5 Steps To Train Staff To Work To Your Standards

5 Steps To Train Staff To Work To Your Standards

When applying for a new job or considering a job offer, “opportunity for growth” is the second most important thing people look for—right after salary.

When looking at the millennial audience, in particular, a whopping 46% of survey respondents said they left their last job for growth potential.

The point here is that your employees actually want to work to your standards. They want to learn and grow. They want to be engaged, and they want to get more involved over time.

You would think that this hunger to grow means that each new hire will, thus, always be ready to work and work hard—and even up to your own standards.

And yet, there’s a disconnect somewhere along the way. New hires choose to work with you, having measured what room there is to grow. So, why aren’t they growing? How can you motivate staff to work consistently to your standards? Where’s that hunger gone?

The short answer is: training. You have to train your staff correctly in order to work to your standards, or that expectation will never be met.

The long answer brings us to these 5 essential steps.

1. Know Your Standards

A funny thing happens when we communicate. Whether it’s a conversation, an email, or a job description, we have a very clear idea in our heads of what it is we want to transmit.

But then the receiving side doesn’t always picture what we had in mind.

If you want your staff to work to your standards, you must explicitly outline those standards. Start with a little soul searching to find the words, and take notes: what standards do you hold yourself to? What inspires you to meet those standards?

This exercise is a necessary starting point. Anything we feel or expect in life that’s even a little abstract only takes form when we put words to it. It’s how we catalogue our world. So, take a few minutes, close the door to your office and write out what standards you have. Get specific, and include the “why” and other motivators behind each one.

2. Communicate Your Standards

Now, you’ve done the soul searching. You’ve spelled out your standards, where they come from, and what they mean to you.

Next, ensure you have the right language and channels in place to communicate those standards.

When it comes to training staff, you need to have role-by-role key performance indicators (KPIs) in place, communicated openly to each employee. Your KPIs, when clearly identified for each staff member, can help you quantify and qualify those standards you want to train staff to work to.

To measure staff properly on your key standards using KPIs, harken back to the goals and motivations behind those standards. KPIs have to be as objectively measurable as possible, or you risk opening the floodgates of inconsistency that can undo your “standards metrics” altogether.

For example, let’s say it’s your standard to “go the extra mile” for clients. What does that mean? How do you measure it? That could mean a KPI of client retention, or of clients contacted just to “check in” during a given week.

3. Streamline Training

What a buzzword—streamline. What does that mean, “streamline training?”

Streamlining anything means locking in a system to make it happen. This includes an outline of what the process needs to achieve, the steps to get there, and the accountabilities to make those steps easy to follow for all players involved.

In training your staff to work to your standards, your system starts with those same KPIs we just talked about. What training does an employee need to meet all those metrics?

Now, list that training out.

Next, ask yourself, how much time will that training take? Just like you need to schedule in when you check email during the day (and how much time you plan to reply to messages), you need to put real numbers on how much training can be done with your staff and in what frame of time.

Last, and equally important, you have to gather the resources you’ll need for each part of training. For example, if you’re training a client service rep, do you have all needed training documents and tools in one place? Lead sheets? Call scripts? CRM training docs?

This is where most companies’ training stops. If you really want your staff to work to your standards, let’s see what comes next.

4. Offer More Training And Ask For Feedback

One of the standards I’m willing to bet you hold dear is the hunger to continually learn and grow.If you want to support this standard for your staff, the key is offering them opportunities to learn with purpose.

Ongoing training serves two purposes:

  1. It builds staff knowledge and skills
  2. And it keeps staff engaged

Once an employee is trained in and technically knows how to do their job, if you’re at a loss for what other training to offer, there are a couple directions you can go.

First, you can consider adding new responsibilities to offer more training.

Second, you can check in with staff for feedback on what they want to learn. This gives employees a stake in the training they’re about to receive, and emboldens them to view the world through the lens of “what else can I do?”

Share this nugget with your staff, too: asking for advice or training actually makes you look smarter, according to a recent study from the Harvard Business Review. Encourage the company culture where team members know they can come to you (or go to the right person) and ask for more training in order to live up to the standards you’ve set—and even surpass them.

5. Reinforce With Company Culture

This brings us to the hardest part: promoting the same passion you have and getting your staff equally interested in what they’re doing. But how can you get employees to work to your standards, the owner of a business, when it’s not theirbusiness?

For one, make sure you share company successes along with individual successes. You can permit yourself to brag a little if it opens an opportunity to talk about how awesome your business is, along with each of the employees who work there.

Permit me a minute on my soap box. There’s a big difference between confidence and conceit, right? With confidence, you strut and say, “I’m awesome.” But with conceit, you puff your chest out and say, “I’m better than you, and you, and you…”

Most of the time, we want to be confident, but not conceited.

In business, and to create the company culture that will promote standards of excellence, however, a little conceit is a good thing. Tell your brand story and make sure your staff knows the character roles each of them play. If you believe your brand really is better than the competition, how do you back that up?

One of the biggest factors is almost always the team that makes the company up. So make sure your staff knows that.

The right company culture will pay off in many ways. And combined with these other steps, you’ll finally be able to zero-in on that age-old question of how to train staff to work to your standards. If you haven’t already, get out your pen and paper and start with step 1 right now.

Questions? Leave us a comment below!

How to Price Your Services: 3 Keys to Knowing Your Worth

How to Price Your Services: 3 Keys to Knowing Your Worth

Have you ever felt the fear of losing a client if you didn’t price your services to meet their needs? You’re trying to grow your business. You want to receive referrals. You’re scared of turning them away because you have no idea when another potential client will walk through your door.


