The annual turnover rate in the food service industry is more than 90 percent, the Nation’s Restaurant News reported in December, but organizations can strategically use training to reduce how quickly managers and hourly employees leave according to one industry expert.
Jim Sullivan, CEO and founder of the food service and retail industry resource Sullivision.com, has been blogging about the topic lately, and this month he shared some learning and development-related best practices to retain new and existing foodservice workers.
Here are some key takeaways valuable in and outside of the food service industry:
Remember culture. Sullivan wrote that an effective training program’s objective is to instill and align company culture, “not simply to infuse process.” Learning leaders should identify some high-stakes cultural behaviors that all employees should share such as empathy, teamwork and communication, and then design training to advance those skills.
Check training delivery. This has two parts to it. Do learning materials come off as condescending as opposed to helpful? “Is there a subtext of mutual reciprocity and caring or are you talking down to trainees?” Sullivan wrote.
Second, learning organizations should review how well their learning delivery methods are keeping with the times and with what is known about learner behaviors. The fact that the most popular videos on the Web right now aren’t long in duration should offer some insight into what captures and holds people’s attention. Learning leaders should examine how they reach different employee groups, Sullivan wrote, and find ways to blend learning styles in their current training program.
Get rid of waste. There are systemwide savings to be had when learning organizations audit their existing training content and courses, and thoughtfully trim down where needed. What’s bloated? What’s redundant? What’s outdated or irrelevant?
If restaurant companies want to really understand what business will look like, Sullivan wrote they should look at what’s happening in today’s classrooms: “How we learn shapes every new generation, and the better you align with the advances in teaching, the better you develop your future leaders.”