How do Loews’s training programs relate to the company’s business strategy?
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Loews Hotels are a chain of four-diamond hotels in the United States. Their customer service is considered to be one of the best in business. For a hotel to distinguish itself from others in its class, it needs to have some unusual traits, and Loews Hotels chose to focus its business strategy on customer service. During the creation of their training program, the needs assessment analysis had to center around customer interaction. The case study describes how much attention they bring to every possible requirement that a guest might have, and how in the event of an error or accident they have to be ready to recover with such force that the experience would leave the guests with positive impressions.
The study mentions an interesting and useful technique of reassuring that promoted employees are familiar with how the business operates from the inside. Loews offers different ways of getting additional training which often leads to a promotion. This tactic relates to the strategy of the company because they need experienced people who can provide the best training to the new employees, which only further improves the quality of training in the process. Because they rely on high-quality service, Loews needs to have an almost constant progression of employee training. To provide this progression, they start to “grow” their workers from internship by recruiting undergraduates for summer jobs in different sectors of the hotel, from the food and beverage department to HR and marketing. If an intern shows interest in working the next summer, their list of options expands, and after the completion of that summer, they can choose to join the company.
Why does the company encourage its employees to focus on the customers’ needs versus other metrics?
As previously mentioned to distinguish themselves from other four-diamond hotels Loews chose to have the best possible customer service as their selling point. This push towards customers’ needs above all else must be motivated by the evaluation of the training program. The study shows that both instructors and employees give a positive reaction to the training. The skill level of workers shows to be at a very high level according to the study, alongside with behavior expressed through such things as personal messages to the client the customer-facing approach seems to be ingrained in the employees. But one of the most important parts of training evaluation is the fourth criterion: results.
This hotel chain is repeatedly praised for its quality customer service throughout the study; therefore the improvement of quality is visible. Exact numbers for the contribution of training to the profits are not given, but the fact that it is highlighted as a positive case study can suggest that they meet the expectations of the management. Subsequently, the method of “growing” new employees has to reduce turnover and wasted materials because a promoted person would not have to repeat the training twice to familiarize themselves with the workings of the company. As with profits, accurate statistics for productivity are not provided. Although it can be assumed that the streamlined and strategically planned “growth” system that Lowes utilizes saves time that would otherwise be used for onboarding training and fixing of possible mistakes that can come from lack of knowledge about the company’s work process.