Train and Retain Your Employees

Train your staff to succeed and your business will too.
Photo Credit: ATA/Lester Photography

Author: Cassie Scott

Employees are your business’s most important assets. Properly trained staff improve customer service, increase profits and productivity, and ensure peace of mind when you’re out of the office.

Plus, training your employees improves retention. When you invest time and money in employees, they feel valued and appreciated. They also feel more motivated and engaged in your business. Research shows highly engaged employees are 38 percent more likely to have above-average productivity, which helps your business run more effectively and efficiently.

Let’s review a few training tips to help your employees – and your business – succeed.

You should constantly be learning new teaching methods, sales techniques, merchandising best practices, ways to boost social media engagement or other business-boosting strategies. Photo Credit: ATA.

Provide Ongoing Education

Initial training orientations are great, but don’t stop there. Education should be an ongoing process for you and your employees. You should constantly learn new teaching methods, sales techniques, social-media strategies, merchandising best practices, and other business-boosting tools and programs. The more well-trained and well-rounded your employees, the better. They can work in the business, allowing you to work on the business. Conduct training sessions or staff meetings at least monthly to ensure continuing education’s benefits.


Create a Thorough Plan

Create a training program that achieves your business goals. Poll your employees and customers to identify areas of need, and what you want employees to learn. Do they struggle with your point-of-sales software? Are their sales skills underdeveloped? Designate yourself or someone else to be responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating a training program. If you offer a monthly training session, outline 12 training topics in your plan. Make sure the plan offers tangible, obtainable objectives for employees. Training materials should also be available for employees when they have free time or desire more information.

Having certified instructors can add credibility to your business, boost your store’s marketing value, and provide your staff with valuable skills and knowledge to better assist customers. Photo Credit: Shannon Rikard.

Consider Certifications

If you teach archery classes, staff them with certified instructors. They add credibility to your business, boost your store’s marketing value, and provide staff valuable skills and knowledge to better assist customers. The ATA offers USA Archery Level 1, USA Archery Level 2 and Scholastic 3-D Archery instructor certifications at the annual ATA Trade Show. You can also visit the USA Archery website to find a nearby certification course.

Don’t stop there. Can you and your staff handle health and other emergencies? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggests 10 to 15 percent of your staff know CPR and first aid so they can help during disasters or emergencies until first-responders take over. That knowledge is crucial during outdoor events where archers can suffer dehydration and heat exhaustion. Find a CPR/first-aid training class nearby on the American Red Cross website.


Offer Online and In-Person Training

According to an InterCall survey, 50 percent of employees believe in-person training helps them retain information. However, 48 percent of respondents said they still like reviewing content later. Offering online and in-person training gives employees two ways to learn, helping them understand and retain information.

It is suggested for businesses to use their highly-skilled employees to train other employees. Ask these employees to pass on their skills and knowledge to others. Photo Credit: ATA/Lester Photography.

Encourage Shared Expertise

In a Forbes article, writer Mike Kappel suggests businesses use highly skilled employees to train other employees. You can even organize group discussions so all employees learn from each other by exploring what works and what doesn’t. If the discussion starts slowly, be a role model by sharing your experiences, or lead the conversation by asking open-ended questions.

If you need help brainstorming training ideas or creating a training program, visit the Business Getaway website, which offers excellent information. You can also network with your peers on ATA Connect, an online discussion community created exclusively for ATA members. ATA Connect helps you work with your peers to find business-boosting ideas that benefit the industry. ATA Connect tackles MAP policies, buying patterns, and setting appropriate service charges, to name a few helpful topics.

The ATA’s Retail Growth Initiative also offers resources for developing well-rounded employees. Contact Kurt Smith, ATA’s senior manager of retail programs, at to request RGI resources or more information.

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