Nightclub & Bar Show Panel Preview: Training in 2010 & Beyond

How can we train Generation Y and Z? Join my fellow Millennium Advisory Board members and me on Tuesday, March 9 at 10 a.m. at our SuperSession during the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, as we examine ways to get the most out of your training dollars.

Today’s employees are more technologically advanced than most of their bosses, and these very social, very technologically savvy employees need to be engaged differently. If you want to capture their attention and truly get them to know your business, you need to get into their world. I’ll discuss company intranets, the Internet, portals and other great ways to reach employees, along with creating entertaining and useful information in a format that appeals to the new generation.

Cindy BusiPanelist Cindy Busi, worldwide beverage director for Hard Rock International, believes, “Training is the key to any successful organization and Hard Rock is no different with the challenges we face in reaching our staff.” Busi will share how Hard Rock, a global company operating in 53 countries, found that its staff members learn in different ways — some are traditional and prefer classroom settings while others are technology savvy and need podcasts. From its portal covering everything Hard Rock, to its individualized e-learning program, to the new interactive café walls where guests learn about Hard Rock memorabilia, Busi will share how Hard Rock is on the cutting edge of the technology super highway.

Mary MeltonMary Melton, director of beverage at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, will emphasize that a blended approach balancing technology and hands-on training is necessary. “One of our biggest hurdles has been determining how to make online training easily accessible to our employees while ensuring we have properly compensated them for their time,” Melton says. P.F. Chang’s continues to develop interesting ways to train through written material and one-on-one interaction, such as interactive newsletters, workbooks, training guides and pre-recorded demonstrations, as well as store visits, mentoring and hosting trainer workshops.

“Training is the education and introduction of someone to a new position or title, while learning is knowledge or modified behavior acquired through systematic study,” says Scott Schmidt, regional director of operations at Mitchell’s Fish Market. “The training process can be overwhelming to associates, but our training and systems are critical to their success.”

Scott SchmidtSchmidt finds that layering training and utilizing different tools and methods to delve deeper into each layer is effective in teaching the company’s expectations and products. He will share some of Mitchell’s training successes, such as standardized certification processes for all lead trainers and all departments; classroom, practical and repetitive daily training; “Say it, Do it” training; online tools and certifications for products at basic and advanced levels (seafood, spirits, wine); and online scheduling, communication tools and video training (DVD and online).

“Unfortunately, there is no magic wand we can wave and get our associates where we need them to be,” he says. “At the end of the day, it is all about hiring people we consider genuine, passionate and brilliant, and giving them the tools and opportunities they need to be successful.” NCB

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