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Unlearning and Retraining

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In many posts that I’ve published, I’ve mostly talked about self training but as the saying goes, “Sharing is caring.” What about sharing your knowledge to others who could find it really useful? What I’m covering in this post is how to efficiently train others in order to improve output. In this case, I am holding Barista Basic 101 sessions with my team in order to improve our shifts working as a team in a fast-paced industry, wherein our jobs are often viewed as if run by machines forgetting the human factor. In order for the system to work properly, everyone must be in the same level of knowledge and skills. You can continue reading if you think what I am doing might be useful for you to try and implement or skip to the next post instead 😉

I observed and listed down common and re-occurring mistakes made by our baristas. Something they weren’t told from the beginning and eventually made uneasy to unlearn and change what they thought they knew. I also asked other supervisors what else they noticed during their shifts that are similar to mine because if I get nitpicky about every single thing that’s wrong then I will have a lot more to talk about rather than giving an intensive crash course.

The second thing I did was walk-through the theory with them, making sure that they understand the standards and requirements of their role. Since the playroom has been changed, it was a must that they’re aware of this change as well and know that I have been implementing it even if we aren’t the test store. It has been exhausting and the amount of work I’ve had to do plus leading the shift and manning the store is something I think the main office forgets that they have not personally experienced before changing our routine.

After clarifying with the baristas and answering all their questions which were also good and showed their interest in raising their standards, I moved on to application. They had to evaluate and analyze the current shift working as if they are supervisors/assistant store managers/store managers/district managers. Teaching them to give constructive criticisms meaning if they see something wrong, they need to defend it as well as suggesting solutions as well as positive reinforcements wherein it was good but could be done better and even recognizing that a partner went above and beyond their job demands.

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As a coffee master, I thought it was also beneficial for the baristas to have a coffee tasting with me for our current Origin promotion. This is where information weighs less and experience is valued more. Coffee and tea are personal experiences that each person develops themselves. I paired it with food that I would suggest and mentioned that it’s only one of the many choices and then they can figure out on the spot based on the notes that they made what else would go well with it and usual, DEFEND! I don’t take a yes, no, or one word answer. I accept only the responses that have a point and appropriate reasoning.

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Another, if everyone is on-board with your training you can only give access to materials to those who have already attended. I created a folder in Google Drive that I just add the email addresses of the baristas so that they can access it but it only helps if they attended. Be selective with the information you give them on paper and what you say on the day itself.

As a Green Apron Specialist, I find it important not only to recognize positive and negative feedbacks but also to take action. I personally dislike it when people complain but don’t do anything about their problem (unless it really is impossible that I can’t suggest anything). I’ve already had other experiences wherein how many people made a formal complaint and still nothing was done or if there was then it was temporary. It is our job to adapt to situations relating to customers and everyone had to be in the same level in order for it to work. Spoon-feeding is not allowed in my system, they must be able to think for themselves as they are no longer children and they can also grow.

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