BY: TOM HIGGINS
For this paper I couldn’t really just choose one question to do my paper on so I
decided to do it on all of Chapter 7 which covers training. Some of the things that I
will be writing about will be 1) what are some characteristics of a good trainer? 2)
Why would a manager need to train a new employee who already has experience? 3)
What is wrong with evaluating trainee performance with a system that uses terms
such as “unacceptable”, “poor”, “acceptable”, “good”, and “excellent”? 4) What steps
should you take to prepare for a group-training meeting. 5) What are some myths
about training, and why are they myths? 6) And what are the different ways to train
The first thing that I am going to write about is just training in general.
According to the book, “experts predict that during the rest of the century over half of
the job content of all positions will change, and at least a third of existing jobs will
disappear.” This means that a smaller amount of people are going to need to know
how to do a lot more different things than they already know how to do. And to do all
of these new jobs they are all going to have to be trained in some manner or another.
Then they are going to have to be able to train others on how to do these new
Management executives are now pushing for more effective training, by
budgeting for it and asking for progress reports. These companies that are really
serious about training spent about 30% of their training budget on research. This
includes follow-up and evaluation of the training programs. These programs are now
disproving the six main myths about training. These myths are 1) positions turn over
so fast, it doesn’t pay to train. 2) Experienced employees don’t need training. 3) What
do we have a human resources department for? 4) Training is a waste of time. 5)
Training is simple. Anybody can do it. 6) Employees always resist training.
The first myth is “positions turn over so fast, it doesn’t pay to train.” This is a
myth because if you train your employees well, they will be less likely to leave. Also,
if you don’t train your employees then they won’t know anything about their jobs an
everything will just go straight down the drain along with your business.
The second myth is “experience employees don’t need training.” This is a
myth because the experience employee may not have necessarily been trained or
know exactly what they are doing in this particular field. Just because someone has
some experience doesn’t mean that they necessarily know everything there is to know
about every job in the place. I have some personal experience with this particular
subject. I started out as a busboy at Pedro’s in Wisconsin Dells and did this job for
three years. Then this past summer I was promoted to a supervisory position. When
this happened I had to be trained into every single position in the restaurant, from
dishwasher to cook to waiter. It wasn’t just assumed that because I had worked there
for three years that I knew how to do every job in the place. Then this fall when I
came to school I became a waiter on the weekends for them, but before I was allowed
on the floor by myself I had to go through the formal training. This happened even
after I was a part of the management team and helped with the training of other
The third myth is actually a question and it is ” what do we have a human
resources department for?” A human resources department is not used for the training
of new employees. It is actually use for a totally different purpose, and that is to hire
and fire employees. They also help with the handling of complaints and other things
like that. But it is not their responsibility to train employees and that is what many
people tend to believe about the human resources department, and it is false.
Another myth about training is “training is a waste of time”. This statement is
totally absurd. I feel this way because in my opinion training is not a waste of time by
any means. This is because if you didn’t train your employees you would have a
bunch of people running around like chickens that just got their heads chopped off.
While on the other hand if you train your employees they will know what to do in
certain situations and they will look like they belong as a part of your staff. Again I
have to go back to Pedro’s’ policy on training. For example, they put such an
emphasis on the training of waitstaff that they have to go through a seven-day training
program. In these seven days they have to bus tables, host, expedite, follow a
waiter/waitress for two days, and be followed for two days. Then they have to pass a
ten-page test before the are allowed on the floor by themselves. This way
management knows the person knows what he/she is doing before they are alone.
The next myth about training is ” training is simple. Anybody can do it”. This
statement is more than just absurd. It is simply idiotic. You can’t just go and pick just
any Joe Blow to train your employees, you have to have someone who is a good, hard
worker and knows what he/she is doing while on the job. If you do just pick anyone to
do the training you could end up with an employee getting trained by your laziest
most worthless employee, because he/she was the only one not doing anything. If this
happens then the trainee is going to be taught that is alright to be lazy and do nothing.
