Thursday, December 20, 2012


Finally - we have gotten to the point that we are going to start discussing training!  I have been involved in training since my second waitress job at the Howard Johnson restaurant in Chambersburg, PA  If you remember HoJo's you can click that link and take a walk down memory lane.  Suffice it to say it was a long time ago!!  The woman who trained me had been working there for years and she was a great waitress!  She was friendly with everyone and you couldn't help but to like her.  She was so funny...I will never forget her words of wisdom!  It was the mid '80's - we wore the most awful rust colored, polyester uniform. Not that it matters to this topic - but here is a pic of it...They were awful but...we didn't fight it or try to get away with not wearing the right uniform or shoes.  We followed the rules and they were very specific in many areas. We had handbooks that showed how you were to hold your tray and your 'side towel' neatly folded and under your tray so you always were ready to clean up a spill.  Bonnie - the woman who trained me told me "your tray is like your always have it with you!!"  You never carried a plate, with food or dirty, without your tray.  When you did your side work of filling salt and pepper shakers  - the salt was always on the right and the pepper on the left.  You wore pantyhose and the proper waitress shoes without complaining about it too much.  The rules were in place and we followed them.  I guess that is why I am such a stickler for details even now - 27 years later!

But I digress....

I have broken training basics down into 3 steps - some of the organizations I have worked for use a four step process - but I combine the last 2 steps cause I think they should be done at the same time.  Even though the names of the steps vary from one company to the next - they are still based on the same steps.

  1. Plan 
  2. Teach
  3. Observe and evaluate
We are going to use these steps as the foundation of the training program.  It is essential that you have a solid system for training. This system will ensure that all people are trained the same way.  Consistency is the key to the effective training of your I have said before - no matter what industry you work, manage or own. 

These are some things that you need to consider when putting together a training system:
  1. What do I need to teach my employees?
  2. What is going to be my means to presenting the information to the employees?
  3. Who is going to do the training?
  4. How much time is needed to train?
  5. What are the costs?
  6. How will I track or record that the training was done?
  7. How will I evaluate the trainees to determine their success?
Many companies are now using online or computer based training.  This could be a website that you set up where the employee logs on and completes assignments or a series of videos - online or DVD's.  All companies can't afford this type of training - so you may have to start out with hands - on paper-based training materials.  

Now that we have started to lay the foundation - we will be ready to go into more detail on each step when we meet again.

Training is not a one time event - it is an ongoing journey...Learn it..Live it...Pass it on!

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