Online Training for the Hotel Industry

There are so many ways to offer training to your staff throughout the year. There are many outlets! You can offer training during staff meetings. You can offer conference calls. You an offer booklets and worksheets. One thing that I feel hotels have overlooked is ongoing training that can be done often and at their own pace. Trainings that can be done during their downtime at in their position or even on their own time (with incentives as they complete these career advancing trainings). One form of this can be online courses. Online courses can be wonderful outlets to offer your staff in order to improve your guest service and their career without spending individual time with each staff member. Individual time is important, but you can use this time to connect with the staff without solely focusing on training. 

A lot of hotel brands utilize, self-paced, online courses to get their training to the masses. Why wouldn’t you? Here are two of the major benefits to putting together an online course curriculum for their staff members (in all positions):

1. Time Management – When it comes to hotels, there are so many things going on. From customer service to pool maintenance. Why not free up some time but investing a little training time up front. CourseCraft offers a simple online platform with no coding skills needed. You can put your course together quickly. I always recommend taking the trainings you have, putting them in place first. This way you have a quick solution to your training. As you grow and learn, add more to each training and even additional trainings. 

2. Staff Investment – One of the best ways to prove to your employees that you care is to invest in their career advancement. This is why I developed our Hotel Career Advancement Planners in the first place. The best part about CourseCraft is they do have a FREE service. You can offer trainings to your staff for FREE! You can upgrade to offer quizzes, worksheets and so on but you don’t need to in order to get this awesome idea up and running! 

Making the basic trainings mandatory is a great idea but you can also take this idea and move it to the next level by offering additional trainings for future pay increases, employee reviews and career advancements. Do you think that if a superb Front Desk Associate but time in to complete additional trainings on management, revenue management, sales, marketing and so on, they might be a great candidate to move into a Front Desk Supervisor roll? Possibly a Assistant General Manager roll? I do! Showing effort and willingness to learn and grow is by far one of the best attitudes to have in the hotel industry.

Now for anyone that is interested in this idea but is not interested in the platform, CourseCraft, feel free to share this article while I discuss the benefits of CourseCraft and the features I find useful:

1. Price – The service is free, and you can offer this type of training without spending a dime! They do have upgraded services where you can offer unlimited seats (course takers) in each training, offer quizzes and so on but it is not needed. They have two additional upgraded plans. One is $29 per month and the other is $59 per month (both can be discounted if you purchase a year). 

2. Anyone Can Do IT – This service is extremely easy to use. The entire service is online and requires NO CODING! 

3. Capabilities – The free version offers the ability to “Drip” your lessons (this means have them automatically be sent to the course taker at certain times). This can help with engagement in your course. It is much better to have a lesson go out once a day, week or month then seeing the amount of it all at once and getting overwhelmed. The free version also offers commenting/discussion forums. This service can be extremely helpful! Having an outlet for your employees to voice their opinion on the lesson helps them be a part of the process! They will like that! In addition, the free version offers unlimited uploads so you can load documents like shift checklists, training material and even videos if you want. 

4. Upgrades – The upgraded versions do offer some things that can come in handy. The $29 a month version offers quizzes, surveys and forms for them to fill out (how easy would employee orientation be). The $59 per month version offers all these things and collaboration. This can be extremely handy when you are working on things with a supervisor at the corporate office or even others in the management team. 

If you wish to check out CourseCraft for FREE, here is the link: CourseCraft

Otherwise, at the minimum, checkout other platforms. This is a great way to offer training to your staff and save some time and money! 

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5 HOTEL GUEST SERVICE TOOLS EVERY GUEST WILL RESPOND TO

The thing about the modern guest is, they have a very short attention span and are not excited easily by the prototypical “mint on the pillow” anymore. Don’t get me wrong, as someone who has worked in the hospitality industry for nearly twenty years, when I see a mint on my pillow it gives me a great sense of nostalgia and pride in the industry that choose me, but our guest today just is not as easily as impressed.

