Workplace technology solutions that tell you adopting their service is 100% fuss-free aren’t always telling the truth. So if you’re a manager thinking about it, here’s our attempt at being honest.
If you’re a manager, making the decision to start using Small Batch Learning to train unlimited numbers of your hospitality or retail staff on beverage service and product knowledge – for free – is the easy part.
Unless you’re contracted to another training provider (that you’re happy to pay for) or are militantly anti-technology, it’s a bit of a no-brainer: zero cost, engaged staff, improved customer service, and – if all goes according to the piles of research on the matter – an upswing in sales. Simple.
However, behind the beautiful smiling faces on our website and chirpy encouragement from our blog posts, there is another truth. Adopting technology solutions in the workplace requires effort, a shift in company culture and, ultimately, management manhours. It can be hard, and we get it. You’re all busy trying to make things stick, put out fires, keep things rolling and get the job done. Guess what? Us too.
So, we thought we’d try to break down exactly how much time it would take a bar or store manager to actually do this thing, and get their staff training on Small Batch Learning. We won’t tell you why your staff should be training with us, and why training will help your business grow. That’s covered here.
We’ll just try to be honest – in terms of minutes – about what it takes from you, a manager, to make this fly. Here goes:
- Fill out the enquiry form here, and press send. Simple: 1 MINUTE.
- Read a short email sent from us, with the login details for accessing your outlet account (which we have already created). Click “sign in” and fill in your personal details. Again: 1 MINUTE.
- Work out what the hell you are meant to be looking at, while checking back to the first email. 1 MINUTE…ok, maybe 2 MINUTES.
- Open the “Small Batch Learning for Managers” training guide, and read the first lesson: “The Quick Guide to Getting Started (for Managers)”. 10 MINUTES… phew!
- Decide which staff you want to add to your outlet’s training account on the platform (clue: it’s free, so add everyone) and gather their emails into one place – 5 MINUTES, depending on how many staff you have and if you ever email them. If you don’t use email or don’t have those details to hand, you might need to send out a request for email addresses to your work Whatsapp group or talk to them in person. But we expect you have their email addresses.
- Enter their emails using the “Add Staff” function and select which training plan and Virtual Menu you want to assign to each team member. Send out the invite! If you have 10 staff this might take 5 MINUTES.
- Check back the next day by looking at the team list, and chase up any staff who haven’t got their s*** together and set up their user account. Do it again the next day. 10 MINUTES.
At this point your work is done. Well, let’s call it the end of the beginning. There is a lot more you can and will do on the platform – see Phase 2 – but getting this far means your staff are now training on the platform. This is a grand total of 34 MINUTES.
But… because you have to answer the phone, respond to a message, find out what all that shouting outside is about, or whatever else gets in the way of your day, we’re going to be generous – and round it up to one hour.
Phase 1 total: 60 MINUTES.
Now, as mentioned, we’re being honest. So, there is more…
- Go back and read the rest of the managers how-to guide. In total that’s about another 1 HOUR because you’ve already done the first lesson.
- Write your company’s “About Us & Internal SOPs” course. How long’s a piece of string? Depending on how many SOPs you want to write, and whether you’ve already got an internal training document written, this may take some time. But it’s not essential to get your team started, plus we’ve created some templates to make it easier to structure when you do get round to writing. We’re going to say 3 HOURS, at least. But remember, it’s a valuable exercise and will create a seriously strong long-term training asset for your company. And once it’s written, you’ll be able to use the same content for all staff members forever (give or take a few ongoing edits).
- The Virtual Menu! This is our pride and joy, and we hope you love it too. To get you started we’ve already added “50 Must-Know Spirits” to every new outlet’s menu library. Now you can either edit this one, or create new menus, so that staff can train on all the products sold in your outlet. Depending on the size of your real menu, we think you are looking at 15 minutes to add 30 products (one product every 30 seconds), or 1 HOUR for 120 products. (Tip: keep your menu handy.)
- The Virtual Menu again! This time for recipes. If you sell cocktails, this is where you can add and customize existing classic cocktail recipes from our library (one recipe per minute) or input your own signature recipes. That takes a bit longer, let’s say 5 MINUTES per signature. So, if you have 20 drinks on your signature list, that might take 1 HOUR 40 MINUTES, plus 30 MINUTES to customize our version of your outlet’s 30 most frequently served classic cocktails (adapting our library of ready-written recipes to suit your specs/product mix). Sub-total: 2 HOURS 10 MINUTES.
This is the next level, which you’d definitely be spreading out over the first few weeks. It’s the hard graft, the bit that takes time. True, but it’s also the bit that delivers a much richer training experience, and all the benefits that go with that.
Phase 2 total: 10 HOURS (rounded up from 7 HOURS 10 MINUTES above).
- If you want to do the Small Batch Learning training yourself to make sure you know exactly what your team are being taught, we recommend a target of one hour’s training per week for staff, so you could do the same… or less. ONE HOUR per week.
- Weekly management: simply this means checking in on your team’s performance, adding new staff, adding new content, editing existing content (if you don’t like anything in our training content, you can change it – Small Batch Leaning is 100% customizable). Up to you, again, but you could very easily fit this into ONE HOUR per week.
Phase 3 (ongoing) total: 1-2 HOURS per week.
That’s our honest guide to how much time it would take you to adopt Small Batch Learning as a manager. Yes, there is some effort – we provide a re-cap of everything we think managers should be doing to get the most out of the platform here. But we want managers to accept and embrace that effort.
Remember, Small Batch Learning is not just a website; it’s an operations tool, an online training solution, and as such it requires some training itself and an amount of extra energy to make sure that it’s fulfilling its potential. Just like your team.
But after that first hour, we think you’ll see a difference. And once you see that difference in your staff and their performance, we firmly believe that you won’t mind putting the hours in yourself anyway.
Please note: the above calculations are for a single outlet. Of course, setting up more than on outlet, for example for a whole group, takes longer, but then there will also be economies of scale – your SOPs and classic cocktail specs will be ready written and can be shared between outlets.
And by the way, if you are a manager who is already using Small Batch Learning, and you think any of the above calculations are just WRONG, email us and we’ll try to make this post even more honest!