There’s a famous (probably fictional) story where a company’s Chief Financial Officer asks “What happens if we train our employees and they leave?”  The head of the company responds, “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”

Training employees is expensive.  It costs something more valuable than money – it costs your time.  There may be some types of employee training you do just to keep your risks down, like safety trainings or training on how to treat customers well.  But if you really want to keep your best, most committed employees, the best way to do it is to invest in their long-term career success.

Start by having a conversation with each of your employees. Ask them where they see themselves and what their long-term interests are.

If they want to advance in their careers by earning a foreman or team leader role, educate them on what’s required to do that job well.  Tell them what paint company owners expect out of a team leader, and give them opportunities to perform those tasks.  Allow them to help their own team leader coordinate schedules or build a project plan.

If they’d like to move into sales or estimation, show them what’s required to be successful in that job, and provide them with some of your favorite educational materials on how to sell.  Allow them to listen in on calls with potential customers, and after they’ve shown enough effort to prove they’re serious about sales, allow them to discuss projects and pricing with customers.  After those calls, provide them feedback on how they can improve.

If you’ve got an employee who is interested in starting their own painting company one day, slowly but surely start introducing them to all areas of the business. If they are trustworthy and capable, groom them to be your stand-in so that you don’t have to always be on 24/7.

Eventually, they’ll be qualified for the role they’re seeking.  Is it possible that they’ll leave your company at that time?  Absolutely.  You may not have a spot available for them as a team leader or a salesperson.  They may learn they can make more money at another company. Or they may decide the time is right to start their own painting business.

But if they’re serious about advancing their career, they’re going to give you great work while they’re at your company, because you’ve demonstrated a commitment to them and their career growth.  And if they do leave, it won’t be long before you get another call from a painter who’s serious about their work and their career – and heard how your business is the place to go for great on-the-job training.

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your painting business succeed, call us at 855-385-1134 or email us at