In this blog, I’m going to share how we train our team members to provide a highly professional level of service even on their very first wedding.
Turnover in the wedding industry is high. To make a good living working alone, industry pros have to work most weekends out of the year. Many wedding professionals burn out before hitting the 5-year mark and even more at the 10-year mark. So what happens to all the knowledge and experience gained? Well, they take it with them, so the wedding market loses that expertise. Then a new fearless professional joins the market and fills the void, figuring out all those hard-learned lessons that the professionals before them have learned and taken with them when they left the industry.
We developed a training program that harnesses the knowledge of veteran team members, empowers new team members with that knowledge and experience, and guarantees an energized, qualified, and dedicated team member for EVERY ONE OF OUR CLIENTS.
Attracting the Best
We start by advertising our job openings to current and potential clients, friends, family, and anyone who has shown interest in our work. Our message is simple and looks like this:
We are hiring a few new wedding coordinators for our dream team! We are looking for cheery people who love weddings, details, and timelines. The work comes with lots of training and support. If you or someone you know would enjoy this work, please pass along our info!
We host information meetings where potential team members can learn about what we do and decide if it’s a good fit for them. We talk about our positive culture and how important it is that we are supportive of each other, avoid gossip and negativity, and what it’s like to be part of our team.
Then if the attendees decide yes, this is good for me, they attend 3 training sessions where we teach them all of our values, our mission, and our tried and true processes. Everything from how to pin floral, to why we don’t eat meals at weddings. Once complete we require a passing grade on a written exam to guarantee that the team member has gained the necessary knowledge to work on one of our weddings.
On the Job Experience
If passed, she becomes a certified assistant coordinator and is assigned to shadow a wedding. She works alongside another team member to gain the hands-on experience that is necessary to be successful in this work. When ready, new team members can then act as the main assistant on a wedding.
Mentor Program for Lead Coordinators
When assistant coordinators gain the experience and have the knowledge necessary, and show the ability, we invite them to train to become lead coordinators. This training is more in-depth and also requires competency-based testing. All new lead coordinators work under the direction of a veteran team member that has specialized training as a mentor. This mentor-mentee relationship allows new lead coordinators to harness the knowledge and experience of the veteran for their own clients. Our lead coordinators book their own clients, so there is never a question about who will serve the client. When obstacles or challenges arise, the new lead coordinator has a more seasoned pro at her side, excited to share and pool expertise.
Once the lead has gained a full year of experience and meets required benchmarks, she moves out of the mentee role but retains the pooled support and expertise of the team.
All team members attend required quarterly training and a yearly company-wide educational retreat that we call General Meeting, take a peek at one of our general meetings in this video. Continued education and team-building guarantee the high level of knowledge and collaboration that you’ll see mentioned time and time again in our reviews, regardless of which team member a client worked with. We literally have hundreds of reviews, mentioning every one of our team members, each with glowing comments about how we served and showed up for our clients.
In an industry where burnout could mean a negative experience on someone’s “Best Day Ever”, we take to heart the importance of taking great care of our people and making sure they have a team to support them and back them up when necessary. Knowledge and experience are important, but if they don’t come with an energized and positive attitude, they aren’t worth much at all. Our system allows our team members to provide a service they love providing, without asking them to stretch themselves too thin. The result is an engaged team that shows up again and again for their clients.
I hope this blog helps you understand how we do what we do and gives you the peace of mind to know there’s a process and a system in place to make sure you get the best service possible. Thank you for reading our blog!