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CASE STUDY: How Village Hotels Is Cross Skilling Employees to Improve Retention

Partnering with Attensi, Village delivers open-pathway, game-based training that allows employees to receive cross-department training and unleash their full potential.
village hotels training app
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Recruitment challenges within the hospitality industry are at a record high as operators struggle to hire and retain staff. 

According to talent management software provider Fourth, approximately 6% of the workforce are leaving their jobs each month. While a report from workforce management solution Quinyx found that 44% of current hospitality employees were considering quitting due to stress and low pay. 

These damning statistics are forcing operators to find ways to attract and retain talent. An organisation which has been quick to stem the flow of employees is Village Hotels. By increasing its focus and investment on staff learning and development, the national hotelier is showing its employers that they are the foundation for future-proofing its business.

Partnering with Attensi, Village has delivered open-pathway, game-based training that allows employees to receive cross-department training and unleash their full potential. At Village, some bar staff have cross-skilled by completing the kitchen staff training. Cross-skilling offers employees improved knowledge of their organisation’s wider business, increases mastery and drives continued learning and engagement. It is a vital tool for growing their career.

The benefits to the business are clear: in the short term, staff have the skills to work in a variety of roles across the hotel to meet the changing needs of the business. In the long term, Village is building its talent pool and ability to hire within. 

Village has proven the value of investing in its staff, with Head of Food & Beverage Operations Darren Williams having started behind the bar in 2007. After seeing the success of staff progressing within the organisation, Village understands that its investment in people is its competitive edge. 

These employee development opportunities are possible thanks to its game-based training app developed in partnership with Attensi. Featuring simulations that replicate Village Hotels’ working environment, employees can engage in scenarios that they’re likely to encounter in their day-to-day work.

For example, the mobile-based modules challenge Pub and Grill staff to build their knowledge of Village Hotel's product offering and test their customer service skills through scenario-based customer dialogues. Using these games, we help staff understand how to deliver a best-in-class customer experience across a range of scenarios.

The mobile-first training app allows staff to engage in Village’s training whenever suits them – from home, on a lunch break, or while commuting – giving them ownership and autonomy over their career progression. Village reported that 52% of playthroughs were recorded in the staff’s free time.

For the team at Village, this has been a game changer. Before rolling out game-based training, Village mostly used paper-based training which acted as an assurance exercise rather than driving engagement. Another downside was that it wasn’t cost-effective – every time there were procedural changes, new training had to be developed. Digital training is easier to update and scale across nationally or globally distributed workforces, without the need for extensive updates and technical support.

Teams also revelled in the aspects of gamification. Structured like a video game, the learning program pits employees against one another before ranking them on a leader board. This increased motivation to play the game and beat each other’s scores. Ninety-seven percent of users said they preferred game-based training compared to other methods, such as e-learning and videos.

It is this game-based learning environment that can help individuals and organizations thrive. Village is already reaping the benefits of cross-skilling its employees while positioning itself – and its individuals – for future success. Investing in people will not only help operators overcome industry-wide recruitment and retention challenges but also get ahead of their competitors.   

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