Cost-saving Strategies for Hospitality Trainers: Part 2 – New Employee/New Manager Training & Big Picture
March 30, 2017 | 2272 Views
Hopefully, you had the time read Part 1 of this two-part blog. If you missed it, check out the March 13th issue of the Training Flash or visit the Member Blogs on the CHART website, chart.org, under Training Tools and Resources. In the meantime, let's move on to Part 2!
Believe it or not, the first quarter of 2017 is already over, and if your training department is like mine, then you’re probably already watching every dollar spent between now and the end of the year to make sure you don’t go over budget. With rapidly rising wages and the increasing cost of materials (and just about everything else), it’s becoming more and more expensive to develop, implement, and evaluate training programs in the hospitality industry.
The challenge for trainers, of course, is that we don’t want to cut any of our programs if possible, because less training isn’t going to help our people and our company continue growing. So how do we provide the same level of support and still keep our costs in check?
Here are some strategies to consider around New Employee/New Manager Training and the "Big Picture" that will help improve the affordability of your programs:
New Employee / New Manager Training
- Just in time – Are there any aspects to your new employee or new manager training program that aren’t needed in the initial training process, or at least not needed right away? Review the topics covered during their training periods with your department and find out if anything could be moved to after the initial training and covered later with a mentor/supervisor, or possibly covered with an entire team in a pre-shift meeting. If you can rearrange things to even save a day or two of training time, it could end up saving you thousands of dollars over an entire year’s worth of trainees.
- Shorten your training periods (when you can) – How long is your standard training time for employees? 1 week? 2 weeks? What about for managers? 6 weeks? 8 weeks? 12? We all have standard training times, but are they really necessary for everyone? If you have a real superstar join one of your teams, give your trainers and training managers the authority and responsibility to speed things up and shorten the training if the standard period is not necessary. There’s no need to waste training dollars on someone who doesn’t need them.
- Training trends survey – Check out the recent CHART training trends surveys to get information about what other members are doing when it comes to new employee and new manager training. How long is it? How is it conducted? What topics are covered? A little research might give you some ideas on how to improve the efficiency and efficacy of your own training programs, as well as lower their costs. (Side note: Make sure to participate in CHART’s 2017 training trends survey, which will be conducted with one of our Silver Sponsors, TDn2K. The survey is open now!)
- Focus on turnover – A decrease in turnover will obviously lead to a decrease in training costs for new staff members (because there will be less of them), so let me ask you a question: What are the most common reasons why people are leaving your company? Is it lack of development or growth? Could your employees be quitting because of their jobs, their pay, or their bosses? If you don’t know these answers, it might be worthwhile to invest some effort into finding out these reasons through exit interviews or tracking from your HR Department so you can slow down the worker churn in your hotel or restaurant. Yes, it will cost some money up front, but the results will more than pay for themselves in greatly reduced turnover costs and training costs. (Side note: our CHART partner, Creative Restaurant Solutions, has experience in handling exit interviews and would be a great place to start if you’re looking for help in this area.)
- The Great Recession – Think back to 2008 and 2009, when the US was in the throes of the Great Recession. Costs were lower, but for most of us, so were our revenues. What strategies did your team implement in those very lean years to shave expenses? Dust off any old notes you might have and see if you might be able to bring back any cost-saving measures that helped get you through that very difficult time.
- Ask your training team – Don’t try to solve this puzzle on your own! Bring up the issue with your entire training or HR team, show them your budget and expenses, and ask for their help in finding solutions (maybe even have a contest for whoever can save the team the most money). And whatever strategies you do decide to implement, talk about them all the time: during conversations, at department meetings, in evaluations, etc. Remember: what gets talked about gets done.
- Leverage what’s already done – Don’t spend time and money reinventing the wheel. Rather than making a new training video, see if something usable might already be accessible on YouTube. Check out CHART’s past webinar topics (http://www.chart.org/trainer-development-and-events/webinars/past-webinars.html) before working on one of your own. Review CHART’s previous High Five winners for training ideas (http://www.chart.org/training-tools-and-resources/trainer-high-5-ebook.html) that might work for your organization. Doing a little research online will help you find a lot of available training resources, and using them instead of starting from scratch will end up saving you a lot of development time and money.
- Use CHART members as a resource – The reason this organization exists is to help each other out, so reach out to your CHART friends and colleagues to see what they are doing to save money on training costs. You can also bring up these questions with other attendees at your next Regional Training Forum, or at our 94th Hospitality Training Conference in July, or feel free to contact industry experts at ServSafe or the AHLEI for advice. Additionally, check out this previous blog post from past CHART President, Patrick Yearout, called “You Get What You (Don’t) Pay For” that lists his favorite free training resources.
Those are some of my ideas, but I would love to hear yours as well. Please add your thoughts to the CHART Community Discussion section below and let’s keep this conversation going!