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1.1 Background Aspects to Training

Attitudes and attention to training has changed greatly in the last 50yrs. Historically training applied more to manual and trade skills often effected through apprenticeships. In more recent years much more emphasis has come about in management training. With the aid of modern technology the training expertise itself has been greatly developed and improved to cover all aspects of modern business & industry.

Results from the HRfocus’s Survey (2001) in the USA State that second to strategic planning, training is the second most frequently cited critical issue coming before usual concerns of hiring, retention and compensation. Relating to plans & strategies the survey delivers quotations such as:

"Training is our key issue. We survey our staff to find out areas of need & interest for training purposes. In this way we can present training that is relevant to employees"

(Vice President of Human Resources at a 250- employee Health Care company) (Cited by HR focus, 2001. P2)

"Our agency is creating a unified training plan to include developing career paths for our employees. We are also developing a work force analysis plan to set strategies for retention, recruitment and succession"

(HR Administrator at a 600-employee Government entity) (Cited by HR focus, 2001. P2)

"Our managers are sent to training seminars and use videos for training on legal issues. Training is our number one goal for 2001. We are working on developing a more comprehensive training program for new employees as well as on going training opportunities for all employees"

(Director of HR at a 120-employee health cares company)

(Cited by HR focus, 2001. P2)

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1.2 Definition

The above quotes illustrate how training has grown in stature.

"Training is the systematic modification of behaviour through learning which occurs as a result of education, instruction, development and planned experience"

(Armstrong 1999, p507)

"A planned process to modify attitude knowledge or skill behaviour through learning experience to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities. Its purpose, on the work situation, is to develop the abilities of the individual and to satisfy the current and future manpower needs of the organisation"

(Manpower services commission, 1981) (Cited by Armstrong, 1999, p507)

While Armstrong’s definition is concise, the definition given by the manpower services commission gives a better insight to training by not only explaining what training is but also giving the reason for training practices to be implemented. Sometimes there is confusion between the terms "Education" & "Training" because there is a degree of inter-relationship. This relationship can be best understood by considering Education as dealing with the imparting of knowledge whereas Training is directed towards changing of behaviour and attitude.

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1.3 Aims & Objectives of Training

Armstrong (1999) states that the fundamental aim of training is to help organisations achieve their purpose by adding to their key resources i.e. the people they employee. Investing in training means that employees will be able to perform better and empower themselves to make use of their natural abilities.

The main objectives of training are to:

(Adopted from Armstrong, 1999, p507-508)

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1.4 Training Philosophy

According to Armstrong (1999) there are three broad approaches to training open to organisations. Some adopt a lassie-faire approach believing that employees will find out what to do for themselves or through others. (E.g. If skill shortages were to be encountered, they would rectify the situation by poaching staff from other organisations that invest in training). Secondly other organisations may invest in training in good times, but in bad times training budgets will be the first to be cut. Thirdly organisations that adopt a positive training philosophy do so because they are convinced that they live in a world where competitive advantage is achieved by having higher quality people than the opposition. This goal cannot be achieved if managers do not invest in developing the skills and competencies of their employees. It is important for employees to also realise that organisations are showing an act of faith by creating opportunities for further education and enhancement of their skills. This is the proactive approach rather than reactive approach designating training as a continuous and on-going process within the organisation.

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1.5 Principles of Effective Training

For a company to design an effective training programme the following principles should be known and understood:

  1. Training can only be successful if it is recognised that learning is a voluntary process that individuals must be keen to learn and consequently they must be properly motivated.
  2. People learn at different rates and particularly in the case of adults, often start from different levels of knowledge and skill with different motives and attitude.
  3. Learning is hindered by feelings of nervousness, fear, inferiority, and by lack of confidence.
  4. Instruction must be given in short frequent sessions rather than a few long stints.
  5. Trainees must participate
  6. Training must make full use of appropriate and varied techniques and of all the senses, not just one, such as the sense of hearing.
  7. Trainees need clear targets and progress to be checked frequently.
  8. Confidence has to be built up by praise, not broken down by reprimand. Learning must be rewarding.
  9. Skills & Knowledge are acquired in stages marked by periods of progress, "standstill" and even a degeneration of the skill or knowledge so far acquired. Instructors must know of this phenomenon ("the learning curve"), as it can be a cause of disappointment and frustration for many trainees.