In today’s world, the hotel guest is fast paced. In a great, one page report by the U.S. Travel Association, you can see that Leisure Travel spending in the U.S. totaled $761.7 Billion in 2018. Business Travel spending in the U.S. totaled $327.3 Billion in 2018. Each segment and guest different have preferences. Each segment and guest have loyalty to certain brands or rewards programs. The point is, being a hotelier that has the capability to cater to each segment can be hard. If you are in market that has strong week day business, you try to cater to that traveler and in some cases can fall short in catering to the weekend traveler. You tend to focus on the efforts to make you the most return, correct? Well I believe you can do both. You can cater to your business and leisure travelers with certain tools that are already developed. Here are a few that have peaked our hotelier brains (if you agree, please feel free to share this article with your colleagues):

CHOCOLATE – Who doesn’t love chocolate? You can cater to both the business and leisure travel with a simple candy bar. There may be a small portion of the population that does not actually like chocolate, but the treat is probably one of the few things that MOST people enjoy. These CANDY BAR WRAPPER TEMPLATES are a simple way to personalize this treat and give your guest, business or leisure, a little pick me up!

Tip – If you are giving our candy bars to the leisure travel, I would try to ensure they get in the hands of the adult. Is there anything worse than the sugar-high, middle-school, baseball team in your pool room?

BOTTLED WATER – The global bottled water market has skyrocketed in the last ten years. According to the International Bottle Water Association, bottled water surpassed 13 billion gallons in 2017, up from 12 billion in 2016. That is crazy growth and it is just expected to keep growing. This is not really a “trend” that will go away in my eyes. As we see more and more people using reusable bottles there will still always be a need for bottled water in our hotels. So why are you not using them as a guest service and marketing tool? These awesome, fully customizable, WATER BOTTLE LABEL TEMPLATES are a great tool to turn those hundreds of water bottles walking out your door into a marketing tool and guest service tool.

TIP – If you do it correctly, you could use them on every bottle beverage walking out your door!

WIFI INFORMATION – How many calls a day, to the front desk, are somehow connected to the WiFi? The hospitality industry application ALICE, a Hotel Operations Platform, looked at their top ten most common guest complaints. Number two on that list involved not being able to connect to the WiFi or it being too slow. Let’s address them not being able to connect. Besides owning my own hotel management company, and offering Hotel Specific Daily Planners on this site, I am also own a Hotel/Consulting Feasibility Study Company. For this aspect of my career, I stay in more then one hundred hotel rooms a year. This helps me improve in all aspects and the companies I am a part of. I only bring this up because I have experienced it all. The “stamped” WiFi log-in on the key cards (where just one letter is off and you still must call to front desk), the hand written log-in (also hard to read) and so on. Get these fully customizable, HOTEL WIFI PASSWORD CARDS to make it easier on you, your staff and your guest.

TIP – I would step it up a notch and purchase these INTERNET PASSWORD CARDS. They are also customizable, but they offer some great review related graphics to help boost your online reputation.

QUIET PLEASE – When you are shifting your focus from one segment of the guest to both, you must think of things that can keep them both happy. That same information from ALICE pointed out that number three of our guest complaints is noise. In addition, another article, The 20 Most Common Hotel Guest Complaints boasted noise being the number one complaint of guests. Ever had a complaint from a business guest about doors slamming in the middle of the night? Or kids running up and down the halls screaming? Or the wonderful noise from the pool room? There are so many things that can be affected by noise. The Offering these customizable SLEEP EARPLUGS CARDS are great and you can even add the Earplug. One stop shopping is key in our crazy industry.

TIP: Regarding noise, I would also recommend this QUIET HOURS SIGN.

FEEDBACK – Our guest feedback is extremely important, and I hope you can grow and learn from constructive criticism. Gathering and learning from reviews is very important to future guest service. Some reviews are poor, and some are good. We all know that it is much harder to get a happy guest to take the time to give online feedback then the person that had a poor experience. Help those happy guests. Offer each guest these customizable, WE VALUE YOUR FEEDBACK CARDS. You know (or you should know by now) that poor reviews are bound to happen. Besides your response (that is a whole different article), the best way to battle the negative reviews is to get many more positive reviews. So, get every guest to review your hotel, gather those opinions and improve your future!

