December 1, 2017 |

Mike’s Monthly Tip: Effective Orientation and Training

By Pizza Today

What is your training program? Is it jumping into the fire and trying to not get burned? Is it “just follow this guy for a few days?” Maybe it’s not as abrupt as that, but is it the best investment it could possibly be? The truth is that training is an investment, and you get back what you put in. So here are some tips and suggestions that we do at Andolini’s to ensure our training is effective (bear in mind, nobody is perfect on day one and this should take time to get right).

If you’re small and starting out, the simplest base for all training should be to first show in detail. Verify how to do every task. I’ll use making a pepperoni pizza as an example.

  • Trainee is shown by trainer how to make the pepperoni pizza while explaining every action in detail.
  • Trainee now recites back everything that needs to be done before they start. Trainer either confirms what they said or corrects them.
  • Once trainee can verbalize what needs to be done, they can then, and only then, do it.
  • Trainer then reviews what they did right and wrong, until it is done without any trainer intervention.

If it sounds like overkill, I would advise you that until this person can do every task without oversight, they will absolutely, without a doubt, cost you money in added labor or lackluster execution.

If you are a larger organization, it helps to have training streamlined with dedicated trainers that train all staff from all stores in your area. This way you have one point of contact for updates and one person directly responsible for the training results. Several successful businesses beyond just pizza places do this. They have training locations that centralize and make training the focus.

Orientation is also extremely important. Orientation should be done by another dedicated individual, preferably someone who deals with payroll, is upbeat and represents your values well. This person should handle these tasks:

  • Read your employee handbook in detail, highlighting things that are need to know items and clearing up expectations.
  • Ensure new hires are logged correctly into your POS, online scheduler, payroll system and any other functionalities.
  • Get them uniforms and all materials they need for their day one of actual training. (This is preferable to a trainer on site shuffling through boxes of shirts in front of the trainee on their first day of work).
  • Go in detail on all legal things like sexual harassment training and your alcohol service policy.
  • Most importantly, have the new hire sign acknowledgments of understanding and read all things related to their empowerment, such as NDA’s, policies and government forms like I-9’s and W-4’s.

Harvard Business Review and countless studies will support the fact that having ZERO ambiguity, and a clear path to success, leads to high employee retention and staff seeking to excel in their job rather than look for their next option.

Mike Bausch is the owner of Andolini’s Pizzeria in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a frequent speaker at the International Pizza Expo family of tradeshows.