By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Gallatin, TN

Every year, young talent leaves the BV profession altogether. This exodus is commonly attributed to the desire to “try something new”, or to the conclusion that business valuation is somehow not the right place. A larger percentage than you might think could be due to inadequate training, however. Maybe it’s time to take a step back and examine your own approach.

Does the subject of training even come up? Do you actually think about it? Do you talk about it with your peers and, more importantly, your employees? There is no “one size fits all” approach to training. Some practices have more formalized systems. Some operate very informally. The thing they all have in common is that they are conscious about the importance of making it happen. It doesn’t have to be on your to-do list on a daily – or even weekly – basis. If it doesn’t show up at all, however, it probably won’t happen. Use whatever structure works for you to make sure that the subject gets addressed.

What, exactly, should you be training employees to do? You’ve probably done what you’ve done for so long that you’ve forgotten what it’s like not to know how to do it. Also, in your position as a practice leader, or in upper management, your focus is naturally on the “big picture”. These two factors contribute to a tendency to overlook the discrete steps a young staffer must take on the road to becoming a productive and profitable employee. Obviously, business valuation isn’t like baking a cake; where you can lay out and teach each separate step. On the other hand, your staffers might learn more quickly if the subject matter came to them in smaller bites.

Who should be doing the training? The easy answer, of course, is “everyone”. But, when “everyone” is responsible, no one is responsible. Some kinds of training can be outsourced through the use of webinars, state and national conferences, or credential-driven training. (And the cost/risk can be mitigated by linking the investment to employee tenure.) Nobody can train your employees in the way YOU want things to be done, though. But, do you need to be spending time with your lower level staff, or is that training the job of your managers? If it is the job of your managers, is it specifically in a job description? Is training progress discussed at review time? And, finally, do your managers have the “tools” they need to accomplish the training? For example, the manager who was poorly trained isn’t likely to become a good trainer without help.

There are as many ways to train BV staffers as there are practices providing the training. If you’re not doing any, however, you’re risking the substantial investment you’re making in growing your practice.

John Borrowman