Printer Friendly

Chapter 2 Training design model.


Designing formal training is time-consuming and expensive. Once it is designed, however, it needs updating only as operational changes are instituted. Every new employee may then be trained using the training plan and all materials that are already prepared. There is an initial investment of time and money, of course, but thereafter training is consistent and convenient. The idea is similar to management delegating certain responsibilities. It is usually faster to just "do it myself" than to take the time and energy to show someone else how to do it. However, once the initial effort has been expended, the employee can take the delegated responsibility and free the manager for other tasks. Many employees excel when given opportunities to take on more responsibility. And so with formal training--it better prepares an employee to do the job and, after the initial effort of design, is ready and available for use every time a new employee joins the team.

The purpose of this chapter is to present and describe the model for training design which will be utilized throughout the remainder of the text. The importance and use of models is discussed along with who will use the model in an operation interested in designing formal training. A thorough conceptual understanding of the model will facilitate learning how to develop components of the model later in the text.

Upon completion of Chapter Two, the student should be able to

* Describe and define all components of the training design model.

* Discuss why models are important and useful in training design.

* Discuss how the model is used and who uses the model.

The Training Design Model

Try to imagine baking a cake without a recipe, making a dress without a pattern, or building a house without a plan. Would they turn out the way we envisioned? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Recipes, patterns, or architectural drawings assure us that the finished product will turn out the way it is supposed to. If directions are followed exactly, there should be no difference in the end product no matter which baker prepares the cake. A model is a recipe or pattern that when followed results in a desired outcome.

Training is job specific rather than generic, so the end results will not look the same for every job or operation. However, a model is useful as a means of organizing efforts to result in a desired outcome for a particular situation. We have all been taught the scientific method: Define the problem, determine possible solutions, try a solution, try another one if the first one did not solve the problem. That is basically a problem-solving model. We have steps we can take intellectually that can lead us to an answer. Before coming to the model, we may have had a problem and reacted to it before even knowing what the problem was. Our reaction may or may not have had a positive effect.

We do not want to waste time and money designing training and find out later that we still have a problem. The idea is to approach training design intelligently and systematically in order to save time, money, and frustration. And that is the purpose of the model--to give us a step-by-step process which will result in a desired outcome.

The Training Design Model is made up of seven interrelated components within the Human Resource Model reviewed in Chapter One. It is a process that meets with employees in the fifth step (with implementation of the training program) and follows through with ongoing coaching and counseling.
Step #1      #2         #3       #4         #5
Needs        Training   Lesson   Trainer    Training
Assessment   Plan       Plans    Training   Implementation

#6           #7
Training     Coaching &
Evaluation   Counseling

Training design takes specialized skills. Oftentimes corporations will employ instructional designers to produce training programs for their individual units. If there are no corporate training programs available, general managers will be responsible for training. The purpose of this text is to teach managers, potential managers, or anyone who has training responsibilities in the hospitality industry to design training professionally.

Needs Assessment

The first step in the Training Design Model is the needs assessment. This is similar to the first step in the scientific method where we define the problem. In training, as in the scientific method, we want to cut out guesswork and not waste resources on solutions that might not be feasible. Training is not the solution to all problems. Perhaps a problem is the result of hiring mistakes and no amount of training is going to change that fact. Perhaps a change in work schedules, shifts, or supervisors, or any number of things, could solve the problem. We cannot tell how to solve a problem if we do not know precisely what the problem is to begin with.

To throw training at all problems would be fruitless. Problems generally need to be solved in a timely way, though. If one possible solution does not work, another will have to be tried. All of these attempts take time, energy, and money. Needs assessment is the systematic process we use to rigorously collect appropriate data to determine the precise problem and whether or not training is a good fix. If training is a good solution for a particular problem, our needs assessment then involves determining specific training needs. We define the employees needing training so that we will be able to match our training to their particular learning styles, and we write objectives for the training program.

Objectives are statements of what trainees will be able to do upon completion of the training. They are job-specific and behavioral. In other words, action verbs. We say that our trainees will be able to "describe" to guests how menu items are prepared--not "know" how menu items are prepared. Knowing is nice, but we need our servers to do something: describe the items. That is a subtle but huge difference in training design. We plan all of our instruction to that outcome. If we want to make sure trainees know how menu items are prepared, we could give them a written or oral test. If, however, we want to know if they can describe the preparation of the menu items to guests, our test would perhaps be a simulation of a server/guest interaction. Knowing and describing are not the same.

