The CHART Regional Training Forum (RTF) held at Hopsmith Tavern in Chicago on Thursday attracted 45 restaurant and hotel training professionals, a record-breaking group for Chicago RTFs. The theme of the event was employee engagement and retention, and featured five presentations focused on best practices followed by round-table discussions where attendees shared their ideas and experiences.
Sara Anderson, Workforce Development Manager for the National Restaurant Association (NRA), kicked off the free event by sharing restaurant workforce hiring and turnover data from the NRA and TDn2K, along with several employee engagement ideas.
Cindy Poulos, Vice President of Marketing for DiscoverLink, shared some historical lessons in turnover reduction experienced by clients leveraging e-learning, as well as a current day success story focused on reducing turnover within a new employee’s first ten shifts.
John Krahn, Corporate Manager of Training for Cousins Subs, talked about how culture and leadership development play key roles in employee retention, and the specific focus they place on the qualities of servant leadership.
Toni Colhoff, Manager of Leadership Development for Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants shared the details of their Manager in Development (MID) program and their focus on creating a community for MID candidates.
Konnie Sadler, Operations & Training Manager for Culver’s, wrapped up the presentations with an overview of their True Blue Leadership Development program and the Culver’s Crew Challenge.
Then, the audience divided up into six groups that were each assigned a topic to discuss related to employee engagement and retention: Orientation, Culture, Career Paths, E-learning, MID/MIT Programs and Contests. Each group then shared their best practices.
Presentations from the RTF are available for download.