It’s Not Them, It’s You: How Better Training Can Keep Your Young Staff From Leaving You

Your hospitality business is growing. Your hospitality staff needs to expand. You hire new blood to cope with the growing customer demand. You show them the ropes. Things look promising for a couple of months… but then they leave, just like that. You’re left scratching your head and back on the search.

The truth is, it’s not all about you, or even your business. Hospitality managers and owners must first understand why people choose to join a company in the first place.

People Have A Need To Develop Themselves

An ambitious bartender or an up-and-coming chef isn’t in it just for the money or the prestige. They’re craving a breakthrough, they want to learn from your own experience and go beyond to reach new heights. Knowing that a company prioritises learning and provides adequate ongoing training is inspiring to them. The yearning for learning is what motivates people to move up the ranks.

And it’s a common problem: The struggle of finding and retaining new employees is familiar to 54% of hospitality business managers and owners.

Why is it so important to offer ‘Millennials’ adequate training?

Hospitality training is essential for people of all ages, but here are some reason why it becomes more crucial for younger people:

• A younger staff member is less likely to have all the skills your business needs from day one
• Emerging workers know that a good company is one which values their development and has a culture of learning at its core
• People between the ages of 18-25 are simply more mobile and more likely to seek a ‘better’ position with another company if ideal conditions are not met
• A young person is experimenting with roles, companies and jobs so providing them with a wider choice of training opportunities can only increase your chances of enticing them with one of your various positions
• People today will run ideas past their peers and social circles ahead of making a decision, and it is believed that younger people seek social proofing more than their older counterparts. This means your company must embrace learning and development and make it as accessible as possible, ideally on mobile devices.

The Expense Of Ongoing Training

Continuous hospitality training is what will make your staff aware of their own potential, and therefore stick around for longer to explore their abilities.

If you’re thinking of setting up a learning and development system, you have two options:

Option 1: The traditional in-person intructor lead session

This path involves grouping all your staff (possibly flying them from various locations) in one place, hiring trainers and creating material for that one occasion. With this option your business can run into considerable expenses – if you’re putting it off, I completely understand.

The good news is, there is another, new and sustainable way.

Option 2: The eLearning approach

Hospitality eLearning software can eliminate in-person training costs and help you deliver better training. In short (and I will go through this in more detail in another post) this is due to the following:

• eLearning runs on multiple platforms and devices, so it’s accessible any time, anywhere
• It’s more engaging thanks to video, images and audio, and its more interactive
• It’s cost-effective as learning material can be reused in a system that is highly automated
• It can be integrated with your workflow seamlessly and customised to be on brand
• eLearning is easily scalable, so the software can evolve and grow with your business at the click of a button
• It’s measurable, so any training effort can be assessed and tweaked to continue to improve results

Most see changing learning behaviours and expectations as a threat to their business. But they actually offer a rare opportunity for us to adopt better technology an become the company that our workforce deserves!

These are some tools you can leverage to help young people receive the training that works for them:

mLearning (mobile learning)

Turn your staff’s phone into a source for learning! Young people (and all the rest of us) use our phone regularly, especially during commutes and downtime.

Good eLearning tools will offer mobile-first learning material that is rich in content and interactive.

Micro learning

We all learn at our own pace, and with changing content behaviours, people are becoming more accustomed to shorter but consistent streams of content.

With eLearning, you can deliver hospitality staff training that is fragmented into digestible ‘bite-sized’ lessons that can keep your young workforce coming back for more whenever they feel the need to learn.


It is our responsibility as managers to reward positive results, but with gamification we can make the process a bit more fun. By using simple positive reinforcement techniques and introducing healthy competition into the mix, learners can find themselves wanting to use the tool more often out of their volition.

It is important to keep in mind that gamification should only be used to spur on learners rather than creating a feeling of ‘dependancy’ around the experience.

Video-based learning

This is one of the most under-valued form of hospitality staff training there is today. Video, especially short video clips, can have a tremendous positive impact on your learning and development goals.

Think about it – how often do you opt for a print out, or text-based instruction when a video is also on offer? Video doesn’t have to break the bank, either. Often, we can achieve more results with a $150 camera by filming ourselves deliver a short lesson than when hiring a training company for an afternoon for $5000 worth of training.

Branded / personalised interface

eLearning is software, which makes customisation possible by design. Most good hospitality eLearning tools will have customisation features built-in.

A young workforce is one driven by a sense of community and belongingness – so it really does help when our tool looks and feel like the company that they joined and feel part of. Customisation also improves the mobility of training as it gets shared and passed on, whilst making ownership of the experience far more achievable.

I hope that these few points shed more light around the struggle that most managers are going through in the age of a growing hospitality sector. The challenges are plenty, but technology is here to help, turning a threat into an opportunity to build a stronger and more fulfilled team – and remember, we don’t simply create a workforce, we build relationships: ones based on inspiration, guidance and support. eLearning tools are not meant to replace the human connection that our young staff deserves and craves for when joining a group of people in a company.

eLearning can help you unlock valuable time that can now be used to connect with, and understand those who represent our business and deliver our customers the best experience possible.

See you next time! – Michael from Innform

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