The Different Kinds of Training Applicable to a Hospitality Environment

Induction/Orientation

Perhaps the most important of all training, induction (or orientation as it is also known) is the process of introducing a new employee into your team. Its purpose is twofold: First, it is the mechanism by which the vision of the owner of the business is shared with the new employee, thus establishing a context they can work within. Second, it is the way you speed the process of the new person being accepted by other staff and learning their job, thus saving time, money and preventing unnecessary upset.

Most businesses perform the induction process induction badly, or fail to perform it at all because they do not appreciate the gains to be made by spending time up front with a new staff member. One hour spent on proper induction can save many, many hours later on down the track. The larger companies and corporations realise this and often go to great pains (and expense) to develop induction programs in which all new staff are required to participate. Some even produce elaborate video presentations for the dual uses of induction and marketing.

It is a good idea to brief the new staff member to observe carefully and question anything they see fit during the induction process. The hiring of a new person is a great opportunity to seek some feedback from somebody who may be able to see your business more objectively than you or your staff. This is because they look at what you do ‘naively’ and are not victim subjective loyalty or to the ‘its always been done that way’ syndrome.

A proper induction normally takes between four hours and one day initially, then scattered time is spent with the new hire over the following few weeks until the process of assimilation into the business ‘culture’ is complete. Induction has two separate parts:

Company Induction

This is where a senior manager communicates the vision of what the company’s owners are trying to achieve to the new hire. Typically this section of the induction process would include:

Departmental Induction

This is where the new hire is introduced to the section of the business they are going to work within by their new supervisor. This section of the induction training would include:

Our experience suggests it is of great benefit to involve the other staff in the process of inducting a new staff member — you can brief them on the role you would like them to play and give them specific duties in the induction process. It is also a good idea to arrange for the new hire to be taken under the wing of a ‘buddy’ who helps them to become accepted into the team for the first couple of weeks. The duty of being ‘buddy’ can be rotated among a number of people thus giving the new hire the opportunity to get to know the staff more quickly.

Skills Training

This is the process of providing all the technical skills necessary to perform a job properly. Normally this kind of training should be performed by somebody with who has done a Train-the-Trainer course (supervisor or departmental trainer).

Skills training is planned by breaking each job into a number of duties and then further breaking each duty into its component tasks. Tasks are then analysed and taught in the order that leads to productivity the fastest.

Performance Training

This is the process of teaching the ‘acting’ roles (human interaction skills) required for hospitality staff, particularly those who work front-of-house, or those who have telephone reception duties. Again, this type of training is normally done by somebody who has done a Train-the-trainer course.

Suggested Staff Development Path

Staff Development Path

Supervisory and Management Training

There are three levels of management training and development appropriate to any business environment:

Supervisory Training

Supervisory training largely concerns acquiring people handling skills — the primary skills for any supervisory or management development. The assimilation and perfection of these skills should begin prior to appointment as a supervisor and continue until middle management is reached. Typically the basic skills include:

These are designed to develop the ability to effectively form and control a work unit in it’s day-to-day functioning.

Middle Management Training

Middle management training is a progression from the basic supervision skills by introducing group productivity skills, together with an introduction to financial management, resource management and policy-making. This level of training would typically include:

These are designed to extend management planning some time into the future, as distinct from short-term supervision. Policy and strategy formulation is introduced at this level.

Senior Management Development

Senior management training is focused into predominantly financial management, planning and policy skills, and other ancillary skills. These will include: