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By Colin Wilson
Director, Key Business Advisors

Cross-training staff; skillsDo you have staff members who only want to promote and sell products and services that they like, instead of what your customers want?

You know that you can achieve better results in your business when all of your employees are more accountable to learning your systems and processes, as well as accountable to promoting, upselling and cross-selling your products and services.

However, when margins are getting tighter, competition is becoming tougher, and you are investing more in technology for your business to help your staff better fulfil their roles but they do not want to change and just want to do what they think is right for them, what do you do? Or when you get a new staff member properly inducted into your business but you see cracks as time goes by, how do you ensure they get back on track?

Advice: You need managers and employees who are 100% behind your business. Cross-train your staff to ensure they master your business and know it inside and out because when they do, then they can sell more of your products and services to more customers.

To make it easier for you to cross-train your staff and make sure cross-training is effective, create a measurable skills matrix which will highlight where the knowledge and skills gaps are, as well as how to fill them.

In the skills matrix, ask your staff to rate their knowledge and confidence in delivering each of your products and services on a scale of 1 to 10, for example, where 0-6 means they do not have enough product knowledge and/or they are not as passionate about the product or service and they believe it is not important so they only talk about it when they’re forced to; 7-8 means they have good knowledge of the product or service; and 9-10 means they know the product or service inside and out, and they are passionate about promoting, using and recommending it every minute of every day.

Then, train your staff based on what they said in the skills matrix. Refer to the skills matrix in your ongoing coaching discussions with your staff and in their performance reviews so you can note their progress.

One question business owners usually ask themselves is, “Am I getting value from my employees?” Meanwhile, staff members ask themselves, “Am I getting value from my employer?” Successfully implementing a cross-training program based on an effective skills matrix will allow both the business owner and the employees to stay motivated and work together on fulfilling their expectations from each other, thereby ensuring the growth of the business.

For more information or if you are interested in a free skills matrix template, call us on 1300 4 ADVICE or email info@keyba.com.au.

About The Author

Colin Wilson

Director and founder, Colin Wilson drives Key Business Advisors with determination, passion, and motivation.

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