Trainging - How long should the basics take??

Elaine

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We are in the process of training an employee design and sales from scratch - How long should it take to accomplish the basics (measuring, color,design, proportions, conservation, customer sales, and all of the other basics)???

How long is too long before you feel like its not ever going to happen??

Need some serious advice on this one.

Elaine
 

Ron Eggers

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I've always said it takes six months to teach somebody enough to be productive.

In fairness, I've usually said this to customers who ask why I don't hire seasonal help when I'm swamped.

When I was training employees - my own or someone else's - we focused on one key job at-a-time until she was very comfortable with it. That way, she could be joining frames or whatever when the trainer just HAS to be doing something else. A trainee who can join frames or fit or dust corner samples very well is more useful than someone who can do a mediocre job at several tasks.

BTW, I'm still learning "the basics" myself.
 

Elaine

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Does that mean that you still make measuring mistakes??? :D
 

B. Newman

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Originally posted by Elaine:
Does that mean that you still make measuring mistakes??? :D
After 30 years, yeah..,
:eek: :rolleyes:

Betty
 

Ron Eggers

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Seriously, yes.

A POS system eliminates most of the math errors.
.
.
A CMC eliminates most of the cutting errors.
.
.
The weakest link in the whole system is the idiot attached to the ruler. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, the POS and the CMC can't save the day.

We're supposed to be smarter than they are.
 

Cliff Wilson

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I have a system where the art gets remeasured before I check for mat availablility. (I only stock a few and always check size before putting the workorder on the "To Be Ordered" pile. I do this whether I or my wife does the initial measuring. I still catch a "mistake" about every to weeks. (Two years later!)

As for training time ... unfortunately, it will vary greatly from person to person. I have had many employees in various jobs in other lives. One will pick a task up quickly and another task will never be performed properly. The next trainee could "take to" the task the first one couldn't get. It is sadly a subjective decision you have to make whether the particular person is "trainable" enough to be productive in your environment.

Wish I had a better answer. Maybe one of the "larger" shops can give you specifics in a "frame shop context."
 

jvandy57

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According to a recent article in Framing Business News, it will take a month to learn everything that the shop has been doing for 30 years.

So if the employee hasn't done it by now they never will!

Seriously,
Ellen, I still occasionally make measuring mistakes. Especially transfering the measurement to a piece of paper correctly, you know that whole start with one inch on the tape thing. But, I know that sometimes it takes alot longer for somebody to get the hang of a simple task. As Ron said start them doing one thing until they are comfortable with it.
BTW the probationary period for the U.S. and many states and businesses is 6 months, if you can't do the minumum requirements by that time it's adios amigos.
 

Ron Eggers

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I just realized Elaine is training a designer - not a framer.

From my perspective, that's much harder - both the training and the learning. It's not just a matter of "I'll show you, then you try it, then you practice it." Every job is different. There's also not much room for my "one-job-at-a-time" approach, unless you can use a designer who specialize in glazing, for example.

This is an area where one of those "pre-visualization" software packages can be really useful. My daughter spent a lot of time with the Wizard package (Virtual Frameshop?) designing mats and frames for a variety of images. She'd put together packages on the computer and, when she was happy, we'd talk about what she'd done. Sometimes, we'd pull the actual mat and frame samples and, in a few cases, build the whole package as designed.

I also have several customers who will leave projects for me to design at my leisure and I'd let my daughter work on those for practice. I was able to incorporate some of her ideas and it was good experience, without the pressure of working face-to-face with a customer.

It's also useful, I think, to set some general guidelines, like you'd prefer that the mat be wider than the frame (if that is the case.) This is also very hard to do without being overly restrictive, but everyone has to start somewhere.
 

sharonm

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Originally posted by B. Newman:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Elaine:
Does that mean that you still make measuring mistakes??? :D
After 30 years, yeah..,
:eek: :rolleyes:

Betty
</font>[/QUOTE]I've been doing this for 10 years, and I'm still making my share of measuring mistakes. Problem is, my manager has a way of remembering the three mistakes I made in one week, and not the 30 other pieces I didn't mismeasure
smileyshot22.gif
.
 

JRB

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I've found that as I get older, my measuring mistakes seem to be on the upswing. I have learned through years of experience and especially during my years of parachuting, to double check everything, always. In my shop, we never trust anyones measuring, including our own.