Also, not just anybody can do it. Sometimes your best employees are your worst
trainers. A trainer needs to know his/her job, but this person also needs to be able to
communicate with other people and be patient in showing others how to do things
The last myth as stated by the book is ” employees always resist training.”
This statement is also false, because for the most part people are more than willing to
be trained into a job. They feel this does nothing but help them, so why should they
resist it. I have personally trained over 30 people into various positions and not once
have I encountered someone who resisted my training. In fact, the people were more
than willing to be trained. This is because they knew nothing about the position and I
was going to try and show them how to do things quickly and effectively without
being hard on them.
Some characteristics of a good trainer are 1) they are good judges of people. 2)
They are objective. 3) They are aware, understanding, and accepting of the
differences in people. 4) They are good at listening and communicating. 5) They are
good role models for the department, and the company. They also take pride in their
own work, and give attention to detail, accuracy and neatness. They are logical,
patient, good planners, tactful, cooperative, helpful, sincere, and honest. They are also
out-going, and not selfish, competitive, and they don’t play favorites. (managing
human resources in the hospitality industry, ch. 7, pp. 147-149)
Other things to consider about trainers is that they may not always be your best
employees, or the employees that learned their position the fastest. They may be the
employees that had more difficulty than others learning the skills of the job. This is
because they know what it is like to have to learn things slowly, and they can teach
things this way. They will tend to have a little more patience, because they will have
been there before. Also if someone has learned a position quickly they will come to
expect others to learn quickly too, because they will tend to think that the position is
easy, and doesn’t take much training.
What is wrong with evaluating trainee performance with a system that uses
rating terms such as “unacceptable”, “poor”, “good”, and “excellent”? Well it is bad
in a couple of ways. First off if an employee sees that his/her rating is “unacceptable”
or “poor” they will tend to think that they are doing a horrible job, and that they just
can’t do the job. This will lead to low self-esteem and a poor working environment.
Also, if a manager or supervisor does these evaluations or sees them they will tend to
think less of the employee, and thus creating a poor working environment. On the
other hand if the employee sees that his/her rating is “good” or “excellent” they could
get a little cocky and start telling people what he/she got, and rub it in people’s faces.
This again could lead to a poor work environment. Again if the manager or supervisor
sees these evaluations he/she will tend to think higher of the employee, thus maybe
letting them get away with a little bit more here and there. This also will create a poor
working environment. Granted this may not happen often, but it happens often
enough for it to be an issue in the industry today.
When training you can go about it in three different ways, depending on what
the situation calls for. The two most common methods are individual training, and
group training. The other method is the learner controlled instruction. These are all
used at different times and situations, but some are more popular than others, and
some are more effective than others too.
Individual training also known as on-the-job training is used for new people
once a facility has been opened. This is because it’s generally the cheapest, fastest and
most flexible way of training someone. In my opinion this is the best of the three
training methods, because this one allows the trainer and the trainee to get on more of
a personal level during the training. While in group training there is often to many
people for the trainees to get really acquainted with the trainer. And in learner
controlled you don’t even get to meet a trainer. When doing your training you should
cover these four main areas.1)Purpose and accountability. 2) Procedures. 3)
Rationale. 4) Standards. This will teach the trainee how the job helps the company
achieve its goals, the base elements of the job and how they’re performed, and why
each procedure or portion of a procedure is done, and the standards by which you
decide when the job is done well.
Also, in individual training you are on a more personal level with the trainee
so you need to try and get to now them a little bit. You have to introduce yourself an
try to make conversation with them. Try to find out a little about their background. By
doing this it will help you when you are training them. It gives you a head start in
knowing what they know and just what kind of person they really are. You can
usually tell who is going to work out and who isn’t within the first couple of minutes
by talking and getting to know a little about them.
