Staff training – how much should you provide?

14 March 2016

training staff in an aesthetics clinic

Training staff members can be a costly and time-consuming exercise, but the benefits to your business are likely to be worth the outlay. Investing in training is investing in your business. As your employees become more skilled and knowledgeable, the services you provide will become more refined and your clinic’s offering will be of the highest quality. Training will also help you to maintain that level of service, ensuring that you cement your reputation as one of the most outstanding clinics.


Training in methods specific to your clinic


Though you may employ clinicians who are already experienced and skilled in their field, all new staff members should at least be given training in your clinic’s methods and protocols. Don’t ever assume certain procedures are obvious and don’t need explaining; cover all aspects of your clinic operations in the induction process for new employees. New clinicians may already be trained and experienced in performing certain treatments your clinic offers, but as they have not worked for your clinic before, they may be used to a slightly different patient journey.

As you will want your clients to all have the same experience, with services provided being uniform from all of your clinicians, make sure you train all staff members in your clinic’s treatment process. Include how you wish clients to be greeted, how the treatment process should be explained to clients, how the treatment room should be prepared and maintained, and how you wish clinicians to promote further services. Don’t just leave employees to get on with their work and moan at them later for not performing their duties as you wish them to, train them in your methods as soon as they start working for you.


Off-site training


Off-site training in aesthetic treatments can be expensive, and can take clinicians out of work for some time. You’ll be covering wages while clinicians are not actively performing treatments in your clinic, and other staff members will have to provide cover for that period. There may be quite an outlay in the short term, but you must think in terms of the future benefits to your business. If you invest in training early on, when your staff members are new to the business, you will equip them with additional skills that will enable them to perform a wider range of treatments as soon as they start working in the clinic. This will help make the job interesting for your new staff member, as they will not be repetitively performing one treatment, and it will make your staffing rotas easier to manage, as you will have a number of practitioners who can cover others when they are on their day off, or on leave.


Investing in the right employees for your clinic


When you find a fantastic practitioner who you feel has the professionalism and the right character for your clinic, don’t simply turn them away on the basis that they are not trained in the exact treatments your clinic offers. Good clinicians can be trained in new treatments, but you are unlikely to be able to change someone’s character. It may be wise to choose to employ the practitioner who has the right attitude and personality to fit into your team, rather than the one who simply ticks all the boxes on paper. This isn’t to say that you should take on inexperienced beauty therapists and pay to train them in a myriad of aesthetic treatments, but some aestheticians who are trained in devices and products you don’t use in your clinic may have skills that are easily transferrable with a bit of extra training.


Training new employees


The obvious concern with investing in training for new employees, is that they could potentially hand in their notice after you have spent money on costly training courses, so your clinic will never see the benefit of that training. You could choose to add a clause into contracts to cover this, so that the clinician will have to repay training costs if they leave your business within a certain period of time.

If your new practitioner is able to get going with certain procedures after their induction period, or train in-house by shadowing other practitioners, you could consider sending them on training courses after they have had a short period to settle into their new role, so that they already feel like part of the team before they are sent away. Most importantly, if your new employee can recognise the investment you are making, helping to develop their own career and not just your clinic services, then they will feel valued and are likely to be loyal to your business. You don’t have to wave training course costs in their faces, but do let them know exactly what you are doing, and why.


Ongoing training and training for senior personnel


Even if certain team members are already experienced in their line of work, and have been employed by you for years, you shouldn’t rule out additional training opportunities. It is fair to offer all staff members the chance to enhance or increase their skills, but this should also help your clinic develop its offering and maintain its status. Refresher courses for experienced staff members can help keep their standards at the same level over time, and as new treatments constantly emerge in the aesthetics industry, it is likely that practitioners will be able to train in new treatments, helping your clinic stay up-to-date.

Non-clinical staff should be considered for training opportunities, too. Your clinic manager may have been doing a great job, but there are many management training courses that could help enhance their skills. There are many aspects of people management, and even experienced managers are not likely to have encountered every difficult issue that may arise. If training needs aren’t obvious, speak to your staff members. One-to-ones could help you define both what employees need to learn, and what they would like to train in, which could help you devise the most appropriate training schemes.


Think about yourself too!


You may be a senior manager or business owner yourself, but that doesn’t mean you should just think about training for your employees. Training doesn’t have to just be about learning new clinical or administrative skills, it can also be about keeping abreast of the industry and best practice in business. Make sure you take time to network with your peers, and visit trade shows and conferences where you too can learn something that will be beneficial to your business.


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