Sound familiar?


Waffling on price is a common occurrence among business owners, as a result of the fears mentioned above. The solution to tackling these issues is to create standardized prices for your services. For some, this can be an even scarier scenario because the fear of losing current clients or turning away new ones can be debilitating. However, in order to create a sustainable and successful business, standardized pricing is essential and can bring more benefits than you ever thought possible. When you’re in doubt, remember this:


Saying “yes” to the wrong customers, means you’re saying “no” to the right ones.


Having set prices for your services will create “buckets” for your customers to fit into. Let’s say a prospective client comes to you with a particular need. You will already have a short list of accurately priced services that COULD be a fit. Here’s the catch: you need to have a better understanding of your customer’s pain points and how you can solve them so you can offer the perfect package, product or service. This underscores the importance of having questionnaires or checklists to ensure you’re gathering all the information you need to offer a solution that speaks to them. What’s the bottom line? You should know the scope of the project ahead of time so you can serve clients appropriately and make money in the process.


So, how do you create standardized prices for your business? Below, we’ll go through three key factors to consider when creating your pricing structure. It is imperative that you move through this process with intentionality. In other words, when writing down these numbers, have a vision for how your new and existing clients will reap the benefits of your offerings, while keeping in mind the long-term goals of your business.


  • Know Your Margins — Just because you give an hour of your time to a client doesn’t necessarily mean that it only takes an hour to attract, nurture, and secure their business. Think about the time and materials required up-front, then quantify and incorporate it into the price of the service.


  • Know the Industry Standard — Knowing what other providers in your industry charge for their services can be a valuable benchmark for creating a standardized pricing model. Are you just starting out and need to build testimonials and a solid client base? Perhaps your prices will be just slightly lower than the industry standard. Does your unique value proposition set your services far apart from your competitors? Perhaps it’s time for higher prices that may set the bar for clients who can afford you. You could even “buck the system” and design a totally new model that differs from the industry standard. You never know, it may catch on. You’ve heard of Uber, right?


  • Know the PERCEIVED Benefits to Your Client — What does your client get from investing in your services? Hint: it’s not just the services themselves. If you’re a dentist, your client doesn’t just walk away with cleaner teeth and better breath. They may also have more confidence because of your work! What about your office environment? Have you spend a pretty penny on office space in a prime location? Have you made a solid investment in equipment or décor? Whether they realize it or not, your clients may develop a higher perceived value of your services because on some level, they “sense” you know your worth.


After you’ve taken the time to create firm pricing for your business, you’ll be able to speak with confidence about your offerings, knowing these prices are fair, reasonable and “worth it” to the customer.


Finally, once you’ve shown your prospective clients how your service can solve their pain points and have given them a price, be prepared for the “Yes.” Know the exact next steps that need to happen so you can get to work and get paid. Have a standardized agreement saved that you can access within minutes, a payment system to invoice your client immediately after services are rendered and a follow-up mechanism to capture feedback and testimonials to improve your business even more!



Have you ever been afraid to raise your prices? Now’s the day to change that. Share your experiences in the comments below!


Organization: The Foundation for Top-Notch Customer Service

Organization: The Foundation for Top-Notch Customer Service

Think of the last interaction you had with a business – maybe a local restaurant or shop, a medical facility, a call center. No matter the business, was it a pleasant experience or a less than ideal one? Given the choice, is it a business you’d interact with again? If you were satisfied with the level of customer service you received, most likely the answer will be yes. If you were not satisfied with the level of customer services you received, chances are the answer will be no.

Businesses are constantly striving to improve their customer service because happy clients mean repeat business and referrals. The old adage than an unhappy client will tell seven people about their experience is true. And in this day and age of digital connectivity and social media, one bad review can have a detrimental impact.

Successful businesses know that people are their greatest asset. They also know that these people need to be equipped with solid processes, systems and workflows to manage every aspect of the customer experience each and every time. An organized business operates consistently and more seamlessly than one that is constantly recreating the wheel.

In many businesses however, the business organization foundation goes overlooked. Team members get busy, each working in their own silo. Turnover occurs and training is inadequate. Though owners and managers may set out with the best intentions, time constraints and day-to-day client demands often derail even the best attempts to standardize. Businesses that do not take a step back and commit the time necessary to standardize and document operations with careful thought to each client interaction will have an infinitely harder time getting ahead.

Start by mapping each step of a customer’s journey interacting with your business. No piece is too small or trivial to document. From lead through initial and ongoing outreach, to order processing/service delivery and follow-up, write down scripts, IT steps, etc. Document how new team members will be recruited, hired, trained and evaluated. Work piece by piece until it’s all in your Operations Manual.

It will never be possible to standardize every possible interaction and plan for every contingency. Customers are unique and different requests/challenges come up over time. This is why the Operations Manual should be a living document where the name of the game is implement, test, refine. When you develop a new process or refine a stale one, document it. And hold yourself and your team accountable for following the documented process each and every time.

According to Michael Gerber in The E Myth Revisited, “The purpose of a system [is] to free you to do the things you want to do. The System produces the results; your people manage the system.” Organizing and documenting your operations gives your team a manual by which to operate, where the rules of the game are known, and continuous improvement is embraced. It also gives your customers a consistent experience each and every time, so they know what to expect when they work with you. A consistently positive experience keeps customers coming back and telling their friends about you.