As our world becomes more connected, the training of hospitality workers and management has become more important than ever. From helping guests with language barriers to being sensitive to cultural differences of patrons, proper training makes a big difference. It means the difference between a great experience and a failure of delivery. But training managers frequently face one problem – how to train employees on an ongoing basis when schedules change, run late or interfere with working hours? The need is to make training available 24/7, on-the-go. This is where the advantages of mobile learning in hospitality are tremendously apparent.
Why mobile learning?
When employees are trained in a standard sense, they spend a large amount of time being taught about different policies, operations and procedures over many weeks to months. The speed at which the training is completed depends very much on the trainees’ schedule and the trainer’s availability, which typically means time off from work. This can also drag out the training process for a longer period of time, leaving the new employees in a limbo. They can’t undertake some tasks until they are trained. This lowers the efficiency of the entire business during this time period.
By comparison, mobile training can go much more quickly. It also ties up fewer resources. Most workers today have access to a smart phone, tablet or other mobile device. With this device, they can go through training by just downloading an app or going to a web page. Also, the learning experience is much easier, more interactive and more intuitive in a native mobile app. Because the training is available at the worker’s free time, you don’t need to try to coordinate the schedule of many resources to make it happen. Whenever employees have a few minutes, they can take out their device and move their training ahead. Or they can run through the course material at their home.
So, what are the advantages of mobile learning in hospitality?
- Scheduling the training is one of the biggest challenges in hospitality industry. The immediate benefit that mobile training brings is – reduced scheduling. This is why, hotels, restaurants and resorts are using mobile training apps.
- Another reason is the ability to deliver amendments or new policies quickly to all workers after a crisis.
- In addition to this, hospitality workers with different learning styles learn from the same app. Not only does the training go faster, but it is personalized to the specific needs of learners without any added investment.
- Whether you need to deliver standard training or specific learning for a group of employees, mobile proves to be efficient and handy medium.
Mobile learning in hospitality industry
One of the keys to success in hospitality industry is to provide excellent services to customers at all touch points. You can’t afford to show up poorly and expect customers to return. There are multitude of options to choose from when it comes to restaurants, resorts, travel agencies and hotels. One bad experience and your reputation is doomed. Customers are not going to return to you.
To keep them coming back, you need to ensure that your service is up to the mark. This calls for the need of an ongoing training of your staff. Mobile learning here plays a very crucial role. You can deliver learning – live and self-paced on their devices, ready to be consumed at any hour of the day. The best part is – when there is a crisis, such as bad press over particular handling of a customer issue, the ability to quickly disseminate training and information to your employees means that you are pro-actively handling the problem. It also shows you are putting safeguards in place against such an occurrence happening again.
Though not all training can take place via mobile apps, the vast majority can. From initial training to food trends and customer handling to housekeeping expectations, mobile training provides a great option to train your staff. You can also update them on all vital changes while allowing them to do so on their schedule and in their own way.
So, what kind of training can you deliver on mobile? Here are some that you can readily deliver on mobile:
- Front office: The front office is one of the most important areas in hospitality business. It is the first customer touch point and has the power to make or break the business. Typically, this is also the last customer touch point. The fastest and most convenient way to train your staff on an ongoing basis is to deliver training related to check-ins, check-outs, document handling, payments, upgrades and discounts on mobile.
- Customer service: Again, how customer concerns and complaints are handled makes a great deal of difference in your reputation. This is vital not only to the financial health of your organization but also your brand image. Since it’s an ongoing requirement, you would want to make it as regular as possible. Conducting training in physical set-up will not be feasible as it includes time-off from work and travel expenses. Delivering learning on mobile can help you train employees on an ongoing basis, keeping you at the forefront of competition.
- Occupational health and safety training: Training in areas such as, kitchen safety or lifting practices can be covered in occupational health and safety training. Keeping a record of course completion provides proof of training in worker’s compensation claims. Delivery on mobile can make OSHA training less drab.
- Communications training: Isn’t hospitality all about how you communicate with your customers? In fact, it determines the behavior patterns of customers in future. Therefore, it makes sense to train your staff on how to communicate with customers to ensure the best possible experience. Online training, in such a scenario, comes as the fastest and most frugal way to deliver training. However, training via mobile makes it all the more convenient.
- Uniform and appearance issues: Of course, you need to conduct a basic grooming training for new joinees as well as existing employees. This helps communicate what is expected of them in terms of a dress code, their personal appearance and good hygiene practices. Also, this ensures that your staff is always presentable. Mobile training in hospitality plays a crucial role. It accelerates the entire process.
- Fraud awareness: By helping employees learn what to watch out for with possible fraud issues, they know how to handle a situation where fraud may be perpetrated. An example is the use of a stolen credit card.
- Food and beverage training: There are so many standards to meet, rules to follow and innovations happening around food and beverage. Participants can directly learn from head chefs the new recipes, garnishing to proper housekeeping techniques that ensure guest’s comfort and great experience, it can be made available on portable devices. They can see it and repeat. This is a great way to gain hands-on experience.
- Code of conduct: Apart from basic hygiene and grooming, hospitality staff must be well behaved. They need to be motivated regularly to give their best when at work. Mobile learning bridges the communication gap between the trainer and employees and can fast-track the entire process without any additional investment.
- Compliance training: Organizations need to remain complaint with a wide range of legal requirements in the industry. This can include health regulations for handling and storing food, cleaning the premises and similar concerns. The learning can be delivered online – at anytime, anywhere, so that employees can take it at their convenience and remain updated.
- New internal policies and regulations: From time to time, new or updated policies are released by your company. Whether they are in response to a specific incident or to update and address changes within your industry, you’ll know that these changes can be handled quickly. Thanks to mobile training.
Lastly, most training programs in hospitality industry can be taken mobile. However, all said, mobile learning is effective only if there is a process in place, which is efficient, regularly tweaked and carefully administered.