How to Execute Effective Bakery Training

Nowadays, it seems like every business has a “Now Hiring” sign hanging in its window. But with a new batch of team members comes an increased need for effective training. And bakeries are no exception—the day-to-day operations can get quite complicated, especially for an employee who is new to the industry. Fortunately, you have BakeSmart software at your disposal. With our innovative solutions for bakeries across the country, you can make training and employee management a breeze. 

So, what’s the best way to execute bakery employee training? Here are our pro tips for making your training program run as smoothly as your cake batter.

Start Before Your New Hires Walk Through the Door

The first day of work at a bakery can be stressful, despite the wonderful aromas in the air. The best way to make the day even more hectic is to go in without a plan. Before your new employees ever walk through the door, you should already have an agenda and a rough training schedule in place. There’s always time for adjustments later, but having a day-one plan is a great way to save yourself a giant headache. We recommend starting with a checklist of skills each employee will need to know and planning out your time and training schedule from there. 

Have a Solid Management Plan in Place

Your new hires are looking to make a good impression on you, but it’s essential to give them a positive impression of your business as well. Be sure that management and seasoned employees understand what the training process will look like before diving in. Nothing turns away a new team member quicker than disorganized staff management and general disarray! 

two guys looking at the camera smiling holding up coffees

The Fundamentals Come First

So, your new hire has clocked in and is ready to start the training process. First things first—start with the fundamentals. And no, we’re not talking about learning the difference between baking soda and baking powder just yet! Kick-off your training session with some bakery basics. What policies should all employees be familiar with? What about safety procedures? How do you clock in and out from your shift? All of these “business items” should be taken care of promptly on the first day. 

Be the Example

Sometimes, it’s less about breaking down skills and more about modeling them. When you have new employees learning the ropes, remember to set a good example. Model the behaviors you expect from your team members and always follow best practices. New hires will take after the person training them! 

Adapt Training to the Individual

Even the best bakery training program in the world won’t fit everyone perfectly. That’s why it’s crucial to tailor your training to the individual employee. What is your new baker having the most trouble with? Perhaps your new cashier could use some extra help taking phone calls and mobile orders. Don’t be afraid to make small changes to your agenda to meet each team members’ unique needs. Addressing these training blind spots early can make all the difference to your employee’s success later on. 

Don’t Overload Your New Hires! 

Many times, trainers make the mistake of piling on more and more information as the day goes on. The reality is that people aren’t machines, and we need a little time to process truckloads of procedures, recipes, and policies. When you set your agenda for the day, plan realistically.  If you notice your new hires getting overloaded, feel free to take a step back and allow them to process what they’ve learned so far. Your tired new team members will thank you and retain new information a little better tomorrow! 

two people in aprons looking at a tablet in the man's hand

Be Prepared to Troubleshoot

Running a bakery comes with its fair share of problems. Malfunctioning POS systems, employees calling out sick, and bad batches of cookies can all impact your daily routines and goals. It’s vital to be prepared for these problems, especially during bakery training modules. Trainers who think on their feet can use these unexpected issues as learning experiences for new hires. You can’t guarantee a smooth ride, but when you’re prepared to troubleshoot, you’re prepared for anything. 

Always Be Constructive

Constructive criticism really is key to any good bakery training program. Mistakes are going to happen–it’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. When those issues do pop up, it’s paramount to be kind about corrections. Let your new teammate know that everyone makes mistakes, especially on their first day. Simply explain the error and tell them how to avoid a similar mistake in the future. Always remember to proceed with kindness. After all, you were new once too! 

Invest in Technology Updates

While you could break out a dusty old bakery training manual, these days, it’s preferable to use technology to get your employees up to speed. Be sure to invest in technologies that will make training day a little easier, such as an updated POS system. Teaching employees to use clunky, old systems will only make the day more frustrating for everyone involved. 

Give Praise Whenever Possible! 

We all like to be told we’re doing a great job. If your new hire picks up a new skill quickly or asks a good question, be sure to let them know. This forms the building blocks of an excellent rapport with your team. Then, when a mistake inevitably happens, your new employee will be less likely to feel defeated and more likely to respond to criticism. 

Use Your Resources

You have plenty of resources at your fingertips–use them! BakeSmart software has numerous applications that improve the bakery training process. Our solutions were designed with bakers in mind (even the bakers just starting out!) Many of BakeSmart’s features can be used to make training days a little easier on both you and your new team members. Implement these features to make training easy as pie: 

  • Timekeeping
  • Recipe databases
  • Point-of-sale systems 
  • Inventory management
  • Staff management 

Ready, Set, Train

The first day on the job is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. With some help from BakeSmart, you can optimize your training procedures and become a beacon for new employees ready to get a taste of the baking world. Our software can be adapted to nearly any need, including the creation of a detailed bakery training program. You have everything you need to start your new hires off on the right foot! Schedule a BakeSmart demonstration today to learn more.