Training the Right Employees

Feb. 1, 2018

Michael Giarrizzo gives his tips on ways to best train your employees, despite their skillsets in the industry.

In January 2016, Michael Giarrizzo Jr. discovered a young Douglas Sebowa, a refugee from Uganda looking to start a better life for himself. With no auto body experience, Giarrizzo and others took a chance on Sebowa, resulting in him being one of the company's best employees (to read more about Sebowa’s story, click here

But, for Giarrizzo, president and CEO of DCR Systems, it’s more than just giving one employee a chance; it’s about helping people succeed. And as an industry leader, he says that he believes his primary job is to help other people, which he does time and time again.

In the midst of helping people, he’s also aiming to solve an industry-wide problem: the tech shortage. Giarrizzo has spent years perfecting his training program to ensure that no matter his future employees’ skillsets or backgrounds, learning is the least of worries.

Solid training, motivation and pace are three of Giarrizzo’s keys to training anyone from the industry, from the young to the most seasoned of technicians.

Entice New Employees.

If you don’t understand what motivates the growing millennial workforce, you’re going to miss the mark, Giarrizzo says.

“We’re a group of interdependent pieces here at DCR,” he says. “It doesn’t matter what part of that puzzle you play in our entire process. [If] any of it breaks down, all of it breaks down.”

Compensation. The company takes pride in aligning people’s compensation to their skillset, but has made a decision to eliminate commission pay so there isn’t a competitive culture within the company.

But since it eliminates motivation to work extra hard for additional compensation, he says that it’s on you (the shop owner) to create new goals.

Flexibility. Staff members should understand their free time is, indeed, important. Thus, Giarrizzo’s company allows for flexible scheduling for a healthy work-life balance.

Promoting employee benefits creates a familial culture in the shop that only inhibits more growth in employees, of which Giarrizzo is very proud.

Create a Plan. 

When investing in someone with no experience, Giarrizzo says to have a solid training program in place.

“Our training program has never stopped being in development,” Giarrizzo says.

The company now has converted to video training. The short 3–6 minute videos are produced in house and meant to offer “bite size” portions of skillsets. There are several series where each series consists of 4–6 videos. Series touch on subjects from how to meet and greet the customer to customer drop-off.

In the training process, the new hire will spend the first week building a foundation of common knowledge when it comes to safety, health and environmental requirements. The new hire will then move on to more in-depth training, which is when the videos are introduced.

Giarrizzo says the program allows new hires to be cross trained, as most people in the company handle several different roles.

To make the training process more efficient, Giarrizzo says the company is now developing an app that will house all of DCR’s training materials.

Create Checkpoints.

Creating checkpoints along the way will ease the process for the trainee, Giarrizzo says. Segmenting the work will also help people with lesser skills make a positive impact early on, as they are able to hit those benchmarks consistently.

The new trainee is formally met with once per week. Giarrizzo says the beauty of the program is that the new hire drives the meeting and checks off tasks on his or her training survey (a list of skills that should be achieved) as they’re comfortable with them.

While time guidelines are placed, a huge emphasis is put on the new hire being confident in the skill set they have learned.

Once per month, the trainess, the store leader, a support team member (assigned to the trainee hold a call to see where the process is at. Giarrizzo says that the store leader and trainee are driving the call.

Key Tips for an Effective Training Program

1. Keep it simple.

2. Keep it visual.

3. Let your new team member drive the process. Make them feel comfortable enough to give feedback with where they’re at.

4. Don’t assume what they do and don’t know.

5. Present your information in “bite size” segments.

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