Hilton Garden Inn to Use Interactive Video Game for Workforce Training

Hilton Garden Inn announces the launch of its training program, Ultimate Team Play for Sony's PSP gaming system. After an intense introductory session at the 2009 Hilton Garden Inn General Managers Conference now underway in Austin, each hotel will receive a PSP PlayStation Portable handheld entertainment system and the Ultimate Team Play game featuring guest satisfaction training for positions in housekeeping, food and beverage, engineering and maintenance, and the front desk. This program is initially being rolled out to hotels in the United States with global implementation to follow in the later part of 2009.

Not only is Hilton Garden Inn the first in its industry to develop a game-based training tool in the hospitality industry, it is also the world's first hotel brand to offer an interactive employee training system created specifically for Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PSP system.

Ultimate Team Play for PSP will become an integral part of the ongoing commitment at Hilton Garden Inn to create compelling and relevant employee training programs that not only keep team members engaged but also help uphold high levels of guest satisfaction. Hilton Garden Inn also plans to use the new program to aggressively recruit next-generation team members and leaders grounded in today's technology.

"We take the guest experience as well as our team member training very seriously but we believe that having a little fun along the way will enhance our team members' ability to deliver incredible service to our guests," says Adrian Kurre, senior vice president, brand management - Hilton Garden Inn. "Ultimate Team Play responds to the evolving training needs of our employees while focusing entirely on enhancing the guest experience which has made Hilton Garden Inn an industry leader. Particularly in this economy, it is imperative that each interaction with our guests acknowledges their needs as effectively and efficiently as possible."

3-D training
Ultimate Team Play puts team members in a 3-D virtual Hilton Garden Inn hotel where they must choose how to respond to various guest-related scenarios in a given timeframe while also ensuring that they complete their specific hotel duties, i.e., answering the telephone, checking guests in and out, and general guest interaction (in the front desk scenario). The level and speed as well as the appropriateness of their response directly affect the simulated guest's satisfaction.

Ultimate Team Play for PSP represents the fourth in a series of rigorous training initiatives that include Ultimate Skills and DVD-based training modules Ultimate Service and Ultimate Food & Beverage that new team members undergo upon joining the Hilton Garden Inn hotel team.

The initial interactive training game has already been beta-tested in select Hilton Garden Inn locations in which team members have played the role of a front desk service agent. Created especially for Hilton Garden Inn by Virtual Heroes, Inc., the game was first announced in January 2008.
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