Hospitality Workers Training Centre 2

“ReSET Retention Skills Enhancement Tool”

2019 – 2022

The purpose of this project is to help address serious workforce retention challenges in entry-level service sector employment. The objective of this initiative was to better support highly barriered new entrant workers in retaining employment and advancing in their careers.

HWTC’s experience, backed by labour-market data for entry level-service jobs identified that high quality technical and employment readiness training are effective in assisting vulnerable job-seekers in securing employment, but that success in training does not necessarily result in long-term labour-market attachment. In partnership with Futureworx, HWTC developed the ReSET tool. ReSET was the first systematic and objective post-employment soft skills mapping tool in Canada. This tool was intended to inform the development and delivery of structured, individualized post-employment retention and engagement supports for vulnerable entry-level workers. It is an easy-to-use online tool that enhances the onboarding process by setting clear expectations for soft skills performance up front. It also enables objective and transparent coaching conversations around soft skills development, helping to make sure everyone is on the same page and understands the desired results.

Over the time frame of this grant, the tool was designed and developed. It has been piloted with seven employers and refinements will continue to be ahead of a formal launch in 2023. An Account Manager was also hired as part of this grant to help promote the tool to employers. Due to the pandemic some of this work was delayed as the hospitality sector was particularly hard hit.

A few key insights from this work:

  • Set out the terms of the partnership early and have partners commit to revisiting regularly.
  • Adoption of new software and systems takes time, even where buy in exists.
  • Build your outreach and engagement plan to scale from the get go even if your current reach is short, it will keep momentum going.
  • The strategy for buy-in at senior levels needs to be different than your strategy for middle and lower management, do the research to understand their needs/wants/conflicts as well as you do that for upper management.

About Hospitality Workers Training Centre

The Hospitality Workers Training Centre [HWTC] is a non-profit organization working in Toronto’s hospitality and food service industries. Based on a sector-focused workforce development approach, HWTC provides free of cost training to new entrants and existing workers for employment and career development. Its goal is to strengthen the workforce of our city’s hospitality industry by connecting people in need of employment to job opportunities – through high-quality training and strong partnerships with the industry.