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Kirsten Kruls

Why event venues should focus on training and development

Kirsten Kruls, events and marketing manager at The Honourable Society, underlines the importance of training and developing staff in the events industry

Importance of staff development

Whatever area of events you are employed in, it’s highly probable that your day or night at work will be busy. This is a fast-paced industry which often requires us to work long hours.

Yet, this is a sacrifice those of us working in events are prepared to make to please clients and our employers.

However, just because we work at pace, it doesn’t mean that we can’t stop sometimes and take time to assess our performance to see how we can improve ourselves or learn new ways of doing things.

Training and development should be considered integral to our work culture, because it is proven to have benefits for both employees and the business.

Research has shown that development is the key to staff happiness and is often favoured over career progression. It also helps with staff retention, which we should focus on due to the increase of staff shortages across the industry.

Lincolns InnLincoln’s Inn kitchen training

At Lincoln’s Inn, a society of barristers who are located in London, we have made training and development of our staff a priority, wherever they work in the organisation.

Our head of catering, Steve Matthews, regards team development as one of the most important elements of his role and has identified internal and external training opportunities for his team.

When the venue partially closed for three years for renovations, instead of expecting staff to find work elsewhere, Matthews and our head chef, David Bush, arranged work experience in other professional kitchens.

These kitchens included Holborn Dining Room and the House of Commons, where staff could pick up new skills and inspiration that could be transported back to our own company.

Now back under our own roof, following the re-opening of the Great Hall and the opening of our new Ashworth Centre, the kitchen team receives regular visits from culinary experts who share their craft and inspire them further.

When new kitchen staff join, Bush also ensures they are well-supported, integrating them into a buddy system to ensure stylistic continuity and makes them undertake allergen and hygiene training, regardless of experience elsewhere.

Lincolns innLincoln’s Inn masterclasses

Inspiration and learning also continues outside of the kitchen. Mindful that staff have little spare time, yet can benefit from development, we introduced the ‘hour of power’ last year. This is a workshop for all catering staff, covering different subjects and activities from teambuilding exercises to masterclasses. 

A recent social media masterclass by marketing experts discussed the advantages of getting the team involved in social media and gave them tips on how to create perfect Instagram posts. This encouraged a flurry of high-quality content produced by staff from all departments at Lincoln’s Inn, which has helped attract further business.

Feedback from the team is that they feel invested in and encouraged to further develop themselves through the initiatives we run.

Overall, we have proved that building training and development into the culture of our business has had a positive impact on our staff and the business and encourage others to do the same. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and the rewards will benefit all.