Shawnee Love • May 3, 2019
Last blog we re-emphasized the importance of teaching your employees the customer service standards you expect them to demonstrate. This week, its time to address how to teach. The reason I think this is worthy of a blog is because I often encounter clients frustrated about employees not meeting the standards they swear the employee was “told about many times”.
The problem with teaching by just telling is that only 30% of learners have an auditory learning preference, i.e., they learn best by hearing. Approximately 65% of the adult population seems to learn best by seeing, i.e., they are visual learners. The last 5% tend to learn best by doing, aka, kinesthetic learners.
However, even within those broad categories of preferred styles of learning; everyone learns differently. As such, if you want to ensure all your people are going to understand and retain what you are teaching, employ all methods of learning using the following model:
- Explain what you want to occur and why. This big picture overview gives context and helps the employee understand the level of importance you place on what you are teaching. Connect with your auditory and visual learners by speaking and offering visual aids (whiteboard drawings, presentation slides, etc.)
- Show the person how to to do it while explaining what you are doing. This step engages the visual and auditory learners.
- Have the person do it while you watch and provide feedback. This step engages the kinesthetic learners among us as well as auditory learners. Remember, depending on the complexity of what is being taught and the capability and experience of the individual being trained, this step may need to be repeated multiple times.
- The person practices the standard without direct supervision with the expectation that s/he will bring obstacles and questions to your attention immediately. With all learners engaged, you may find yourself being asked to show, tell, and/or work alongside different learners who are struggling.
- The person is comfortable behaving according to the standard and rarely needs assistance. At last, your patience as a teacher is paying off as the expectation is retained and the individual is competent.
- Then, eventually, the person becomes experienced enough to model and train others taking further pressure off you.
These 6 steps to teaching employees sets your employees up for successful customer service but can be used for any aspect of doing a job. Want to learn more, we are here to help!