Re-Opening Resources

Re-Opening Resources

Blog on Training in 2021

What does training look like in 2021? Training Manager, Lisa Dunks looks at the changing world of L&D and how S4labour are continuing to adapt.

S4labour Reopening


An S4labour reopening to-do list! This is something you can send out to ensure your site managers have a plan for the first weeks of rotas & forecasts.

In-House Training Agenda

We have put together a template for you to go through for labour planning refresher training when your teams are back together.

Sub Us In

We can take one thing off your to-do list and train your teams for you with our bespoke training solutions starting from just £100, get in touch with Lisa to find out more

S4labour Re-Opening Checklist

White Label - Editable Version

S4labour - PDF Version

Training in 2021

Training in 2021

Training in 2021

It’s been a strange year for everyone, particularly a lot of us in hospitality and every area of our businesses have been turned upside down by Covid. As we start to see some light at the end of the tunnel I thought it would be useful to share some thoughts on how training is changing and what we are doing in S4labour to adapt. 


With pure classroom training interventions becoming a thing of the past prior to the pandemic, more organisations were using a blended learning approach, not only because of the cost saving but also the time saved on traveling. The beauty of online learning is that it can be applied straight away, putting it into action as soon as you wave goodbye and find the exit button to the online room. We have always offered online launches at S4labour but it’s been almost a year since I stood at the front of a group of people and delivered our launch workshops or refresher sessions. Since the pandemic however, our online workshops for bigger teams have been a great success and our users have responded really well to implementing their systems into their business. Emily Grenville, Head of H.R. at Tossed said “it’s the most support we have been given by a supplier”.Jacques from the Big Smoke & Morgan Groups is also impressed, commenting “[our] launch was a great success and given the choice of face to face and remote I would choose remote again” 


The Rise Of Capabilities Over Skills

Back when I was in operations we always hired for attitude and trained for skill, it didn’t matter to me if they hadn’t done the job before, what mattered  was that they wanted to learn, wanted to push themselves and had the right attitude. I knew I could teach our service cycle, our menu, our cocktails and systems to anyone that wanted to learn. One of the shifts in focus L&D teams have had over the last couple of years is towards    capabilities rather than skills, with short sharp training interventions,providing learners with the ability to search for content and learn something in real time. This style of learning ensures individuals can learn in the flow of work tying in learning directly with the workers abilities to perform their jobs and to produce business outcomes. At S4labour we have strengthened our resource library so users can access content on any device when they are faced with a knowledge gap at any time. We have also made our training bitesize and loads to choose from: 15-minute online modules, 30 minute webinars and 1 hour one-to-one remote training and group workshops. We also engage with our customers to find their pain points and ensure we discuss the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’ to use our software, taking our training further and deeper into the habits and behaviors that are needed by users to get success.


Learning in the flow of work 

One of the biggest frustrations learners tend to have in the workplace is the amount of time that is wasted, employees just want to get the work done and do it right. Just-in-time learning enables employees to improve efficiencies and gain new capabilities with hands on, just-in-time and just-for-me learning. Following our launches, each General Manager gets the ability to spend two one-to-one sessions with a system expert ensuring just that – it’s at the time they need it, it’s just for them and improves efficiencies and reduces the frustration that comes along with change. You’ve heard about HIIT workouts but what about relating that to workplace training, high intensity interval training, short sharp impactful interventions.  


Project based learning 

Posing a problem, or changing and allowing a team or individual to research and collaborate through  researching and discussion leads to a lot of learning. This reinforces capabilities and allows individuals to gain new skills. Motivation at work can be low at this time of year but add business closures into the mix along with furlough and teams could be left feeling very demotivated and uninspired. As a manager, having a few projects in mind to dish out is great for your team’s wellbeing too,allowing them to focus and get re-engaged. A phrase one of my Portuguse friends shared with me translates to “when we are not in war, we polish our guns”. This is what we have been doing at S4labour over the last few months, to ensure we give our customers and users the best onboarding experience possible when the industry opens up again. Suggested project topics could be related to service style, maintaining ‘hospitality’ in the masked environment, fun team bonding online sessions, inclusion and diversity or something as simple as create your own cocktail ideas. A lot of our customers are also taking this time to retrain/refresh their teams on S4labour and our free webinars were a great success to support this after the first lockdown. 


Emphasis on Communication and Collaboration Skills

More and more teams are now meeting in virtual and digital environments. Even after the pandemic this will remain the case. Something we have implemented in S4labour for our teams is a ‘Friday Huddle’ where we catch up socially, chat about our week over a cuppa and take it in turns to organise a quiz. We also share regular feedback and thank colleagues with praise and pass it on email. I recently took to the kitchen and posted out brownies to our team. We have been more deliberate with our communication because we are all working remotely. We are actually stronger as a team for it, something I’m sure will continue. department managers have been utilizing our Shift Success feature to share updates with us and the shift review function has been even more important to measure our teams happiness and wellbeing.


