As a frozen dessert store owner or manager, you probably have or have to deal with employees. One of the major pain points we hear from our customers is staffing. Whether it's finding them, keeping them, or training them. Finding good people and keeping good people can be tough, both for a small frozen dessert operation or a Fortune 500 company. Generally, with small frozen dessert stores, there is no pre-made system to put in place or resources to help, until now.
When we work with customers, we try and impress upon them that they need to keep training standards. Training standards encompass things like employee manuals, job expectations, menu cards on how to make items or even how-to videos on various duties and products. Employees need to understand what is needed of them, whether you pay them minimum wage or six figures. Creating and implementing these employee training standards can help your operation in several ways.
Improves performance and productivity. A staff member that knows exactly what to do and how to do it properly the first time will perform better and be more productive. They’re not afraid to engage with the customer and know what needs to be done to make the customer happy. It also eliminates downtime - just standing around - by giving them tasks and duties that can be performed when the store is less busy.
A clear understanding of their duties. Layout and define clear roles and responsibilities for each staff member. When an employee knows exactly what’s expected of them and you equip them with the proper tools to do it, they’ll perform better. There are no questions in their mind about what has to be done, instead, they know exactly what it is they are to do and they can focus solely on those tasks.
Increase customer engagement. Employees that are engaged with the customers and know what's expected of them in dealing with customers, produce better. Customers are your lifeblood, the last thing you want is for an employee to drive customers away because they’re rude or are not personable enough. Having standards will ensure that all employees will treat customers with the same respect, no matter who walks through the door. Having two-way communication is important. When you give guidance, they’ll most likely return the communication with feedback. Then use that feedback to produce a better experience for the employee and customer.
Improves employee retention and growth. When you find a good employee, it's likely they'll know someone else like themselves, or be able to attract other like-minded people to your operation. Having the standards in place and open communication will help you grow your flock and keep them because they'll not only love the work but love working for you.
Consistency. With training standards, the ability of certain employees is not what's going to dictate the training, your standards do that. This can help build weaker people better and make the stronger employees that much better. Being consistent time and time again with a great product and great customer service is what keeps customers coming back. Don’t let a weak link affect the strength of the whole chain.
Address weaknesses. When you implement standards, you’re involved with your employees. This allows you to see what each individual’s weaknesses or strengths are. It will help you determine whether you should keep investing time and resources in that employee to improve performance or just cut them loose altogether.
Happier customers. Most importantly, a well-trained staff that is motivated knows how to communicate, and knows what they're doing will result in happier customers. Happier customers obviously mean better results for you.
Maintaining these standards and improving on them over time is very important. What may have worked one season may not work as well the next. Always be proactive and revisit these standards every year.
We emphasize, make training standards for your store. If you think it's too hard, don't worry. We are here to help.