Self-managing venues naturally serve for an exceptional platform for learning opportunities. There are no managers stopping you from picking up new responsibilities or trying out new things. In fact, the more you contribute, the more your skills and reputation grows and the more people will come to you for advice and help. Later on, you will be trusted to take on new roles and launch new initiatives if you so desire. Because people are learning by making decisions, seeking advice, working in voluntary tasks, picking up skills and knowledge the venue is automatically an educational institute. These things that are traditionally pushed up to the management and HR are now working as learning and confidence building tools as well as motivators to help with everyone’s own endeavors.

Since there is no HR department to decide how the trainings should be organised, and by whom, the responsibility lies within the workers themselves. Trainings could be organised by the team themselves in a peer-to-peer style or with some outside help, provided the advice process is used and it’s believed the costs are justified. It’s also possible that you have agreed on a budget towards outside training per month (at individual or team level) and therefore won’t need to use the advice process.

Traditionally, the two types of training categories are training that helps employees to move up in the career ladder and training on a specified skill such as sales or financial analysis skills. Since self-managing organizations don’t have job titles per se, there is no need for the habitual career ladder training. Instead, Teal companies have two training categories of great worth: training to establish a common culture and personal development trainings. The specified skill trainings are of course still in play, but they are more often than not incorporated in the peer-to-peer trainings and advice processes. Simple word of mouth guidance and reminding someone about the agreed standards (a.k.a. kind-heartedly calling each other out when someone is a bit sloppy) during the shift is one subdivision of skill trainings. Since there are no external trainings in some, or most, of the subjects, the trainings end up being tailor-made to suit the language and the culture of the venue, as well as they are deeply infused with the company’s values and beliefs. Bartending is known for the master-student learning style so different bartenders and different venues have their own ways to operate. Therefore, internal trainings are a practical way to have a consistent product and service across the board.

The traditional power and hierarchy trainings for managers are now training sessions related to the common company culture which even the new hires can attend. Topics such as how to deal with conflicts (eg. nonviolent communication) and how to get things done without hierarchy are amongst the most important ones. The company culture, as well as the personal development, are profoundly connected to the self-management view Teal bars have, so consider the Self-Management section topics as your guidelines to start with and widen your range going forward. It’s good to remember that these trainings are not just one off sessions, but amplified with follow-up trainings and workshops that are part of the daily life at the bar.

On top of the self-management topics, you can also explore personal development by considering these five main development areas: spiritual, emotional, mental, social and physical. People have, or at least should have, more things in their life than just work. This should be acknowledged by the company as well by enabling people to be who they are and by supporting them on their journey. Seeing people as a whole with their responsibilities and needs inside and outside the work place demands (undoubtedly hard) training in open communication from everyone. But when the reward is a humane, supportive and understanding work environment, I’m confident people are up for the task.

Turning team members into trainers is cost efficient and strengthens both the individual and team morale. Who says managers should hold all the trainings? Instead, how about having peer-to-peer trainings where one can learn to teach, gain confidence and maybe earn some recognition for their subject expertise, all at once.

Someone said we should respect the training, honor the commitment and cherish the results. Peer-to-peer training can be challenging but trust me on this one. Trust the process and keep fine-tuning it together. Hold each other accountable and be consistent so that at the end of the night, you can wipe down the tables and turn off the lights from a venue you all care for.

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Mika Ammunét Written by:

Bar Manager, Future Bar Owner

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