Leadership Begins with Training Your Staff

How to get the best from your team

Over the years, I have seen both large and small organizations hire new employees only to see them leave because the employee didn’t know what was expected of them.  As leaders, we need to do a better job of training our new employees so they have a better idea of what of what is needed and wanted.

Training a new employee can take time.  How often in a small business do we need to hire an assistant quickly and so on day one we throw them into the position with no training or explanation of what is expected of them?  Is it any wonder that they eventually get frustrated and either quit or get let go because their expectation of how to do the job doesn’t match with your expectation of what is needed from them.

I was blessed to have a mentor give me some valuable advice a number of years back that I still use today on staff training.  It is a simple 3 step process on training employees, regardless of their position.  Taking the time to do this can eliminate many of the struggles that both the employee and the employer may encounter early on in the relationship.

Step 1-(Tell step) Thoroughly explain the tasks that you expect the new employee to perform.  Have a list of every task that they are expected to do.  This can start with the job description posted but will probably be more than that.  If you are training an employee on a particular task, explain the task to them in detail.

Step 2-(Show step) Perform the task for the employee.  Show them how you want it done.  They are not mind readers and every leader has their own way of doing things so this part can’t be ignored.  Something as simple as answering the phone can be done in many different ways.  Have you ever had someone who was great at answering the phone?  Write down how they did it and be specific.  Even better, record them so you can have this for future training.

Step 3-(Confirm step) Have the employee perform the task in front of you.  Make sure you are comfortable with the way the employee handles the task.  Back to the phone example, practice with the assistant and actually call her on the phone yourself.  Role play this.  It will make her a better employee and give you confidence that the task is being performed the way you would like to see it performed.

Doing this with all the major tasks an employee is expected to perform in a normal day will give both the employee and the employer confidence that things are being done to his/her satisfaction.    A little time now can save the time and expense of hiring and training another person for that position in the future.

Question: What steps do you take to train a new employee? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


As a business owner, mentor, leader, and visionary for both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, I bring a unique perspective to the readers on what has worked and more importantly, what hasn't worked over the years.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or downright annoying.

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