National Clothesline
National Clothesline
Why you must develop your staff
As we approach the Clean Show, an experience that many of us look forward to, I often challenge my clients to bring several key staff members there as well so that they can witness the enormity of the event.
James Peuster
The biggest reason is that the number-one reason your staff doesn’t perform is that they haven’t bought in to the nature of our business. They look at it as a job, not a career.
Over and over again we hear that drycleaning is not a “sexy” industry. That is a shame.
Hats off to those who have changed that mindset with beautiful store fronts. However, most employees do not experience this.
No matter what the role of your staff is, the best performers have bought in to their position and the company in general, especially if they are doing route sales. The biggest challenge is to get them on board with growth. The only way to do that is to develop your staff and turn potential into performance.  
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All positions in your organization should have a job description that includes a game plan for your staff to grow, improve and develop into true performers.
Some operators do not want staff to develop because they feel that they will demand more money. Some believe that it is better hire cheap labor. Others do not feel that they have time to invest in the growth of their team.
No matter what the reason — or excuse — providing training and development programs will eventually lead to better results, growth and stability.
One of the reasons I feel that drycleaners struggle is that managers are not groomed to lead. They are promoted because they were good at the job and then asked to “develop” the crew below them.
However, if leadership and communication styles are not coached, they will fail as well as the staff below them.
Route managers whose job is to motivate a sales team must have the ability to lead the sales effort. But if they have no understanding of the position, you will not achieve the results needed.
Here is a simple game plan to develop your crew.
1. Identify their potential.
2.) Match their strengths with their needs.
3. Train, train, train.
4. Create a game plan for growth for all staff members.
5. Reward good behavior.
6. Promote from within.
7.  Challenge them to get out of their comfort zone.
I am not saying that all employees want to grow. In fact, many are simply satisfied with their job level and do not wish to grow professionally. However, others have a true desire to succeed. Those are the ones you hate to lose because you eventually will struggle to replace them. The bottom line is this — your goal is to grow your business and the best way to do so is to grow your staff.

James Peuster offers onsite training and all aspects of routes. Management, marketing and maintenance are all key components in developing a million-dollar route.  You can listen to his radio programs on
He can be contacted at (816) 739-2066 or