Guest Blog Post by Hilarie Larson: Empower your Winery New Hires


DTC Wine WorkshopsEmpower your Winery New Hires. When it comes to the DTC wine business, we all invest copious amounts of time and money to find the perfect software to run our day-to-day business. We work hard at acquiring and retaining wine club members and creating programs to keep them engaged and loyal. Many wineries are equally dedicated to finding the perfect team members; recruiting staff with great attitudes, and friendly personalities that fit right in and reflect the company’s profile and values.

Just as important as hiring, though, is training. Developing and maintaining a friendly, well-organized, new hire training system is vital. Combined with well thought out policies and procedures, it is a key step in retaining amazing new staff. Just from a practical, monetary point of view, having a defined orientation package makes sense. According to a study done by the Center for American Progress1, if you need to replace an employee, it will cost you a minimum of 16% of their salary; approximately $3,328 for a team member who earns $10 an hour.

Every business has their own particular way of doing things. Even if you hire an experienced tasting room server, for example, the daily routine in your winery is going to vary from their previous employer. Developing clear-cut training procedures will result in a higher level of productivity and empower your staff to deliver better service. Instead of worrying about the ‘little things’ they can concentrate on the guest experience.

Something as simple as a Winery Handbook can make life easier for both your new hire as well as the busy team members and managers responsible for getting them up to speed. With chapters on everything from ‘the basics of wine’ to ‘how to process a wine pack-out’, this essential training tool will soon become an indispensable reference for every member of the staff.

Treat your front line team with the same respect and eye on retention as you do your wine club members.

 1 https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/CostofTurnover.pdf


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About Sandra Hess

Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops and the DTC Consultant Network is a public speaker on the subject of direct to consumer wine sales and customer retention in the US.