The working world is always shifting. The systems that were in play ten years back are quite absolute and frankly outdated. Some labor laws have been revised, and some even done away with. There is quite an endless list that would then prompt a session to educate your staff members further. Some pieces of the on-the-job training program are also mandated as a by law.
In every corporation, there comes that time when you have to offer additional training to your employees. This training helps to test a new performance management system or train the staff members on a specific topic. On-the-job training is, therefore, of great value to an enterprise. The usage of on-the-job coaching integrates the exercise sessions with the regular work schedule eliminating the need to halt the workflow of your employees.
Below are tips that can help you as a business owner to formulate the best on-the-job training program with the highest success rate.
Identify Your Company Needs
To begin with, you need to have a sit-down with your managerial team and catalog which sections of your company need a revision. From this list, you have to state the skill sets that your employees need to be reinforced. These may include computer skills, communication skills, or customer service. Other on-the-job training program sessions are mandated by law to sensitize your workers on how to conduct themselves in the office environment. These lessons include ethics, safety, human relations, sexual harassment, and quality incentives.
Your team may observe employees and look for points of weakness and understand the potential hurdles they face. Another way is to ask your workforce through surveys on what they would like to be taught. Involving your employees in their on-the-job training will make them more enthusiastic about the whole training session ahead of time.
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Create a Plan
Once you have your necessities in line, the next thing is to create the plan that lists all your sessions one by one. The scheme is to include the title of the course, the day, time, place, and who is to attend the meetings. Additionally, every on-the-job training program must be aligned with the name of the trainer and their credentials as well. Every lesson must be structured in a reasonable time and day such that every staff member gets an equal chance to be trained. This is because some companies have employees working on different shifts and might not be in the office or the establishment all at the same time. The meetings may also be divided into departmental sessions or rank levels meetings. The flow of events must start with the most straightforward foundational information and build-up to the more complicated issues.
The plan must then either be sent to each member of staff via email or posted on the office notice board. This is to make sure each employee gets to plan themselves accordingly. Such that if they have meetings outside the office, they are rescheduled. And if they have deadlines, they complete the work to avoid a clash.
Determine Training Methods
On-The-Job pieces of training have to be engaging and entertaining to keep the employees interested from beginning to end. And for that to happen, you have to select the best training methods. You aim to make sure everyone takes part in the gatherings. So much so, you must include hands-on approaches to the demonstration and simulations. Outside class, the trainers may employ mentoring strategies and assign every junior, including interns, to senior members in their department. This method creates a stronger understanding as to what is required of them if they ever took up that position in the future. They may also employ job shadowing where the trainee is to follow their superior around as they go about their duties.
In class, you may use methods such as role-playing, lectures, and tutorials to make the training more productive and appealing. An affable course will help your representatives retain the most or all they are taught in sessions.
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Use Resources You Already Have
Inevitably, training sessions need funding. The booking of venues required for the courses, the incentives, and also the refreshments cost money. Each training session involves the usage of printed material and stationery, which need funding too. And if the trainers are outsourced, they also have to be compensated for their services. The whole on-the-job training excursion will then have to sort out and source funding to ensure the smooth running of the exercise.
Pieces of training that are run by external companies come fully equipped with their preparations funded. But in-house training bills have to be footed by the companies’ financial department. In cases that you have to sort out your finances, you must utilize the resources you have. That means that you have to improvise each step of the way.
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For one, you may convert your spacious breakroom into a training room, moving around the furniture, making it fit to hold a few sessions. Add a whiteboard for the trainer to use for illustrations, arrange the room’s chairs and install a projector if you need one. This, however, has to be done strategically not to conflict with lunchtimes and break times. Such that your staff members that utilize the breakroom at such times are not displaced.
Secondly, in place of outsourced trainers, you may train a few people to teach the rest. You have to select competent staff members to take the training beforehand to reduce the fees you would pay the trainer in the long run. Picking the best of the best will help you reduce the teaching hours too. These staff members may include some form of compensation, but it costs you less than what you would have paid.
Lastly, for teaching materials, utilize what you already have in the office for printed materials that you may throw after the sessions, recycle paper. Alternatively, ask your trainees to bring notebooks, sticky notes, pens, and pencils already handed out to them for their day to day work.
In case you do not have some things like softballs or rope that you need for your sessions, ask your staff members beforehand if they do have them at home. Such that they may come with them on the day they are required. Things that can be made by hand like name tags can be assigned as a preparational activity to the facilitator in charge.
This reduces your expenditure such that your office will not have to buy each and everything on the list. You will only buy the few things that are a must.
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Choose Trainers Carefully
It is undisputed that an engaging teacher will have an appealing teaching session and an actively involved audience. You should then be very selective when choosing a trainer. Selecting the wrong one may mean a complete waste of both you and your employee’s time.
You must first choose a teacher that is first and foremost audible. Picking a trainer that cannot articulate his or her words loud enough for everyone to hear will completely suck the joy out of a presentation. Pick a person who is well informed on the subject at hand and one who is organized as well.
Make sure that the trainers you settle for know when their sessions are to happen and are well prepared for them. Their overall persona must be jovial, motivated, and enthusiastic.
