Start Off On The Right Foot With these Strategies For Training And Onboarding Employees

by Mahnoor Mansur

You have probably gone through the daunting tasking of hiring an employee. And have finally picked a candidate who meets all your requirements.

It’s your new employee’s first day at work. You or your manager give them a tour of the repair store and show them their station. Then what? You need to officially on-board and train your new employee.

Employee onboarding is a detailed process that ensures the long-term success of your employee and your repair store.

Repair stores that implement robust onboarding and training processes have better employee satisfaction, employee retention, and overall productivity. On the other hand, successful onboarding does not stop at the new hires’ first day. You need to have a more thorough training process so that the new hire can succeed in their role.

Your onboarding and training process needs to be an actual procedure that you can improve over time. However, getting the formula in place earlier will ensure that all new employees get the same experience.

How to Make your Onboarding and Training Program Effective?

This question might be lingering in your mind. Worry not!

Here is a helpful guide that will create an effective onboarding and training program for your repair business. Not only that, it will also help you determine whether you are getting your desired outcomes or not.

But before that make sure you have the following things planned.

Preparation Phase

1.    Create Guidelines and Documentation

Before you chalk out your onboarding procedure, you need to lay down the groundwork of your repair shop. Find out who can head this process for your repair business. To be more effective, you need to be fully involved in the process. Because you understand your repair shop’s needs better.

To ensure you and your team are on the same page, take small steps. First, decide what general aspects of your repair business you want your new employees to know. For instance, available elements should include the mention of a cellphone repair shop software. And how it helps you streamline repair processes.

Then comes the paperwork. You need to prepare a series of forms and agreements to properly onboard your new employee. So make sure you have the new hire paperwork checklist so that you don’t miss out on anything. For instance, you should have the following things on the list:

These are only a few things. There are other critical states and federal tax requirements that vary from state to state. So, you need to organize everything accordingly. If handling the tax form requirements gets overwhelming, you can hire a payroll company. They can help take the extra burden off your back. And you can avoid making blunders that can cost you in the future.

2.    Create a Training Schedule

When your new employee starts work, give them a rough schedule for the entire week/month. The new employee can use it to come up to speed with the operations of your repair store and their role.

The training schedule varies from employee to employee, depending on their job role. But a framework can help streamline the whole training process..

For instance, you might want to kick off the first day by sharing your vision for the repair store with them. And have a chat with them as you welcome them onboard. After that, their training program can begin, and they can meet different experts in your repair shop.

3.    Make an Employee Handbook

You need to have an employee handbook that you can provide to new hires. Employee handbook is helpful because it has information and expectation in writing that you and your new employee can refer back to. It can be in a PDF, Word, or PPT form.

The ultimate goal is that as you grow, your team delivers the same message and training to new employees. This way, your vision for your repair store does not derail.

4.    Draft a First Day Checklist

The main aim of creating a first-day checklist is to make sure your new employee is ready to kick start their first day.

Inform them about their station where they will be working from, their duties, repair tools, access to the cellphone repair shop software, company email, etc. Align all these things before the arrival of your new employee. Otherwise, it will just show how unorganized your repair store is.

Another thing that needs to be a part of the first day checklist is getting legal papers signed. Make sure you do it on the first day to avoid any challenges in the future. 

5.    Organize Meet and Greets with Key Team Members

As mentioned earlier, it’s good if you, as a repair shop owner, sit down with the new employee when they come. If that’s not possible, you should set up a small session in their first week of arrival.

Here, reiterate everything that you have already discussed in the interview. Candidly talk about the new employee’s opportunity and expected challenges. Also mention the previous successes and failures.

Meanwhile, arrange a meet and greet with all the other employees in your repair store such as technicians, store manager, sales team, etc. It is imperative that the new employee gels in with the others so that they can comfortably perform their job.

6. Set an Evaluation Period

It’s always good to set an evaluation period for each new employee. It can either be 30, 60, or 90 days depending on your preference. Usually, people prefer to keep a 90 days probation period. Such evaluations allow pay incentive and position changes depending on the performance of the new employee.

After the new employee completes their probation period, start to collect your thoughts on how they fit in your repair store. Consider both from the cultural perspective and their performance based on the expectations of their role.

To make it more effective, check in on the employee every 30 days. It will allow you to recap your ongoing conversations focusing on their performance and how they can improve.

