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A q for all the managers/supervisors out there

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That's really going to depend on the job and the aptitude/background of the trainee.


In the job I have now it's probably 6 months before someone new is really fully trained and self-sufficient. There's a huge learning curve.


Now if I hired a cashier in a retail store I'd think a week or two would be sufficient.


Can you give more details about the situation?

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What about hospitality, a front desk job?


I would think 2-3 weeks would be reasonable. I'm going to assume it's not anything overly complicated - right? Do you have good documentation or a training manual that they can refer to if they get stuck? That helps people feel more comfortable if they can have a reference available.

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Front desk isn't really that easy. Certain days, yes, but when it's crazy busy, it's nuts. So you think that an employee should be able to not make any mistakes after only a week or two of training?


I'd say two weeks to barely get by with out supervision, but a couple months for total proficiency.

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So you think that an employee should be able to not make any mistakes after only a week or two of training?


Well there is a difference between being fully trained and not making mistakes. People do make mistakes from time to time. And they'll make less the longer they are in a position.


I still think 2-3 weeks is reasonable to consider them "trained". But that's not the same thing as considering them "experienced".

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That's the problem I'm having. My manager is considering firing me because I've made a few mistakes in the past couple of weeks. Some were all my fault (rushing, forgetting to check this and that) and some were simply because I hadn't been taught how to do certain things. He clearly feels as though I should be doing everything perfectly after a month on the job. I'm trained, and I know what I'm doing, but I am human and do mess up sometimes.

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Have you spoken to your manager about this in detail? Ask them to lay out a specific set of goals and objectives that you need to meet in order to keep your job. If you require more training in any areas in order to meet those goals then ask for it. Then try to meet those goals as best you can.

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I've been working with the acting manager (she's the one who knows how to do everything and has all kinds of tricks up her sleeve.) to try and catch up. Just worried that it may be too late. I even went in 2 hours early yesterday (unpaid) to get something resolved.

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Well just try the best you can to meet the objectives. If it's too late then it's too late. But you lose nothing by giving it your best shot. Perhaps the assistant manager will put in a good word for you if she sees that you are really trying your best to improve.

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She (the acting manager) thinks I'm doing really well. She had so much praise for me yesterday because the night before I was working on my own with a packed hotel (200 ppl), and 3/4 of the people wanted to pay that night, to avoid a long line in the morning. There ended up being a long line a couple of times that night anyways lol. In addition to that the phone was ringing off the hook most of the night, and I was constantly having to run extra towels, etc... to quite a few of the rooms. All of us employees thought it was absolutely crazy that they 1: Hadn't scheduled enough housekeepers so that when ppl began arriving, their rooms weren't clean, and 2: That only one person (me) was scheduled for front desk, despite the fact that they had posted early payment options all over the place. I was really really mad about the lack of judgement on their parts.


She actually told me that even though she's been in the business for over 3 years, she never would have been able to handle all of that and keep it together. She also was astounded that with all the payments I took and issues with the system that night, I only made 4 errors, two of which were corrected before I went home that night. She said that even if I do get fired, I can walk out with my dignity intact because I did really really well for having only been there for a month and a half. So, I feel very good about that. I've done good work for them and I know that I've done the very best I can. I know they're going to keep me for now because the new girl quit, but I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for a different job at a more established location.


It's basically that whenever there is anything that has to do with money that is a bit screwy (credit cards off by a few $, or ANY possibility of being short or over) the owner and manager freak out. It's all on the manager's head, which I can fully understand... but apparently the people in the past who made mistakes regarding money (even after it gets fixed) are canned. The acting manager said that whenever there is any kind of threat to the manager, he turns around and fires the employee. So, I guess we're very disposable, which is really too bad.

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When you're new, you need to learn what the priorities of the job are too... those are often unspoken, but it becomes clear when you make a few mistakes what are things they really care about as 'firing' offenses.


If balancing the money is most important, then really devote your attention to anything to do with money handling. If someone is waiting for towels, let them wait a couple minutes more, but get the money right. The towels really are a housekeeping issue, so you can always say if a customer complains that you couldn't do the towels because there were too many people at the front desk.


So focus on getting the money exactly right as your top priority.


Re: handling the phones and customers at the same time, usually they have you deal with the customers at the desk first. Pick up the phone and politely tell the customer on the phone to hold for a moment please then put them on hold. Finish with the customers at the desk then go back to the phone. If the person on the phone hung up while you were dealing with a customer at the desk (and getting their charges right), then too bad!


So if you screwed up, go to the manager and say, please help me prioritize how i should handle it if there are customers at the desk, the phone is ringing, and someone requests towels. Or just start making those decisions yourself, and if they correct you, start doing it the way they want it done.

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Technically you should get as much time as you need so long as you can perform your duties. I mean they hired you and put you through the training so it is bad business (in my opinion) to fire someone just for being a little slow. Unless you're plainly ignoring your duties or are a disruptive or rude employee.


Especially in menial jobs.. if someone is a little slow that is necessarily a good thing unless the economy is really bad (employers are often acutely aware). The reason is that a simpleton will love the job at the hotel desk and after a year know it perfectly, and probably perform the job better than the college braniac who is going to dump it and go to Europe in 6 months anyway.


Generally the larger the business the safer you are. Very small businesses that I have worked for (and I worked for a few in shopping centers during high school) generally have a lot less patience. Big company, customer service, you should be alright they have a hard enough time retaining workers without wanting to sack someone who is doing their best, to complete a reasonably simple job.


Keep in mind I am from Australia.

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I want to clarify that I've got the prioritizing down pat. This isn't my first job, and I know that customers at the desk come first, phone second, and anything else is third. If I hadn't known that, I wouldn't have lasted a day.


Captain planet- Your statements are so incredibly narrow minded and generalized. Some people make careers out of receptionist work and hospitality. It doesn't mean that they're simpletons, or that they're not smart. It's what they enjoy doing. This isn't my career, it's just to put some money towards living expenses and college. We've already had three people in the past month who couldn't hack it, and they're not dumb people, it just wasn't suited to them.


I dunno. I'm just going to keep doing my best and learning from the AM, and whatever happens, happens. I would prefer something where I'm not doing so much money/credit handling. Lately I've been toying with the idea of not working through August. It's been years and years since I had any time off in the summer. One year I got to go camping for three days, and that was the extent of my vacation.

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Im a manager of 35 employees, not at a hotel..its technical work but it still involves ALOT of customer service.


Anyway - to answer your question, my employees go through a very extensive training for 2 weeks, 9hrs a day in a classroom. When they come out of "training" I wouldn't consider them even trained, just more knowledgable of the new atmosphere. I also wouldn't think of firing any of them until about 3-4 months, by then you can tell if they just aren't getting it. I think everyone will make mistakes, especially if they are new, even when they have tons of experience in the field, ever place is different, with different policies etc etc. As long as the employee is putting effort into learning the new enviornment, it should be visible to the manager.


If you haven't already - sit down with your manager and let him/her know what is going on.

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