Employees dropping the ball? An unclear org structure could be to blame.

March 8, 2023

Raise your hand if you know a woman in business who’s constantly on the ball, making waves, and just getting s*** done. *A billion hands raise* No surprise here. Happy International Women’s Day!

Hot off the SMB press this week: 

  • Employees making the same mistakes over and over? Here’s how to fix that.
  • The employee training programs that will help you retain your best people.

But first, here are some headlines that caught our attention this week.


This week's highlight reel

  • Can you hear me now? Good, because you’re not gonna want to miss this: Verizon has announced a grant funding opportunity through their online resource Verizon Small Business Digital Ready. SMBs that complete the application between now and May 12, 2023 will be eligible to receive a $10K grant. That’s what we like to hear.
  • Tick-tock. The clock is ticking for TikTok users under the age of 18 — the social media company has announced a 60-minute daily screen time limit to help teens be more intentional about the time they spend on the app. Yes, Netflix TikTok, we’re still watching. 
  • Hand in hand. OpenAI recently launched an application programming interface (API) for ChatGPT and its speech-to-text app Whisper — now, big-name companies like Snap and Instacart are integrating the chatbot into their own products. Goodbye, grocery lists, hello “Ask Instacart.”
  • Ba dum tss. What to expect during onboarding: orientation, office policies, and… comedy? At public relations firm Peppercomm, every new employee is required to take a comedy class, but it’s not just for laughs — the activity benefits both company culture and employee retention. But does that mean we have to laugh at the boss’ jokes now?


Did someone drop the ball? Here’s what to do.

A man looking back at a burning barrel and saying, "My bad."

Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has those days. We’re human. But when it happens at work, don’t jump the gun and start playing the blame game. 

The first question you should ask is, “Why did this happen?” Because when you look for the why behind an error, you might find that the policies and procedures in place (or, lack thereof) were the root cause of the mistake.

The good news is the sooner you find the reason behind the issue, the sooner you can fix it so that the big whoops doesn’t happen again. Here are five factors that can contribute to employee mistakes:

1. An unclear organizational structure.
If you don’t have a clear chart that outlines who reports to whom in your business, maintaining accountability is going to be difficult. When you share your org structure with your whole team, it helps employees understand who’s in charge of what and where they fit in.

When you create an org chart, you give your team a visual layout of company structure, person by person, that you can easily reframe as you grow and scale. Or, you can create a role chart, which outlines reporting structure by role (AKA, job title).

👉 Want both? Create an org chart and a role chart in the same platform (ahem, Trainual) so your whole team can reference everything they need to know about your company’s reporting structure. Try for free.

2. Misalignment between staff and brand.
Each employee should know your brand — including your mission, vision, and goals — like the back of their hand. Otherwise, the work they do for you is never going to meet your expectations.

You need to make sure everyone is on the same page with company goals and metrics and that they’re notified any time an update is made. Need some help getting started? Snag our Annual Planning Process with OKRs template that covers everything your team needs to know about yearly goals and key results.

👉 See all five factors.


Retain your best people with employee training programs

A man saying, "Stay with me!"

Good employees are hard to find.
We said it last week: Hiring is a struggle for small businesses right now. So the last thing you want to do is lose any of your people — especially if they leave for reasons you have the ability to change for the better.

And one change that is almost guaranteed to ensure lasting employee tenure is training and development.

Get ready for some stats.
Some turnover is inevitable, but we’ve found that employees stay longer if you give ‘em good training. In fact, over one-third of businesses that reported a 3+ year average employee tenure said their team spent at least three to four hours per week on training and development in 2022.

That’s because when you invest in your employees, they feel supported, confident, and knowledgeable. It tells them you care about their professional development, growth, and safety. And they’ll be less likely to search for something new — after all, they might have to sacrifice those benefits if they leave.

In return, you get motivated employees who know the ins and outs of your business — AKA, team members who are committed and able to help your business reach new heights time and time again.

But what is the best training for employees?
We typically focus on day-to-day operations when it comes to employee training and onboarding. But there are also training programs that focus on upskilling — ones that will foster your employees' professional development and expose them to the latest tricks of the trade.

So, if you're looking for ways to help your team elevate their skills, check out this list of employee training programs:

  1. Leadership training: Help managers develop leadership skills, such as decision-making and problem-solving.
  2. Soft skills training: Help employees improve interpersonal skills, such as customer service and conflict resolution.
  3. Project management courses: Teach employees project management techniques, including budgeting, scheduling, resource allocation, and risk assessment.

👉 Find 11 more employee training programs.


This week on Organize Chaos

If there’s one woman you should be thankful for this International Women’s Day, it’s your one and only mama. So you better tell her what a straight-up BA woman she is — right now! You could call her… but you know you’d be stuck on the phone for hours on end. Instead, use the next 10 minutes to send her a quick, loving text and then tune into a mini-episode of Organize Chaos.

Throughout the week, founder and CEO of Trainual, Chris Ronzio, offers up free entrepreneurial and small business leadership advice on the podcast, covering everything from people to processes to productivity — and how to organize your life around it all. The best part? Each bite-sized episode is less than 10 minutes.

Check out some of our most recent episodes:

Organize the chaos
of your small business