Preparing for a New Training Department: Prep Work Isn’t Just For Cooks
March 10, 2018 | 1912 Views
It’s finally time, you’ve decided, for your company to set up a training department. Maybe you’ve been getting too many complaints about disappointing guest experiences, maybe you’ve determined the costs of outside consultants have gotten too expensive, or maybe you’d like to open a bunch of new locations and need the structure and talent pipeline to make it happen. Whatever the reason, you’re ready to establish an internal training division within your organization.
Before launching that initiative, however, what preparatory steps should you take to ensure this department’s success? Here are five I consider to be critical:
Set the course – If you don’t have a mission, vision, and company values statements, you need to create them. If you have those pieces but it’s been a while since their development, you should review, refresh, and renew them. Your training department won’t be able to align with and help achieve company objectives if your guiding principles are unknown, non-existent, or outdated.
Set the standards – Take a very close look at your operations standards and performance metrics. Are they current, complete, and enforced consistently? The more time you can spend ensuring you have an updated “company bible” that lays out the prescribed way of operating every facet of your hotel or restaurant, the faster and better your training department will be able to launch new programs to teach these standards.
Set up an accepted initial budget – Training is an investment that will hopefully pay off in the long-run, but there will be an upfront cost that executives need to be aware of, agreeable to, and prepared to spend. This budget should be as comprehensive as possible and include cost estimates for the initially-offered programs, based on the scope of expected employee participation, and the salaries of the trainers hired.
Set up the right team – Finding a qualified staff for your new training department will be a challenge: you need people who can connect with everyone from C-suite executives to hourly employees, understand the principles of successfully training an adult workforce, and can deliver needed results that will create value for your company. It’s essential that you don’t rush the selection process by setting unrealistic deadlines, and you should explore a mix of both internal and external candidates to find the best possible team because getting this part wrong could cripple progress before the department is even up and running.
Set up a support system – Without a doubt, one of the most impactful steps you can take is to join the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART), the premier organization for hospitality training professionals. Doing so will provide access to over 500 experienced trainers from multi-unit hotel and restaurants who will willingly and eagerly share new ideas, best practices, and industry training trends that can help your organization achieve the highest levels of performance.
Creating a successful training department can certainly seem a daunting task, but adhering to this prep work will provide a sturdy foundation on which to build this important program.