Is your brain asking, “What about technology”? As the industry and the technologies to improve it move forward, there is a lot of new tech that you can utilize to improve your guest experience. Some arrive with a nice sized invoice attached as well. The modern hotel guest is smart and expects great things from you and your hotel. The above tools are simple ways to improve their experience at your property and will not break your bank. As you move forward in your hotel career there will be many opportunities to invest in forward thinking, technology driven software, applications or devices (if you are in the position to do so now check out our article, HOTEL INDUSTRY TECHNOLOGY). Take every opportunity to do so but always remember, this is an industry full of touch points and opportunities to either be proactive or reactive when it comes to your guest’s experience. In some areas of our industry, technology only takes those touch-points away from the individual and you can miss out on many positive experiences. Catering to both the leisure and business traveler, using tangible tools like the ones listed above and the developing technologies out there, will help you offer a well rounded guest experience and keep your hotel at the top of everyone’s list!

#hotelcareer, #hoteloperations, #hoteljobs, #hotelgeneralmanager, #hotelindustry, #hotelgoals; #hotel, #hotelguestservice, #hoteltools

HOW TO DEVELOP A QUALITY HOTEL OPERATIONS ACTION PLAN

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening my axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

Planning is crucial in the development of your life. Now I wouldn’t say I am a crazy, plan every stop on a road trip type of person (no offense to people that are) but I do have a plan in place for my day, week, month, year, years, life and career. I have dreams and I write down how or what I need to do to achieve them. If I want to start a Hotel Management Company, guess what? I wrote down my goal and my plan and we got our first contract after putting that plan in place. I am not saying the plan did not change along the way. I am not saying I willed it to happen (although I do feel there is something to that). All I am saying is when you have a goal, the Action Plan and Steps you take are just as important as the goal itself and will make achieving that goal easier. Like Mr. Lincoln said above!

So, let’s go over some tips to help you put an Action Plan in place to achieve those goals I talk about in HOTEL OPERATION GOALS YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON TO GET A PROMOTION:

BE DETAILED IN YOUR ACTION PLAN – There are always bumps in the road so your Action Plan may change but remember, these are the steps you are taking to achieve your goal.

THINK IT THROUGH – When you think of your goal, you know there are many things that must fall in place in order for that goal to be realized. Think each aspect through. Understand each outcome and what they next step for them.

MULTIPLE WHEELS IN MOTION – If you have an Action Plan in place and it only has one step, I would strongly suggest putting a one or two steps in place. You have not followed the other tips. For instance, if you wish to improve your employee retention, you would not only have one step in your Action Plan. “Be nicer”, really isn’t a serious solution to your employees running for the hills (ok maybe for some). You could have this on your steps but really there are many additional things you should be doing if it is a serious goal and plan.

EYE ON THE BALL- Review your goals, plan and steps daily! If you are not looking at them daily (maybe in your Hotel Career Advancement Daily Planner), you will lose track of them. You work in an industry that is changing and moving constantly. If you lose track of the “ball”, you lose track of your career.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Franklin had something in common! They understood the importance of a good plan. Both achieved great things in life. Give it a try with out Hotel Career Advancement Daily Planners!

#hotels, #hotelindustry, #hotelmanager, #hotelcareer, #hospitalityindustry

PLANNING YOUR DAY TO MAXIMIZE SUCCESS IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up in someplace else.” Yogi Berra

Throughout my hotel industry career, I have mainly focused on the “sales” side of the business. From selling rooms to selling franchises. All aspects of this side of the hotel industry puts a strong focus on S.M.A.R.T. Goals and Action Plans. There isn’t as much planning, in my opinion, on the operations side of the business. It is all very reaction focused. IF a guest complains, make them happy. IF an employee does show, work the shift. IF the pipes burst in a room, fix it. Now I know that one is a hard to prevent, but you get the picture. I will say that a proper maintenance plan can prevent a lot of issues when it comes to those unforeseen issues like that, but that is just my opinion. Why not have plans in place that will improve your chances of putting your focus on actions vs. reaction. Check out my post on HOTEL OPERATION GOALS YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON TO GET A PROMOTION. If you are still not convinced that you need to plan, check out my post, THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY.