(Adopted from Boella, 1996, p119-20)

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1.5.1 Benefits of Effective Training

The principles of effective training dictate that training needs to be tailored to suit individual needs. If these principles are followed and understood the following benefits can be obtained:

(Adopted from Armstrong, 1999, p508)

It would be unreal to assume that everything is positive for organisations that invest in training programmes for their employees. They can fall prey to other organisations that have no training policy and depend on poaching. As a direct result of a no training policy the latter can offer attractive remuneration to poach staff resulting in inflationary staff costs.

The reason companies are able to entice staff away may be due to the fact that many employed within the Hospitality industry are very employable because they are multi-skilled which means that they are qualified for a number of positions. (E.g. Jury’s Hotels employ workers who will be able to work within food & beverage and accommodation department’s etc). It must also be remembered that absence of employees from the workplace while on training can adversely affect productivity levels in the short term. In a recent survey Look Who’s Training now (2000)

"The main reasons for not training beyond induction were: lack of time; difficulty in providing cover for staff and staff not staying long enough to be trained"

(www.htf.org.uk, Accessed 25 March 2001)

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1.6 Scale Of the UK Hospitality Industry

Training is more important now than ever because the Hospitality & Tourism industry today, according to the British Hospitality Association (BHA), is one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing industries. The BHA states that the industry accounts for 10% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In addition the hospitality industry accounts for 10% of the total UK workforce providing both full — time and flexible employment for over 2 million people.

In 1996 the BHA reported 13.6 billion spending in the UK by overseas visitors (Excluding 3 billion accumulated through fares to UK carriers). This would have represented the export value for the Hospitality industry that year. Hospitality also accounted for one quarter of the Uk'S invisible earnings. It is not surprising therefore that the BHA in its submissions have stated that:

"Hospitality is regarded by Government as a key driver in the country’s economy"

(www.bha-online.org.uk, Accessed 1 March 2001)

This has been very strongly reaffirmed by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s comments & concerns for the Hospitality industry across the UK arising from the current Foot and Mouth crisis. The indications at present are that losses in the Hospitality industry due to cancellations & reduction in normal activity is greater than the direct losses in the Agriculture industry.

If the Foot and Mouth crisis continues, in the long term it will affect the estimates of Henley centre for forecasting that by the year 2006 the hospitality industry will have created 400,000 new jobs, currently creating one in every five new jobs. Grave concerns have also been expressed for the immediate future of the 300 million industry and its 35,000 employees in Northern Ireland, and the same sentiment would apply to the Republic of Ireland, but on a much greater scale.

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1.7 The Importance of Management Training to the Hospitality Industry

The importance of management training to the hospitality industry has been highlighted by Peterson & Hicks (1996). According to Peterson & Hicks (1996) management training is vital because of the unavoidable changes that occur in organisations. To achieve continuing progress successful organisations will reprogram themselves and retrain their employees accordingly, e.g. to gain a competitive edge over their competitors by improving service quality in their hotel etc.

1.8 Consequences of not training

Peterson & Hicks (1996) are also adamant that those organisations that are successful at present but continue unchanged and become complacent will be in for a big shock.

They argue that training is a continuous process and that people’s skills need to be continually updated to avoid becoming obsolete just like technologies which become outdated if development is not ongoing.

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1.9 Benefits of Effective Training

While Peterson & Hicks (1996) have highlighted the consequences of not training they also pointed out how organisations benefit from effective management training.

The effect of management training at the top filters downward throughout the entire organisation where well trained staff build stronger teams of employees, in turn leading to better financial results.

