Why Small Hospitality Companies Should Use eLearning Tools

In this post, we’re going to look at why we think small companies can, and even should be using eLearning tools as an affordable and powerful hospitality training solution for their growing team.

Let’s start with a simple fact: most employees join a hospitality team because they want to learn and develop their skills. They often join companies who value and prioritise learning and development. The attitude towards learning says a lot about the overall management of said company.

It’s safe to say that one of the main reasons behind high staff turnover, in the hospitality sector, is a lack of adequate training. This just doesn’t make the job attractive enough. And when small companies give up on the idea of setting up a fully-fledged training system (reasons often include resource, time and overhead) they run the risk of becoming a second option – their employees will always prefer a team that can offer guidance when they need it.

I believe that eLearning tools are the perfect solution for small companies and is something they should embrace. This is for a number of reasons, but in this post, I’ll cover just a few of these.

Before we go on, it is essential to acknowledge that learning, and the way we consume information is changing at a rapid pace. We always talk about millennials in this regard — that young people consume content differently due to their fast adoption of new technology and diminishing attention spans. And yes, there is truth to that. But I think that actually, the entire population is changing — anyone who is regularly exposed to a digital device for at least a year will most likely change in some way. This is the power of mobile devices. And this is a big opportunity, a time to integrate learning differently (and more affordably!) in our businesses.

The good news is that the software market is fast evolving, and solutions are aplenty.

The problem with tradition training

There is definitely still room for traditional, physical classroom training in a company, but it’s high time to accept its limitations.

For instance…

• To address any skill gap, we need to put everyone in the same room. It’s distracting, time consuming and just a pain for any manager. Pulling people off their shift and daily routine can cause havoc at least in the short term. It may be effective, but it’s just not convenient especially in a world where a workforce accepts better solutions.
• Learners have no easy way to redo or revisit the training session. Of course, they can consult their training binder but we all know how thoroughly engaging that is!
• It’s expensive: With every work shift that goes disrupted, part timers have to come in and fill the gaps. With each session you organise, a manager or a freelance trainer needs to step in and deliver the content, not to mention the creation of the content itself!

Is it worth sticking to this tradition? In a world of fast internet, mobile devices and cutting-edge software, the alternative is beginning to sound increasingly irresistible to thousands of companies worldwide.

Here’s why.

Training your hospitality staff with eLearning

Let’s begin by acknowledging one fact: Most people look at their phones at every chance they get, especially during breaks and commutes. People love their device and they prefer to get their information through it. This is a huge opportunity and is becoming increasingly leveraged with BYOD (bring your own device) policies on the workplace.

1 Learning in bursts

People will choose to learn at their own pace over a 2 hour sit-down training session any time. Just think about how you prefer to learn something new. Would you prefer a few hours listening to a trainer’s monologue or break that information down into chunks, thereby consuming it whenever convenient to you – and when you have the willingness to do so?

2 Re-usable and re-doable training

An LMS is essentially a library of knowledge and wisdom accumulated by your company’s best people over time. The best part is that the library stays there, forever. So all that time that goes into repetitive classroom training can be used for a better cause. With the introduction of affordable, high resolution cameras managers can capture lessons on the spot. They can even record classroom sessions that are generally costly, and with the right consent from trainers, reuse them time and again. The ROI is hard to deny.

3 Multiplatform solution

These days, everyone owns a good mobile device. Your 20-something employee probably owns a tablet and a laptop too, and is very well versed with most technologies. Having young, tech savvy people on your team is a big advantage. We can provide a young workforce with a digital experience that (when designed correctly) can be willingly integrated into their day-to-day. The trick is to make genuinely helpful content 🙂

4 Multilingual

If you work in hospitality, you know how important this is. The industry is diverse and international by design. We require multilingual employees because they can welcome and help our guests more effectively. It is also hard to avoid – the sector is made up of people hailing from all corners of the world. With an LMS you’ll be able to deliver multilingual training at the click of a button.

5 Easy to monitor

Tracking and measuring the success of any business effort is important, it’s the only way we can know what to tweak or do more of. With an eLearning platform, performance and engagement reporting is built-in and happens automatically in the background as employees experience the system – and without any extra work required by managers.

6 Staff loyalty

Good people join companies which prioritise learning. Nothing says ‘we value your development’ more than inviting people into your eLearning platform from day one. It’s a great way to reduce that initial employee-manager awkwardness, as any one can access and redo lessons at any time even after the shift ends. Moreover, it can offer managers the peace of mind of knowing employs have direct access to a learning platform 24/7.

7 Automated orientations

Orientations (a.k.a Inductions/on-boarding) are essential and crucial to a worker’s success. It is an opportunity to start a professional relationship on the right foot – and that, in our opinion should remain as human and physical as possible. It is the repetitive in-person instruction that we believe hospitality companies can begin to avoid. Where there is repetition, there is opportunity to automate that repetition, and thereby unlocking some much needed time to devote to other things.

8 Ready-made content

The eLearning revolution doesn’t really happen until companies can use premade, editable and multilingual learning content. It’s the development of learning content that provides managers with the most hassle, especially for those running a small hospitality business. A constant flow of good, engaging content is a real challenge. Ready-made courses can help a small team hit the ground running by covering fundamental soft and hard skills.

9 Cost-effectiveness

When you look at all these advantages in the context of a fast-paced and evolving landscape, eLearning platforms become a viable option – consider the price point. A good eLearning platform will cost you something in the region of €2 per person per month – that includes courses, automation features and all the empowering learning tools that managers around the world are seeking to use regularly.

10 Adaptable to the evolving worker

Times have changed – and we’ve adapted. We see the new version of workers as full of potential, we just have to help them unleash it. It is our duty as managers, to provide the knowledge and the tools to access it. When we understand the changing behaviour of our people, and cater for their needs (be it with technological solutions or otherwise) a hospitality company can thrive well into the future.

The advantage of a 30-day-trial

I’ll close by stating the obvious, but this is an advantage that many businesses neglect to leverage. Most eLearning tools will offer a trial period – this is a period during which you can try the product for free (usually for 30 days). This is the ideal opportunity to consider whether an eLearning tool is fit for your needs.

That’s it from me – I hope this sheds some light on how eLearning can be implemented, and why it can be game-changing to a small hospitality business.

Innform is the hassle-free eLearning tool for hospitality and is FREE for 100 companies right now (some places are still available!). Go to innform.io to reserve your account 🙂