Developing the staff you’ve hired

This post is part of series on People, the most important aspect of running and growing a promotional products distributorship. In the previous two posts we wrote about who to hire to grow your business and how to write a job description and interview effectively. Now that you’ve successfully brought on new team members, how do you make sure they continue to learn and grow so that they stay continually engaged and develop professionally? 

Most small businesses have limited resources to dedicate to training and professional development, so the key is to able to take advantage of publicly available options. Regardless of role, there are a myriad of free resources available we have outlined below.

A few industry specific ones are education sessions at PPAI Expo and Regional Tradeshows, ongoing webinars delivered throughout the year, and podcasts and blogs through PromoKitchen. You can also subscribe to the commonsku blog to receive educational resources for the promotional products industry.

For those in sales roles, there is an endless variety of blogs and curated newsletters on the subject. A few favorites are:
Eyes on Sales
Brandivate
The Sales Blog

For marketers, content abounds in areas such as:
Marketing Profs
Hubspot Marketing Blog
Quintain Marketing

Lastly, if you are looking to develop a manager, listen to the Manager Tools podcasts, and check out books like Daniel Pink’s Drive.

A heavily underutilized tool in the development of your team is pairing them up with a mentor they can learn from. This could be someone in your local network outside the industry, or leverage a program like Promo Kitchen’s Mentoring Program to pair them up with someone who has previously done their role in the industry.

Another great way to ensure their success with your company and in the industry is to encourage them to join a promo products social group or network, like commonsku’s free community. It’s a fun and easy way for them to interact with promotional products professionals to share best practices, find great products, build closer relationships with suppliers, and learn from industry experts and peers.

Regardless of the tools used, make sure when developing the staff you’ve hired to take an approach of continuous learning to keep your team engaged and growing.

Next up will be our final post in the series on how to retain these great folks you’ve been busy developing!

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