In a recent episode of the Pool Nation podcast, Edgar De Jesus, Zac Nicklas and John Chakalis responded to a listener-submitted question regarding training a company’s first employee. We’ve summarized their answers to six takeaways below:
- Have a purpose for the training. According to Nicklas, when you take your new employee out to jobs during their first week, everything you do and everything you say should be intentional. He emphasizes that it’s important to utilize all the time you are with the employee to build a relationship with them.
- Lead by example. What you do sets the tone for what's acceptable and what's not acceptable in your business. Plant seeds, one by one, for the new employee’s growth as well as the growth of your company.
- Strive to be the respected leader. Chakalis says there are three types of leaders—the loved leader, the feared leader and the respected leader—and only one of them is truly successful in the long term. The respected leader is the winner.
- Don’t teach or promote bad habits. Teach employees the proper way to do things. The best way Chakalis says he has found to train is to focus on one thing at a time. For example, he first works on the mechanics of the pool—the physical portion of servicing a pool, then moving to the chemistry of the pool. Training and teaching new employees is an ongoing job. Training doesn’t just start at the edge of the pool. Remember the basics and don’t cut corners.
- Don’t hang onto bad employees for too long. If the signs are there, let them go. Hold yourself accountable for anything you did or didn’t do along the way, though, to help the worker be successful. An important part of leadership, Nicklas and Chakalis say, is the acknowledgment of when you do something wrong.
- Build a training program. You are new at training so it’s important to take notes to keep track of what worked and what didn’t work so when you hire your next employee, you don’t repeat any mistakes and you start to create some type of onboarding structure.