Invest in Training, Invest in Your People.
Get on the Right Track
Training can make or break an organization. The right training can set your people up for fantastic success in their new role while the wrong training can lead to their downfall. The fact is, effective training isn’t simply about reviewing company policy and signing acknowledgement forms. When we invest in training programs, our people will learn more. The best training programs follow five essential elements:
Ask questions right from the get-go. Ask your people questions like “What challenges did you face last week in your role?” Ask questions that require a thoughtful response. I recall that when I was training to be an orientation counselor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the leaders would explain a concept and then ask ‘Like it?’ We would respond by clapping twice. This kept us engaged and made the otherwise boring content a little more enjoyable.
Training should be fun and enjoyable. People learn best when they are in the right frame of mind. You can tell stories and ask for feedback. Ever since I began teaching Guest Service back in the 90’s, I ask people to share their most memorable restaurant experience (good or bad). Then, we talk about what was great or what could have made it better. Sharing stories that tie into a theme allows participants to entertain and to become part of the teaching process.
Imagine describing how to drive a standard motor vehicle to somebody who has never driven before. Using our words to explain a complicated process only gets us so far. Showing the process-rather than simply talking about it can be far more valuable. When we take the time to break down complex processes into smaller, bite-size pieces, our audience has a better chance of understanding. Consequently, they will be able to repeat it with greater accuracy both in role-play scenarios and later in real-world situations.
Make Me Do It.
Once the trainer demonstrates a concept or skill, they should call participants up to act it out for themselves. When they are called to learn by doing, participants will more easily grasp the concept. Then, once they are on the job, they are more confident and better prepared to do it on their own.
I’m not a fan of tests, however when the goal of training is retention of knowledge and skills, certification testing makes sense. Would you ever let a surgeon operate on you without having first passed their boards? Why shouldn’t it be the same for our hospitality world. If job knowledge matters so much, test their skills before your people go out and do it for real.
When we invest in training, we set our people up for success. They are more equipped to step into their role and to execute with confidence. Don't rush training. Budget an adequate amount of time to educate, demonstrate, and practice the skills and concepts that your people will need to be successful. When you do, your people will be more productive, costs--especially turnover--will go down, and your revenue will rise.
Have a fantastic week!