The Training Plan

Once we know who and what we are going to train, then we need a plan. The training plan is a well-thought-out written plan detailing training topics and a schedule of when, where, and by whom they will be presented. Every step through the training design model is time-consuming. But, once each step is completed, the documents are ready for use whenever called for. A newly hired employee is plugged into this training plan, and there is no wasted time spent trying to figure out how, what, when, and where the employee will be trained.

We would probably never bother designing formal training if we have a small family-run operation with no turnover. If, however, our operation is big, and we have many employees, formal training saves a tremendous amount of time and effort. We do not have to redesign the wheel every single time we have a new employee. Instead, we simply look at the training plan, tell the employee when to show up, review the materials, make sure everything is in place, and, as a result, have excellent training with everything covered in the best way possible.

Lesson Plans

Lesson plans are the most time-consuming and important part of instructional design. Lesson plans are the instruction. A lesson plan is like a recipe that any cook could follow with similar outcomes. Any capable trainer could review a good lesson plan and administer training. Styles and comfort levels vary with experience, but the training would be the same. A lesson plan is a training script with all materials, activities, and instructions needed to meet objectives.

Training topics are determined for the training plan from the data collected in needs assessment. There is a lesson plan for each training topic which includes the objective for the particular topic presented (what the trainee is expected to do upon completion of the session). We determine the most effective way to meet the objective. There are many instructional methods available. A lecture is one method, but would probably not be the best method for teaching someone how to work algebraic equations. Working through equations on a chalkboard while explaining the steps and then having students practice these steps, might be a more effective method than lecturing.

Demonstration is often an excellent method for training people how to do something physical such as mopping a floor or cleaning a sink. Showing servers prepared menu items and having them taste the items (while describing ingredients and preparation methods) might be a more effective vehicle for learning about the menu than telling a new server to take the menu home and memorize it or having them watch another server take orders. Training is different than education. In training everyone must get an 'A.' Average is okay in education, but 70 percent positive service encounters, 70 percent properly cooked meals, 70 percent smooth guest check-ins ... that is not okay. In our highly competitive industry, 30 percent dissatisfied customers will most likely result in bankruptcy.

The objective of each lesson is to be attained at a particular standard level. Standards are generally based on the needs and desires of the target market (our customers). The objectives must be attained by all trainees. We cannot just flunk a trainee who does not get it. It is our responsibility to make sure everyone gets it and gets it entirely, so we choose methods that will enable all trainees to attain objectives at the level of the standards.

Kindergarten through high school teachers are trained to teach. Not all college teachers have received teachers' training. Thus, we may have experienced teachers in college who were not very good teachers. They were smart and knew their subject matter, but they did not seem to know how to get it across very effectively. Lesson planning skill is not something with which we are born. Teachers are taught to develop lesson plans. To be effective, trainers must also have good lesson plans.


Developing lesson plans is just one of the skills needed to be an effective trainer. We know that all jobs and all people are not the same. Certain characteristics are better matched with certain jobs. If employees do not have the ability and willingness to do a job, we will have limited success in training them to be effective in the position. Just as not everyone has the makeup to be a good server, not everyone can be a good teacher or trainer. Not everyone is willing to train. So we select employees who are willing and capable of training, and then we must train them to train.

Training an employee requires completely different skills from those necessary to do the job. Understanding and utilizing adult learning principles and motivation theory, team-building and communication skills, plus leadership ability all are necessary to be an effective trainer. We must select trainers who are capable of learning this material and developing skills in each of the areas. We have all experienced the difference a good teacher makes in determining how well we learn something. Likewise with training, a good trainer (someone who is willing and capable, and trained-to-train) can make a big difference in the quality of instruction which then positively affects service quality, turnover, and professionalism.

Training Implementation and Evaluation

We design training to be implemented easily and with great success. As with most things, however, practice makes perfect. The first time around, training may not go as smoothly as hoped. The key is to have a good training plan, be well prepared (having gone over the materials in advance), and then be prepared to modify the plan when necessary. Real life often differs from a written plan. The second time through is usually better.

Needs assessment is front-end evaluation. We ask, "What do we need to do?" We design it and do it, and then need to ask, "How did it work?" We use information collected during evaluation to modify and improve the training program. If our needs assessment was thorough, we can be assured that our training needs were correct. It's harder to evaluate something if we have nothing to compare it to. All components of the training design model are interrelated. Managers without professional training may have an undefined problem and throw training at it, only to discover later that something is still wrong. Professionals have the knowledge and skills necessary to identify specific problems, then design appropriate training to meet the objective that alleviates them.

