In parts one and two of this three-part series, I covered how to get started with your plan, setting clear goals, training methods, and documentation. Today I’ll discuss revising and evaluating your plan.
As discussed previously, you should establish goals for training based on the needs you have identified in the employee through review. These goals should be realistic— nothing is ever going to go flawlessly and no employee is perfect. Setting incremental, achievable goals is essential to the success of your training. It will make it much easier to identify problem areas, or, in the case that an employee consistently misses a large number of training goals, an indicator that they may be ill-suited for the position. If a significant number of your employees are having difficultywith a portion of your training plan, it is time to revise that training. You may be setting an unrealistic timetable to learn the task, the task may not be as clearly-worded as it should, or some other reason.
When you identify a problem area in your training, go to your most important source of feedback— your employees. Speak to both managers and subordinates and once you’ve identified the problem area, ask specific questions. Is the training time unrealistic for the goal? Is the goal not clear enough? Is this something a lot of trainees are stumbling on, or just one employee?
If you have broken your tasks down into manageable enough chunks, you should be able to rapidly identify where the problem is, and then get on to the task of deciding whether the issue is with the plan or the employee.
Revise as you Go
All training plans are works in progress. Even the largest corporate chains continuously tweak and revise their training programs as they seek ways to maximize efficiency. Is the training is taking far more/less time than you anticipated? Is there a particular task or concept that everyone seems to stumble on? These are signs that your program may need some revision.
Track how well the employees are meeting their goals in the timetable set for them. If you have determined it takes three shifts to become proficient in a particular task, and most of your trainees seem to be mastering it in one, that is a clear sign your plan needs revision. If trainees are consistently over or undershooting their goals, tweak them. Remember each training plan is a work in progress, and is not set in stone. If you see an opportunity to cross-train, take it. If it works well, add it to the plan.
When you give employee performance reviews, include the results from their training in that review. Use periodic observation and review to ensure that your training is being carried out in the workplace consistently.
Give Your Plan a Plan
Now that you’ve begun to outline your training plan, it’s time to start thinking about how to plan for evaluation and revision of your plan. First, who is in charge of implementing the plan? As you have set clear expectations of your training goals, so should you make it very clear who is responsible for implementing those plans. A well-crafted plan will only take you so far— you need to set clear expectations for those implementing it as well. Depending on the size of your restaurant, this could be one or more people. Whomever it is, make sure they and employees know who they’re supposed to be reporting to.
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