Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K), in partnership with the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART), recently presented the findings of its annual survey “Trends in Hospitality Training and Development Study”. The study encompassed responses from a total of 57 organizations, of which 84% represented restaurant companies and 16% were hotel and lodging companies.

The main objective of the study’s findings was to establish the return on investment of training. However, in order to properly explore the impact of training, it’s important to first consider the recent trends in turnover and unemployment. Data from the past five years displays a significant decrease in unemployment as well as a corresponding increase in turnover rates for the restaurant industry according to data from Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K)’s Workforce Intelligence (formerly People Report). The highlight of the survey findings was the relationship between the amount of resources put towards training and turnover rates.

For example, the survey revealed that most participating companies allot two hours of orientation for each new hire and the average number of hours offered is four. One particular set of data noted a 13 point decrease in turnover rates for the companies that spent four or more hours on orientation. Additionally, the participating companies spent an average of 12 hours of ongoing training for all hourly employees in the past year. This is particularly beneficial because the data displays a corresponding 11 percent turnover difference between the companies that offer 10 or more hours of training and those who do not.

Another key insight of this study is the benefit of properly training the trainers. The relationship between hourly turnover rates and the percent of a company’s training budget allocated towards their trainers is significant- those companies who spend five percent or more of their budgets on training certified trainers experienced 23 percent less turnover than those who did not. This data set is the biggest turnover difference concluded from the study, which emphasizes training the trainers as a best practice for companies to adopt.

logoThese survey results demonstrate the clear importance of not only spending additional time on training employees, but also expanding the quality of resources used in training. As the Black Box Intelligence (formerly TDn2K) team explored in its recent Q2 webinar discussion, the average age of hourly employees is steadily decreasing. Hourly employee hires in restaurants have a median age ranging from 21 to 24 years depending on industry segment according to Workforce Intelligence (formerly People Report). As a result, there has been a notable shift towards the use of E-learning in training. The 2014 Trends in Hospitality and Development Survey highlighted the growing prevalence and potential of E-learning in last year’s findings, and those results continue to hold true in 2015. This year’s study displayed that although about 60 percent of training for both hourly employees and managers remains on-the-job training, much larger percentages of companies have adopted E-learning as another viable training method. Over 50 percent of participating hotel and lodging companies and over 85% of restaurant companies have reported an increase in the use of E-learning in 2015.

Thus, the message is clear: retention is one of the greatest challenges faced by the hospitality industry today and a very direct way of addressing this issue is setting up employees for success at their organizations by preparing them to perform at their jobs and engaging them through training and development. This sounds obvious and intuitive. But sometimes obvious and intuitive doesn’t mean proven and trusted. What this study has done is shed some light into the great impact that best practices in training have in our industries.

To learn more about this study, click here. To learn more about the outlook for Service Sector workforce in 2016, attend our webinar on September 10th, 2015 at 1PM CT. For more info and to register, click here.