By: Tabatha Bender, Redemption Plus

Optimize downtime + keep your staff informed.

The early fall is the perfect time to train your staff. With families in back-to-school mode, you’ll likely experience decreased foot traffic in your center resulting in increased downtime, giving you the opportunity to get everyone on the same page after a busy summer.

Turnover will likely always be a challenge within our industry. Some high school kids only want a summer job, while others will stay with you throughout the school year. Fall is a great time to invest in the staff that will be with you long-term — entry-level employees and managerial staff, alike.

According to Your Organization Needs a Learning Ecosysteman article by Harvard Business Review, “Like a biological ecosystem, organizations are either growing or they’re dying. And organizations grow when their employees are learning. So if you want a high-growth organization, you need to create a learning ecosystem to support high-growth individuals — to expose them to new and challenging opportunities before their roles become stale.”

Training can help prevent turnover and that’s important because the average cost to replace an employee is about 30 percent of his or her annual compensation. In the long run, effectively training your staff can save you quite a bit of cash and productivity costs.

Here are 4 tips for creating a learning culture at your center:

1 | Systemize training. By working training into your regular employee requirements, you show your organization that it is a priority. Is the redemption space a topic in your onboarding training? If not, try this link. Think about how you can incorporate regular learning outside of the onboarding process. Maybe employees shadow someone working in another area of your center once per quarter. Maybe you ask employees to attend a customer service workshop once per year. By systematizing training, employees will feel more invested in the success of your company and ideally will be more engaged.

2 | Create a reward system. This can be as simple as giving a shout out at staff meetings to everyone who has been engaging in employee training and development. It can be as extravagant as offering paid time off for specific training completions or milestones. Up to you and what your business operations can handle, but by recognizing employee participation in training you will motivate others to follow suit.

3 | Deliver at the right time. Requiring someone to complete training while on break is probably not the best option. This creates the potential for employees to resent learning time. Consider how you can make training available during paid time. If you can’t make training available during working time, consider how you can increase participation either by making it available at any time (online) or by compensating (financially or otherwise) for time spent completing learning objectives.

4 | Identify training experts. Can you identify subject matter experts within your current staff roster? Who would you turn to for questions about your redemption program, game maintenance, customer service at the front counter, waiting tables, etc.? Allow these team members to teach their peers and provide refreshers on content regularly. Giving these experts ownership over training content will save you time and will increase the likelihood for peer interest in learning and adoption.

Need help curating training content?

Redemption Plus has a variety of online (always available) resources to help teach your staff on important redemption program need-to-know’s.

  • Merchandising 101 — This eCourse teaches redemption merchandising basic skills and best practices. It’s great for new employees or for those who need a refresher.
  • Operational Toolkit — Our free toolkit includes resources like a cost-of-goods-sold calculator, how to use a planogram, redemption area cleaning/maintenance checklist, crane payout calculator, par level best practices AND MORE!
  • Service packages — Redemption Plus’s Advanced and Pro service packages both come with built-in training resources. Gain access to an online redemption program introduction course and ongoing training topics published every other month. You also receive a $10 coupon for every employee who completes the redemption introduction course. (Not to mention lots of other awesome perks). Learn more.
  • Insights Empower — Subscribe and share blog content, just like this, to your team members.