There are plenty of things that you can do, to help maximize your day and help you begin the planning aspect of your day. Here are a few strategies to put in place when it comes to you and your hotel:

THE EARLY BIRD – Some of the most successful people in the World boast this as one key to their success. Studies show that people who wake up early can be much more productive and have more control over their life in both work and play. I shoot for getting up before 5:30AM each morning. This morning I was at my desk starting my day by that time having already enjoyed my coffee and social media morning habit. Start off slowly. Stop hitting snooze and get up 15 minutes earlier. Wake up 15 minutes earlier each week. In my experience, it is much easier to get work done and catch up on things when you are working at a hotel in the early hours. Less employees running around to distract you. Less guests running around to complain. You will be pleasantly surprised how much you can accomplish in a day when you are up and at it early.

GOALS – Have them in place. I know that I mentioned S.M.A.R.T. Goals above, and I am a huge fan but simply have a goal in place will help you, at the minimum see where you want to be. Take a moment to check out my post, WHAT ARE HOTEL OPERATIONS S.M.A.R.T. GOALS. This is a focus in our Hotel Career Advancement Daily Planners.

Tip: Always keep your goals in front of you to ensure you remain focused.

PRIORITIZE – There are many studies that show prioritizing your day the night before is more beneficial. There are studies that show simply prioritizing is key. I don’t care what practice you put in place, just prioritize! Make a list. Follow it. If you wish to prioritize the night before, check out my post on HOW TO PLAN YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY.

MULTITASKING – There are times that I am a habitual multitasker. There are many job descriptions that even put focus on it. I am neither for nor against multitasking. What I do know is there is a time for multitasking and there is not. When you are trying to take care of a guest complaint and trying to adjust rates in your system at the same time. You may end up selling your last five rooms for $20 verses $200 because you were not paying attention to this extremely important task. You also may give that guest a $200 food voucher instead of a $20 food voucher. When taking care of things that require your full attention, give that task your full attention. If you are in the hospitality industry, multitasking is most likely in your blood. Just be careful not to create more work for yourself by doing it when it is not needed.

ONE TOUCH RULE – I once watched a Regional Director of Operations and a great leader in the industry, who is a big believer in the practice of only touching something once, go through a General Manager’s office with a big black garbage bag. This General Manager was having a very hard time keeping up on all his tasks. The Regional went thought the stacks upon stacks of papers on the General Manager’s desk (and I mean there were stacks), one by one, reviewing them with the General Manager. Throwing each piece of paper that did not have a propose, was taken care of and that did not need to be saved. I can tell you right now, those stacks, went down to one small stack of papers. From there the Regional and General Manager went through each left over document and took care of them one by one. Either making files for them, filing them in existing files or taking care of their purpose and throwing them away. This exercise not only showed the great patience and leadership the Regional offered their Managers, it also showed a great importance in the rule of only touching someone once to me and the General Manager. This also pertains to emails. If an email lands in your inbox and you read it, take care of it and file it way. If you get many emails that can distract you from the task at hand, decide to only review your emails once an hour or once every couple hour. Whatever is the best for you. Just PLAN it!

Having a plan in place can and will help you maximize your success in the hotel industry. Put these strategies in place in your life and get one of our HOTEL CAREER ADVANCEMENT DAILY PLANNERS to help improve your chances!

#hotelcareer, #hoteloperations, #hoteljobs, #hotelgeneralmanager, #hotelindustry, #hotelgoals; #hotel

HOTEL OPERATION GOALS YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON TO GET A PROMOTION

There are so many tips out there on getting promotions and getting ahead in your career. Most do not pertain to the hotel industry. I felt this needed to be addressed. That is why I developed this company and the Hotel Career Advancement Planner. Everyone focuses on general information. Very few focus on us! As I have said in many of my posts, this is a wonderful industry that you either love or hate. This is an industry that once you’re in and enjoy your job, you will most likely, never leave. Is is one of he few industries where you can always move up, but you will most likely not actually switch (some people do venture into restaurants).

