People Get Ready or…Get People Ready

February 10, 2022

The 1965 classic song, “People Get Ready,” written by Curtis Mayfield and performed by The Impressions, begins with the lyrics “People get ready, there’s a train a comin’.” The song is on many lists of the top songs of all time and is enshrined as such in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s been covered by many artists over the years including a notable one from Eva Cassidy. Aretha Franklin and Vanilla Fudge also covered it. Jeff Beck did a cover with Rod Stewart on vocals…that’s been my personal favorite version. While the song is clearly intended as a testament to faith, it’s the powerful imagery of that first line of lyrics that I had in mind when thinking about the topic for this article. How do you get people ready for the train that’s coming?

As an agency owner or General Manager your day is frequently thrown into chaos from the moment you walk in the door. Actually, it probably frequently starts before you even get to the door. You get pulled in every possible direction and are called in to solve every unexpected problem that comes up. Crew that doesn’t show up. Computers that aren’t working. Refrigerator in the break room with suspicious smells. Equipment failures. Not to mention the problems that occur while crews are actually moving people. And on. And on. And on. Sounds familiar, right? Before you know it, the day is gone and it’s “wash, rinse, repeat” for tomorrow.

Further, as an owner or GM, you also know that having a professionally trained staff will improve the bottom line, lower the chaos in the office, and better serve your customers.

And that creates one of the biggest challenges for a DAB Mover – finding the time and the resources to provide professional training to your staff.  Not only do you end up not having the time to put together the training program you’d like, but if you do somehow find the time to put something together, it’s expensive. As a result, training ends up being done on the fly, in an ad-hoc fashion, when you get the chance…at least until you’re called away to perform some other critical function that requires your attention. And so, with those constraints how do you get people ready?

The results is in what many of us end up calling “on-the-job training.” However, it’s probably more accurately described as having an employee go “out of the frying pan and into the fire.” Or any of a number of other clichés that bring to mind an image of frantic rushing and sloppiness. Not ideal for better serving customers.

Fortunately, IAM has been working to help solve some of that problem and just last week announced the Industry Training Program from the Alan F. Wohlstetter Scholarship Fund. This program allows your employees up to $500 annually to access industry leading training programs. It has never been easier to provide professional training to your team. The programs are there and the money is there – you no longer have any reason (excuse) not to provide your people with great training. Click here to learn more - Alan F. Wohlstetter Industry Training Program.

And there is a virtuous circle in all of this – the more IAM Learning courses that you and your team complete, the more content IAM will be able to bring to IAM Learning. It’s a win for agents, it’s a win for the moving industry, and it’s a win for our customers.

Many of us think of moving as having two seasons – ‘peak’ and ‘non-peak’. I prefer to think of our two seasons as ‘peak’ and “prepare for peak.” Now is the time to get your people ready…and the Industry Training Program sponsored by The AFW Scholarship Fund is the ticket to get on board.