Last Updated: June 1, 2023 • Visit Blog Homepage

If you're reading this post, it means that your dog daycare and boarding kennel has grown past the point of being a one-person operation. Congrats! That's a huge step. Now that you've grown, it's time to start hiring your first employees. Training your staff is an essential part of running a successful dog daycare. It ensures that all team members are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to provide the best care for the dogs in their care. A comprehensive staff training program can also help improve communication and efficiency among team members, reducing the risk of accidents or mishaps.

In this blog post, we’ll outline seven steps for developing a comprehensive staff training program for your dog daycare.

Identify the Goals of Your Training Program

The first step in developing a comprehensive staff training program is to identify your goals. What do you hope to achieve with your training program? Is it to provide your staff with the necessary skills to provide high-quality care for the dogs in their care? Is it to improve communication among team members? Once you have identified your goals, you can tailor your training program to meet them. This will depend if you're hiring experienced employees that already know their way around a dog daycare or if you're focusing on bringing on younger employees that are completely new to the industry. There are pros and cons to each.

Assess the Current Level of Staff Knowledge

Before developing your training program, it’s important to assess the current level of knowledge among your staff. This can be done through surveys, interviews, or assessments. This information can then be used to tailor your training program to meet the specific needs of your staff. During the initial interview stage, you're going to be able to get a good idea of how much knowledge and experience the prospective employee currently has. If you already have employees, but you've never done an assessment of their overall knowledge, you could schedule a sit down with each to see what skills they're lacking (if you haven't already figured that out).

Determine the Training Materials & Resources You Will Use

Next, you need to determine the training materials and resources you will use. This can include books, videos, online courses, or hands-on training sessions. It’s important to choose training materials that are appropriate for the level of knowledge of your staff and that align with your training goals. For something like Pet CPR, there are online Pet CPR courses that you can have your employees complete either at work or on their own time. If you're trying to train them on software, you can contact your software provider to see if they have training videos you can utilize to get your employees up to snuff.

Create a Training Schedule

Once you have determined the training materials and resources you will use, you need to create a training schedule. This schedule should take into account the schedules of your staff, as well as any other commitments they may have. It’s important to make sure that the training schedule is flexible and allows for changes as needed. Let's say that you want to get your staff trained in basic customer service. You can set up a time where you'll do situational role-playing and have them encounter different situations. For one, you might be an angry customer. For another, you might have them make a fake phone call to a pet owner to let them know about an issue that happened at daycare that day.

Develop a System for Tracking Progress

It’s important to have a system in place for tracking the progress of your staff during their training. This can include assessments, evaluations, or checklists. This information can then be used to identify areas for improvement and to make adjustments to your training program as needed. You're not going to need anything fancy for this step. Set up a simple Excel document where you list your employees in one column and then you have the various skills they need to learn in the other columns. Once an employee has completed each skill training, type the date in the appropriate cell. This way, you can see exactly when each training was completed and who is missing certain trainings.

Provide Ongoing Support & Feedback

Once your staff have completed their training, it’s important to provide ongoing support and feedback. This can include regular check-ins, performance reviews, or opportunities for continued learning and professional development. Employee performance reviews are a great tool for both employers and employees (here are some templates to get you started). It will give you a way to communicate with your employees what what they're doing well and not-so-well, and your employees will benefit from direct feedback.

Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Training Program

Finally, it’s important to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your training program. This can be done through surveys, assessments, or evaluations of staff performance. This information can then be used to make improvements to your training program as needed. Consider this an employer-evaluation done by your employees. Have them tell you what they liked and disliked about the training program. Use their feedback to make changes to your training plan so that future hires can have a smoother training experience.

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