- Understand the different methods for providing employee training and development
- Design a system to evaluate the effectiveness of training activities
An organization that needs to train its employees needs to consider a wide variety of options for delivering and evaluating whether employees have learned anything. Some methods of training are good for factual information, other methods are good for shaping attitudes, and other methods are good for learning skills. Understanding which methods are appropriate for different learning goals can greatly facilitate the retention and application of training material back on the job. It is also important to learn how to develop good assessments of training outcomes to ensure that the substantial costs of training and development are being recouped.
Lee Perry is a regional manager for a chain of Caribbean quick service restaurants called “A Taste of Jamaica.” This chain restaurant offers several traditional dishes like fried plantains, tropical fruit, stewed peas, red pea soup, curried chicken, jerk chicken, and saltfish; traditional Jamaican beverages like carrot juice, ginger beer, and soursop drink are also served. Reggae music and the red-gold-green tricolor motif are also featured prominently to complete the ambience.
The chain has expanded rapidly, and Mr. Perry believes that in some cases, the quality of the product has begun to suffer because employees do not fully understand how to properly cook and serve authentic Jamaican cuisine. Although this is a quick service restaurant, Mr. Perry believes very strongly in serving fresh, healthy food and therefore cooks need to have more knowledge regarding cleaning and cutting raw fruit and vegetables, preparing uncooked meats in a sanitary manner, and other principles associated with gourmet cooking that would not be required in conventional fast food restaurants. It is also necessary that new hires understand the culture of Jamaica and Jamaican food to a significant extent, because the chain has marketed itself as a cultural experience rather than just as a place to get food.
Based on the information provided above, Mr. Perry would like you to provide him with advice on how to improve the performance of his workforce. He has looked closely at the Starbuck’s chain and would like to replicate their success at keeping their brand identity strong even in the face of massive expansion. You should design a training program to maintain the high standards of A Taste of Jamaica as they expand, possibly integrating ideas from the Starbuck’s training modules (you can look these up for yourself). He believes that it will be necessary to implement a few different types of training for different topics.
Describe what the primary goals of each training program will be, what methods will be used for delivering training, and how you will measure whether employees have actually succeeded in learning the relevant material. Your measurement design should specifically address whether employees know the material, whether they apply what they’ve learned on the job, and how the company can tell if these techniques have an impact on each restaurant’s bottom line. As you are making your proposals, it is worth noting that the organization does plan to have a few regional offices for management, where new employees can receive training in groups. As such, you need not assume that all training must be provided in every single restaurant.
Although he doesn’t necessarily want you to break things down into a point-by-point list in your final presentation, he would like you to provide the following information:
- What knowledge and skills (if any) will be learned in the training module?
- What attitudes and beliefs (if any) should be developed through the training module?
- What are the methods that should be used to provide this training material to candidates (i.e. should it be learned in a classroom setting, through videotapes, small group discussions, etc.)? Who should teach candidates this material? For each method you propose, give a full justification for why you believe that method will be especially good for increasing learning while minimizing costs.
- Perry is very concerned that once training is provided, it is rapidly forgotten or disregarded. When training material is applied on the job, it is called “transfer of training.” What will you do to ensure that the material that you’re teaching is actually transferred to behavior back on the job?
- How will you evaluate whether the training is effective? What types of performance, financial, and attitudinal measures will you use to assess the effectiveness of the training program?
It might help you to look up job descriptions for positions in food service using O*Net when determining appropriate learning module content.