When I first realized that the responsibility of training my new staff members on tea would ultimately fall in my lap I think I wanted to cry. Please understand it had nothing to do with tea. I love tea and one on one I love to talk to people about tea…but to have to stand in front of anywhere between 10-20 new staff members and teach them everything about tea was a different story, it really overwhelmed me.
There is so much to cover and so much to tell them, how in the world I was going to hold their attention for 3-4 hours and have them walk away with the knowledge was beyond me. I see a window of opportunity when I only have two staff member joining our team. Two, the perfect size to start off with, I could sit with them instead of stand and lecture; make the training more casual and conversational.
Well as luck would have it the class started to grow. Staff members were finding out that I was conducting at training so they would stop by my office to see if they could come. What could I say; I had to say yes they were excited; they wanted to learn about the tea program a very important aspect of our spa, turning them down will only make them think that the program was not that important.
Training day is here the class that I was planning to hold on the balcony of one of our treatment rooms, has now moved to the Front Desk Training Room. It is officially a training class there are only 8 people in the class so it is not that large in size but still more then expected. Starting the class was rough I kind of stood there awkwardly and stared at them as they stared back at me.
Once I realize that breathing was important, I relaxed, and the class started to relax as well. Most of my associates seemed to enjoy themselves. They asked a lot of questions, had fun tasting and describing the teas. The class was a success and not only did it help my associates get to know about the tea program but it also helped me get to know them a little better.
About the Author of this Post: Melissa Fielding has undergone extensive Tea Sommelier Training with Art of Tea and is the now residential Tea Sommelier for an award winning and Conde Nast recognized Spa in Las Vegas, NV. Melissa was instrumental in developing the tea program and cutting edge concepts in line with all the treatments offered at the spa.