Why is Hospitality Training Important?
While many organizations might focus their employee onboarding or training efforts on product knowledge or company policies, hospitality training is a must for many operations.
In fact, hospitality training is crucial in four major industries: food, lodging, travel and tourism, and recreation. In these industries, customer service is one of the biggest impactors when it comes to success. Proper training ensures employees are well-equipped to accommodate the needs of customers and clients with politeness, positivity, and professionalism. It teaches them the skills needed to better manage a variety of situations, including emergencies, and ensures client needs are met, ultimately improving employee performance and encouraging brand loyalty amongst both staff and customers.
The needs for hospitality industries are increasingly evolving as new protocols emerge and managers seek ways to prioritize the convenience, safety, and wellbeing of both employees and clientele. It’s important to ensure your team understands and can consistently exemplify the most up-to-date practices for high-quality hospitality, regardless of operational shifts or organizational changes.
Fortunately, a Learning Management System (LMS) can be used to provide engaging and measurable hospitality training programs even as organizational needs evolve. Instead of completely abandoning traditional models of training, however, the right LMS can bridge the gap between old methods and the new, providing a customizable toolkit that works hand in hand to meet specific business goals. Hospitality training with an intuitive LMS will put employees in a position to succeed no matter what challenges may arise tomorrow.
Incorporating Traditional Methods Into a Modern LMS
The virtual world has forever changed hospitality, as guests can submit and share critiques (or compliments) with your potential customers in an instant. In this way, a company’s reputation is on the line in ways that were never possible previously, which means that employees need to be better trained than ever to handle the needs of their guests and keep customers satisfied.
The tried and true methods of your hospitality practices can and should still be applied in your modernized training programs. Instead of starting from scratch, platforms like Moodle™, Moodle™ Workplace, and Totara Learn help you efficiently streamline existing training programs directly into an online system where it can be more efficiently tracked and disseminated, allowing you to keep what already works while adding critical new functions to your hospitality training programs.
Cultivating a Culture of Learning That Supports Company Loyalty
In terms of the learning process itself, a hybrid learning approach from a modern LMS provides successful pathways for a generationally and culturally diverse workforce. While older employees used to traditional, classroom-style training programs might struggle with too many structural changes, you can easily mimic many of the core learning strategies with your LMS to help keep everyone on the same page.
For example, simulating employee-guest exchanges has always been a foundational part of hospitality training. Augmented or virtual reality components can allow you to get creative and rework employee-guest simulations in any number of ways. Employees will not only quickly and efficiently learn an array of tactics to handle realistic exchanges with guests; they will also be backed up by a wealth of other resources that can be accessed in one place, which lets employees continue to learn well beyond the limitations of a traditional classroom-type setting.
With these supplemental resources and various forms of eLearning content delivery, employers can provide an enormous boost of confidence for employees in key areas of hospitality. As always, brand and/or product knowledge is critical to the success of any employee interacting with guests, which is why having additional resources about products or services available will let employees stay as prepared as possible for guest interactions. As products and services change to keep up with shifting guest needs and preferences, being able to quickly and conveniently supplement an employee’s training with vital new information can be a tremendous advantage for any company hoping to stay ahead of the curve.
Traditional models of hospitality training also get an upgrade in terms of soft skills, another critical aspect of a successful company of any size. With an intuitive and immersive LMS experience, you can easily provide any number of strategies to help an employee cultivate relationships with guests, which has always been an invaluable component of retail and hospitality. By seamlessly building on established models of training, traditional approaches don’t need to be abandoned in the new virtual landscape; they can be incorporated in ways that can help an employer provide all the skills an employee needs to be successful.
See how Vistaprint supports their global Customer Care team with Totara Learn.
Adaptability and Customization
The ability to adapt to an ever-changing business world is a fundamental factor to a company’s success. To that end, Moodle™’s open-source LMS is perfectly suited to an industry that needs to consistently adapt to the changing needs of guests and customers. This allows any company to remain confident it can change their business approach quickly and efficiently by being able to provide the necessary training to employees when needed. Without the inhibiting aspects of a closed-source LMS, employers know they can grow their employee-training programs right alongside the business, remaining prepared for any business climate.
An open-source LMS platform, like Moodle™, Moodle™ Workplace, and Totara Learn, is also highly flexible and configurable in terms of design and functionality. Ditching the one-size-fits-all training approach of the past, companies can come up with a training system ideally suited to fit the business while capitalizing on strengths and improving weaknesses. This works both for the tenured employee and those new to the company, as streamlined onboarding processes will bring new employees up to date with a company’s unique aspects as fast as possible.
Beyond simply training employees to successfully interact with guests, the right LMS will also provide a crucial assist in terms of compliance and certification. By customizing your LMS to fit your business goals, you can effortlessly make sure employees stay current with recertification or any compliance regulations required by your specific industry. Whether you run a car dealership, a pharmacy, a salon, or a completely unique hospitality-based business, a flexible LMS platform will have functionality designed to help your employees stay on top of their game for years to come, guaranteeing a scalable and future-proof solution.
Personalizing the employee experience
Considering that a large majority of employees have reported that they want to learn during their downtime, finding a way to reach everyone in a workforce is critically important. Unlike the old days, the modern learning manager can easily personalize a training program to fit an employee’s specific background and skill set. After bringing a new employee up-to-speed with the onboarding process, a personalized learning path will do more than just put the employee on the right track; it will prove that an employer is committed to the employee’s personal and professional success.
This also doesn’t just have to be for the new employees. As the industry continuously shifts, longer-term employees might also need their own learning plans to nurture and maintain their position within the company. This is also where an LMS is advantageous, as employees can easily track their own training progress and identify areas of improvement from the privacy of a personal employee portal, where they can continue their training to meet company and personal learning goals.
By combining traditional training methods with new ones tailored for the modern world of hospitality, business operators can ensure that every employee has the specific guidance they need to help the company flourish.
Maintaining a competitive edge
In hospitality, the business is only as strong as the quality of the workforce interacting with guests on a regular basis. While successful operators help employees overcome any challenges that might arise with customizable training programs, employers that struggle to adapt will inevitably face more issues during daily operations. Although the nature of hospitality ensures that not everything will change (e.g. the importance of employee-guest relationships), layering new techniques on top of proven strategies with a quality LMS is how a business can remain competitive in a rapidly changing world.
To see how eThink can help you come up with a modern and customized online hospitality training program, please contact us or request a individualized demonstration to get started.