Such conversations can include asking employees questions such as “if you could rate your communication skills out of 10, how would you rate yourself?” It allows the employee to tell you more about themselves, and you can learn more.  Here if you see they need improvement, suggest a few ways they can do that.

The learning never stops. Most likely, your new employee will start performing to full potential by 3 months maximum. So, be patient. 

7. Set Incremental Milestones and Goals

Set incremental goals for your new employee that are attainable. Continue to invite them to the internal meetings, have weekly check-ins, provide feedback, and share some pro tips with them. These strategies will make their lives easier.

Most essentially, make sure that you have an open-door policy for questions or recommendations.

8. Keep a Budget for Failure

It’s essential to understand that training is an expensive process but it is imperative. You are basically paying so that the new hire can learn skills and for a while they might now help you bring in money. 

However, usually if the training process goes well, your new employee should be able to pay for themself within 6 months. If that does not happen, it means that you didn’t hire well.

Implementation Phase

After you have gotten all the essential documents signed, provide the training schedule and employee handbook to the new hire. 

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Once that is done, you are ready to jump into the training phase. Here is what you have to do. 

1. Walk Through Day-To-Day Functions and Responsibilities

Walk the new employee through the workflow of the repair shop. Doing that will inform the new employee about how things are done in the shop and who is responsible for what. Ensure that these sessions are engaging, giving the new employee opportunity to ask questions and take notes.

Don’t miss this critical step at all! Without it, the new employee will not know how you run things in your cell phone repair store. 

Most probably, your new employee will not be able to work at the same pace as the rest of the employees. Let the new hire get the hang of things in the first few days. 

2. Start Training

The training is dependent on the business culture and the position the employee is hired for. Cover all the basics of that position.

Arrange training on how to do basic repairs if the new employee is a store manager or salesperson. If you have hired a technician, see what skills they already have and what needs to be taught and start training them for that. 

However, the training period varies according to the position of the new hire. Keep in mind that all kinds of training will take at least a month.

If you use cellphone repair shop software, your new employee will need a complete demo to get acquainted with it. They will need time to use the cellphone repair shop software and ask follow-up questions.

Pro Tip: Always cross-train all your employees. Give training on your cellphone repair shop software along with basic repairs to every employee you hire.  Because at one point or another they will be using the cellphone repair shop software. For instance, if you are hiring a salesperson, train them to do basic repairs as well. This way, when they are selling or dealing with customers, they know exactly what they are doing and can confidently answer the customers.

Again as the new employee is not yet accustomed to your repair shop and is not performing to their full potential yet, use this time to lead by example. Allow them to watch a technician repair a device or a salesperson deal with a customer. Or simply let them watch over your shoulder.

Also, set up a weekly one-to-one meeting between the new employee and your store manager. This session can be an opportunity for the new employee to ask questions and get their challenges addressed.

Having written SOPs for training programs will help standardize procedures. SOPs can include opening and closing procedures, refund policies, how to deal with an angry customer, etc. If the training is done right, you will start to see the ROI of that employee within 2-3 months.

3. Set them Loose

If your new employee has not started performing their responsibilities by the third week, now is the time to give them some space. It will allow them to apply everything they have learned.

Allow them to show them what they have got.

4. Listen In

While hovering or micromanaging is not good, it is essential to sit-in with your new employees once in a while. You or the manager can do this. It will give you an idea about their speed, mastery, and effectiveness.

Such a strategy can help in the ongoing training and will also help build a level of trust in them. Take this as an opportunity to see whether there are any gaps in the onboarding and training that will come in handy for future training.

5. Ongoing Training

Training should not stop once the probation of an employee ends. The repair industry is constantly changing and growing. That means there are always newer things to learn. Not only that, a positive feedback culture can help improve customer relations. If you are hiring a salesperson, such ongoing training is very important. 

So, be on top of your training programs to create better workflow efficiency and educate all your new and existing employees.

Learning opportunities have a significant impact on the happiness of your employees. If you provide more learning opportunities, you will see that your employees are more satisfied and committed to the growth of your repair store.

You can achieve this in the following through practical learning activities, mentorships programs common or internal certifications.

Finally, always lead by example. Nothing sets the tone more than leadership that is committed to seeing employees succeed.

It’s not every day that you hire employees for your cell phone repair store and conduct long training sessions.  So, know how to retain employees on whom you have spent a lot of time and resources. We will be updating you soon on a complete guide on retaining employees that can help you reach your goals faster.

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