Why Hoteliers Should Overhaul Outdated Training Methods


Traditionally speaking, the hospitality industry lags behind other industries as it relates to technological adoption. The learning and development (L&D) branch of the industry is no stranger to this.

Across all verticals of the hospitality industry, whether its lodging, restaurants or transportation, training is completed primarily via on-the-job training using informal methods, such as job-shadowing for a select period of time before throwing new employees in head first – to sink or swim.

Often times, a senior employee – who has experienced it all and is able to articulate the skills necessary for newer employees – is tasked with training a new hire. This of course leads to issues typical of tribal knowledge, which can remain locked within the minds of certain individuals, particularly in industries where turnover is high.  According to a 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistic report, turnover in the hospitality industry topped 70 percent, while the average turnover rate for all private sector jobs was only 46 percent.

There is an urgent and compelling need to change the conversation and the way employees are trained (and motivated) to make sure service quality and customer satisfaction are consistent.  

3 Steps to Next-Generation Training in the Hospitality Industry

1. Offer easy-to-access training

Knowing that Millennials and the Gen-Z cohorts are accustomed to having easy access to information through smartphones, tablets and computers, offer on-demand training that satisfies their desire for instant, 24/7, flexible learning opportunities that are available across a range of platforms.

2. Support flex schedules

Millennials are increasingly prioritizing the potential for a flexible work schedule when they’re seeking out a new position. In fact, 51% of workers noted a flexible schedule as the most desired non-monetary benefit a company could offer. Providing the opportunity to train remotely on digital platforms appeals to this desire for flex work opportunities and in turn, increases loyalty and retention rates among this demographic.

3. Create customized learning solutions

Millennials aren’t interested in one-size-fits-all training experiences – the same way they expect retailers to cater to their individual preferences as consumers they expect their employers to deliver benefits and learning options tailored to their roles, responsibilities and learning styles.

Hoteliers can partner with technology vendors to create training experiences that allow their workforce to build personalized learning paths, track and monitor their own progress, and assess performance within their learning platform without having to adhere to a strictly instructor-led program. There are even artificial intelligence engines and learning specific algorithms available today that can map learners' habits and behaviors in order to recommend and generate the most relevant learning opportunities at the right time. Hoteliers should take advantage of this technology.

Hospitality Industry Learning In Action

Vision Hospitality owns and manages premium select- and full-service hotels affiliated with the Hilton, Marriott, and InterContinental brands. They needed to enable their remote workforce and ensure guest satisfaction. The team made it happen with social learning and empowered their employees with a user-friendly social learning experience using the Docebo Learning Platform.

With more than a thousand associates located across several states, the organization continually needs to train a spread out workforce that includes everyone from front desk managers to its accounting team, to maintenance and housekeeping workers.

Training is of significant importance and central to “what makes a hotel a Vision Hotel,” according to Megan Brown, Director of Culture and Talent Development at Vision Hospitality. The company uses guest satisfaction as a critical metric to determine its success of their company, and Vision’s training addresses “all those little additional service touches, in addition to the things that are important to us as a management company.”

When their contract was up with their old LMS, the company decided it was time for a change and seized the opportunity to explore new training methods, including the social learning opportunities that previously had been lacking with its existing system.

“I needed something that was going to be easier to manage, that was going to be user-friendly, and that was going to help us enable the social space a little bit better,” said Megan.

Megan’s emphasis on finding a user-friendly platform has paid off for her and Vision’s employees. “This platform is super easy for me to manage,” she says.

As one example, the time that it now takes Megan to release new training content to her users has decreased significantly.

“Using Docebo has probably cut the amount of time it takes to deploy content in half,” Megan estimates. In addition, “the fact that it’s such a user-friendly and configurable UI has been a huge win for our associates,” she adds. “I love that I can create a dashboard just for our General Managers that looks completely different from what my hourly associates see.”

Docebo also provides the ability to design “learning plans” for employees who are interested in developing their skills in new areas. As Megan’s seen more Vision associates logging into the LMS because they’re motivated to move up in the organization, she’s excited to get more of these learning plans in place.

“It’s been so wonderful to be able to see,” says Megan. “We’re able to create learning.”

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