Onboarding for hospitality - 4 easy steps to keep your staff engaged

Do you agree that hospitality poses unique hurdles for onboarding? When it comes to getting new staff up to speed with your processes and products, you know the common problems:

  1. High staff turnover means arranging regular training

  2. Great quality service takes months of experience to perfect

  3. New offerings and products are common and teams require up-skilling

  4. Your ethos and values are something you want to instill in your teams

We’ve come up with this short 4-step guide for best practice when it comes to onboarding for hospitality.


Step 1
Give new starters an excellent grounding in your company and its story

You can start by answering the following questions:

  • When did the business start and what was the vision?

  • What do you stand for, and why?

  • How are you different from competitors?

  • Who are your owners or managers, and what are their stories?

  • What are the growth/success plans, and how do you want to achieve them?

This is a great place to add a personal touch. Replicate a face-to-face connection with short welcome videos from the General Manager and Head Chef, for example.

Benefit: Employees will feel proud to be part of the company and have purpose in what they do - increasing productivity.


Step 2
Convey the values and culture of your company

It is really important to create excitement and a sense of belonging. Everyone of us has a set of values that we need to be understood and rewarded to feel happy at work. By sharing the values of your business you can connect with individuals in a manner beyond physical rewards.

A great way to achieve this is through short videos of employees talking about their experiences:

  • What do they like about working at your company?

  • What does a typical day look like?

  • What is different from other places they’ve worked at?

It’s reassuring for new starters, certainly those without decades of job experience to hear from their colleagues and peers.

Benefit: Experts say that with irregular working patterns, making staff feel valued is critical to retaining them.


Step 3
Provide the basics for a new employee to hit the ground running

We all know it can feel a bit overwhelming at the start of a new job. So keep this technical part short and focused on what people really need to know at the beginning of their journey.

We’ve mentioned videos a few times. According to the Social Science Network nearly 80% or our learning takes place visually. Videos deliver information in an engaging and memorable way. They also aren’t difficult to make. Grab a phone - and press record.

You will no doubt have piles of information that you need to share, but remember, less is more. Focus purely on what’s important and what anyone who’s starting needs to know.

Having training based on mobile also means you can quickly update and share new training. It also means you can distribute training only to those who need it. By giving your workforce training they need, whether new or existing staff, they can see that they are achieving something - rather than just performing routine tasks.

Benefit: Shorter chunks of information are easier to digest and have higher retention rates.


Step 4
Little and often for continuous improvement

Whatever the role, training and personal development should be a priority. It lowers the costs associated with poor service and retention of staff. And if delivered if the right way, it drastically lowers traditional training costs.

To maintain your level of service, keep team members up to date with regular training. It only needs to be short - but provides an ongoing reminder of how to succeed. And if your staff are succeeding, so are you.

Benefit: A motivated workforce with exceptional product and service knowledge.

In summary:

  • Keep your onboarding training as concise and focused as possible

  • Make sure it:

    - Provides a good introduction to your company

    - Makes people feel motivated and excited

    - Delivers only the necessary technical and product knowledge

  • Follow up regularly with bite-sized courses allowing employees to refresh - and build on - their knowledge and skills.

Microlearning is often mentioned as the best method to keep a millennial workforce engaged with training and development. More importantly it can be delivered through a mobile device.