As a starting point, you may ask each of your staff members to pick a topic to teach. And after they have made the selections themselves, evaluate them, and make the switches if need be. This gives your employees the confidence to run the show on their terms while still sticking to the rules given.
Be sure not to discriminate or judge anyone on their shortcomings. Make sure every group is represented fairly. The male and female groups in all races, job rankings, financial status, and educational background must be included. Not forgetting a representative of the disabled group. If you have a deaf or dumb worker, be sure you acquire a sign language facilitator to do the translation.
This exercise is not only meant to elevate the office’s productivity through additional skill sets learned but also strengthen bonds between workmates.
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Integrates Different Learning Styles
A Three-hour lesson with different learning styles is by far better than a one-hour lesson taught in only one manner of teaching. A lecture that keeps dictating notes or illustrations in one tone for a long time becomes monotonous and frankly dull. But one who keeps spicing things up with different methods holds the crowd’s attention for the whole session regardless of the duration.
These styles include the usage of visuals, such as slide presentations, pictures, videos, and tutorials. The usage of audios may also be used for some performances. Other styles that help convey the lesson better are discussions, debates, and role-playing exercises.
The same way people look different, the methods they enjoy learning income in different ways too. People with photographic memories enjoy visually lead training sessions, and others do love the regular all talk sessions. The discussions and debates, on the other hand, stimulates the trainee’s minds and prompt them to share what they think about the topic at hand. The airing out of their opinions makes each employee acquire new respect and appreciation towards their colleagues. The on-the-job training program gives the team a better perspective of each teammate’s contribution. And offers the employees an overall recognition of their strengths and weaknesses as a team.
The role-playing exercises help shed light on how different scenarios ideally turn out. It is a live-made reenactment of how you should act in case things turn out in a certain way. For instance, a customer service agent is trained better on how to respond to a rude client through a role-playing excursion. The trainee is bound to recall this scenario better when the actual event occurs. It is bound to bear better fruits in the long run. This session will not only be filled with waves of laughter and tears of joy, but one learns how to respond when faced with real-life obstacles.
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Another vital tip on carrying out on-the-job training sessions is to cross-train your members of staff. This means that you include everyone in all training sessions regardless of their expertise. You include the customer service and hospitality team in some financial pieces of training, and vice versa. What this achieves is that in case there is a shortage of staff or an essential member of the team calls in sick, someone else can step in. Even in cases, one leaves the team altogether, one of the already employed workers take up their responsibilities before a replacement is found.
Cross-training also helps one appreciate what their colleagues do for the company. The hand-on training that involves them putting themselves in their teammates’ shoes makes them develop a stronger appreciation for what they do. They also get to understand how their work fits into the building of the company. For instance, a finance manager trained alongside the logistics officers will know how much necessary the data the officers collect in the field is crucial for them in the creation of the company’s annual budget.
Every person in the company that has a role to play; they are building blocks that make up the entire company. Cross-training clears this for them. Additionally, Individual employees get to add a newly mastered skillset on their resume.
Evaluate the On-the-Job Training Program
After the completion of any course, it is recommended for trainers to hand out an exam or test as an evaluation. The tests help to check if the lessons conveyed were retained by the trainees.
These assessment tests are best handed out after every learning session. After marking the papers, the facilitators are in a better position to gauge if the pieces of information communicated during the lessons were retained.
The assessments may be in the form of multiple choice quizzes, open-ended questions, or simple question and answer sessions at the end of the class.
The results gotten from these evaluations do not only the students but the trainer as well. It paints the picture of how practical the lesson was overall and individually. And it indicates if changes are needed in the next lot.
Host Regular On-the-Job Training Programs
To make sure your team is kept up to date with the changes taking part in the working world, make a note to have regular training sessions. These sessions may be carried out either on a routine or when the need arises. Sessions that involve new and upgraded systems may be more often than pieces of training on ethics or sexual harassment. The latter may be carried out only as an introductory lesson for new staff members and interns. Or at least once a year to refresh everyone’s memory.
The regular sessions may be divided departmentally as well. Meaning the team working on fast-changing industries will have more on-the-job training program prompted by the rise of new advancements. The most affected sectors are computers and IT, in general. The slow-moving areas, such as customer service will require at least one session every three to four months.
These pieces of training are a great way to notify the employees of any significant industrial changes. And maintain the skill set standards of the firm.
Follow- Up: On-the-Job Training Program
Lastly, you must have a follow up to check in with your staff members if the on-the-job training benefited them on a personal level. You should also find out how the lessons they learned have improved their working strategies. And if they actively integrate them into their everyday duties. Also, ask if it made work more manageable or not. During this same follow-up session, ask them if the methods of teaching were adequate or if they need to be revised and to what. Conclusively, you may get a few suggestions of what they wish the next sessions would be about.
Employees are the backbone of any business. Make sure all your employees are always putting their best when coming in to work. Check out “How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming in Your Café” or helpful info to motivating your staff to their highest potential.
The on-the-job-training program should be formulated in a way that they are very informative and fun such that the group learning will absorb everything discussed during the sittings. And the tips given above will help you do just that.
Thank you for reading! Make sure to check out related articles to improve the atmosphere of your establishment like “8 Bad Habits of Hospitality Managers and How to Deal With Them” or “4 Tips to Improve Customer Service at Your Cafe“.
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