While there may be a temptation to halt training in a difficult operating climate when budgets are limited, it is in precisely these uncertain conditions that employees with excellent skills can help to pull a business through. Mark Dickinson, of DONE! Hospitality Training Solutions tells us more
The market is down, business is challenging and yet some restaurants remain packed, while a number of hotels still have good occupancy and strong daily rates.
Why? Because they were prepared. You see, a lot of folks view training as a luxury that can only be afforded in affluent times. This is a misnomer. Training is for everyone, all the time. Training is the core of learning and it is through learning that teams can deliver high standards. It is essential to understand that the greatest restaurants and hotels in the world are dedicated to investing in training, knowing that through a constant and consistent approach to developing standards and the skills of their teams, they will, over time, attain greatness.
When training should start
Here’s the deal: every business costs an absolute fortune to build. Even the physical infrastructure of a small cafe is significant. Once the investment is made and the business is ready to open, then the business needs employees to run it. This is when training should begin. At the outset of a business, the ownership team is typically close to their operation and frequently personally guide and shepherd the startup phase. Adding their own touch to the business and making it amazing, they do a lot of personal training, both direct and indirect, and their presence ensures a higher level of performance. When training is established as a fundamental pillar of an organization, and learning and development is created. for all levels of the business, this will signal to employees that this is a good place to work. Constant and never-ending growth is what drives motivation; pushing people out of their comfort zone is where dynamic movement takes place and that is the incubator of growth, which leads to excellence.
When tough times come, those who are well prepared will not only weather the storm, they will thrive. Not establishing learning, growth and training programs is ignorance. It is somewhat like operating a dangerous machine without having insurance in place and then crying about the costs when someone gets injured. That would be absurd.
When training typically starts
In our experience, there are several triggers for launching training in an organization. A company reaching maturity tends to be better able to afford learning and development (L&D) professionals, and often does this as a consequence of its growth. Other key influencing factors are the acknowledgement of future growth, a franchise being created or the opening of a new branch or property of an existing business, inspiring the recognition of training as a vital requirement; or, as a brand develops, a desire to shift its image upwards, at which point the need for training becomes more apparent.
No matter what stage of the lifecycle a business is in, it will always acknowledge its employees as one of the key capitals of the company. Paying lip service to human capital and embracing it are two vastly different concepts. Those who embrace their human capital will constantly invest in the development of their team members and inspire a culture of learning and growth within their organizations.
Training in tough times
It’s not the time to neglect or suspend training when things are tough and budgets are limited; on the contrary, this is when competition is going to be fiercest and when every customer experience counts. Creating positive and powerful customer experiences demands outstanding employees with
excellent skills, heightening the importance of further training. The most important training topics in tough times are:
• How to serve every customer perfectly, every time
• How to sell more of your product
5 NO COST/LOW COST Solutions
1. Get the best of the senior management team to personally conduct monthly training activities with frontline team members. There is no additional cost to the organization and there are many powerful returns on invested time for the seniors; they are perceived to be closer to the team, they are demonstrating their commitment to the employees and they are passing on their valuable knowledge.
NO EXTRA COST
2. Get team members who have length of service engaged in training through initiatives such as buddy systems. Have L&D create sessions that can be easily implemented by these team members. Train them to train and use their talents.
NO EXTRA COST
3. Barter training with product. Find highquality trainers and offer them a deal to come in and train your people and compensate them with services. LOW EXTRA COST
4. Use online training systems to deliver knowledge to team members.
LOW EXTRA COST
5. Give training yourself. You know your business better than anyone else does, so why wait? Get on with it, roll up your sleeves and provide outstanding, high-quality training to your team.
NO EXTRA COST