Dan Armes, Founder, ServoPro, explains that your business is only as good as your staff and why effective training for employees is essential.

Employees who receive consistent opportunities to learn, develop, and advance are great assets to your company. Proper staff training in any business is critical to your success and part of your legal responsibilities as an employer. Specifically, petrol stations require adequately trained staff due the nature of the business including the presence of dangerous goods, such as fuel and other chemicals.

New employees typically receive training during the induction process, but refreshers on the information they’ve learned in that training is invaluable. This article provides a detailed list of the various reasons you should ensure proper staff training.

Leading reasons for proper staff training

It’s vital to understand the importance of training staff. Here are the highlighted reasons for properly training employees at your petrol station.

Increase staff effectiveness: Having well-informed staff increases productivity significantly. It can instill confidence, clarify expectations, and enhance employee engagement. Any employee that feels confident and engaged is increasingly apt to going above and beyond in their performance.

Improve customer perceptions: When customers interact with your employees, they expect excellent service from knowledgeable staff. Petrol stations have always been expected to offer high-speed service, but if your team fumbles over interactions because they are undereducated, it will reflect on your business as a whole, and customers will be frustrated and disappointed.

Maintain employee and customer safety: As mentioned, safety is an absolute necessity at petrol stations. The amount of fuel and other hazardous chemicals creates significant risks for employees and customers. If anything should happen, such as a fuel leak, and an employee is unaware of proper procedures to address the issue immediately, everyone is vulnerable to disaster.

Retain your best talent: A training program that focuses on individuals’ strengths shows your commitment to promoting their growth. Focusing on overcoming personal challenges makes a business more attractive to your best talent.

Bring out strengths and weaknesses: Helping employees build on strengths and address deficiencies helps pinpoint skills on which an employee should focus for improvement, and training efforts must meet that need. Training can also help employees discover areas in which they could use additional education and support.

Investing in your staff can boost their morale: Mastering responsibilities provides a sense of accomplishment. Providing training opportunities that allow employees to excel helps give them a sense of self-worth, instills confidence, and improves morale.

Develop a competitive advantage against other petrol stations: The more professional your staff, the stronger your business. Your petrol station relies heavily on the effectiveness of your employees, and with proper training, they will help you outshine the competition. Plus, word will spread that your employees are well trained and provide fantastic customer service.

Gives retail employees access to information when and where they need it the most: Help staff stay current on proper procedures and any possible changes in their industry, such as ethics, safety, or quality standards. Showing them new ways to think and work and putting these practices to work in their daily roles can lead to better outcomes.

An opportunity for staff to improve skills and knowledge: Today’s constantly evolving technologies call for regular training, no matter the employees’ skill set. Putting forth these efforts will encourage improvement and a willingness to take practical risks.

Training can boost their performance at work: When employees feel supported by you, they are often more enthusiastic about performing at a high level. Providing employees with opportunities to continuously learn and practice new processes inevitably leads to optimal performance.

Staff are likely to take on higher responsibilities: Effective training encourages employees to improve continuously. As they master more minor responsibilities and feel valued as employees, it will motivate them to embrace more learning opportunities and inspire them to look for greater responsibilities.

Improves time management: Whether individually or on a team, training helps employees manage tasks more efficiently. They will rely on a better understanding of processes and clearly defined expectations. When employees are informed of the requirements for their position, they spend less time trying to guess what they should be doing and just get it done.

Additional reasons

Insurance: There have been cases where insurance claims have been declined due to staff not being trained correctly. For example, we had a case where an employee used the wrong type of fire extinguisher to extinguish a fire in a kitchen area, which worsened the blaze. The insurer declined the insurance claim stating that the employee was not properly trained due to the owner’s negligence, as they should have been trained in how to use the different fire extinguishers correctly.

Protection from legal action: There have also been cases where staff have commenced legal action against the owner and manager of a petrol station for negligence where they haven’t been trained. One instance included an employee that was working during an armed robbery. The employee suffered psychological damage and claimed they had not been prepared to handle the situation correctly under such circumstances. The employer was found to be negligent and forced to pay compensation to the former employee.

Saves you time and money: Outsourcing your staff training means it’s one less thing that you need to worry about. This saves you time so you can focus on other areas of your business. If you own multiple petrol stations, there’s no need to have your retail manager go around to each site and train everyone. Choose a single business process outsourcing provider to do the hard work for you.

Keeping records: If you need to prove that you have trained your staff in key areas of working in a petrol station, the authorities will not just take your word for it. You must document your staff training, including which staff have been trained, what they have been trained in, and when they completed training.

How ServoPro helps

We make it easy for petrol station owners to train their employees through our ServoPro membership. As part of the membership, petrol station owners can access our online staff training courses, which cover the key areas of working in a petrol station, including armed robbery, food safety, fire safety, selling tobacco, and much more.

Employees receive certification upon completing the training course and we give you full access to your training records through our online portal.

If you need advice with your staff training obligations, feel free to get in touch.

This article was written by Dan Armes, Founder of ServoPro, for the October issue of Convenience & Impulse Retailing.

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