Gob (1999) believes that Hospitality operators are generally strong believers in management training and are prepared to invest in effective training programmes.

 

One example is,

"In the early 90s, the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and ARAMARK spent over $5.5 and $25 million respectively on training. These financial commitments were made in hope of producing capable managers that can deal with new and uncertain challenges"

(Tracey & Tews 1995) (Cited By Gob 1999, Vol. 8, No. 3)

The importance of management training is reiterated by John Russell, president of HFS’s Hospitality division, who stated in the October 1996 issue of Hotel & Motel Management,

"The chains that survive will be the ones that focus on training"

(Cited by Gillette, 1996)

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1.10 The Economy’s Effect on Training

Investment in training will hopefully produce managers that can deal with new challenges etc and guide the organisation forward in a positive and competent manner. (E.g. changes in the Economy etc). During the 80s due to economic instability many Hospitality organisations closed management training programs to save money. Once these problems subsided almost all organisations reintroduced the management training programs because,

"The cost of formal management training is money well spent resulting in effective satisfied employees"

(Gob 1999, Management Training: Is It Essential, Hosteur)

This underlines one of the three approaches put forward by Armstrong that in good times organisations would invest in training and in bad times the training budget would be the first to cut.

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1.11 Importance of Training to the Employee

According to Gob (1999) this is an area that is often overlooked, as new employees are eager to become contributing members of the team. Employees may therefore see the amount of time and effort, which an organisation spends, on them to help them become competent as a strong indication of their importance to the organisation. Conversely the lack of a strong training program can be from the employees perspective as an indication that the employee is not important enough to warrant any attention & effort from the organisation.

1.12 Education’s Viewpoint on Management Training’s Importance

Most educational institutions that run Hospitality management-training programmes are very much aware of the importance of training according to Gob (1999). The educational programs are, in a way, a form of management training themselves.

According to Gob (1999) most Hospitality professionals are agreed on the theoretical aspects of management training. There will always be differences of opinion as to the practical application of the theory.

1.13 Hospitality Managers

Management training will not only help managers to manage and develop the business; it will also help them to identify the training required for their employees. Knowledge of and commitment to proper training implementation by management is crucial to the overall success of any organisations training programme.

1.14 Types of Training Available

Armstrong (1999), Boella (1996) and Go, Monachello and Baum (1996) are in agreement that there are three main places were training can take place. In company on the job, in Company off the job, and external training, each having its advantages and disadvantages that merit discussion and interpretation

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1.15 In company — On the Job Training

In relation to the Hospitality Industry for the best part, staff work is carried out in direct contact with customers.

"For this reason much of the training of new staff has to be performed "on the job" so that the experience of dealing with its customers can be obtained. On the job training therefore plays a vital part in the industries approach to training"

(Boella, 1996, p120)

On the job training (OJT) is a process which may involve several steps as suggested by Armstrong (1999). This includes teaching & coaching by managers or team leaders or training at a desk or bench. The effectiveness of OJT will be determined by the quality of this guidance from managers or team leaders.

It is therefore vital that appropriate training is provided for managers and team leaders in this respect, and that it is made clear to them that this is part of their job and will be one of the areas for assessment of their performance.

Many managers/ team leaders are unskilled in training techniques and rely on their employees to provide the necessary training to trainees rather than learn the necessary training skills themselves. This is why Go et al (1996) maintains that since this is a process of learning by doing that OJT is the most used and abused approach to training. Placing responsibility of training on employee’s managers or team leaders can be doing more harm than good firstly to the trainee and more importantly to the organisation. Armstrong (1999), Boella (1996) and Go et al (1996) agree that such actions can spell disaster. Employees with no experience in training techniques may inadvertently impart bad habits or practices to their trainees. In the first instance as Boella (1996) suggests, the employee may not have a suitable personality never mind the knowledge of what to instruct and what not to instruct. It is therefore vital that if employees are to be given the responsibility of developing the skills of newcomers, they must have a sound and comprehensive knowledge of the job. A more obvious problem that may affect the development of newcomers is the attitude of trainees themselves. They maybe distracted by the environment and therefore find it difficult to acquire the basic skills quickly enough.