The next section in the book states eight things that should be trained. These
eight things are: friendliness, appearance, teamwork, opening duties, operating duties,
closing duties, reports, and equipment. In my opinion the last five are things that can
actually be taught, but the other three can not be taught. You can’t teach someone
how to be friendly, or how they should look, or even how to be a team player. It just
doesn’t work. For instance, if you could actually train people how to dress, and how
they should look, then do you think that we would have all of these people running
around dressed like freaks? That is why you don’t train them how to do it, you just
tell them that that is that. Also when training someone how to do the other five main
duties don’t just assume that these things will be obvious. Cover all of them
completely until the trainee has a good idea of what their responsibilities are.
Group training is most often used when opening up a new facility or learning
how to use a new piece of equipment. This according to our text is ” the most
effective method when teaching human relation skills like conflict resolution, team-
building, or problem solving. It is often an important part of a company’s human
resources strategy and its attempt to create a positive organizational structure.” One
bad thing about this is if you let your employees choose their own groups to work in,
no matter what the age, they will always choose to work with friends and this will
hurt your training program. This will hurt it because they will place themselves in
loosely structured groups, that have their own values, standards of behavior, etc. Then
when they are placed in other groups there is friction formed between them because
of the different environments that they were trained in.
When preparing for a group meeting you need to spend a lot of time to get
things right. Often a professional trainer will spend between three and eight hours
preparing for each hour of training time. To help you with your training you need two
things. 1) A training plan, and 2) a checklist of materials needed and things that
should be looked over before hand. And you should always prepare 10% more than
you think you will need.
Your checklist will help you select a location for the meeting. It will help you
determine if a room is too spacious, or to cramped to hold the meeting. It should also
consist of checking to make sure things like ventalation, heating, and air conditioning
are acceptable and in working order. Also, you need to try and eliminate distractions
like outside noises or windows with distracting views. You can do this by closing
doors and windows, or by choosing rooms in more remote locations. To eliminate the
distracting view you can close the shades or put a demonstration in front of it.
Another thing to look for in group meetings is breaks. Make sure that if the meeting is
going to be long that you allow adequate time for meals, and a couple of short 10-15
minute breaks every couple of hours. This will allow the employees to unwind and
clear their heads.
When it comes to the presentation you have to greet people as they come in,
and try to break up any cliques that may have formed. Make sure that you start on
time, as not to encourage latecomers. Start with ice-breakers and try to get on good
terms with the group. Then you have to introduce yourself, and try to establish an
informal, non-threatening environment. Also, keep things interesting don’t be
monotonous, and ask lots of questions to keep the audience involved. There are four
types of questions that can be asked, 1) the overhead question. 2) The direct question.
3) The rhetorical question. 4) And the relay question. An overhead question is used to
get a discussion going and the group as a whole involved. A direct question is a
question that is directly asked to one specific person. The rhetorical question is used
to make the audience or group think about their answers. And a relay question helps
to keep the trainer from doing all the talking or giving his/her opinion.
Along with asking questions four other things are used for participation in
group training. They are 1)brainstorming, 2) case studies, 3) role-playing, 4) and
simulation. Brainstorming allows the participants to generate new ideas and ways to
solve problems. The emphasis of this is quantity instead of quality. Case studies are
cases that are taken from real situations in the work place. This is used to help the
employee develop his/her problem solving skills. Role-playing is self explanatory,
you assume roles and act them out. This allows them to practice newly acquired skills
in a realistic situation. Simulation is the final thing and it is another form of role-
playing, but it is done in a more realistic environment. This allows you to check
employees thoroughly before using them of the floor with guests or customers.
The last type of training is Learner Controlled Instruction, otherwise called
self-instruction. This is in my opinion the worst possible form of training and it is also
the least used form. This allows the trainee to work alone and set their own pace for
learning. Things used for these programs are videos, instruction manuals, and
computer training programs. These programs help to cut company costs of traveling
and other training expenses but they are also timely since the trainee has to learn on
their own time.
As you can see training plays an important role in this industry. You can also
see the different way that this can be done and is being done. And why evaluating
trainees on a system of “unacceptable” to “excellent” can create a poor working
environment. Along with the six myths about training and why they are myths, I hope
that now you have a better understanding of why training is so important.