Last week, my daughter started a new job with a national restaurant chain. Later this week, she’ll wait on her first table; more than 10 days after starting the job. She’s had classes, shadowed other servers, studied at home, and, yes, even taken tests. Are you as committed to training your new employees as this company is?
The ROI on training investment
After observing first hand the training required to wait tables at her new job, I now understand my highly favorable opinion of the chain in question. I’ve frequented this chain at locations all over the country and never left disappointed. Sure, the quality and taste of the food is good but lots of restaurants have that part right. It’s the investment in training the staff to deliver a high quality and consistent experience, that sets these guys apart from other national chains.
My daughter worked for another national restaurant chain that I also frequent when I travel. This chain, however, has food and service of varying quality depending on location. I asked my daughter about the difference in training and she just laughed. Apparently, there was little or no training of servers other than to shadow someone more experienced. There were no classes, no tests, and just a menu to take home and review. As a customer, the difference shows and now I understand it.
How a training investment can look
To be successful, a training investment needs to be planned and executed with a known purpose in mind. For example, I am asking Shelby Sapusek spend a day going through our new ProofPass.com site. She will work through the site as a new user experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly of our completely reworked offering. We have several goals for this investment of her time. First, be better able to prepare marketing materials from a user perspective. Second, enhance our documentation to improve user experience. Finally, recommend design and functionality changes.
There are multiple returns on this investment but the one that matters most to me looks like this: Shelby is spending more and more time managing ColorMetrix development projects. Now, when users submit trouble tickets, she will have firsthand experience of what the problem looks like. It’s much easier to provide the developers with a detailed trouble ticket when you have experienced the problem first hand and know how to duplicate it. We end up with a better project manager who can facilitate quicker response times to customer and better solutions to problems.
That’s just one way a training investment can look. What do your training investments look like?