From trial by fire to shadowing—how do you train new staff?

Sue_C Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified ✭✭✭✭✭
On-boarding a new employee takes time, but there are lots of ways to go about training. Maybe they watch a training video, or does it just depend on the person you're hiring? Tell us what works for you to get a new team member up and running!


  • DerekBrett
    DerekBrett Registered User ✭✭✭

    At our facility we just show them the basics. how to take payments, what to say when making or receiving calls, etc. then we just let them go and coach them when they meet a new hurdle.

  • Orkocean
    Orkocean Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭

    Used to be a district trainer for my previous company, trained about 20 people during my time. Everyone learns differently. Some people could simply watch videos and retain what was needed where as some people needed hands on and some who could learn from both. Me personally I love hands on when training and being trained. I even made training videos for the company and still preferred to just do it hands on with new hires as I always found the best success with that method.

    The fun parts are the ones who surprise you. I was training 3 at once for a new site we had opening, one girl had years of experience with another "name brand" company and the other 2 were green to the industry. The quietest guy during training who asked no questions and I honestly thought seemed to have no "interest" and wasn't going to last ended up being the one who would step in and help the others when they struggled. The girl who had years with another was completely clueless on everything including how to do a tour to a customer. Had quite a few who came from other big names and it never failed that one from other "big" companies would get outshined by someone with no experience as the big companies seemed to have so much stuff automated they never really had to do or learn anything to function in the business.

  • msb1983
    msb1983 Registered User
    Our site was run by 1 manager until demands increased. My manager was very verbal and thorough. She also provided me with reading and layout material so I could become familiar with the operation. After seven, 3 hour training sessions, I was opening, maintaining, and closing the facility by myself! The best 9 hours a day job ever! 

    Marion Beavers Mini Storage

  • teamcapitola
    teamcapitola Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified, myHub Certified ✭✭✭✭✭

    See, Try, Do

    My training was by fire; second day here I was by myself!

    As far as new staff goes, we created a procedure manual with step-by-step instructions on everything from move-ins to late fees.

    The best money I've ever spent was for a software product called Snag-it, which allows you to create screen captures with added notes, even training videos following your mouse on-screen!

    New hires shadow the manager, using the manual to follow along. Then they perform the task with a manager watching. Then finally by themselves.

    Here is a page from our "move in" guide as an example

  • Jennifer_Blake
    Jennifer_Blake Registered User, Daily Operations Certified, Advanced Operations Certified, Administrator Certified ✭✭
    The 1st time I was trained under a different management co opted for the "watch and learn" lesson plan, with the ask questions along the way. Not very thorough and wastes time, in my experience.
    The second time around, also the approach that I'd highly recommend to anyone training a new employee, was more of a combined watch & learn with a simulator, or test run that also required a notebook & pen to write everything down as the manager was doing the specific task. Afterwards, a test tenant was created in sitelink to move-in, move-out, transfer, etc. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. This approach makes the most sense because when I was in the drivers seat, so-to-speak, I had my notes to look on for reference - while still under the supervision of the manager so that I was able to add notes where an important step was missed. Then, when I was left on my own the first time, I didn't have to try panic when a situation arose because I'd just pull out my notebook and there it was in black and white (and sometimes a neon yellow, pink, orange, green or blue highlighting over areas of importance). Not to mention, that I could call her at any given moment if I needed to. I can't thank her enough for sharing years of experience & knowledge with me and with patience (well...most of the time) that made it less stressful.

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