Overall OJT is the only way to develop and practice specific managerial, team leading, technical, manual and administrative skills needed by the organisation as suggested by Armstrong (1999). In relation to the above point Go et al (1996) believes that OJT requires planning, structure and supervision to be effective for developing a variety of practical and customer orientated capabilities. The main advantages of OJT are as follows:

  1. Actuality & immediacy.
  2. Theory put into practice immediately and relevance obvious.
  3. Much of the learning can take place naturally as part of the Performance management process.
  4. Most effective if specific learning objectives have been articulated.

(Adopted from Armstrong 1999, p519)

"Finally if done correctly OJT is a sensible & cost effective method for training and assessing trainees progress in jobs such as Retail sales, Food & Beverage operatives and Check in and Checkout positions"

(Go et al 1996, p211) Examples include Domino Pizza where approximately 85% of training is OJT delivered by store managers using corporately developed training programs. E.g. OJT is used extensively by Ramada Inn, which has developed an OJT training aid. This training aid helps trainees by making them aware of the training objectives the benefits to themselves and the benefits to the company and the customer in performing the task. It also provides trainee with the sequence of steps that should be followed to perform the task correctly as well as a list of tools, materials and equipment required to do the task. Finally the training aid provides an evaluation form for providing feedback to the trainee.

(Examples adopted from Go et al 1996, P211)

Used right OJT can form an important component in skills training as well as in orientation or induction training for new employees. In a recent survey Look Who’s Training Now (2000) stated that

"The most common route at over one third of all training incidents was on the job training provided by an internal provider and leading to no qualification"

(www.htf.org.uk, Accessed 25 March 2001)

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1.15.1 In Company - Off the job Training

Go et al (1996) suggests that the distinguishing factor of In House Off the Job Training from other types of off the job training is that:

"In house off the job training is conducted away from the physical location were the job is actually carried out but still on company premises"

(Go et al 1996, p212)

Armstrong (1999) also believes that this type of training is the best way to acquire advanced manual, office, customer service or selling skills and to learn about company procedures and products. It also increases the trainee’s identification with the organisation. The availability of equipment and trained trainers helps in that the basic skills are acquired much quicker and often more economically.

There are a number of methods and techniques available with the choice depending on what is to be imparted. The main method guidelines are as follows,

  1. Talks are best used for imparting knowledge such as company history and policies, legal matters, regulations, recipes, and an outline of methods and procedures. In giving a talk, progress must be checked frequently by use of questions and answers.
  2. Discussions are best used to elaborate on and to consolidate what has been imparted by other techniques.
  3. Lectures often mean little more than talking at trainees and are therefore to be avoided as there is usually little trainee participation.
  4. Case studies, projects, business games are best used to illustrate and to consolidate principles of management such as planning, analytical techniques, etc.
  5. Role-playing is best used to develop social skills such as receiving guests, handling customer complaints, selling, interviewing or instructional techniques. Ideally this should be supported by video tape recordings, if possible.
  6. Films, charts, and other visual aids should not normally be used as instructional techniques by themselves, but should support talks, discussions, case studies and role-playing. Films on a variety of hotel and catering subjects are available from several training organisations.
  7. Programmed texts, Interactive videos, I.Roms satisfy many of the principles of learning. In addition, individuals can use them at any convenient time — not requiring the presence of an instructor. They cannot, of course, be used to teach some things such as manual skills and they can be very expensive to design.

(Adopted from Boella, 1996, p121-123)

As with any system there are always going to be disadvantages which Armstrong (1999) goes on to state. Trainees sometimes find it hard to transfer the skills and knowledge learned on courses to the work place. Additionally managers and team leaders transferring from training situation to real life may find things more complex.