In my experience (take that for what it’s worth), there are four different areas that you can work on as a person working in Hotel Operations. They touch on important aspects of your job and your career (yes there is a difference). Here are the four areas you should focus on when setting your goals to get a promotion:

Customer Service – Providing the best customer service should be a given but if your guests are happy, your employees are happy (if you are in management) and you are happy! There is always room for improvement so don’t sit by and lose focus on the guest. The factor that ensures you have a job.

Management Relations – Having a good, supportive relationship (when I say relationship, I am assuming support is given by each party) with your supervisor and others within your company that are in a supervisor role will go a long way in your career.

Colleague Relations – Ensuring that you are a supportive colleague in the hotel industry is extremely important. This goes for your sister hotels, competitors and your employees.

Self-Development – Taking care of yourself is another important aspect of your career. Read a book, take a class, just keep learning and growing your knowledge. It will come in handy!

Putting goals in place that offer a focus in each of these four aspects of your career can help skyrocket you to your next promotion. Take a moment to check out my posts, WHAT ARE HOTEL OPERATIONS S.M.A.R.T. GOALS and HOTEL OPERATIONS S.M.A.R.T. GOAL TIPS to help improve your chances.

WHAT ARE HOTEL OPERATIONS S.M.A.R.T. GOALS?

S.M.A.R.T. Goals are a tool to create criteria to help improve the chances of succeeding in accomplishing goals. To help you understand what Hotel Operations S.M.A.R.T. Goals area, you must first understand what a S.M.A.R.T. Goal is. For your goals to be considered S.M.A.R.T., they must meet the following criteria:

Your goal must be SPECIFIC – When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to accomplish. Think about this as the statement for your goal. Include the who, what, where, which, why and so on.

Your goal must be MEASURABLE – What metrics are you going to use to determine if you meet the goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way to measure progress.

Your goal must be ACHIEVABLE – This focuses on how important a goal is to you and what you can do to make it attainable and may require developing new skills and changing attitudes. The goal is meant to inspire motivation, not discouragement.

Your goal must be RELEVANT – Relevance refers focusing on something that makes sense with your broader goals.

Your goal must be TIMELY – Anyone can set goals, but if it lacks realistic timing, chances are you’re not going to succeed. Providing a target date for deliverables is imperative.

For example, let’s go through a few to help you get an awesome grasp on what a Hotel Operations S.M.A.R.T. Goal looks like:

Hotel Achievement’s (yep that’s the name of our pretend hotel) General Manager Sally has been struggling to keep her Guest Service Scores above 90% Overall Guest Satisfaction. Her hotel consistently hovers around 80%. Her Regional Manager has challenged her to reach surpass 90% Overall Guest Satisfaction in the month of October and it is September 15th. General Manager Sally decides to put a S.M.A.R.T. Goal in place for herself to help her meet the challenge. General Manager Sally uses the General Manager – Hotel Career Advancement Planner and proceeds to write her Customer Service S.M.A.R.T. Goal for the month of October as follows:

HOTEL ACHIEVEMENT WILL INCREASE ITS OVERALL GUEST SERVICE SCORES BY 10% TO 90% OR MORE IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER.

When reviewing this Customer Service S.M.A.R.T. Goal, as yourself the following questions:

Is it SPECIFIC?

Is it MEASURABLE?

Is it ACHIEVABLE?

Is it RELEVANT?

Is it TIMELY?

If you answered “NO” to any of these questions, it is not a S.M.A.R.T. Goal.

From there you will need to come up with some action steps in order to complete the S.M.A.R.T. Goals you put in place. Check out my post on HOW TO DEVELOP QUALITY HOTEL OPERATIONS ACTION STEPS FOR YOUR S.M.A.R.T. GOALS to help you through that process. If you need help planning your goals and how they fit into your day, check out our Hotel Career Advancement Daily Planners.

