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Quick & dirty strategy to maximize your training dollars.

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

"Every dollar you spend on training saves you two dollars on advertising.” Jim Sullivan

Jim Sullivan’s quote highlights the need for all employees to be properly trained - not just the new ones. Badly trained employees will help to deep dive your customer satisfaction ratings, damage relationships and dash any hopes of positive word of mouth advertising.

My experience is that this can only be done effectively when training begins with a solid strategy.

I originally wrote this piece in 2018, pre-Covid 19, pre-isolation, pre-business closures and employee layoffs. I am a F&B professional in Whistler, BC Canada, a town known for it's high season business volumes and transient employee base, I have been responsible for training literally hundreds of people. Some came to the position with great experience and some with virtually none. Restaurants are often the place where youth experience their first real job.

As we sit and wait in anticipation for news around controlled openings, it is more important than every that businesses are spending every dollar wisely.'s my quick and dirty list of steps PLUS 2 BONUS tips to maximize your spend.

Here are my 5 Q&D Steps and 2 BONUS tips to maximizing your training dollars.

BONUS TIP - Onboarding Be sure to include your organizational values in your job postings and interview questions. What behaviours demonstrate these values? Do your potential team members understand what it takes to walk the talk?

BONUS TIP - Develop a Culture of Caring Get engaged with your team. Take the time to find out about them; know their name, ask about their family, discover their interests outside of work and absolutely thank you them for their efforts. No one wants to come to work and feel invisible.


1 – Train your trainers! Managers and seasoned employees are often charged with the role of trainer. Don’t assume that just because they do a good job that they know how to train your employees. They deserve some training also, don’t they?

Round up your best and brightest and have them complete a self- assessment to discover their own learning style. (Download Free Learning Assessment)

Simply put there are 3 main styles of learning:

  • Visual – seeing & reading

  • Auditory – listening and speaking

  • Kinesthetic – touching & doing

Once they figure out that everyone is unique and how understanding how these learning styles impact training, they will be more receptive to trying different ways to tap into the new employee.

2 – Brainstorm your operational core competencies. What are the top 5-10 things that new staff must have or must do to coming into your organization need to be successful? Fundamental information might include hours of operation, how to work the POS, where to clock in and out.

3 – Revisit your training. Modify your checklists and learning activities - modify them to appeal to all three learning styles. By incorporating 2 or 3 styles into your training, you will greatly improve your chances of developing a successful team member!

4 – Assess learning AND training. It’s important that we assess not only our new staff but the trainers in charge of their learning. This needs to begin on day one and continue throughout the training process. This can be done with written & online quizzes, by asking questions and through observing.

5 – Compensate your trainers. If your trainers are required to take time out from their regular duties to training new people, pay more or better yet, pay them a bonus for every trainee that is successful. Share the training load and don’t just load up one person. On the days when they are not training give them the best shifts, best sections and the opportunity to make up for lost income.

Easy peasy.... right?


Since you're here...

At the helm of Connect Hospitality Strategies is Caroline Bagnall, Adult Educator, Hospitality & Tourism Professional, Soccer Coach, Advocate for the Environment, Level 2 Sommelier, and a 2o+year resident of Whistler BC Canada.

For every hospitality organization that wants to be profitable and develop customers for life in a highly competitive marketplace, Connect Hospitality Strategies brings project management and workforce education to the table.

Subscribe to my website for tools and resources that you can used to drive profitability at

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