Training is not a universal cure-all. We’d like one percent of all the money that is wasted on badly conceived training in the hospitality industry (or any other industry for that matter). To make your training more effective, the following observations may be useful:
- In the absence of supervised follow-up, most people will revert back to their previous, comfortable behavior patterns after a training course. Proper training is a co-operative effort between the trainer and the supervisor or manager of the person being trained. If either party doesn’t do their part properly, the whole effort is wasted.People scheduled for training courses should be briefed before they attend, then debriefed afterward. During the initial briefing, they should be told why they are undergoing training and what will be expected of them when they return.
- Upon return, they should be debriefed and goals should be negotiated that are designed to prevent them from lapsing back into old behaviour. It takes six months to overlay a new behavior pattern over an old one — it is the supervisor’s job to follow-up for that period of time.
- One of the first things a person returning from a training course does is look upwards and question whether the new skills they have learned are being practiced by those above them. If they are not, then the whole effectiveness of the training will be eroded and the person being trained will lose confidence in their leaders and perhaps look for another job. This is especially true of leadership and communication training, but generally true of all training.
- Don’t try to insert management or leadership training half way down (or up) your pyramid. We recommend that new training programs be applied from the top down in any business.Even if the senior managers in your business feel they have a good grip on the subjects being taught, it is good practice to make them attend any new training — as a refresher and so they can follow-up effectively themselves (‘That’s not the way you were taught to handle this — What is the correct way?’).
- We do not recommend you try to use training courses purely to motivate staff — there are far cheaper and more effective ways to motivate people than having them sit through a two or three day training course they have no intention of applying. From the trainer’s perspective these people can be quite disruptive and they tend to give a bad impression of your business in front of your industry peers.