We have seen some amazing things our customers have been doing and are inspired by how passionate the sector is at supporting and training their people for success. It is such a win win, for the employee and the business. If you want to have a chat about training in your business, or think your teams would be more impactful with a bit of a refresher, then get in touch.

How being a “grabber” was a spring board to great things.

How being a “grabber” was a spring board to great things.

People that know me are always shocked to hear that I suffered with lack of confidence when I was a younger. It was while doing a culinary course at college that I won pastry chef of the year, and I discovered I loved the kitchen! I still love baking today but being host in FOH was when my confidence blossomed. I always remember one of my college professors saying, “you should be earning your age!”, so I made it my target to do just that and landed a role at Mitchell & Butlers. I was very lucky, I had a great manager, who coached me to be the best me, and always said “Lisa be a grabber!”. She volunteered me for everything, and I soon was attending all the courses I could, supporting other business and really gaining exposure; this rocketed my career. My first promotion came after my first year to Assistant Manager, then Deputy Manager the following year. From then, I started putting myself forward for cover roles and heading to other business to provide cover.

Lisa is S4labour’s Customer Training Manager. She has a lifetimes experience in the hospitality sector, having been, amongst other roles, a general manager of a premium country pub for Mitchells & Butlers.

After a successful 6-month maternity hold, I got the keys for my very first business. I will never forget the excitement of hanging my brass licensee plaque, and how proud my family were of me; I was only 23! I had achieved so much in the 4 years since leaving college and grown into such a different person. This was all down to being a grabber, and making the most of every opportunity I could. I even featured in the Career Mail for having such a successful career at my age. I loved being a landlady and continued to grab every opportunity I could. I really wanted to drive my career into a full time learning and development role and started seeking additional roles such as district trainer or people champion; I also did a foundation degree in managing in service industries. My career has been propelled by training at every opportunity. I’m still a grabber and will put my hand up for any additional training that’s available.  

Why Training Matters In Hospitality

Why Training Matters In Hospitality

Getting people to change the way they do things is no easy task, often a simple change feels impossible. It can be easy for us as leaders to see the problem and get frustrated when others can’t. Similarly, we get annoyed when people don’t act when we give them the advice needed to change.

Lisa is S4labour’s Customer Training Manager. She has a lifetimes experience in the hospitality sector, having been, amongst other roles, a general manager of a premium country pub for Mitchells & Butlers.

,Back when I was General Manager of a country pub, I remember getting frustrated with the team letting the fire go out. It was on the task list, and getting it going in the morning was no problem but it would always die out just as lunch got really busy! When I pointed out to the team that it had gone out, they would rush to re light it, spending ages doing it because of the ash build up and having to use more expensive kindling to get it going again. We were all busy and during service the fire seems like the last thing on the to do list, but the reality is, add a shovel of coal or a log at the right time is all that it needed, so it must have been something else? When eventually I stopped and questioned if I was missing a trick, I realised I needed to change a couple of things if I wanted this to land. I needed to share why it was important, both from an atmosphere point of view and a cost point of view to keep the fire going and not letting it die out and re-light it. Additionally I needed to stop delegating and disowning the task.  All the tools were there, the equipment they needed but I hadn’t encouraged the right habits. As soon as I spent time getting them to understand why it was important and encouraging them by reminding them even with a simple “Your fire looks instagramable, your challenge is to keep it looking like that all day” then reminding them throughout service with a simple reminder, habits started to form and eventually the fires continued to roar throughout the day and the team could focus on giving great service and all the other things that helped push our spend per head up.


The example I give was a simple task and it took a while to get the right habits in with all the different people involved to make an impact and change the way we did things. Every change still had its challenges, some more than others. I know change is hard and some people adapt quicker than others, however, this is where I get my buzz, because this is where we reap all the great rewards change brings, like improved team happiness and retention, improved sales growth, high net promoter scores and that’s what makes it exciting.


S4labour is a fantastic tool, I wish I had that level of visibility to allow me to make better decisions, it would have helped me to develop more confidence in my commercial decision making, but the challenge doesn’t stop with having the right software. It’s like being a member of the best gym in the world and not going or just walking on the treadmill a couple of times a week and expecting the results. Sometimes to get the most out of the gym we need a personal trainer to show us, guide us and give us a plan to work on when were on our own to ensure we get the most out of that gym membership and get the results we deserve and expect. It is the results that change brings that inspire the team around us too in other areas of the business.  I spent a lot of time supporting my district to achieve a successful training culture and shaped my career and moved into different learning and development roles. So when I joined S4labour I was able to  draw on my experience of running pubs, developing leaders and creating training interventions to create these effective masterclass programmes. The training programmes will embed and promote good habits within labour management. Each programme explores why the habit is important and then how you can implement them, inspiring positive change, strong leadership and sustainable changes, ensuring companies get the most out of S4labour seeing the results they deserve. 

Find out more about the training programmes that are available from S4labour. The courses are desiged for organisations who are looking to improve their labour habits. You do not need to be an S4labour user to take the training programmes.