Telling Employees Is Not Training

by Andrew Thomson on February 20, 2018


Many of today’s food business owners and managers are becoming increasingly frustrated with their employees who are unable to perform a task to the required standard after being told what to do.

Training is about employees gaining or improving skills, or job competencies, to increase their performance in their jobs. It’s different from development, which is about preparing employees for current and future jobs in an organisation.

Food business managers (and others) are developing work instructions and workplace policies and then they organise a meeting to discuss its contents and believe that this constitutes training. This is not training.

In fact, if these managers incorporated discussion and this enabled employees to ask questions and participated in hands-on activities or the opportunity to observe a demonstration and then practice the required skills in a safe environment, then that is classed as training. Merely holding a meeting where one person speaks to an audience regarding a work instruction or policy and everyone listens and then completes the training attendance form doesn’t mean training occurred.

Recently, I’ve been discussing training issues with many managers, surpervisor’s and employees across the broader food industry who tell me “we conducted training” when in fact “they held a meeting”. After the meeting, the food operation has no idea what employees learnt, if anything. Managers are then frustrated when employees don’t follow the work instruction or workplace policy. A familiar scenario runs like this:

When confronted about performance issues, the employee says “I never got any training!”

The manager becomes frustrated and defensive and says “Yes you did…don’t you remember that meeting a few months ago?!”

Successful training in the workplace requires some thought. It does not need to be complex or long in duration.

Learning involves knowledge and understanding (and retaining it), it also requires critical thinking and reflection and the ability to transfer knowledge to new and different situations or contexts or perform a task differently or in a better way. It also highlights that training and learning in the workplace is more than providing information about a work instruction, a policy or even telling an employee.

Think ST Solutions offers you practical solutions at a management level and to your staff whether you operate in hospitals, aged care facilities, restaurants, hotels or the food industry generally. We specialise in developing useful tools to assist you in the areas of food safety, strategic planning, business management, risk and compliance training and easy to implement business consultancy solutions.

Preventing Food Contamination

February 13, 2018

  No one wants to experience an upset stomach from eating contaminated food. Keeping your colour coded chopping boards clean is an essential… Read more »

Kitchen (Food Safety) Crimes

January 9, 2018

Most consumers know that keeping your kitchen clean is essential to preventing friends and family members getting sick with food poisoning. Despite repeated… Read more »