Frank Mitchell Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, August 2019, Staff Training

Staff Training

by Frank Mitchell


Once the participants have completed their practice and you have asked questions to check their understanding, they are ready for assessment. Before you begin, reset everything to zero and check that they have enough materials for the test.

In order to make it fair, you must tell them that the test is starting. Say “You are ready for your assessment. I know you will do well. Please start when you are ready.” Express confidence in them – positivity is infectious. You know they will do well because you would not assess them before they are ready. Test staff members individually, using identical tests.

Time the assessment to check that they meet the performance standard. Do not slow them down by asking them questions or stopping and correcting during the test. Let them complete the task unless they are going to damage something or hurt themselves. After completion, stop the clock and inspect the quality standard. First, tell them whether or not they have passed. They need to know this so that they can relax and concentrate on your feedback.

If there is a written training record to sign (which I strongly advise), indicate the outcome of the assessment, have them sign it and sign it yourself.

This concludes POPPER. Next month we will look at giving feedback.

Frank Mitchell’s background is as a private-service butler who then became a head butler at a hotel, and then a butler trainer with the Institute. While he continues to train butlers for the Institute occasionally, his focus for the last decade has been on training hotel, resort, and palace staff in general. He has written several well-received columns for the MBJ over the years and can be contacted via the Institute. 

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.