If Elain is training a designer, I think the first thing they should learn is framing. I do not see how a framing designer can function properly, without first being a framer. Seems to me that a designer would have to know the logistics of the project at hand, before they could come up with a structurally correct design.

I also think, Elain, if you have to ask the question, you probably do not have the right person as a trainee for that particular position.

John
 

Mitch

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Elaine

Maybe a short field trip would help. You could go to galleries, museums, other shops or artist's studios and point out what you feel is good design.

As for the measuring mistakes - a rule that is graduated in eights and not sixteenths may be helpful. If the math is the problem, a caculator that answers in fractions might help. (I cringed when I wrote that)

Always nurture the special talents an employee can bring to your shop.
 

Emibub

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Training used to be my specialty, not too fond of it any longer. Might possibly have something to do with the 200 or so people I had to train at Michael's...........

I always thought it took three months to make a productive employee. Skill takes longer than that, but to be able to take a decent order, cut a basic mat, fit, and join a frame and everything else in between, three months was enough for me.

It only takes a week or two to tell if somebody doesn't have the capacity though.

I agree with John that you can't have a good designer until they know how the framing process works. Even a designer needs to know the basics of framing. They need to know the steps so they know how and what to charge for at the design counter.
 

stud d

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I have to go with John and Kathy on this one. I work at a shop where the designer doesn't know too much about framing. We are having some issues that I think could be solved with basic framing experience. A customer comes in with their own frame, so she measures the frame right the dimensions and when we cut the mat it does not work. Why? She can not remember to take the 1/8 off the measurement. Some things go hand and hand. The other thing is...what does this designer do when they are not busy? I think the more he/she knows helps the shop. If you are slow at the counter the designer should be able to go back and do some fitting and other things to keep busy.
My 2, well maybe 4 cents

d
 

gemsmom

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Can good design really be taught? I think I am a good designer. When people ask me where I learned my skills, I have to say they weren't taught. I have always had a certain natural ability for color, design, and proportion. I think that anyone who has above average ability in anything, has a natural aptitude for it. Almost anything can be learned to a point, if someone wants to do something badly enough. But they still might not be any more than average.

Maybe your designer doesn't even have the aptitude to be even an average designer. Just because someone likes to do something, or wants to something, doesn't mean they can. I would love to be able to sing. But I know better than to even attempt it within earshot of anyone.
 

Ron Eggers

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Pamela, I'll bet a good voice coach could take you further than you'd ever imagine.

I have no business doing design. I have the soul of an engineer. But when my last employee - a fabulous designer - hit the road 14 years ago, I decided I needed to do it and I needed to like it.

And I do like it. After working up about 30,000 orders, I think I have an idea what works. It took about 25 years to get there, though, and I don't think Elaine is going to wait that long.
 

Kit

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I agree with Pam on this one. You can teach the rules but it's next to impossible to teach how to know when to break the rules. And isn't that what separates good from average?

Also, while my cats think I have a lovely singing voice, they are the only ones who hold this opinion.

Kit
 

shopmonkey cpf

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i think the employee who asks alot of questions is capable of being trained. you should be able to tell if they are going to "get it" by the questions they ask (or fail to ask).
 

Elaine

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Actual training - 6 months at the design table and gallery/store operations. This includes intense 2-3 hour sit down training sessions whereby my CPF puts together lessons on one day and we have quizes on her second day at the gallery and review what seems to be missed. (we do our framing production at a separate location - store size does not allow for framing onsite; none of the stores in the area do, so its not like we can move locations)She is a photographer who has done basic framing on her own but not conservation. Typical design is white mats with small borders.

I thought she had the basics and I left her alone in the gallery; now I'm starting to see a lot of measuring mistakes, narrow mats, none of the lessons being applied - randomly. It seems to depend on the day. I feel like it is a retention/application factor and I'm not sure if I can change that. Even the store operations is going through the same scenario (cashing out, etc)

Good employee otherwise, but I feel like I'm forcing a square peg into a round hole. I utilize her work a lot in the gallery, so I'm thinking I should grow that aspect and give up on the design side. I think it is more about matching skills and passion than trying to force feed.

Thanks for the input - it is very much appreciated

Elaine
 
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