Why training is not the only way to solve performance issues

Traditional training models can solve one basic problem: lack of knowledge or skills. A performance issue resulting from a lack of knowledge or skills is relatively easy to fix: Provide effective training and an ongoing learning and support system, and the problem is solved. If it’s not a training issue, then training won’t solve the performance problem, no matter how good the training is.

What about other causes of performance issues?

Recruitment – Are the right type of people being recruited in the first place? Careful assessment of a candidate’s personal situation, attitudes, availability, or desire to work the required hours is an important part of making a hiring decision that is often overlooked. If a person’s base attitude is not appropriate for the work they’ve been hired to do, their performance will suffer, regardless of the quality of your training.

Supervision – Some performance problems may be avoided by ensuring that the goals and expectations were clearly articulated by the team leaders and understood by the staff. Likewise, when there is a performance issue, some tactful counselling with the staff member concerned allows for an opportunity to discuss issues openly without feeling attacked. Are your supervisors adequately skilled in this type of communication?

Equipment and procedures – Sometimes a business doesn’t perform as well as its competitors because the equipment and procedures are outdated or no longer fit for purpose. Comparing the cost of installing new equipment or technologies with the cost of training staff may reveal some interesting opportunities to improve the performance of a business.

Organisational structure and redistribution of duties – Are performance problems caused by the existence of too many layers in the hierarchy? Could they be solved by redistributing duties to those who are best suited to the tasks? Could a staff move, or internal promotion better utilise expertise already in the business?

The takeaway

Almost all performance issues that exist in a hospitality business can be traced back to one or more of three core issues: How people are chosen for their roles, how they are trained, and how they are led.

If you want to learn more about how to evolve these three critical management systems in your business, get in touch.


Chris Lambert