A blended learning approach to hotel management training could help save your hospitality business during the current staffing shortage crisis (short-term) and keep it profitable (long-term).
Short-term Hotel Management Training amidst the pandemic
If you’re in this sector, you probably know you may be challenged by “a net outflow of foreign-born workers back home” as reported in an article on the Institute of Hospitality website making it difficult to find the skilled workers you need at pay scales your business can comfortably handle.
You may be finding that former employees have switched their careers since you had to lay them off and 1 out of every 3 does not plan on returning to the hospitality industry at all as informed by Business Insider. So, some of your former employees have no intention of coming back.
Even worse, the timing is terrible: you are competing at the same time with everyone else in your sector for the same pool of workers. This is forcing pay rises and improved benefits—in general, a good thing but difficult at the moment because of the background to this situation.
All this is in addition to the staffing shortages that already existed before COVID-19 and yet millions are unemployed.
This paradox is true: while unemployment is higher than before COVID-19, businesses in the hospitality sector are having trouble finding the people they need.
It appears that the main issue is skills. Whether due to a country-specific issue such as Brexit-imposed hiring changes or a global factor such as the impact of perceived job insecurity, there are just not enough employable people with the needed training.
Long-term Hotel Management Training amidst the pandemic
Did you know that good progress (albeit uneven) is being made towards managing the Coronavirus pandemic? However, in May 2021, bioinformatics modeling predicted that the next peak would occur in July 2021—unfortunately, they were accurate.
Other modeling studies looking at the long-term suggest cautious optimism. Based on current and scheduled re-openings, it looks like there will be many new COVID cases for quite a while to come. However, among the vaccinated, there should be fewer severe cases and deaths.
Some futurists are suggesting that there will still be significant ups and down until January 2022…and perhaps beyond.
Using an LMS for Hotel Management Training
It takes 3-4 years of hotel management training to earn a degree. That is not the timescale your business needs at the moment.
Fortunately, a top-tier learning management system (LMS) can significantly shorten this time yet, at the same time, keep training levels high.
Briefly, an LMS is an online, web-based education and training system using learning software and technology. This system uses two main components: a server (the computer hardware which allows the system to run) and the user interface (the junction where the learning takes place). In addition to training modules, an LMS also offers real-time tracking of learner progress as well as for analytics, so you know how effective your training is.
The exciting thing about a first-rate LMS is that it is mobile-first, taking advantage of the world’s #1 digital device. So, you don’t need to invest in digital equipment or rent classroom space. Also, training can be done on an “any time, any place” basis.
Taking advantage of “Ready to wear” courses
Borrowing a term from the fashion industry, a top-level LMS will have a library full of such courseware.4
In other words, you don’t have to begin from square one. In many cases, the high-quality content will be exactly what you need. You just have to rebrand. In some cases, you will need to edit some of the information to suit your specific organization. Fortunately, rapid authoring makes that a matter of minutes.
Utilizing quality hotel management training courses
Here are the 10 top hotel management training courses. Most of them are free. Fees for the others are low, especially considering the training time saved. The majority offer certification upon successful completion.
Many of these courses were developed by the team at EdApp. This means they are editable. You can rebrand and tailor them to your specific needs.
In sum, adding LMS hotel management training modules to your overall training program can get unskilled workers up to the needed skill levels in a relatively short time for a relatively low cost.
What does this mean for hotel management training?
Overall, it means that some of your hotel management training modules are most likely in need of renovation. Here are a few examples.
Budgeting and forecasting: Adopting new models of customer flow
Are you currently using linear models which depend on cyclical stability of factors over time, like seasonal changes due to weather and holidays? Consider changing to non-linear prediction instead. This study showed that a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM), deep learning prediction model was better at forecasting than benchmark models. Thus, it provided a more accurate “reference for the hotel’s future pricing decision and operation mode arrangement”.
New employee orientation: Longer onboarding training
How long is your organization’s process? The research indicates that it is often a “first day – first week” event. The data shows that this is too short.
When new employee orientation is effective, employee attitudes are more positive and remain so. It is not news to anyone in this industry that employee turnover costs severely affect your balance sheet. In comparison, the costs of LMS hospitality training are startlingly small. So, you can well afford to have it run longer.
Hotel management training needs to both reduce job ambiguity (define tasks more precisely) and increase role clarification. In this way, employees know both what they need to be doing and how their part makes an important contribution to the success of the organization as a whole.
Hygiene and sanitation: Increased vigilance
In addition to the myriad rules and regulations already in place, the Coronavirus has added a whole new layer. People using hospitality services are looking for extra reassurance. They want to know you have gone the extra mile to keep them safe.
Growth and sustainability: Future forward
In addition to COVID-19 issues, the speed of global change has been increasing. How fast is it going to get?
No one knows for sure, but here is one important prediction. In a recent article, Michael Simmons summarized Ray Kurzweil’s thoughts. (In case you didn’t know, Kurzweil is Director of Google Engineering. Some say he is the premier futurist in the world.)
Here is Simmons’ summary:
“For someone who is about 40 today, when they’re 60 in 2040, the rate of paradigm change will be 4x what it is now. They will experience a year of change (by today’s standards) in three months. For someone who is 10 today, when they’re 60, they’ll experience a year of change in 11 days.”
Simmons’ top solution for coping? Continual learning. To that end, the Institute of Hospitality (IoH) (a global organization) could be a useful resource. According to information on their website, their purpose is “to promote professionalism through lifelong learning”.
On their website is a variety of Management Guides. Consider titles such as: Facing the future: Developing as hospitality leaders and technology adoption; Navigating Business Instability caused by Covid-19; and Employing Ex-offenders: Making the Right Choice—this latter guide being an interesting option because of the current staffing shortage. As of the writing of this article, I was able to download any guide I wished.
While the guides do have UK-specific information, the majority are relevant for hotel management training no matter where your locale.
And, of course, recurring hotel management training with an LMS component to refresh and renew is critical. So, in addition to the Top 10 Hotel Management Courses we mentioned earlier, here are 10 Hospitality Training Courses you can also use in your employee training.
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