When you hire someone for your team, it’s a huge relief and easy to start assigning all of the things you don’t want to do yourself anymore.
But almost every entrepreneur forgets that even the best employees need training to do things the way you want them done!
Welcome to our new video blog for She’s Got Systems – where entrepreneurs get more done in less time with systems that actually work.
Today I’m sharing the 3 critical steps you must do when assigning any task to any employee for your business and talking about how to train your team to save you time and money. And I’ll be helping you understand how much time it should really take to train an assistant in your business.
The first thing you must communicate when assigning a task is the specific outcome you want to receive.
Which means you can’t simply say:
- Edit this video
- Schedule a call
- Touch base with the client
It’s not specific enough and turns an assignment into a guessing game which is never fun and a waste of time!
Instead you need to give specific directions:
- Edit this video for the blog to be under 5 minutes and correct the lighting
- Schedule a call with Claire, Amanda and Josh for 30 minutes before Friday
- Contact the client by email to request the copy we need for the homepage; give them the deadline of the 10th to get it back to us
Already you can see that you’re giving a lot more direction, which takes the guesswork out of doing the task. And that’s what you want. When your team member has to guess what you actually need done, you’re paying for their time.
The second thing to share when you’re assigning a task is the date or time you expect to see a draft or the finished version.
Stop saying things like:
- Work on this when you can
- This isn’t a priority
- Whenever you have the time
Instead give specific deadlines such as:
- Please work on this after you’ve finished updating the calendar
- The deadline for the first draft of this is Wednesday by 9am
- This is a longer term project so I’ll be checking in each week during our call
The reason is simple: it’s your job as a manager to prioritize the work that needs to be done – especially with assistants who work part time, we often give way more assignments than time allows.
After you’ve explained the task and outcome you want to receive and the due date, the last thing to do when training a team member is to train on the steps. It might seem silly at first; after all, everyone should know how to schedule an appointment, refund an order or build a sales page, right?
While that may be true to some extent, and you might hire team members with extensive experience, you also need to be clear about the process. Let me give you an example.
The task might be “set up an appointment with Susan before Friday.” Great, but how would you like me to reach out to Susan? If I’m a brand new assistant I don’t know if Susan ignores emails or doesn’t listen to her voicemail. By giving me some guidelines I can do this task much more efficiently.
“I need you to set up an appointment with Susan before Friday for her next training; please send her the link to our online scheduling tool which will have availability and if you don’t hear from her by Wednesday morning, follow up the email and give her assistant Mark a call.”
It might be tempting to throw you new employee or assistant into the mix and let them figure things out, but in the long term it’s always better to give clear instructions and support. Some people may feel that you’re setting them up for failure or withholding information to make their job harder. Others will flounder and fail to complete simple tasks which only hurts your business more.
Be sure to check out my recent post for resources on how you can become a better manager when it comes to your own team, including training resources and how to correct their mistakes (the right way). Check that out here.