3 Hospitality Training Takeaways from CHART Seattle

Mimeo shares key takeaways from the Council of Hospitality and Retail Trainers winter conference.

Published on 25 February, 2016
Mimeo print @ Seattles Live

By Elsa Soriano

I’m back in the office after a fantastic CHART (Council of Hospitality and Restaurant Trainers) conference. The full conference was four straight days of 200 L&D leaders in a room, brainstorming and networking.

My favorite session was a live version of CHART’s online forum, Ask My Peers. Separated into groups, we had 13 minutes to discuss a topic, then we had to switch groups to discuss another topic with another set of people. It was like speed dating, only with a whole lot of trainers.

As notetaker, I walked away with more than a few lessons. CHART will have a full composite of responses, but here were some of the things I learned:

1. Flexibility in company culture is key

When given the topic of culture and engagement, we had a wide variety of  company sizes to hear from. One has about 750 employees, and each new employee comes to the corporate office for preliminary training. Meanwhile, another company at the table has 5,000 employees in 10 different states.

No matter the size, it seems that it is difficult to keep company culture the same across different locations, so rather than struggle with their employees, the trainers at my table echoed each other that they reinforce major themes and then let the culture adjust to each location’s unique qualities.

When moving to e-learning, take your time

2. When moving to e-learning, take your time

Our next topic was e-content. This was a huge topic for only 13 minutes, but what stood out to me the most was how many different factors there are in implementing e-learning. For example, videos are important but you have to be sure to do them well. Trainers will need to be re-trained to pull off shorter courses more often, and other participants recommended gamification. All in all, it’s not as simple as saying, “This training is now digital,” so be sure to take your time and do your research.

3. Everyone struggles with measuring training performance

Finally, we talked about training performance. We had a wide variety of responses to this topic, from teams that don’t measure any KPIs except for completion to departments that rely on their LMSes for reporting to a trainer who links everything to a business result. Each company has different priorities and strategies for making sure their training delivers results. This is where peer discussion is invaluable to help come up with new ideas and continue to tweak measurement systems.

I was so excited to participate in CHART this year and look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

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