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The following list is worth reviewing whenever you are getting ready to train someone:

  1. HAVE PATIENCE. Rome was not built in a day. Neither can a good GSA, Room Attendant, fry cook or maintenance person be trained in "one easy lesson". Expect to repeat...and repeat...and repeat.

  2. AVOID CRITICISM OF THE OLD WAY. No one wants to feel the way he or she has been doing a job is wrong. Use the approach, "Here is a better way," or "Here is a different way." Never put anyone "on the spot."

  3. PUT YOURSELF IN THE LEARNER'S PLACE. Recognize that learning is work. Take the learner along with you one stage at a time. What seems easy to you may have taken you months to learn.

  4. SPEED LEARNING WITH PLENTY OF PRAISE. Praise, not criticism, speeds learning. Encouragement is the oil to the wheels of the mind. Most supervisors give far too little praise. Look for things to praise.

  5. SET REALISTIC GOALS. Set a goal the learner can reach. Let him or her experience success in each step of the training road. Start off with easy standards. Step them up as the learner progresses.

  6. RECOGNIZE DIFFERENT MENTAL CAPACITIES. Some employees can learn twice as fast as others. Don't be disappointed with our friends who are not very bright. They may make the best back-of-the-house employees and be great long term employees.

  7. START WITH A JOB BREAK DOWN. The trainer needs a teaching plan. Without the plan, he/she is like a homebuilder without blueprints.

  8. SPACE THE TRAINING PERIODS. Learning is more efficient when it is spread out. A half hour a day is probably enough for retraining in most jobs. Learning goes on in the mind between training sessions.

  9. BE POSITIVE, ENCOURAGING, OPTIMISTIC BUT DO NOT EXPECT MIRACLES. Remember also that if the employee has not learned, the trainer has not taught.

SOURCE: HOW TO OPERATE A RESTAURANT, Peter Dukas & Donald Lundberg.

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