Case Study #2: Cutting Food Costs in the Cafeteria
Food costs at Transam, through the companys cafeteria is one of the biggest costs to the company. It is also the most volatile operating expense to deal with. There are just many, many ways to lose money working with food. Even though sophisticated food management tools exist, the fact remains that most cafeterias lose money, and in many cases lots of money due to poor food controls. Management has brought this problem to the training departments attention & requested that training be given to the cafeteria staff in order to reduce the losses.
The goal of the training program is to improve the organizations performance by training managers how to implement strategies that will lead to a reduction of losses due to food costs. This training is tied directly to the organizations objectives and the gaps that were identified between current and desired performance. The learning objectives are:
- Identified methods of reducing food costs.
- Reducing food costs based upon the analysis of inventory, recipes, sales mix and price structure.
The training program is designed for all food service personnel.
The purpose of training evaluation is to determine the degree to which training has added value to the organization. An assessment of the extent to which behaviors and skills learned during the training are transferred to the job in the form of changed practices involve gathering data from multiple data sources. Using 360-degree assessment requires an analysis of overall trends before training, and development of self-directed action plans for improvement, and the implementation of these plans. Ideally, after a few months to one year, appraisals and surveys from peers and other managers will be used. Such can be developed and analyzed to provide useful input into level 3 evaluations.
Here are measurement strategies recommended for implementing an organizational-improvement assessment of training benefits:
- Administer a culture survey. Feed the results back to all work units, and study the overall results for training-needs trends.
- Administer a training-needs survey. Involve potential participants directly, since felt needs can generate receptivity to training.
- As prework to the training, customize and administer a 360-degree feedback questionnaire that contains items on the competencies to be covered in the training modules. Provide feedback to individuals in small groups, and study the overall data for sharply targeted training-needs assessments of participant groups.
- Administer an end-of-training training facilitator feedback survey by using self-ratings and ratings of co-facilitators and participants. Track courses, facilitator growth, and participant satisfaction with the modules themselves.
- Repeat the 360-degree feedback questionnaire that contains the competency items reflected in the training modules. Provide individualized feedback to participants, and facilitate their further action planning. Study the overall trends for evidence of training payoffs, and modify the training as needed.
- Administer a follow-up survey on participants self-directed action plans. Study the overall results for evidence of training payoffs, and make modifications to the training as needed. Provide periodic data summaries to senior management.