The problem here tends to be that their training deals with motivation and leadership theories, which deal with the mind. This make's it much harder to get across, as the connection between what people learn say in the classroom may not always be apparent.

This is why

"Strenuous efforts have to be made to ensure that learners perceive the reality of what they are learning and are expected to develop and implement action plans for putting it into practice"

(Armstrong 1999, p520)

The action learning approach/concept was developed by Revans (1989) in order to overcome such problems.

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1.15.2 External — Off the job Training

This form of training may involve employees being released to attend a local college or university for either short term or formal certified programs i.e. National Vocational Qualifications (NVQS) etc. Go et al (1996) suggests training can either be tailored to organisations specific needs or it may focus on special disciplines related to both the Hospitality & Tourism Industry. External training can also cover more technical or management topics which are beneficial for the development of managers or team leaders, technical and social knowledge and skills as suggested by Armstrong (1999).

Other forms of external training could be special courses & conferences run by other organisations other than educational institutions. Another quite favourable approach used by larger organisations, which Go et al (1996) suggested, are work-based placements and projects at different locations within the parent organisation or other organisations. For those people who have the opportunity to participate in external training courses it allows them to broaden their horizons as they are exposed to peers from different organisations.

As with most forms of training the transfer of learning into practice is more difficult than the two previous types of training mentioned. Another major concern is that the effectiveness of external training will be determined by how quickly the knowledge and skills acquired are used; Armstrong (1999) states if not used immediately the learning acquired may evaporate quickly. Finally due to the wide variety of courses available it may be hard for organisations to pick the most relevant to meet their objectives.

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1.16 Relevant Facts from the Main Advisory & Information Organisations in the Hospitality Industry

  1. The Hotel and Catering International Management Association (HCIMA) is the professional body for the international Hospitality industry,
  2. "Who encourages and acknowledges quality and industrial relevance in education training programmes"

    (www.hcima.org.uk, Accessed 10 May 2001)

    As a professional body it promotes professional expertise in the three levels of management, supervisory, operational and senior management, which in turn will improve standards throughout the entire industry.

    In relation to quality and standards, the Corpus of management excellence will highlight the HCIMA’ S viewpoint i.e.

    "The Corpus provides an integrated system as the basis of the core HCIMA activities, forming a comprehensive and wide ranging benchmark against which both individuals and courses can be measured"

    (www.hcima.org.uk, Accessed 10 May 2001)

    The achievement of blocks within the Corpus framework can help gain accreditation’s for membership and courses. The format is clear and easy for everyone to understand and the blocks guide them through the accreditation process. More importantly,

    "Individual success is not confined to the completion of college courses but allows for a variety of means to contribute to professional body member

    (www.hcima.org.uk, Accessed 10 May 2001)

    According to the HCIMA this can include on — job training, external training, college and university programmes and courses and much more. (For more information on the HCIMA’ S Corpus of management excellence. (Refer to appendix 1)

  3. The British Hospitality Association (BHA) provides information on current issues, statistics & developments within the Hospitality industry. According to the BHA (2001), the number of colleges offering recognised courses in Hospitality studies currently stands at 112 within the UK.
  4. This includes both full-time and part-time courses. (For further detail on listed colleges refer to appendix 2).

  5. The Hospitality Training Foundation (HTF) stated that for 1997/98 the number of students on Catering and Institutional Management in higher education stood was 17,584. This includes under graduate courses comprising of Degree’s, Higher National Diplomas (HND) and Diplomas (DipHe’s).

1.17 Evaluation of the Training Process

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Hamblin (1974) defines evaluating training as

"Any attempt to obtain information (feedback) of the effects of a training programme and to assess the value of the training in the light of that information"

(Cited by Armstrong 1999, p531)

By evaluating the effectiveness of training Torrington & Hall (1998) and Go et al (1996) both believe that it is one of the most unsatisfactory aspects of training, with many organisations believing that training ends once the delivery of the training program is complete. The belief that training ends once delivery is completed has two consequences:

Both Torrington & Hall (1998) and Go et al (1996) believe that, evaluation is vital in determining how successful the training program has been and for the organisation it is vital to be able to demonstrate value for money.

