From ultra-modern five-star resorts to quaint family-run bed and breakfast establishments, there is no shortage of properties offering food, lodging and a range of enticing amenities to their guests. Any hotel hoping to stay competitive has to focus on satisfying the ultimate goal of the hospitality industry: providing excellent customer service.
The only way to maintain high standards of customer service is through consistent training and development of staff.
Let’s delve deeper into why hospitality training and development are so vitally important.
The words training and development are often used interchangeably. They are indeed similar but there are clear distinctions between them.
Training deals with imparting skills and knowledge that employees need to make use of right now. Training is short term and oriented to a specific job, for example sommelier training programs. A training course may last just one day or a few months.
Development is a long term process. It aims to equip an employee with career-building skills and knowledge. The topics covered are not focused on a particular job and may include things like time-management skills or changing habits.
Both hospitality training and development improve service quality and help to guarantee higher levels of customer satisfaction. This is why most HR departments tailor their training and development plans to address the main sources of customer complaints.
Employees provide the very best customer service when they have knowledge of standard procedures within the hospitality industry, as well as procedures specific to their company.
Employees function better when they are trained in a range of skills for executing their duties. So, apart from knowing the specific phrases to say in response to guest complaints, they may also be trained in problem-solving skills to placate particularly disgruntled guests.
Training delivered by qualified trainers allows employees to perform their jobs to meet government, industry and company regulations. Waiter training programs, for example, equip employees with knowledge of their roles, rights, and responsibilities.
Professional development among all levels of staff helps to build a pool of persons able to step up into supervisor, junior manager, and manager positions as these become vacant or are created.
Employee development builds company ethos by helping employees to work as a cohesive unit. It can lead to better communication and improved workflow within and between departments. It also helps employees to better understand the hotel’s brand image and what sets their hotel apart from the competition.
Both training and development help employees to stay in the loop on current and emerging trends in the industry. This is why the best approach to hospitality training and development is for both to be delivered on an ongoing basis.
Hospitality training helps to identify staff weaknesses and strengths. Then, through both training and development, the weaknesses can be addressed and HR can find ways to better use employee strengths.