Your hospitality training budget is a great place to show off your ability to get big results with small but savvy investments. As you’re well aware, providing exceptional customer service is the best way to set your property apart from the competition, and having a well-trained team is the best way to ensure cut-above customer service.
Everyone on your staff, whether they’re front of the house, back of the house or in management, should be trained on your customer service philosophy as well as the most safe and efficient ways to do their jobs.
If you’re responsible for a hospitality training budget, here are five top-notch ways to spend your money:
Invest in Orientation
Research shows that employees, regardless of whether they’re hourly or salaried, are more likely to stick with your property for the long haul if they participate in new-hire orientation. While it’s tempting to give staff an employee handbook and send them out for on-the-job training right away, orientation is your chance to set the stage for a positive work experience. Orientation should cover the basics as well as your property’s unique approach to customer care.
Train Your Trainers
The job of training new employees typically falls on managers or colleagues, and the better prepared they are for that important role, the better trained your staff will be. Sending management and other relevant staff for train-the-trainer sessions helps them develop their skills and gives your property insight into training best practices.
Treat Training as an Ongoing Event
Investing in orientation is important, and it’s just the beginning of the training journey. Training isn’t a cure-all, but many customer service issues or performance challenges can be addressed through a training refresh. Keep track of staff performance patterns and plan training sessions around the themes that emerge. Maybe the housekeeping staff haven’t quite gotten the hang of your new commercial laundry equipment or how best to partner with your new linen service.
Offer Training for Professional Development
It’s also worthwhile to use training as a professional development opportunity for staff. Find out what areas or skills your staff members are interested in learning more about – perhaps hospitality marketing or sustainability – and offer educational opportunities. One-day seminars or even e-learning platforms are a way to open the door to new knowledge without breaking the bank.
Invest in the Future of Hospitality
As the hospitality industry’s workforce gets younger, you can get a jump on training your future staff by offering internships, fellowships or even class credit to students and young people interested in hospitality as a career. Showing young people the ropes early gives them a realistic idea of what to expect about working in the industry and may give your staff a fresh perspective on the work that they take for granted every day.
And Don’t Forget About Florida’s Free Hospitality Training
As you’re considering how to make the most of your hospitality training budget, don’t forget about the free online training for front-line employees available from the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. The VISIT FLORIDA Online Hospitality Training Program offers a range of modules that give front-line employees tools to “create memorable moments for our guests.”
Participants who score 80 percent or better on a multiple-choice final exam receive a VISIT FLORIDA certificate of completion and are entered into an incentive program with reward opportunities for the employee and their company.
The Online Hospitality Training Program is provided to members of Official County Destination Management Organizations and VISIT FLORIDA Marketing Partners at no cost. Visit the program’s web site for more information.
Hospitality training is one of the most important – and sometimes most overlooked – elements of any property’s success. With just a few savvy steps, you can ensure your staff is well-prepared to wow your guests and keep your property running smoothly.