The hospitality industry is constantly evolving.
According to Social Tables, some of the latest findings are an increased push to go green, companies looking for International meeting space, and hotel guests wanting a more “home-like” feel when traveling.
In response, the hospitality industry must always be ready to adapt its employee training best practices. So it’s vital to properly train your team with a hospitality LMS so they can meet the ever-changing demands of today’s customers.
Let’s say for example you have a new service being introduced and you need to train your hospitality team. The issue is a more senior-level manager may need less training than let’s say an on-floor employee. So unlike an Intranet where information is simply stored, a hotel director could assign different training tracks to each employee based on level of experience.
Not only can a hospitality LMS train employees, but managers or directors can also see when training has been completed and which employees still need to take it.
Benefits of a hospitality LMS
You may wonder how a learning management system can specifically help hospitality employees. And the answer is there are several reasons to use a hospitality LMS. Since these employees are always interacting with customers and are often the first point of contact a customer has with a company, a positive first impression is vital.
And the hospitality industry can be seasonal with more employees being onboarded at certain points in the season. So training needs to be streamlined and automated to keep the process moving.
Here are some other ways a hospitality LMS can add value:
Scalability - Training through an LMS works whether you have a company of five or 5,000. And if you need to add more staff during the busy season, there is no need to change your training protocol.
Flexibility - If you are a hotel chain for example with properties in several countries, a hospitality LMS offers flexibility. It can be set up to train in multiple languages, different time zones, offsite or virtually.
Individualized - Since many hospitality employees spend most of their time interacting with customers, a hospitality LMS offers individualized training. An employee for example can take training early morning, over a break or at night so it doesn’t interfere with their work schedule.
Standardized - A hospitality LMS offers a centralized system for training. So every employee is seeing the same training materials across the entire organization. There is no confusion as to what training track to take or where to find course materials.
Adaptable - By housing all your training materials on a hospitality LMS, materials can be easily tweaked based on new training demands.
Analytical - While a system like an Intranet simply houses materials, a hospitality LMS lets managers track employee training progress. Managers have access to reports on who has taken the training and how employees are scoring on the training being given.
Economical - Although there is an initial cost, a hospitality LMS will save you money in the long run. Your training program will be more organized, employees better trained, and managers won’t be bogged down administering training.
Choosing the right LMS provider
According to Dailypay.com, the employee turnover rate is over 73 percent in the hotel and motel industry. This figure is significant considering most human resource managers see a turnover rate of only 10 to 15 percent in other industries. So you can see having a hospitality LMS is key to properly train new, seasonal, and short-term team members quickly and effectively.
Just remember to ask yourself some key questions as to what’s most important in your hospitality training program, such as:
1. What are your company goals?
Write down your company goals and keep in mind what training is needed to achieve these goals. For example, is it hospitality eLearning or a more blended learning platform? Make sure you also consider short-term and long-term goals. If you see adding staff or your learning needs shifting over time like to ramp up for a large service roll out, make sure to write down things like scalability as an important training driver.
2. What key features do you need?
Next, what are the key features you will need your hospitality LMS to have. In other words, should training involve peer-to-peer training or is in-person training needed for certain departments. Once you lay out what types of training are important, it will be easier to select a hospitality LMS that offers the key features you need.
3. Who will administer your hospitality LMS?
Regardless of whether you are switching LMS providers or choosing one for the first time, you will want to involve your team. Who will be responsible for your LMS? This could be a single person of an entire LMS launch team. Talk to everyone from who will administer your LMS to who will be the point person to answer employee questions as they arise. Ask each of these employees what features and capabilities they would like to see in an LMS. This will help you determine which option is best.
4. How is the new LMS vendor’s reputation?
There are a sea of LMS providers to choose from. Since you don’t want to overhaul your LMS vendor again in the near future, select one based on their ability to always stay relevant and up on the latest technology. Plus, you want one that is responsive when you have questions both I.T. and platform related.
5. Is SaaS the best option?
Many times companies choose an LMS that they install themselves. This may be more cost-effective in the beginning, but is not the best option overall and can actually be more costly in the end. You really want to opt for a SaaS version. SaaS will get you a dedicated LMS maintenance team and a company to house it all for you. Plus, set up will be a lot faster. And after all, time is money.
6. Do they offer a free trial or a demo?
Gathering a shortlist of LMS vendors is great and so is hearing about all their features. But it’s also about how well your company works with a product. That’s why it’s vital to take this process for a test drive. Choose a company that offers either a free trial period or one with a demo so you can get a good idea if this is a good vendor for you.
Then look at the top hospitality LMS providers to see which features align best with your training objectives. If you're switching LMS providers, choose a provider that knows how to scale with your company, can easily migrate your existing platform over to the new one and has a customer service team in place to answer questions along the way.