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7 Strategies to Help Hoteliers Elevate the Onboarding Experience

By taking a strategic, insights-driven approach to training, CTOs can create a program that equips employees with the skills to succeed in their position both at the beginning and throughout their time at the hotel.
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The Hotel business is notoriously chaotic with its fast-paced environment. It’s no small task to keep an entire staff well-trained and working in-sync. Chief Training Officers (CTOs) are responsible for the onboarding experience, ensuring that new workers are prepared for their positions and supported as they learn the ropes. With employee retention becoming increasingly important to long term success in the hospitality industry, here are some strategies CTOs can use to bring their workforce up to speed and running smoothly.

1. Role-Centric Training Programs

Recognizing the unique demands of each position is the foundation of successful onboarding. Hotel CTOs should collaborate directly with their staff when developing training programs for each department. Front desk workers, housekeeping, concierge and pool attendants all need different skills to succeed in their positions. CTOs that communicate with their staff members can make better informed decisions on what should and shouldn’t be included in the training for each position.

2. Online Learning Platforms: Infusing Hotel Brand and Culture

Embracing technology is integral to modernizing and optimizing employee training. Online training platforms provide a standardized and accessible learning experience, ensuring that no details slip through the cracks during the onboarding process. This approach also allows employees to navigate training programs at their own pace, reducing the logistical strain of coordinating large in-person sessions. CTOs can take it a step further by integrating the hotel's unique branding and culture into the online learning platform. This immersive approach ensures that training aligns with the establishment's identity, creating a more engaging and resonant experience for both the employee and eventual customer as well.

3. Hands-On Training: Maximizing Effectiveness

While Learning Management Systems (LMS) serve as a central point for theoretical learning, the efficacy of training is maximized when employees apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios. CTOs should incorporate hands-on training practices too, where employees engage in practical activities related to their roles. The results of these hands-on experiences can also be incorporated back into the LMS to update and improve training programs in the future. Integrating practical applications with LMS training creates a powerful synergy, helping onboard employees faster and more effectively. 

4. Continuous Learning Culture: Nurturing Development

Fostering a culture of continuous learning is essential in an evolving industry. Hotel CTOs play a pivotal role in cultivating an environment where employees embrace ongoing learning as a part of their professional journey. By encouraging workers to adopt a growth mindset and focus on developing skills, hotels not only enhance their employees’ expertise, but also create a workforce that can be adaptable and responsive as the industry changes.

5. Performance Assessments: Guiding Growth

Regularly assessing employee performance is a critical aspect of development and improvement in the workplace. CTOs can design assessments to measure both knowledge and retention of the integral skills needed for each position. Taking a data-driven approach provides valuable insights for targeted lessons and ensures that training continues to be aligned with the evolving needs of the hotel. By periodically evaluating performance, hotels can identify areas for improvement and refine strategies, contributing to a more comprehensive training process.

6. Recognition and Rewards: Motivating Excellence

Motivation is a key factor in successful onboarding. Hotel CTOs can implement recognition and rewards programs to acknowledge employees who excel both during training and in on-the-job performance. By celebrating achievements, hotels boost morale and create a positive atmosphere conducive to ongoing professional development and a commitment to quality work. Recognition is a powerful incentive and can be a valuable tool for keeping the workforce engaged across all departments.

7. Compliance Training: Upholding Standards

In the complex world of hospitality, adherence to regulations and safety protocols is a non-negotiable. CTOs need to integrate comprehensive compliance training modules into onboarding, ensuring employees are well-versed in safety measures, security protocols, and other regulatory requirements. Beyond fostering a secure working environment, effective compliance training protects against legal risks, and reinforces the hotel’s commitment to excellent service for its customers.


Hotel CTOs play a key role in developing a strong onboarding program and increasing employee retention. By taking a strategic, insights-driven approach to training, CTOs can create a program that equips employees with the skills to succeed in their position both at the beginning and throughout their time at the hotel.


About the Author

Rob Porter is Head of Market & Business Development for CoSo’s eLearning solutions. Rob has a successful 25-year track record in instructional design and eLearning programs as well as authoring and presenting on a variety of corporate topics and learning techniques. During his career, he has built hundreds of hours of eLearning content, workshop curriculum, webinars, presentations, and multiple custom learning platforms for his customers. Rob has supported hundreds of enterprises by designing and deploying custom learning solutions which deliver content to millions of learners. He has developed state of the art learning programs for organizations such as BMW, Nike, Nikon, Johns Hopkins, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Dassault and Domino’s. Before joining CoSo Cloud, Rob founded and was a principal at Training Objectives Corp.

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