Training is a multi-level investment of time and money. It's more than just identifying specific tasks and skills. Training requires a well thought-out plan, prioritizing which skills to train, developing a timeline, conducting the training sessions, and assessing performance. It can be an overwhelming job. If you divide your challenge into smaller, bite-size steps, you will be more likely to accomplish your goal.
Begin by looking at your own responsibilities as a trainer. What can you do to make the session efficient and timely? What materials will you need? How should you best communicate the subject matter to the trainee to make sure they understand and retain it? How do you envision the training session unfolding? Here's our version of 5-Step Training:
Step 1: Prepare
Set aside the proper amount of time for training. In advance, review the procedure that you will be training and your own training materials so it's fresh in your mind. To present the content completely and logically, organize the area to be used for training and any materials or props you'll need.
Step 2: Present
Smile, be patient, and have a positive frame of mind. Put other issues and problems and problems aside... as you would expect your employees to do when performing their job. Explain the goals of the session, why these skills are important, and when they should be used. Stress your standards of excellence and why you expect the task to be executed in a certain way. Ask questions to determine existing skill levels and answer any questions before the hands-on training session begins.
Step 3: Demonstrate
You must experience most skills to master them. (You can't learn to tie your shoes on the Internet.) Demonstration is the first step. Be sure to identify the techniques and supplies necessary for the task. Explain how's and why's of what you are demonstrating and show the "perfect result."
Step 4: Practice
Allow the trainee to try what you've demonstrated. Watch them and offer guidance. Keep practicing until it's done correctly... then do it one more time!
Step 5: Follow-Up
Give specific feedback on the trainee's performance in the workplace. Answer questions and test for retention and mastery. Finally, ask for feedback from the employee on the procedure and the training session itself.
Bill Main is a nationally-recognized author, consultant and speaker. His company, Bill Main & Associates, specializes in strategic growth plans for foodservice entrepreneurs. For information on how you can grow your top line revenues through innovative marketing, menu, leadership and training systems, visit www.billmain.com.