the 5 signs above in your organisation, but don’t know where to start, I’m here to help. Head to my contact page now and get in touch soon.