Frank Mitchell Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, January 2019, Staff Training

Staff Training

by Frank Mitchell



Instructional Design, Part Two

There are several popular design models used to develop effective training. I like to recommend a simplification of the Gerlach-Ely design model, since it is suited to designers who have good content knowledge, but less experience in designing training. This certainly described me when I was in private service.

This model solves the difficulty of knowing where to start by reversing the intuitive order. You start by picturing the final outcome for your training. Once you know what you want to achieve, specify the standards participants must achieve in order to meet expectations. The setting of standards was discussed in “Chapter” 8 of our series.

Next, look at what they already know. Remember your TNA from Chapter 6? That’s right, it’s already done. Now we design only the training needed to bring our staff to where we want them to be. If someone is already at point ‘B’, don’t start at point ‘A’ to get them to point ‘C’. Finally, we conduct the training and test our participants to see if the training worked. This is a simple, effective model that really helps start the novice trainer.

I find the subject fascinating and I would strongly urge the earnest reader to research the topic online. Next month, we start a step-by-step explanation of how to conduct training.

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 and resort staff. 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.