An ad tagline GMC Cars recently used was ‘amateurs practice until they get it right, pros practice until they can’t get it wrong.’ According to TJ Schier, President and Founder of Incentivize Solutions and S.M.A.R.T. Restaurant Group, this should be the consensus amongst managers and owners concerning training their employees in the hospitality industry.
“Do we simply train until they get it right versus practicing until they can’t get it wrong?” Schier asks. Great managers train and reinforce (what matters) daily. And this is an excellent way to look at training your staff; if one simply gets something correct once, chances are they will be inconsistent and consistency in the hospitality industry is key.
Your business’s reputation is everything and if your staff is not dependable then the chances of your customers recommending your restaurant or bar are slim.
In order for employees to understand and retain all the proper practices that keep your establishment running smoothly, you must come up with a method that does just that. Schier suggests to train by giving small portions of information followed by immediate skill practice. “This generation does not want to know information, they want to know where to find information…when they need it,” he explains.
Schier is a supporter of giving employees incentives to work to the best of their ability. Who wouldn’t work harder if there was a reward at stake? “Incentives help better align what owners and managers want (higher sales and profits) with what employees want (the ability to make more money and earn additional perks). Incentives are an extension of training – providing the additional motivation is what many people need to stimulate their work ethic and retention.”
Schier recommends that you teach and train the P and L, or profit and loss. “The more employees understand about your profit and loss statement, the more effectively they can help improve it. Training your employees with business skills can benefit your business.”
While training is obviously of great importance, let’s take a step back and return to square one: hiring. Training must take a back seat to hiring because if you do not understand how to manage your hiring process, you are bound to miss out on high quality candidates.
“Who you hire is the most critical decision any manager makes. Hire a dud, polish it up (training) and you have a shiny dud. As culture guru Jim Knight says, ‘Hire rock stars, not lip synchers’,” Schier elaborates. As a manager, you must minimize the amount of problems within your day-to-day schedule and being proactive with your hiring process by bringing on top notch employees, your odds of eliminating said problems increase substantially.
The first decisions you make are the most important ones, and that starts with your hiring and training of employees. Put together an all-star, cohesive team and train them properly and you have set yourself up for a road towards success.