Inside Self-Storage

DEC 2018

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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A fter collecting résumés and conducting interviews and background checks, you've finally hired the perfect candidate to join your self-storage team. So, what's the next step? You need a quality training program that ensures your hire receives the right guidance to succeed in his new role with your company. Learning Styles We often teach new managers in the way we learn best, not the way they learn best. Don't expect to train all employees the same way, as it isn't a one-size-fits-all process. Instead, it must be tailored to the skill set and learning style of the trainee. It's smart to coach each new employee using his preferred method. For example, he might prefer that you show him how to do the task, verbally explain how to do the task, or provide written materials that spell out a step-by-step process. He may wish to do the task himself after you've shown or explained it to him. In many cases, a new employee will learn through a combination these. Before you start training, ask which approach he prefers. You'll find that framing the tutorial to the person's learning style will benefit all involved. Onsite Training While many companies have training manuals or conduct training offsite, there's no substitute for onsite learning. Seeing property issues, office challenges and the local market firsthand can enhance a new manager's ability to learn the site and his role in its success. The daily walk-through is a great example of a hands-on training moment. With a to-do list in hand, the trainer can show the steps to ensuring the property is up to standards. It's also important for the new manager to spend time training with other employees. This could include a co-worker, a regional or district manager, or the owner. Just be sure that any information he receives about operational procedures is consistent from everyone. The training duration will depend on several factors including facility size, staff size, the new hire's work experience and more. An experienced manager may only need a short time to get up to speed, while someone new to the industry might require more one-on-one training to fully grasp the job duties. Don't assume an employee is ready to be on his own after he completes the training period. Sometimes new items pop up, forgetfulness takes over or lack of repetition prevents retention. Ask the manager about his comfort level, and make sure someone is available if a problem arises. Follow Up In reality, job training never ends. Be open and available to questions for days, weeks, even months after the initial period. There are some tasks or issues that come up so infrequently it's easy for an employee to forget. Don't make it uncomfortable for him to seek input. Too often a new team member doesn't reach out for help because he doesn't want to appear unable to handle the job. Consider the following: • Send e-mails to check in and see how he's doing. Ask if he has any questions. • Pick up the phone and chat with him about issues at his facility, then offer suggestions or recommendations. Share stories of similar situations at other sites and how those managers solved the problem. • Schedule face-to-face meetings. These can be short, informal get-togethers that allow him to ask questions. LEARN MORE Learn more from author Donna Edwards at the 2019 ISS World Expo in Las Vegas, April 1-4. She and her husband, Kevin, who are both facility managers, will present a seminar titled, "Let's Get Physical! Self-Storage Safety and Site Maintenance." Watch for details at issworldexpo.com. Building a Better Training Program Fostering the success of your people By Donna Edwards 38 ISS I December 2018 www.insideselfstorage.com

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