Are your team training sessions going off without a hitch?
Continued education is such an important part of running a successful spa or clinic and is the foundation for setting your staff up for success. Not only will an engaging and informative training session set them up with the practical skills they need, it can be a real confidence booster, too. But holding a crowd’s attention and making sometimes dry content seem fun and memorable doesn’t come easy to everyone. So, we called in an expert.
Grazina Fechner is the Director of Front and Centre Training Solutions and is an expert in leadership development, presenting and workplace training. After interviewing Grazina for the latest episode of our IGTV series, The Expert Sessions, we just knew we had to pick her brain for more of her useful tips and guidance. If you haven’t caught our chat, you can watch it here, then read on for more practical advice to help improve your team training sessions.
What can business owners be doing to make their training sessions, both virtual and in person, more engaging and effective?
GF: Think outside of the box. Don’t get stuck in old habits and simply do what you’ve always done. You can instil fun into your training sessions, both virtual and face to face, without losing the goal of educating your team. Think about incorporating some trivia questions, set a theme or offer little incentives for participation (could be scratchies, lunch vouchers, products or whatever!).
Even as adults we love to play and tapping into that fun side can be really engaging. Don’t be afraid to be daggy because you’ll likely find your team are there to support you and will happily get involved. The studies are huge in the adult play space. Play releases endorphins, improves brain functionality and stimulates creativity. It also improves memory and stimulates the growth of the cerebral cortex and you just feel good after it so we need to change the way we train to incorporate play!
Another trick I love is allowing your team to be accountable by having them organise and deliver part of the training session. Or give everyone a question, allow them five or 10 minutes to craft an answer then present it to the group.
If you need ideas, I have plenty of kits I can send to clinics with activities that are easy and will change the sessions dramatically – just get in touch!
Is there a secret to structuring training sessions to ensure they’re both informative and engaging?
GF: Yes! The secret is to take the time to plan the session. Work out what you want the session to be about and then design it. Don’t just look at the current material you have and plan your session around that material because it will hamper your creativity. Instead plan the session you want and then use the material around it.
Short sharp sessions are always the most effective. Choose one topic a session to focus on and share simple information with a practical element. Don’t use words such as ‘role play’ or ‘test’ because those words make people feel anxious and worried. Get the team to write questions for each other they can talk about and discuss or choose other casual approaches to creating conversation around your chosen topic. The less formal the sessions, the more people will engage.
You also want to make sure you’re making your training sessions really accessible and warm, rather than being very authoritative or following a script. You don’t have to have heavily structured sessions, instead make it a part of the teams’ day they can’t wait to attend.
Can you share some of your favourite resources business owners can use to work on their leadership, training and presenting skills?
GF: There are so many that I love and you can find a lot on our website at Front And Centre Training Solutions and we put plenty of tips in our newsletter that you can sign up for too. Also, some of the books I always recommend are How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson, Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss and Meaning of Life by Alain de Botton, which is a must read for anyone!
What are some tips you can share to help leaders motivate their team in the work environment?
GF: The most important thing is to bring back the fun! It’s great to be focused and professional at work but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun, too. Incorporating educational play, sharing good news stories and providing meaningful incentives. I always think it’s a great idea to ask your team what their goals are and what they want the reward to be when they reach them. Whether it’s having a half day one Friday, being taken out for lunch, product incentives or even getting to lead the team for the day. Everyone will be motivated by something different and simply asking is the best way to find out what that is.
It’s crucial that you lead by example in every aspect from the things you do to the things you say, the way you make your team feel and the mindset and attitude you bring into the clinic every day. That could be as simple as taking your lunch break so your team feel confident taking theirs, asking your team for their opinion, ensuring you’re also focusing on your own personal development and training. Positive energy breeds positive energy so if you’re able to approach everything with the right mindset, your team will follow suit and it can lift the vibe of the entire team.
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