The holiday season, along with summer and Easter often lead to hiring blitzes in the food and hospitality industries. For training managers or business owners, onboarding and effectively training new employees should be top-of-mind to ensure the efficiency and success of the business, happiness of the new staff, and continued engagement of existing staff.
But what makes employee training effective? How can an organization ensure its employees will engage in and value the training? Furthermore, how can an organization ensure that the training is thorough and the most effective for the business in question? In this article, we review ten tips for training new employees effectively.
1. Set goals for training prior to the start date of new staff
Depending on the types of roles being filled, the goals of the training might differ. It’s important to understand what type of training will be needed for each new hire, and what needs to be achieved. Determining these factors prior to onboarding new staff will give the organization a solid foundation from which to build a training program. Bonus points if any of this information can be shared during the interview process, as it lets prospective candidates know the business is organized and will onboard smoothly.
2. Build a comprehensive training plan
Based on the goals identified in the previous step, the next step is to build a training plan. While this may seem daunting at first, the goal is to identify the tasks or resources needed to achieve training goals. By building a plan upfront, the business is once again ensuring a smooth process and effective onboarding.
3. Create (or update) a training handbook
Proper documentation of company policies, procedures and training processes is one of the most valuable tools a new hire and a training manager can use. A thorough employee handbook should include, but is not limited to the following:
- Dress code
- Code of conduct
- Emergency guidelines
- Food business history/story
- Policies and procedures specific to the food business
4. Leverage existing employees
As the training plan is being built, it’s highly recommended to tap into the knowledge of existing employees to help with the process. Perhaps they can create resources, or develop a shadowing process to allow new hires to observe certain tasks. Additionally, existing employees may be able to identify things that training managers may forget or may not realize are important pieces of information for on-the-job tasks.
5. Provide insight into the organization’s culture and values
A core component of any good training plan is to provide motivation. Very often, that motivation is driven from the core mission, values, culture, and purpose of the business. Sharing these details with new hires will help them understand the organization better, ensuring integration, and sparking interest and comradery in the organization’s success.
6. Use multiple learning tools/methods
A solid training program will include different types of training and learning in order to ensure participants don’t get bored and remain productive. Using a variety of learning tools also provides training managers flexibility when building a training program. Some effective learning tools and methods include:
- Group discussions
- Role Playing
The Canadian Institute of Food Safety’s eLearning courses are easy to access, can be completed 100% online, and are designed to be interactive and engaging for the learner, ensuring the material is absorbed throughout the course. Additionally, CIFS offers business accounts to allow training managers to bulk-enrol students, monitor progress, and stay compliant with all government regulations.
7. Ensure training staff and managers are available and easy to approach
Starting a new role can be daunting, especially in fast-paced environments like restaurants. Ensuring training staff and managers are available to new hires to answer any questions and provide support throughout the training process is key. Trainers/managers should regularly check in with new hires – whether by scheduling specific time, or on a thoughtful ad-hoc basis – and ensure staff know that the lines of communication are always open.
8. Schedule time for questions and feedback
In keeping with the theme of open communication, it’s really important to build in time to allow trainees to ask questions and provide feedback. This allows new hires to get clarification on any parts of the training that may be unclear, and gives training managers the opportunity to understand the effectiveness of the training plan.
9. Build in constructive feedback tools
Feedback should be two-way when training new employees. Letting new hires know how they’re doing with the training and addressing any challenges is an important part of the process. How feedback is shared makes all the difference in employees' acceptance of, adherence to, and growth from the information shared. Training managers should ensure feedback is constructive, and shared in a way that is honest, kind, and actionable. The goal is to motivate and inspire growth and development.
10. Re-train and upskill employees
Training is an ongoing process. As changes are made within a business, new compliance measures are released by local government or after seasonal shut-downs, re-training staff will ensure their skills are sharpened and knowledge current. Additionally, providing new training to employees in functional areas of a food business (e.g. allergen management or alcohol service) will allow them to upskill, making them more valuable to the business, and contributing to their enrichment. Enriched employees are shown to be more engaged and productive while on the job.
For more information on how the Canadian Institute of Food Safety can assist with employee training, contact us today. Also, check out our Training Manager's Guide to Food Safety Training for more helpful resources.