We’re almost 20% through the 21st century, and yet leading experts say that training for the lodging sector is still stuck in 19th century techniques. It’s time for an update and upgrade in hotel training.
Old ways miss out on new opportunities
There are some 100 million employees in the hospitality industry worldwide. The sheer numbers demand more efficient, effective and innovative training techniques — especially if organizations are to meet the ever-increasing demands for productivity and profitability.
Applicable approaches will vary with each organization, but every training manager should be keeping up with the ever-expanding range of training technology, including:
VR: New training realities
After their basic instruction, with VR, or Virtual Reality, your trainees can be put right into the thick of things — but without putting guest relationships at risk. VR training can replicate a distraught front desk or a dinner-rush restaurant to stress-test newly acquired knowledge. It can put employees in front of the most difficult customers — even in multiple languages — and replicate a host of other common customer service scenarios.
Before they ever step into your location, virtually every employee already has an advanced learning device available to them: their smartphone. This provides a perfect platform for a wealth of learning techniques: instructional videos, app-based reference tools, training quizzes and even employee generated teaching modules (think selfie video for experienced employees to share with peers, or to welcome and instruct new employees during onboarding).
Advanced tech makes training easy; authentic culture makes it work.
No matter how old school or high tech your training is, everything you do depends on the same crucial factor: your organizational culture. Do your employees understand your purpose and mission — and how it relates to the policies and procedures you’re teaching them? Do you communicate — and listen — well, welcoming questions as much as you expect attention and adherence? Does leadership reinforce the training and learned values, and do they do it by deed as well as word? Are employees routinely rewarded — both financially and emotionally — for excellence in putting their training into action? In short, does your organization not only teach excellence, but actually live it out every day?
Training will always be a top challenge in the lodging industry — but those who learn to combine technological innovation with cultural commitment will always be able to excel.