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By: Chuck Gohn

Training Employees Part 2 of 2

Training employees never just happens - it is the result of a conscious effort on the part of the trainer and the trainee.

Key #6 - Stress the "do's" rather than the "don'ts".
Our tendency frequently is to tell trainees what not to do. Emphasize what they are to do in the task and avoid using the "what not to's". The only exceptions to our rule are points, which directly involve guest satisfaction or safety. Otherwise, be positive!

Key #7 - Work from the known to the unknown.
Trainees can accept training faster if the new idea, task, or concept is connected with an established one. "Okay, today starts a new coupon promotion. You ring them in just the way you normally do, but now you hit the appropriate coupon key afterward." This technique sometimes referred to as "bridging" allows us to move quickly from point to point to reach our objective rather than trying to jump the canyon.

Key #8 - Don't talk a "foreign" language.
Buzzwords, jargon, or foreign language all mean the same thing. (Words we in our industry, our business, or our restaurant use and understand but which are unknown to the general public). The list can be endless. If you must use a word, first define it then use it. If you don't have to use jargon:, don't! Sometimes we like to impress ourselves along with the trainees with our vast and expansive use of the Roberto's vocabulary. Remember, our goal is crew training, not ego feeding.

Key #9 - Break down complex tasks into basic tasks.
A banquet is best eaten in bites, rather than one continuous gulp. Take a complicated task of many steps and break it into several tasks of fewer steps. Then train the employee on each task separately until the entire complicated task has been mastered.

Key #10 - Doing tasks are learned by doing.
The majority of our skills for the hourly employee are for manual and muscular types of tasks. Therefore, if you want the trainee to learn how to do the tasks, he must have the opportunity to do them during the training process. Over and over and over - because we not only learn fastest by doing we retain the skill longer by repeating it.

About the author:  Chuck Gohn is President of The Food & Beverage Manager. For a free subscription to his on-line newsletter send an email request or visit his website at

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