Part Two in a three-part series on how to start designing operational processes, inspired by The Junto Institute's recent visit to Nick's Pizza & Pub and Nick's University. Part One covers the steps for an operational team that is static and stable, and Part Three for a dynamic team, one that is hiring for key roles.
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PART TWO: STARTING WITH A TEAM IN TRANSITION
If your business has recently filled key roles, the training and onboarding process is an appropriate place to begin designing new operational process. It provides a platform for having established employees work with new ones on something important to the business (onboarding the new team), and sets the tone for the new team members on the importance of implementing process.
At Nick’s Pizza:
Every team member at Nick’s goes through “Training 101”, a general class, before heading into “201” and getting trained in their specific role.
101 includes both getting familiar with the values, purpose and culture, and getting the trainees’ hands dirty by learning how to make a pizza. Therefore, every single person at Nick’s knows how to make the “bread ‘n butter” of the business.
Each role is broken down by the specific tasks required for that job. As a new team member is trained in their specific role, they are rated each day on a 1 to 5 scale to what extent they completed each of the specific tasks of their role (1 = didn’t do at all; 2 = did some of the time; 3 = did most of the time; 4 = did every time; 5 = does flawlessly every time without referencing guidelines).
At Nick’s, new employees are in training and receive daily feedback and support from the trainers until they are able to achieve 4s in every task their role requires.
Once someone achieves all 4s their training for that role is complete. And mastery (all 5s) simply comes with more time and practice.
Culture is the very first thing new employees learn about and experience when being onboarded.
The most basic operational function of the business is the second thing they learn. Not only does this create empathy for front-line employees and an understanding of the company's core product, but everyone in the business is also able to contribute operationally if need-be.
Tasks required for a role are broken down in detail and daily metrics are tracked by the trainer to give the new employee feedback and guidance.
Employees begin working independently when they can competently function in the role (all 4s).
Opportunities for Your Business:
Is culture a part of your onboarding process? If so, when does it come up? First or later?
Does every employee get trained in the most basic functions of your business? Would this be helpful to your company if they were?
At Junto, one of the most basic functions of our business is taking copious notes in every program session. Sometimes we have sessions that overlap and need team members who usually don’t take notes to jump in and help with note-taking.
Therefore, we have begun requiring all team members have a typing speed of 55 WPM or faster. We actually test for this in our hiring process to ensure that everyone is able to hop into the note-taking function if and when needed. Therefore, the first role we train people in after being hired is how to take “Junto-style” notes and edit them.
Role functions are broken down, tracked, and progressed through based on repeatable competency, not mastery.
When we trained Maddy to be our Program Assistant, as mentioned above, the first thing we trained her on is being a “note-taker”. The four key tasks of that role are listed below. We had regular check-ins with Maddy throughout her first weeks and months with us, and after these areas were consistently achieved, only then did we focus on the next level of more complex tasks that her role involves.