May 27, 2021
Labor Shortage Solutions Part II: Training - Formal Training
By Andy Cook, Restaurant Consultant with Derek Bugge, Chef Consultant,
Harbor Foodservice Restaurant Solutions Group
The nuances of training in your establishment is as varied as you are and dependent on so many factors, this section will aim to call out key considerations, strategies, and resources for your consideration that will help keep learning focused, relevant, & timely with less burden on the trainers.
Everyone has their checklists and process for the fundamentals of onboarding. Including a structure that establishes context and enthusiasm will benefit everyone. Besides making them feel important and a welcomed priority on their first day, whatever else you do, see if it hits these consideration points:
- Clarification: Basic ground rules with context. What on time means, supporting the team, etc.
- Compliance: Rules & policies on harassment, tip sharing formula, drugs & alcohol, sanitation, preview progress reports, etc.
- Connection: Provide attention and focus that conveys hospitality –that they belong and are welcomed
Hitting these marks will foster a sense of commitment that can only be earned.
Establish Trust, and Give Permissions
One of the most important things you can do before handing them off to their trainer(s) is to Give Them Permission to Fail. This will minimize the silent costs associated with new hires, establish long lasting trust that encourages honesty, and by committing to this long-term will fill in gaps of understanding and reinforce ongoing skill development.
Prepare the New Hire
In consideration of the pre-training positional preparation, take the time to conduct a skill assessment. This can be done by you, their key trainer, or both. The purpose is to identify what core competencies they already possess and to what degree, this will allow you the opportunity to focus on their inexperience and play to their strengths.
Prepare the Trainer
Provide the trainer with what needs to be covered, this could be as simple as a checklist, and a system to rate and review their progress and/or performance.
One simple to achieve method of rating and reviewing is a free feature: Google Forms. Doing so grants a lot of freedom in what you’d like insight on, a flexible interface for the trainer, and a method for leadership to check in on their own time. A VERY simplistic version I drafted for example can be seen HERE
If you’re so bold, I suggest drafting a form for new hires to anonymously rate and review training or trainers.
Check in Regularly
Make time to discuss & review their training experience. It doesn’t have to be much, but prioritize every training day, then weekly, then monthly. We all have a full plate, if it’s best, schedule a phone call.
When you do connect, offer feedback that gives them positive direction, and ask for feedback such as:
- Did you feel prepared?
- Any surprises?
- Did we forget anything to prepare you?
The information, insights, resources, and ideas shared are intended to be motivational. The real value comes when new ideas and aha moments are aimed at a goal and powered by a plan. I LOVE my career as a Restaurant Consultant with Harbor Foodservice, if I can help you or your team personalize any of these ideas, I’d welcome the experience with you.
Contact Andy Cook: firstname.lastname@example.org