People 1st calls for ‘systematic’ approach to hospitality training

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

People 1st says hospitality taining should be more systematic
People 1st says hospitality taining should be more systematic

Related tags: Investment, Rate of return

People 1st has called on hospitality employers to develop a more ‘systematic’ approach to training in order to guarantee a return on investment (ROI).

It follows survey by the industry skills body, which found that despite hotels and restaurants having invested £2.7bn on training in 2013, only 39 per cent of hospitality employers reported that their staff performance had ‘not improved sufficiently after training’.

A further 28 per cent of employers, meanwhile, reported that staff ‘did not receive the appropriate training’.

According to the People 1st Talent Management report, this revealed “a culture where training and development is not being systematically evaluated nor are wider organisational factors being considered when training is being initiated”.

The report claimed that the £2.7bn figure equated to £2,500 per person trained – which was roughly in line with the average across all UK employment sectors.

Specific plan

However, despite the ‘substantial amount of money’ spent on training, only 41 per cent of employers reported having ‘a specific training plan to upskill and/or improve productivity’.

The report found that the hospitality industry has a higher proportion of skills gaps than the economy as a whole, with 21 per cent of employers reporting staff that ‘are not fully proficient’.

It cited recent research from CIPD, which showed that while 57 per cent of organisations in the UK have talent management strategies, only eight per cent of those believed their activities associated with the strategy to be ‘very effective’.

Although the data is not specific to hospitality, the report believed it suggested employers generally are implementing talent management into their business strategy, but the success seems to be varied.

Three-step strategy

To boost ROI, the report set out its own three-step Talent Management strategy:

  1. Identify and plan​. Identify the training needs of the business and set out clear goals to achieve from the training/
  2. Execute​. Ensure the necessary training is aligned with the wider business needs.
  3. Review​. Look at how successful the training was and assess whether there was a positive ROI.

Evaluation deficit

People 1st’s Executive DirectorMartin-Christian Kent said: “The numbers suggest that training and development are not being systematically evaluated by the employers who are investing in them.”

Kent added: “We believe that it is vital that businesses take a step back and consider what they want to get out of their training before they embark on it.

“Thinking about how you will measure the success of a piece of training often helps businesses think afresh about how they go about their training.”

Kent claimed that the People 1st training evaluation model has helped a number of businesses increase their investment from their training.

He explained: “Harrison Catering Services is one example of a business that has seen a real impact, with a 424 per cent return on their training investment.

“We believe that, with adopting a similar approach to training, such returns are possible throughout the industry.”


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