Women and Continuous Learning
Women’s History Month is very near and dear to my heart as a career woman in the funeral, cremation, and cemetery service profession.
Women in my history have impacted my life in so many ways. They have supported, elevated, and inspired me to become the best leader I could be. As they taught me how to become a leader, which is not something we learned in school, I made a personal commitment to finding ways to repay the gift they gave me every chance I could. Now, I continue in the same spirit with my coaching and mentoring company, Your Funeral Coach.
I purposefully continue to pay it forward and support as many women in our profession as possible. I created a special series on Your Funeral Coach Talks podcast called Elevating Women in Funeral Service where I have interviewed amazing women in the last few months and have many more podcast episodes talking with remarkable women coming in this next year. I hope in some way, these women leaders I am interviewing are inspiring to women in our profession no matter what their role is.
Guys: listen in too, as you will learn more about women professionals and how to appeal to them and to better care for them in your firms.
This month I interview Monica Torres with NXT Generation Mortuary Support whose desire is to create change in funeral service, to empower people (especially women) coming into funeral service to learn more about growing themselves as professionals, as well as learn new techniques in the embalming and cosmetology part of our business. She is known for her educational classes and is a well-known presenter in our profession. Monica has a mission and purpose that supports students and new learners, and she believes that women business owners need to learn better leadership skills. On our Your Funeral Coach Talks podcast next Thursday, March 24th, Monica shares how she helps her clients and talks about her early mentors that helped her become a better leader. Monica also coaches women on how to advocate for themselves with their employer and manager, along with advice when seeking employment.
As a former employer that had over 120 team members serving families at my firm, we had numerous training and development programs going on each and every month, sometimes each week if our schedules allowed. We read books together, had a leadership trainer come in regularly, Marguerite Ham of Igniting Success, who helped us tremendously over the years. She helped us, along with many of our leaders, plan and execute Baue University. Together we planned our learning curriculum well in advance each year. We had Graystone Associates as part of our curriculum to help us with business management and core training programs. We instilled a business model that focused on developing leaders at all levels and all of us becoming continuous life-learners. We made sure that everyone on our staff, no matter what their role, full or part-time, had opportunities for continuous learning at Baue University.
I wonder if I took a poll of all the funeral homes, cremation companies, and cemetery businesses in our profession. How many would I find that continually teach and train? 1 out of 5 or 1 out of 100? I do not think this has ever been tracked, but my guess is, it is probably closer to 1 out of 100. Frankly readers, that is a shame and a tragedy. If you are in a firm that has great learning programs, you are with the right firm. If you are a firm that has no idea how to do this, call me, or contact one of my Collaborative Network Partners. All of them provide amazing training that can be done on-site and online.
I encourage you to seek out great programs that most—if not all our associations provide. This includes and is not limited to NFDA’s Leadership Conference and their Meet the Mentors and new National Emerging Leaders program, ICCFA University, Selected Independent Funeral Homes Leadership Academy and their Institute for Exceptional Funeral Service, and courses and a learning library from Order of the Golden Rule(OGR). There is no excuse for not providing continuous learning in your company.
I hope those reading this week will encourage your employers to start a program of continuous learning. If you don’t have one, volunteer to help! If you are an owner/manager, please consider that the investment you make into your team members is the most important thing you can do for them both now and in the future. Oh, and while you are reading this, and you know that the cost of living is at an all-time high, possibly growing into double digits, please don’t forget this year to consider evaluating your wages/benefits to better support your staff. People are hurting more than you may know.
Let’s all go forward and make a commitment to try our best to create a place where people are appreciated and want to stay and work in our profession for a lifetime.
If I may help you in any way, please do not hesitate to reach out for a complimentary free session!
Blessings to you all,