When sites commit to a training program, they’re committed to improve some aspect of their site, making a tangible difference in survey scores, teamwork, solidify management skills or increase revenue. The expectation for training programs is that at their best, they address your goals and make them possible. Unfortunately, many sites find themselves frustrated, spending money on programs that don’t have the immediate or lasting impact that they’re hoping for.
Whether you’re designing a training program yourself or hiring a consultant, here are four elements you should look for in any successful training program to help you get results:
1. Customized for your site. As much as we wish there was, there is no magic training pill that works for every site, every time. While there are best practices that are universally beneficial to adopt, what works for a large family entertainment center may not translate to a small local museum. A good training program will start with what you do well, what makes your site unique, and will address the specific goals that you want to meet through implementation.
2. Address specific challenges. On-site training should have specific goals to attain and be targeted for particular areas for improvement. Focusing your efforts on specific smaller goals/objectives helps make the larger goal seem much more attainable and gives your team a vision to buy into. It also lets people know what’s important to your success and where they should put their attention for best results.
3. Focus on the wins. People love to hear what’s going right and what they’ve done well. Reinforcing positive improvements and specific wins (no matter how small) reminds staff that they’re on the right track and their efforts are being noticed. Your team will improve exponentially when you congratulate them for the kinds of actions that you want to see more of. Little wins on a daily basis add up to big ones for your team!
4. Provide ongoing coaching. Like we’ve mentioned, there’s no magic training pill. At the root, every training program is meant to make an impact on your site’s culture so that the tools you practice following training become new habits. A well-structured program will work with your front line team and empower your managers to coach new skills on a day-in, day-out basis and feel like a natural extension of your business. Along with careful tracking of your site’s results, you’ll begin to notice patterns and be able to troubleshoot areas for improvement as they arise.
Carefully implementing the right training program can do much more than address current areas of concern. Excellent training empowers staff, allowing them to take on new challenges and bigger goals as a team. It improves retention, streamlines onboarding, boosts revenue and translates into a world-class experience for every guest at your site.