June 2, 2020

How To Train Your Team With Processes That Will Free Up Your Time

Written By Charesse Spiller

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Onboarding your team members plays a vital role in the success of your business. As a business owner, training new employees often requires two of the main resources you struggle to give up: time and money. While proper onboarding and training can take up more time, when done right you can train and inspire employees that will help you grow your business in ways you never thought possible. How can you effectively train your new hires in a way that will ultimately free up your time to grow your practice?

Onboarding your team members plays a vital role in the success of your business. As a business owner, training new employees often requires two of the main resources you struggle to give up: time and money. 

While proper onboarding and training can take up more time, when done right you can train and inspire employees that will help you grow your business in ways you never thought possible. How can you effectively train your new hires in a way that will ultimately free up your time to grow your practice?

Let’s find out!

Start By Outlining Your Processes

Outlining your current processes is a great jumping-off point when you are thinking about how to train your team. Whether this is your first hire or your team is no stranger to growth, outlining your processes will give you a birds eye view of your business operations on a day to day basis. 

What is your process for emailing clients? When do your newsletters go out? How do you manage account types? All of these questions and more can be broken down into step-by-step processes. 

As you analyze the inner workings of your own processes, create training manuals that correspond to each one. Sending a newsletter? Write down how to grab email addresses from your CRM, how to upload them into your email software, and how to schedule email blasts. You can also create training videos with tools like Vimeo, Loom, and more to demonstrate repeatable tasks like renaming account titles, account types, and ownership in your financial planning software. 

By taking the time to outline your processes, you are also able to visualize all of the work that you do! In all likelihood, you are doing so many more things than you realize because it has become so ingrained in your process. 

This can be the time where you take a critical look at your tasks and decide if there are any you no longer want to do or what you keep falling behind on. Take some time to walk through the following questions:

  • Are these areas where your new hire or other team members can help? 

  • Will these tasks help with the growth and development of your team members? 

  • How will delegating those tasks impact your time?

You can also take a look at what in your processes is currently working, and what needs to change. You might be adding unnecessary steps in one area, or not providing enough clarity in another. The outlining process will help bring these issues to light and improve how your business functions. 

Create Intentional, Trackable Progress Points

You can’t expect your new hire or other team members to read your mind. While they all might be awesome self-starters, it is still important to have a clear system for outlining and tracking individual responsibilities and areas of ownership. 

This will help ensure that your process moves smoothly and so everyone knows which tasks belong to them. When you set transparent, clear expectations, you decrease the risk of team members or new hires doing double work, or worse, missing an assignment altogether.

Tracking the progress of your new hire and other team members can give you a general overview of what is happening and when. Relying on email as your only source for listing, tracking, and communicating about tasks can present some problems. Email isn’t always reliable, which can sometimes let important client work fall through the cracks. 

A system for tracking tasks will help ensure all client work and internal work gets done and is beneficial for managing people as well as filling in for someone when they are out of the office. Check out systems like your CRM, Asana, Trello, or Meistertask. 

Each of these project management tools gives you the ability to create, assign, track, and complete pertinent business tasks. It will take your organization game to the next level and give you the peace of mind being able to see how and when everything gets done. 

Make Better Use of Team Meetings

Meetings can be one of the leading causes of stress in employees, often because the meetings don’t have a clear direction or purpose to either create a new task or further an existing project. It is important that your team meetings have a clear direction, agenda, and outcomes to be productive. 

For your new hires, it is important to come into your development and progress meetings with clear, actionable feedback on the work that they have done, including areas where they have done well and where there is room for improvement.

When they send you a newly completed task or piece of work, set aside some time to document comments and feedback on it. Then send a summary of your feedback before the meeting to make updates and discuss further revisions during the meeting. This allows you both to go into the meeting prepared which makes the time more streamlined and efficient. 

Every new hire and a team member will make a mistake at some point. But the important thing to remember about a mistake is to communicate it and provide actionable ways to fix it. Fixing mistakes for them won’t help them or you. That might mean that while training your employees, you need a larger buffer time between deadlines, allowing you the opportunity to review the work before it is sent to the client. Build in that extra time for you to revise and for them to correct so that you still meet your deadlines. 

Be Open to Feedback

People like working for someone who they trust and respect, so try to be that person for your employees and that means being open to their ideas and feedback on how something either is or isn’t working. 

Once you start building your team, you will find that you forget how to complete small tasks that you used to do every day! That means you are beginning to have specialists on your team. It is good to check in on new concerns that are popping up from your team.

Your team is going to be mindful of what is working and what is not on the day to day operations. I am finding firms that create a best practices committee or summer ops projects for their teams to work on enhancing their roles.

Ask For Help

Delegating is one of the most difficult tasks for business owners. When you first started, everything was on you and you always managed to get it done. But when you have a team, it is important that you delegate work to them in order to free up your time to grow your practice. 

Delegating doesn’t mean that you stop performing tasks, it just means reappropriating work to maximize time management, efficiency, balance, and workflow.

Here are a few examples to help illustrate this point:

  • Create & Send the Regular Progress Review Meeting Materials to the advisor for review – associate or another team member

  • Send feedback on changes to the Regular Progress Review meeting documents – advisor

  • Make Changes to the Regular Progress Review requested by the advisor  – associate or team member

  • Print/Upload the finalized Regular Progress Review Meeting materials – associate or team member

  • Conduct the Regular Progress Review Meeting – advisor

Growing your team is never easy and always comes with growing pains. But with a strong onboarding process and a clear method for assigning, tracking, and delivering tasks and feedback, you will build a team that not only understands their responsibilities but also is excited to do them.

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