The difference between before and after training is measured to ascertain whether a problem has been alleviated and to what degree. A mini needs assessment is done to determine what modifications may be in order to improve the training's effectiveness. Needs assessment and evaluation are very similar except needs assessment is conducted beforehand to determine if and what training is necessary. Evaluation utilizes rigorous research methods and takes place after training to gauge whether or not it was effective.

Coaching and Counseling

Hospitality managers are responsible for seeing that everything happens at the right time and as our guests expect. Our job involves hiring appropriate people for all positions, training them, and supervising them. As defined in Chapter One, supervision is the ongoing day-to-day monitoring of the employees' performance with reinforcement and corrective feedback to maintain standards achieved in training. Coaching is a training term for supervision. Essentially, they are the same thing. Coaching/supervision is ongoing training designed to maintain standards, and make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing.

Old-style authoritarian management is not effective with today's workforce. Employees do not respond well to orders backed up with threats. Coaching may have a more positive connotation than supervision. Today's effective supervision is coaching--monitoring, praising, and positively correcting employees' performance. Formal employee appraisal is done once or twice a year. Coaching is ongoing. There should be no surprises at the formal employee appraisal interview. Performance problems must be corrected immediately. Dissatisfied customers do not return, and constitute a scathing word-of-mouth advertisement.

Morale is improved when management assures that everyone continues to meet standards. For employees who do a good job and care about their work, it can be very annoying and demoralizing to work with others whose poor performance is condoned by management. There are times when performance declines due to personal problems. Most of us have or will experience personal problems that can negatively affect our work. Divorce, death, drug/alcohol addiction, illness, etc., touch many of us and can interrupt our normal functioning.

We are in business, though, and standards must be met no matter what. However, management should be prepared to recognize employees' personal problems and refer them to sources that can help them through their situation. Some employees simply need to know we care and are concerned. They may need some time off to deal with problems. None of us are immune to life's unpleasant surprises, and management may be better served by replacing judgment with compassion and guidance.

It is cost-effective to help employees return to productivity rather than fire them and start over with new employees. We are not trained psychologists and should not attempt to handle serious problems. We should, however, make sure employees get the help they need. We need to recognize warning signs and deal with problems before they become major and affect the operation. It is the right thing to do, and it is good business.

Case Study

The training design model is a set of instructions we can follow to design training for any line position in the hospitality industry. The remaining chapters in the text will focus on components of the training design model, and, as we go through chapters, we will design training for a fictitious sixty-room, full-service hotel called The Garden Terrace Inn (GTI). Its target market is upper middle class professionals who desire quiet, safe, and pleasant surroundings ... and, excellent service.

GTI is located in Chelsea, Arizona, in the midst of lovely gardens overlooking Oak Creek just 20 minutes from Chelsea International Airport. The Living Room welcomes guests with well-stocked library shelves, comfortable overstuffed chairs, and a large stone fireplace. Guests and visitors feel at-home in this country inn atmosphere. The Terrace Lounge is adjacent to the Living Room and provides beautiful garden views while offering a wide choice of refreshing libations.

A breakfast buffet featuring fresh fruits and home-baked pastries, along with cooked-to-order eggs, is served every morning in the Garden Room. Weather permitting, a wall of French doors can be opened ushering in the soothing sounds of nature: Oak Creek, birds, and softly rustling leaves. Luncheon is served either inside or on a series of wrought iron tables with matching chairs on the flagstone patio. Chef Paul prepares healthful, eye-catching dishes selected to delight our guests' palates and please their sensibilities. Later, the Garden Room is filled with fresh flowers and ablaze with candles for our guests' evening dining pleasure. There are separate lunch and dinner menus, as well as daily specials to go along with each.

GTI has state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment and conference facilities perfect for small groups. The garden patio is enchanting for weddings or special events. Amenities provided in each guest room include a TV, small refrigerator, BOSE radio, and Internet access. There is a safe at the front desk for guests' valuables, and, for a small charge, housekeeping will take care of their dry cleaning needs. GTI provides agreeable accommodations for business travel or just an appealing time-out from today's hectic routine.

GTI is independently owned and has been in operation six years. In the past, new hires were trained by other employees and management; but, as business stabilized, ownership determined there was a need for a more effective, efficient, and consistent training program. We are going to approach the training design model as an imaginary consulting firm hired by GTI--designing imaginary training--for an imaginary inn.

