The hospitality industry uses a diverse workforce, which includes a variety of positions that may or may not have a strong educational component. A valet, cleaning personnel restaurant servers and bar persons have different requirements than check-in clerks, concierge providers and managers. Yet, the entire workforce is a reflection of a companies hospitality culture, which is why everyone needs to be trained from top to bottom on certain specific values and standards.
The Company Culture
Every hospitality company has its own special way of doing things. You might remember a specific hotel, pub or restaurant because of the chocolates that a courteous maid deliberately left on your pillow. A cruise line might always make towel monkeys that sit on the bed to greet you. A tropical hotel might do a lei greeting the moment you arrive. These are all components of a corporate culture that's designed to enhance the guests' experience. Training at each location helps ensure that everybody will have a consistent experience.
Training is also important to have consistency among staff in in the larger chains. From the way the pillows are fluffed to how the lobby is designed for convenience or relaxation, chains need to reflect the same culture, albeit with some customization. So, if a person is staying at a Hilton in Honolulu, San Francisco, Seattle, Juneau, New York, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Denver or Dallas, there should be consistency as to how the hospitality staff acts and how they do things.
Many hospitality workers start in entry-level positions and work their way up into higher level jobs. When a company takes the time to train people, it is easier to recognise the talent that can be developed for higher management positions.
Training for the hospitality industry is diverse. Basic skills include communication and ways to interact with the hotel guests, to food safety and Allergy Awareness, which has been in the press recently after a spate of deaths. It also involves teamwork training and diversity training, because the staff is perceived as one unit by guests. Learning to work together with people from different backgrounds is essential since staff never know what the background of any specific guest will be. Yet the guest experience needs to be the same for everyone.
Problem Solving and Service
Great service that leads to amazing experiences is the goal of the hospitality industry. This is something hospitality leaders need to develop in staff. Things go wrong; it's part of life. For example, if a guest has been given the wrong reservation and the problem is not resolved in a friendly and positive way, the guest will not have an enjoyable experience. The goal is to resolve problems so the guests feels satisfied about the solution and that she wants to continue her stay so that ideally, she will want to return.
Safety and Security
If a danger presents itself in the business, guests look to staff to direct them. After all, the staff knows the lay of the land, whereas the guests are in unfamiliar territory. Staff should be trained as to the basics of safety, with many having the ability to perform first aid and CPR if necessary. The hospitality industry must also prepare staff and develop plans in the event of natural disasters and potential terrorist activity. This is so important, because if the staff doesn't know what to do, chaos will emerge, because people panic while they are trying to determine the best course of action.
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