#hotels, #hoteloperations, #hotelindustry, #hotelgoals, #hotelcareer, #hoteljobs, #hotelgeneralmanager

HOTEL OPERATIONS S.M.A.R.T. GOAL TIPS

In my post, HOTEL OPERATION GOALS YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON TO GET A PROMOTION, we focused on the four areas that you need to focus on in order to get that promotion you want in the hotel industry. These areas are extremely important in many aspects of your career. I would venture to even say, any career. When it comes to the hotel industry, these four areas of focus will launch your career to the next level. Here are some tips to help you achieve those goals:

Customer Service S.M.A.R.T. GOAL TIP – Go above and beyond in all things and empower your team to do so! Instead of asking the guest staying at your hotel, “How is your stay going?”, ask them, “Is there anything I can do to make your stay better?”. This question gives your guest the opportunity to tell you of any issues or things that may just skyrocket your hotel to the top of their, “We are definitely staying there again”, list. This can be something as simple as an extra pillow or additional coffee in their rooms. Simple things they may not think to ask for. This tip can help prevent the dreaded 4 Star Review stating, “The stay was great! The reason for 4 instead of 5 stars is that I wish they had another pillow or two on the beds.”

Management Relations S.M.A.R.T. GOAL TIP – As you advance your career, completing general daily tasks, improving your customer service and your colleague relations, will improve your management relations but a few additional things that can improve this aspect are:

Step 1 – Ask for Help! If you do not know how to do something, instead of just coasting through, ask your supervisor for training. Any manager/supervisor worth a darn will jump at the chance to help!

Step 2 – Ask for Knowledge! If your dream career is to be a Director of Franchise Sales one day, ask for tasks to both help your current Manager and further your knowledge of the position. Review a Franchise Disclosure Document (be prepared some are north of 500 pages). Gain knowledge of how the job works. Ask someone that is already in the position to help you.

Step 3 – Ask for Responsibilities – If your dream career is to become a Vice President of Operations one day, ask for additional tasks and/projects to complete in order to help your supervisor complete their tasks/projects. Gaining knowledge through support is the best way to advance your career. Make your BOSS look great, they are promoted, they promote you and so on! It is a crazy and wonderful cycle! Once you have the responsibilities, don’t mess up! If you do mess up, take a breath and refer to Step 1. Never cover-up or blame others for a mistake!

Colleague Relations S.M.A.R.T. GOAL TIP – Whether you work for a HUGE Hotel Management company with hundreds of hotels across the country or a boutique and independent hotel, you have colleagues. If you are a part of a large brand, you have your fellow General Managers as colleagues. In addition, even if you are work at an independent hotel, you have your competition. I know, I know! Yes, your competitor hotels do have General Managers that are your colleagues in the Hotel Industry! Help them! Advise them! Ask them for help! I would say that 80% of my career advancements have been through a colleague. I have only really interviewed for one or two positions in my twenties years in the industry. EVERY JOB I have ever had has been an advancement. Your connections and industry relationships will help you in your career today and in twenty years. I guarantee it.

Self-Development S.M.A.R.T. GOAL TIP – Personally, I have management hotels, oversaw over 50 hotels at one time and so on. My career path has brought me through many different scenarios, and it has been a ride! The one thing I am forever grateful for is my thirst for knowledge in the hotel industry. I am constantly on the lookout for books, webinars or new articles about the industry, about leaders in the industry, about practices and new ideas and so on. Do this for yourself. It can be small. If your dream career is to be a Corporate Director of Training, read a chapter a day of a book that focuses how to deliver a spectacular speech or watch videos of other trainers. If your dream is to become a Brand President someday, read articles or books on how current Brand Presidents got where they are today and aspire to that career path. If you do not have my thirst for knowledge, as you start to take in knowledge, you WILL want more!

Our Hotel Career Advancement Daily Planners offer a focus on each of these promotion grabbing goals! Check them out!

#hotels, #hoteloperations, #hotelcareer, #planning, #hotelindustry, #hotelgeneralmanager