The Garden Terrace Inn Organizational Chart

General Manager: Jim Charles, 42, was hired six years ago to open and manage GTI. He has a bachelor's degree in liberal arts and for many years was food and beverage manager for a large, successful hotel in San Francisco. His experience, combined with a refreshing vision for the inn, convinced owner Frank Stranten that Jim could make his business a success.


Jim compensated for his lack of comprehensive experience by hiring excellent people in top management positions. His emphasis is on GTI as a team. He allows his support staff autonomy (with guidance) to assure that the needs of the target market are met. His management style is courteous, caring, and professional.

Assistant General Manager: Kelly McKay, 35, has been with Jim since opening. She has worked nearly every job in the hotel business over the past eighteen years. Her last position was Front Desk Manager at the elegant Bennett Arms downtown. She felt that her lack of formal education, however, was limiting her career and believed that GTI offered more responsibility, autonomy, and potential.

Front Desk Manager: Mike Francis, 28, has a degree in elementary education but grew tired of teaching after three years in the profession. He worked front desk at two major hotels before coming to GTI. He supervises the morning and evening front desk employees and the night auditor.

Dining Room Manager: Steve Edwards, 34, will receive his engineering degree next year. He began waiting tables at GTI when he went back to school four years ago. He has been supervising servers the past two years.

Bookkeeper: Betty Duncan, 57, worked as C.P.A. at a major firm twenty-five years before going into semi-retirement. Her limited duties at GTI amount to roughly twenty hours a week.

Executive Chef: Paul Adams, 40, received training at the Culinary Institute of Chicago and has worked some of the country's top hotels and restaurants. He wanted stability and less stress in a smaller operation and has been very happy at GTI these past five years. He is responsible for all foodservice activities and supervises cooks and dishwashers in the day shift.

Sous Chef: Kate Traylor, 22, was hired by Chef Paul four years ago to wash dishes. She began helping him with prep and soon moved into a prep-cook position. In time she discovered that cooking was her passion and entered formal training under Chef Paul two years ago. She was recently promoted to Sous Chef and is thinking about attending culinary school herself. Part of her responsibilities are to supervise cooks and dishwashers in the evening shift.

Executive Housekeeper: Olivia Lynn, 25, completed her hospitality degree and worked three years at a large hotel chain before coming to GTI. A desire to be closer to home led to her move back to the Chelsea area, that and a disdain for the corporate environment she'd previously been in. Olivia supervises the housekeeping, in-house laundry, and dry cleaning staff.


1) Needs Assessment

a. What is the problem?

b. Who needs what?

c. Objectives: What should the training outcomes be?

d. Define the trainees

* Who are we training? (common profile)

* What are their learning styles?

* What do they already know?

2) Training Plan

a. Training topics

b. Schedule time and place

c. Select trainers

3) Lesson Plans

a. Behavioral objectives

b. Select methods

c. Content & materials

d. Trainer directions (script & business)

e. Trainee evaluation instruments

4) Train-the-Trainer

a. Design formal training for trainers including:

* Adult learning principles

* Motivation & communication

* Team building & leadership

* Teaching methods

* Lesson plans

5) Implementation

a. Preparation & practice

6) Evaluating training program

a. Did it meet the objectives?

7) Coaching and Counseling

a. Supervision/On-going training

b. Recognizing and addressing personal problems



Needs Assessment


Training Plan

Lesson Plan



Training Design Model


1. What are some models you have used in your life (such as dress pattern, model airplane, recipe, etc.)? Did you get the expected results from the model? Why or why not? Discuss the value of models.

2. Define needs assessment, and list the outcomes of the needs assessment.

3. Discuss the importance of needs assessment in terms of the Training Design Model's other components.

4. Describe the difference between an objective written in behavioral terms and one that is not. Why are training objectives always written in behavioral terms?

5. Write a behavioral objective for training a bus person to set a table.

6. How does training differ from education in terms of outcomes (meeting training or educational objectives)?

7. What is a lesson plan, and why do trainers need them?

8. What is the difference between needs assessment and evaluation? Give specific examples.

9. Define and describe coaching as opposed to authoritarian management styles. Why is coaching more effective?

10. Why do today's managers have to be able to recognize warning signs of employees' personal problems? Employees must always meet standards, but what should managers' attitudes be toward employees' personal problems?
COPYRIGHT 2003 Delmar Learning
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Training Design Guide for the Hospitality Industry
Article Type:Professional standards
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Previous Article:Chapter 1 Introduction to training.
Next Article:Chapter 3 Needs assessment planning.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters