Does the thought of creating protocol make you cringe? We hear that! In a Small Business, especially a seasonal one, it’s tricky to first develop & then implement systems and processes which will, once created, help your business in more ways than one. When you get hung up on the thought that you have to have this glamorous system in place to begin, remember this; “Any system put to work will work for you.” It’s understood that in your industry there will be employee turnover each year which means that either you or your lead manager is responsible for training new staff every May to prepare for Memorial Day. By the time they’ve got the hang of the job, it’s off to school they go! How do you combat this?
Here are a few tips we’d like to share to help with just this!
1. Spend time developing an operating procedure You may look at this task and think it’s impossible to begin. Things always change. No two seasons are the same! This may be true, but the core of your business remains the same. By developing a good operating procedure, you begin to form a language for your business that your employees understand unanimously. Often we get hung up on the tiny details & the things that come to our minds that would break the system overall.
Here’s the general rule of thumb; If it can be done the same way 80% of the time, it’s worthy of being a part of your Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Save the 20% of irregularities for your senior leadership team & let your new crew observe their behavior along the way.
2. Spend time documenting your procedure This is the daunting, yet ever so important part. Documentation means that you only have to do or say something one time & it can then be communicated over and over again without your involvement. When planning this part, make sure to create a living document of some sort. Finding the proper tools may cost a little cash but remember how valuable your own time is … this will help you see the investment in your chosen tool. We suggest Basecamp! This tool has saved us countless hours streamlining our internal communications & documentation.
3. Standardize your training Once your procedure is created & documented, it’s time to map out a plan for training. Think: Team Building! Plan a weekend for all of your staff to gather & do some training before your season begins. Too many times you bring your team in on Memorial Day Weekend & have them shadow your management team and learn along the way. Bath by Fire is a real thing, we get that … but hire & train your staff before the season begins, they are better prepared for Memorial Day Weekend, making less mistakes & saving you money.
4. Make training FUN! Plan your day with learning, practicing & then some fun activity to bring everyone together. This could be a complimentary float trip or activity that you provide guests. Double Whammy, your trainees can better sell something they’ve experienced. Need some more creative ideas? Plan a Scavenger Hunt throughout your campground/resort leading them to some of your best kept secrets so they have seen your place before they begin selling it for you.
5. Hire a Consultant So, you like what you’ve read but are still uncertain where to begin? In this case, hire a consultant to help you! R2M2 Solutions was developed by Blu3 Management Group whose combined experience has made us experts in the hospitality industry. We specialize in assisting businesses just like you with development of the training materials that will lead your staff in the future. We additionally provide on site or virtual employee training. We believe in systems very much and they’re a regular part of our office environment. While we believe R2M2 Solutions is THE TOOL for you when it comes to a software management system, we also understand that not always is our system right for you. When it’s not, let us help you work with your existing systems; Any system you put to work, will work for you!
~ Charla Brewer
R2M2 Solutions w/ Blu3 MG