Hotel Training

Classroom, CDs, and online training: these terms all represent yesterday’s training methods. Today, hotels use gadgets like iPod and PlayStation to “engage” employees in training.
According to Jane Levere (The New York Times), these gadgets appeal more to younger employees. Moreover, the training content is not that expensive to create. A traditional 20-minute training DVD may cost $250,000, but an iPod training module only costs between $30,000 and $50,000.

These new hotel training methods reflect the changes of how people communicate and learn these days. As social media become a crucial part of people’s lives, communication and learning are all about “engagement” and interactions.

Because younger employees and younger guests have already used these gadgets to interact and stay connected with their friends, training employees with the “tools” they use every day may become more effective. Plus, many hotels have already used tech gadgets in operations (see iPad in Hotel, iPad App/Game for Hotel Training in my previous discussion). Hotel employees need to be familiar with the gadgets used in guest service.

In addition, some hotels have given up the traditional service model. For example, Andaz Hotels, a Hyatt brand, hire “hosts” instead of guest service agents. Hosts greet guests upon their arrivals, check them in, and cater to their needs. “Unconventional” training methods fit the “innovative” service model.

Last but not least, people prefer “shorter, punchier, more entertaining and more interactive” learning experience. “The more engaging and fun training is for adults, the easier it is to recall memorable concepts when they need to on the job.”

I believe hospitality professors are training future leaders for the hospitality industry. I wonder if professors shall develop some Podcast materials for classes so that students will be more prepared for the cutting-edge training experience in work place. Also, how important is the interaction between professors and students outside of classroom? In my case, will students be more familiar with blogging as a social media tool?

References:
The NYTime.com: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok09072010
Picture was downloaded from PopGadget.net: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok09072010P

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