Bring in the Reinforcements
A training workshop is only as good as the reinforcement afterward. It is easy to get a group of owners and managers excited and “charged up” about new approaches and ideas of enhancing and improving the business. It is more difficult to get them to follow through.
Reinforcement of improvements helps break old habits and establish new ones that will help overall operations. A good consultant can make recommendations and provide ways of reinforcing the training to help with this process. Training must be more than an annual convention or quarterly meeting. It must be a comprehensive training program that provides measurable results. There must be a training philosophy established within the organization and carried through on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
The results don’t lie. If you are tracking key performance indicators it becomes much easier to set goals in the critical areas of operation. Over time it will also help you to establish benchmarks for what poor, average, good and exceptional performance is. This relays to the manager how he is performing. For example, if monthly rentals are a key performance indicator, determine a storage-unit goal for each month throughout the year. This goal can change based on market conditions, unit availability, rate increases, competition, etc., but it should be set at the beginning of each month.
Goals let employees know what is expected and promote growth. If training, tools and resources are provided to employees to meet their goals. Tracking and measuring strengthens the team and holds everyone accountable.
In the current state of the self-storage industry, we must find creative ways to equip and train our employees. This will improve our economic occupancies and maximize profitability. It can also help set an expectation for excellence in all areas of the operation that will carry through to better long-term results.
The biggest asset we have is our employees. Invest in them and your business will grow.
Brad North is the founder of Advantage Business Consulting, which specializes in facility management, feasibility, onsite sales, marketing and operational training for the self-storage industry. He contributes articles to various self-storage publications and is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant within the industry. For information, call 513.229.0400; visit www.advantagebusinessconsulting.com.