February '17

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50 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2017 Cross-training is vital in many ways. First, just like you are a jack-of-all-trades, you want your people to have different abilities so that they can handle multiple tasks. For instance, do your installers know how to install all of the multiple product lines that you carry? Even if they specialize in one particular area, it is key for them to know how to do other things so that they become more useful when it is slow in one area, but busy in another. Sometimes we tend to just keep people in a certain position because they are really good at it. That is fine, except, does someone else know how to do their job? In turn, do they know how to do someone else's job? Be careful not to put yourself into a situation where one employee can hold you hostage because they are the only one that can do their job. Another reason to cross-train is that you might find an employee has a better skill in another area, or at minimum, they will realize the importance of doing the best possible job at what they feel comfortable with. Regardless, cross-training is not only healthy for them as individuals, but also for your organization. Always be on the lookout for good employees. Employees are like flowers—it takes time for some to blossom. It might be that some of your best employees won't start out that way, but with a little help and care, they will become an important asset to your company. Be on the lookout for people in your company who are eager to learn more and do more. When it comes time to hire, is it possible to promote from within and give someone a chance? At least you know what you are getting in that person. But don't discount their ability. You can even give them some trial tasks to see if they can excel at some small things that would show they are able to handle the new role. It is easier to find an entry-level new hire than it is to find a middle or high level position. Being on the lookout for new talent is also a key. When does your company hire? Only when there is a need? This can be dangerous, because then you are many times rushed to find a person to fill a role that is an important part of your business. You could easily just hire to get a body in, but find out soon enough that it is the wrong body. At this point not only have you suffered through the experience, but it no doubt cost you money learning that it was the wrong person. That is why it is crucial to be constantly on the lookout for talented people. Even if you don't have a position open, you need to have a pipeline of talent. Per- haps you can upgrade in an area. Many of us are presented with opportunities to grow, but we say we don't have the people to do it—another reason to always be on the lookout. TIP #7 CUSTOMER SERVICE Areas to consider: Work with customers Turn negatives into positives Customer service has a broad meaning in today's world, so to attempt to discuss it we will scale it down to the importance of taking care of unhappy or unsatisfied customers. We all know customers can, at times, complain about anything or everything, but let's also be honest by saying in many Cross-training employees is important. You want your people to have different abilities so that they can handle multiple tasks. 5 Tips for Restylers more

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