The evaluation process is very straightforward when the output of training is clear as suggested by Torrington & Hall (1998).

Armstrong (1999) states by implementing an evaluation process the organisation will have a degree of control and that it is therefore important that the entire training program is evaluated because:

Complications arise when it comes to evaluating the success of a management-training programme of social skills and development where outputs are hard to measure. Torrington & Hall (1998) believe that while difficult, evaluation should still be carried out.

In the evaluation of training programs Kirkpatrick (1994) suggest there are four levels of evaluation:

Level 1 — Reaction — at this level, evaluation measures how those who participated in the training have reacted to it. In a sense, it is a measure of immediate customer satisfaction. The following guidelines suggested by Kirkpatrick (1994) for evaluating reactions are:

Level 2 — Evaluating learning — this level obtains information on the extent to which learning objectives have been obtained. It will aim to find how much knowledge was acquired, what skills were developed or improved, and, as appropriate, the extent to which attitudes have changed in the desired direction. So far as possible, the evaluation of learning should involve the use of tests before and after the programme — paper and pencil or performance tests.

Level 3 — Evaluating behaviour — this level evaluates the extent to which behaviour has changed as required when people attending the programme have returned to their jobs. The question to be answered is the extent to which knowledge; skills and attitudes have been transferred from the classroom to the workplace. Ideally, the evaluation should take place before and after the training. Time should be allowed for the change in behaviour to take place. The evaluation needs to assess the extent to which specific learning objectives relating to changes in behaviour and the application of knowledge and skills have been achieved.

Level 4 — Evaluating results — this is the ultimate level of evaluation and provides the basis for assessing the benefits of the training against its costs.

The evaluation has to be based on before and after measures and has to determine the extent to which the fundamental objectives of the training has been achieved in areas such as increasing sales or increasing customer satisfaction. Evaluating results is obviously easier when they can be quantified. However, it is not always easy to prove the contribution to improved results made by training as distinct from other factors and as Kirkpatrick says "Be satisfied with evidence, because proof is usually impossible to get"

(Cited by Armstrong, 1999, p531-532)

While Kirkpatricks evaluation approach of (1994) goes into considerable detail it is largely in line with Hamblins approach of (1974). Overall it would appear that the concepts have not changed dramatically but there is an increased emphasis on the importance of training within organisations both from the personnel and business aspect. To give training programs every chance of succeeding Boella (1996) believes that it is vital that line management is seen to support the implementation of training initiatives. One way of showing their support is to actually participate as far as possible. If there is a lack of support however, it is possible that a gap between trainers and line management may develop if instruction is entirely left to the trainer.

In order to ensure that gaps don’t appear line managers can take the initiative through departmental managers and skilled operators such as chefs, as stated earlier in the chapter to be trained to take some training sessions.

Through such actions Boella (1996) believes that the instruction is in line with the working requirements and conditions, but of more importance:

"It persuades line management that training personnel are working with and for line management"

(Boella, 1996, p125)

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1.18 Basic Concepts in Training

After dealing with the importance of Hospitality management training, the types of training available and the evaluation process, it is appropriate to reflect on the concepts involved in a training programme:

Today training is used as a motivator and can be used as a means of countering labour turnover and attracting good job candidates as more and more young people are now asking whether organisations have a training policy in place.

(Adopted from Go et al, 1996, p215)

Finally Boella (1996) believes that training is a tool management should use to increase employees efficiency.

 

 

 

It also enables the underlying goals to be achieved by equipping its personnel with the

"Competencies, knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to achieve whatever realistic aspirations they have in their work by enabling them, through increased competence and confidence to earn more and if desired promotion"

(Boella, 1996, p126)

 

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