Tips for hoteliers who want to successfully train their staff
Training your employees is crucial to increasing their satisfaction and growing your business. In this article we explain how to do it effectively.
A trained, competent and resourceful team is one of the key elements of hotels that perform better in the market.
What many hoteliers often don't realize is that having top-notch staff requires more than just good employee selection. Each team member must be trained on a path of continuous growth and improvement of their skills.
Moreover, at a time when personnel are in short supply, focusing on staff training could be a weapon for securing the best talent on the job market.
Indeed, providing training demonstrates the company's interest in a long-term relationship and the employee's opportunity for career advancement and improvement.
But what are the benefits of training your staff in detail?
Why you should train your employees
A trained and competent staff works better than an untrained staff.
This is because employees who receive more training improve the following skills.
Greater autonomy and resourcefulness
The more things people learn, the better they understand the industry. The greater the understanding, the greater the autonomy (understood as the ability to perform tasks without constant supervision) and the greater the resourcefulness (understood as the ability to go beyond one's standard tasks to meet the needs of the company, colleagues and, most importantly, customers).
Increased problem-solving skills
Training provides a betterunderstanding of the source of any problems and provides more options for solving them. This enables team members to find and apply innovative solutions without necessarily seeking support or help from the department head or management.
More readiness to take on authority
The employee will feel more confident, and you will also hold them more accountable, to the point where they will be able to take on increasingly important tasks.
From the perspective of the lodging business, employee training improves four other important aspects.
Greater economic growth
If staff learn new skills, they are better able to take advantage of the economic potential in front of them.
Training in up-selling and cross-selling, for example, enables employees to understand the best time to propose a sale to the customer.
Better customer evaluations
A trained staff is better able to understand customers, their needs and any problems they may have. This will make it easier to solve them and generate more satisfied customers and better reviews.
Added to this is the improved ability to manage and respond to the reviews, which in turn generates an increase in the number and quality of customer evaluations.
A trained staff is much more likely and competent to suggest new products and services, identify new market segments, and solve problems in innovative ways that management might not have thought of.
Happier and more loyal staff
Team members, especially those most interested in their own personal growth and improving their skills, see training as a reward and not a hassle.
To you, these people are the most valuable and will be more likely to stay at your facility if you cater to their needs for growth and improvement.
How to do training in your hospitality facility
For training to be effective, you need to plan it according to the goals you want to achieve.
There are basically two choices to make depending on the type of training you want to provide: the first is between internal or externaltraining, the second is between classroomtraining and on-the-job training.
Internal Vs External Training
Internal training is when the trainer is a member of the team, usually a manager or an expert with specific skills.
When the trainer is not part of the team, we talk about external training.
In what cases is it appropriate to provide internaltraining?
When a new employee enters the workforce, the first period is almost exclusively dedicated to training and learning their duties. In these cases, internal training is necessary to convey not only operational practices, internal rules (written or unwritten) and modus operandi, but also the company vision and mission.
The practice of updating different staff members to new rules or ways of working is always best done internally, for two reasons. The first is that the rules tend to change often in an accommodation facility according to different operators, clients and market situations encountered. With in-house training, you are more timely in informing all departments. The second is that only internal members are familiar with the specifics of the individual facility's operations, and therefore only they can pass on to others the changes that are made.
This aspect is rarely considered, but we think it is very important. It is about engaging members of different departments in knowing the specifics of another department so that everyone is aware of what other colleagues face during their shift. Clearly, only an in-house member of the company can conduct this type of training.
When, on the other hand, is it best to rely on a trainer from outside the facility to develop your staff?
Highly technical skills
In the case of very advanced technical skills that are not present in the company, it is essential to turn to outside trainers. This is usually the case when you want to learn how to use a new tool or activity that has never been adopted in the facility, but it can be equally effective for improving soft skills such as problem-solving, team building, etc.
Often, internal members who train colleagues appear to be "pals" or otherwise have a lower level of authority than an external trainer. On the other hand, if you want to give importance to a certain topic or want to bring an authoritative point of view to it, it is essential that the trainer be external to the company.
Showing employees that you are investing in them is critical to making them feel valued and confident about their future in the company. An internal trainer is not seen as an investment, precisely because they are already part of the hotel team. An external trainer, on the other hand, because it involves an effort in both organizational and financial terms, appears instead as an investment in the eyes of your staff.
Classroom training Vs on-the-job training
Classroom training is the more theoretical training where new concepts are exposed, elaborated and sometimes tested in a protected environment (both physical and virtual). It serves mainly to explain theories, specific techniques and business operational concepts.
On-the-job training, on the other hand, takes place in the field during the work shift and is geared toward pure practice. It serves to improve, or change, operations in specific areas.
4 mistakes to avoid when offering training
There are some practices to avoid if you want your team to see training as a reward and not a punishment.
1) Off-the-clock courses
Many people resent training because they are forced to attend the course outside working hours or on their day off.
Let me remind you that doing training is a work activity that involves effort and commitment, even if you are not physically on the job performing daily tasks.
Therefore, it is essential that the training take place during working hours on a workday.
If this is not possible, as is often the case in the hospitality industry, training hours should be counted as working hours.
2) Covering shifts
This point is similar to the previous one.
When a team member is doing training, one of his colleagues is covering his shift. Of course, this coverage cannot be free.
So again, the extra hours worked should be counted as work (ordinary or overtime).
3) Courses held on short notice
People tend to organize their activities and make a schedule for themselves day by day.
If you communicate a course at the last minute you risk bringing confusion and disorganization to the whole department and, as a consequence, don’t allow people to fully appreciate the opportunity you are offering.
Therefore, try to organize the training well in advance.
4) Lack of objectives
For training to work, it must have a defined goal. The choice of trainer and program to follow will depend on this.
Communicate, ask and share
When you were in school, were you more likely to remember the subjects you liked or the ones that didn't interest you?
Those that you liked and piqued your interest, of course.
Try to convey interest to your team: communicate the trainings you would like them to do, confront them, ask what they would like and with whom they would like to do it, share any training decisions and the reasons for them.
In this way, you will increase their involvement and the effectiveness of the training itself.
Continuing education for your team is essential to growing your business.
However, without adequate profit margins, you can't expect to recoup the cost of skills training.
With Smartpricing, you can always find the best price for your rooms and be sure to maximize your profits.
Plus, you can let the software manage pricing for you while you focus on what's most important: Your guests and your team.
If you are not yet sure if Smartpricing is right for you, try it for free and find out for yourself.