Movin' on Up

November 05, 2014 | 2111 Views

Movin' on Up

Patrick Yearout, FMP, CHT

Director of Innovation, Recruiting, and Training | Ivar's & Kidd Valley Restaurants

For many CHART members, including myself, the highlight of our recent 88th Hospitality Training Conference was the release of the 2014 Trends in Hospitality Training & Development Study. The survey that provided the results for this study was conducted earlier this summer by data-reporting firm TDn2K, one of CHART’s Silver Sponsors, and it covered a wide variety of topics such as e-learning, employee orientations, and training budget distributions.

Out of all the information provided, I personally think  that the most encouraging news resulted from the direct reporting question. The bulk of the participants, slightly over 50%, said that their training department reported to Operations, but the second most common answer was that they reported to the President or CEO, just edging past Human Resources. In fact, 26% of hospitality trainers indicated that the next person up their chain of command was the man or woman running the company.

I found these statistics to be particularly celebratory because in 2006, using data gathered from CHART members at that time, none of our trainers said they reported to their CEO. Not a single one! Clearly things have been shifting upward over the last 8 years, and more and more hospitality training departments now have a direct link to executives at the C-suite level.

direct reporting relationship

This change certainly brings new challenges, of course. Trainers who work within operations may have a more intimate working knowledge of their hotels and restaurants, and the closer ties built by this reporting relationship allow for stronger buy-in from unit employees and managers to new training programs because the trainer is a known member of the operations team and not an outsider trying to impose untested solutions.

But I do feel that these challenges can be met by CHART trainers, who I believe are being elevated to the executive reporting ranks because they are no longer simply seen as cost centers that need to be contained or controlled by Operations or HR. Rather, our members are increasingly being recognized for demonstrating they can effectively partner with executive teams, solve organizational issues, and deliver positive contributions to the bottom line, many of which can be seen in the remainder of the TDn2K study findings.

So what will another 8 years bring? Hopefully by then we’ll see those C-suite reporting numbers up to 50% or 75% or even higher, as a growing number of Presidents and CEOs discover what we in CHART already know: given the opportunity and exposure, training departments can add tremendous value to organizations (and provide proof of that value) beyond the limited scope they were once given.

If you haven't had a chance, I encourage you to review the full report which is available at:

Until next time,


This blog originally appeared in the November 2014 FlipCHART

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