Valuable Training for Recruitment and Retention
“When we play a game, we always ask the questions ‘What are the rules?’ and ‘How can I win…?’ When employees are asking these questions and the questions are not answered for them up front, they can become frustrated and upset because they do not know how to win at their job.” - Joe Lipham, Training Account Manager, Signature Worldwide
The power of training has been proven to help attract and keep good employees in this very competitive employment market. Clearly, despite varying levels of passion for the job, nobody goes to work hoping to look stupid and fail.
Skill needs vary by job within each organization and necessitate specialized instruction. However, what is the one common skill that all hospitality employees need to feel comfortable in their role? Universally, experts agree that a company that focuses on teaching and empowering its associates to provide excellent guest service not only is more successful at gaining and keeping loyal customers but also more successful at attracting and retaining its employees. Standards are set high and employees are trained and empowered to deliver. Happy associates, who treat each other well, tend to create happy guests and help create a positive and rewarding work environment.
"A culture of high standards is protective of all the 'invisible' but crucial work that goes on in every company," writes Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, it’s the “work that gets done when no one is watching. In a high standards culture, doing that work well is its own reward..."
Bezos also notes that to build and maintain a culture of high standards, there are four critical elements; “they are teachable, they are domain-specific, you must recognize them, and you must explicitly coach realistic scope."
CREATING AND EVALUATING A TOOL
I have been proud to be a partner in Oregon’s statewide initiative to build a guest service curriculum that incorporated those four elements, via the support of Travel Oregon and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI).
Our goal in creating Guest Service Gold Tourism: Oregon Edition, which awards the internationally-accredited credential Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP) upon successful completion, was to provide a tool that offered a common language and teachable principles specific to challenges employees in Oregon’s hospitality industry face.
The effort has been a bit of a case study for us all, as I now realize students’, managers’, and trainers’ feedback all support the theory of the value of training and its secondary benefits overall. Here’s what we’ve learned:
From Managers and Owners:
From Our Trainers:
TAPPING ADDITIONAL TOOLS
Preparing employees about what to expect in their roles is a skill and confidence builder. Many accommodation and foodservice businesses use online courses, such as the internationally-accredited courses offered by AHLEI. Line-level position curriculum includes Certified Front Desk Representative, Certified Restaurant Server, Certified Kitchen Cook, Certified Guestroom Attendant, and Certified Maintenance Employee. Supervisory courses are also available; learn more about their tools at AHLEI.org/certifications.
“According to Canadian tourism and hospitality HR association Go2HR, around 40 percent of employees who do not receive adequate training end up leaving their post within a year.” - Entrepreneur Magazine/ Stephen Maclaren, Head of Regional Sales Employee Benefits, Al Futtaim Willis
While there is certainly intense competition for employees, perhaps considering increasing training opportunities can help you better recruit and retain staff. If you think our guest service training tool can assist in your efforts, please visit OregonGuestService.com and feel free to contact me with any questions. | Wendy Popkin
Wendy Popkin is the Executive Director for ORLA’s Education Foundation (ORLAEF), a nonprofit foundation dedicated to supporting the educational and training needs of the hospitality industry. Wendy is a 32-year career veteran who describes herself as “fanatically enthusiastic about helping others enjoy the same type of fabulous career opportunities I have enjoyed in the hospitality industry.”