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Organizations all over the world have woken up to the reality that there is need to have employees that can help the organization meet client’s needs. This also includes hotels and other organization in the hospitality industry. Hotels being in the service industry depend largely on the impression they create on their customers for sustained business.
As such some of the major hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton and the Sheraton have gone ahead and invested heavily in employee training programs. Training of employees in these hotels employs various techniques and is concerned with building the employee capacity not only on customer service and public relations skills but also on increasing the employee flexibility to attend to guest and make on-the spot decisions.
Training for hotel does not only target service staff but also management a well as administrative personnel. To underline the need for constant training for staff some hotel have in-house trainer. The result is that there has been a reduction in employee turnover rates. Therefore employee training becomes important for survival in this industry.
Case study: hotel training needs and issues
Hotels need to train employees for a number of reasons. Hotels like the Carlton-Ritz train their employees so as to have competent staff which will help in execute the organization business strategy. This kind of training thus involves educating employees on the hotels values as well as how to achieve its mission through its daily practice.
Therefore the training is aimed at increasing the employee’s capacity to competently execute their daily roles. This improves the hotels competitive advantage as it is able to offer quality service to its customers (Jackson Schuler and Werner 270).
Many of the hotel employee training programs are intended to equip and empower the employee with skills to efficiently meet customer demands. As such the employee is not only able to offer quality service but also make crucial decision without necessarily consulting immediate bosses (Enz 487).
To do this employee must be trained on the skill they need to acquire so as to understand customer needs and wishes. The employee will thus acquire the necessary communication skills and body language to enable them to provide sufficient support to any client. Furthermore the employees are trained on social skill such as how to interact with people from different cultures as well as enhancing their selling skills (Jackson, Schuler and Werner 271).
To add to this Blokdijk adds that training hotel employees is not only intended to enhance world class customer service but also enhance consistency such that there will be a continuous trooping back of customers and that it also includes how to control employees moods and emotions such that not affect the outcomes of their work (113). This customer focused approach creates a customer based culture in these hotels.
Most of the hotels also implement training programs that are intended to improve employee retention rates by reducing the turnover of employees. This thus becomes a way of enhancing recruitments and employee retention. Most of the employees are seeking latest job skill and competencies that are not taught in conventional hotel training courses. The only options left for hotel staff are to enroll in part time courses to improve their professional competences.
Better still, employees prefer when the employer offers such training as it is more contextual and also has more learning experiences as compared to classroom training. Employees also see such opportunities as highway for career growth and advancements. Therefore employees are more likely to own up their jobs and also increase their commitment to that particular employee. This increases employee satisfaction and is more likely to reduce the turnover rate of employees (Jackson, Schuler and Werner 270).
To produce the desired outcomes hotel training programs use a variety of methods. These methods are deliberately designed to produce certain kinds of skills and abilities. Such a method of train is the cross-training methods that have been adopted by many hotels.
This method of training is aimed at equipping the employee to acquire multi tasking skill. As such the employee can serve in more than one areas satisfactorily (Bardi 362). Some hotels also combine lecture methods with practical skill straining. Under such program hotel trainers simulate role play that give employees the opportunity to learn in controlled real life experiences (Hayes and Ninemeier 227).
Some hotels have gone a notch higher and engaged their won trainers. These trainers carry continuous in house training to employees. The trainers are also given the mandate to train and induct new employees.
Most hotel choose such a trainers from among a person in senior management and one who clearly understand the hotel model as well as one who is ell versed with employee training methods. Furthermore these trainers have also to be trained. Training the trainer is always necessary as the trainer must also be equipped with the latest industry trends and human resource needs. When hotels do this they become self sufficient and reduce significantly their reliance on outside sources fro their training needs (Bardi 362- 365)
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There are several training solutions that hotels can adopt in response to the issue mentioned above. Talent management is a terminology that is increasingly gaining popularity in human resource circles. It has become part of organizations human resource planning strategies. Talent management involves a number of activities and starts from the recruitment process, where that right personnel is identified and incorporated into the hotel human resource pool.
Such talent is chosen so as to fill in the hotel’s human resource supply/gap. The advantage of talent management is that it creates and prepares a reservoir workforce for the hotels future human resource needs as well as ensuring that the hotel has its own self-made resources. However finding talented people to fit in the hotel unique needs is not always an easy task. Moreover talented employees can be poached by competitive employers (JACKSON and MATHIS 292- 322).
Training for hotel human resource need an be a vain venture if there no motivation and reward mechanism to maintain and encourage top performance. While training hotel staff equips them with the knowledge and skills, rewarding these skills can make a big difference for the organization.
This is because employees will be motivated to apply what they have been trained on for gainful experience. Rewarding performance can include monetary as well as non monetary rewards. Monetary rewards are vital as they can be used to retain employees tempted by better offer elsewhere. Motivation and rewarding is howeever a complicated activity as it is more perceptual. When interpreted wrongly a reward can have detrimental effect on the organization (Sturman, corgel and verma 147-148).
VI. Best practice
The best solution would be talent identification and management. Talent management training is a multifaceted approach. It main intention is to recruit and maintain a highly talented and gifted staff for the company’s well being. Other than this some hotels have acknowledged that this approach can be used for other purposes.
Talent management training is now being used by hotel as part of its future planning for its human resource needs. Hotel are identifying and training best staff so as to build a reservoir that will facilitate career succession planning for the hotel as well as for the individual employees. This ensures that there is continuity in the hotel management and leadership and as such avoid such uncertainties about future leadership (Jackson and Mathis 293-294).
Training of hotel staff is increasingly becoming part of hotels business as well as a new strategy for other organizations. This has been necessitated by the facts that the hotel industry is in the service sector and demand keep changing as such hotel must keep up with the best industry practices to survive. Hotel need to develop their employees through training to increase staff capacity. The increased capacity enable employees help the hotel implement its business strategy.
This enhances better customer services thus ensuring consistent client base. To do this employees have to be equipped with among other skills, interpersonal skills as well as emotional intelligence. There solutions however that can help hotel meet human resource needs. Such efforts as talent management training are increasingly gaining popularity as they have more than one benefit. As the industry trend continues to change so will the training needs for hotel increase.
Bardi, James. Hotel Front Office Management. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011. Print
Blokdijk, Gerard. Management Training 100 Success Secrets. Vancouver: Gerard Blokdijk, 2008. Print
Enz, Cathy. The Cornell School of Hotel Administration Handbook of Applied Hospitality. California: Sage Publication Inc., 2010. Print
Jackson, John and Mathis, Robert. Human Resource Management. Ohio: Thompson South western, 2008. Print
Hayes, David and Ninemeier, Jack. Human Resources Management in the Hospitality Industry. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2009. Print
Jackson, Susan., Schuler, Randall and Steve Werner. Managing Human Resources. Ohio: South Western Cengage Learning, 2009. Print
Sturma, Micahel., Corgel, Jack and Verma, Rohit. The Cornell School of Hotel Administration on Hospitality: Cutting Edge. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011. Print