Staff training is important in every field. It has been shown to make staff feel valued, more motivated and encourages better work. However, while the need to stay up-to-date with current trends in some industries may indicate obvious focus areas for continued professional development, in other sectors it can be harder to decide what training staff should undertake. As ineffective CPD can have the opposite effect to the intended result and actually demotivate staff, it is important for organisations to ensure that CPD is of value to them. Read on for some factors that should be considered when undertaking training within the customer service and hospitality industries. Relevant to the job role Training should be beneficial for every staff member taking part. Allocate training according to job role, rather than giving all staff across the board the same training. Mandatory training which serves no purpose for some employees is not only a waste of company resources but can also leave those staff members feeling that their time has been wasted. This can be extremely demotivating. Practical training It has been shown that experiential learning, or learning through doing, is more beneficial to staff than theory-based learning. A learning programme for hospitality students found that students who participated in an experiential learning programme had an increased ability to adapt to change and a greater understanding of how hospitality systems function. Make training days as practical as possible, and encourage staff put any new knowledge into action as part of the training process in order to help them retain any skills learned. Goals Assess what impact you want the training to have and design training sessions with the aim of achieving these goals. Whether it’s improving staff knowledge so they can deliver better customer service, building staff confidence or training staff to upsell to improve profits, having clear reasons for why the training is taking place will prevent it from going off-track and ensure it’s an effective use of time. Having predefined goals before training begins will also allow you to assess how successful it was and whether different methods should be used next time. Review It’s easy for training to have an impact in the immediate aftermath when it is fresh in employee’s minds and staff feel motivated. However, the effects of training can wear off over time, with staff reverting back to the status quo of how things are done. Having frequent reviews and refreshers of any training can help to ensure that it is still implemented, even months down the line, allowing it to have a lasting impact. Make Training Enjoyable When possible, make training engaging and enjoyable for the staff participating. Staff training sessions are also a perfect opportunity to encourage staff team work and bonding and increase the motivation of your work force. Studies have shown that when we enjoy what we are doing, we retain the information that we learn more effectively. If staff dread training sessions they are unlikely to go into the session with an open mind and the positivity required to allow the training to yield positive results. Our virtual reality roleplay simulation, C-Live is ideal for staff training, as it focuses on providing practical results. Participants can practise bespoke customer service scenarios, such as handling a lost reservation or dealing with an angry customer.  All interactions are live, with avatars being controlled by our simulation specialists, allowing staff to see the direct results of their actions. For more information contact us on 01270 449 165 or email clive@iwanttoconnect.co.uk