The past months have undoubtedly been some of the most difficult of our careers. With hospitality businesses having to close locations, convert to carry out only, and/or furlough or lay off 80-90% of their staff, the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have been nothing short of heartbreaking. And in the midst of adapting our businesses to this new reality, we also have our own health and our families’ safety to worry about.
As we continue to navigate one of the most challenging times our industry has ever faced, it’s also time to look toward the future. As you start to think about what your organization might look like when we emerge from this situation, which functional area is going to be critical to getting operations going again? That’s right, training! Whether you are still actively employed or temporarily furloughed, now might be a good time to start thinking about what you can do to prepare your organization for recovery. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. New Operational Procedures
The COVID-19 crisis will certainly have long-lasting impacts on our society as a whole, but also on how we view some aspects of our business. With the new state of standard operational procedures, businesses everywhere are adding new capabilities like carry out or delivery, or even rethinking their business models altogether. This is the time to develop training programs that will be needed to support these new paradigms going forward.
2. Sanitation Programs
There’s no question that the importance of hand washing has been ingrained in everyone’s mind by now, but advanced sanitation practices has become a new normal across the board. More frequent sanitation of high-touch work surfaces, like countertops, door handles, and touch screens, should certainly continue in this new environment. As your staff returns to work, take the opportunity to retrain them on these procedures to set great habits going forward. You may even consider putting together a sanitation program that becomes mandatory for each employee to complete as you begin to re-open locations. This could become a badge of honor as you work to attract new guests and convince your regulars it’s safe to come back.
3. Manager Investment
Many businesses have retained assistant managers and/or general managers even if they have furloughed other staff. Even if your salaried managers are working from home, why not take advantage of this unique opportunity for development? With e-learning systems and leadership development programs like AGM to GM readily available, your management team can come out stronger on the other side if you use this time to develop them.
4. Onboarding Influx
Although many of your furloughed staff will be eager to get back to work, some of them will have found employment elsewhere. In order to ramp up operations to previous levels, you may be faced with an unexpected number of new hires to train in a very short time. Our client operators have repeatedly proven that they are able to train new employees in as little as half the time using e-learning in combination with traditional methods. If you have not yet invested in e-learning, now may be the time.