If you’ve already adopted a learning and development strategy for your company via a LMS, then congratulations – you’ve already taken the most crucial step toward improving your operations. We’re all aware that globally, the hospitality industry is growing rapidly, but of course that means that so’s the competition. Training your staff online through elearning courses is a way to offer great customer experiences, and will also help you make your business more efficient. What manager or business owner doesn’t see the value of helping people find the best ways to manage their workloads?
However, how do you keep your employees engaged with their courses? It’s not enough to simply present the course platforms and leave them to it. In doing this, you might be missing out on the true potential of your LMS. So, let’s run through some ways to keep your company’s training and development on track.
Explain The Why
You’ve heard of marketing, right? You likely do it all the time to promote your hospitality business to potential customers. But when it comes to maximising staff engagement with your chosen online course platform, you’re going to have to engage in some smart internal marketing strategies: you’ve got to push the importance of elearning courses to sustain employee engagement and help them understand the benefits of regular training online. It’s much the same approach you might use to communicate why a potential customer should choose your business.
Communication truly is key here, and the development of clear objectives should be a number one priority for you. It’s essentially the ‘why’. If you’re running a successful hotel, bar or cafe, your employees are likely going to have their hands full with daily tasks, so it’s paramount you set out why you’re adding training to their to-do list.
Task number one is to sit down and identity what steps you’re going to need to take to attract your employees to the LMS you’re offering, get them engaged with it, and then retain their interest. Every workforce is different, so listen to their initial experiences – essentially gather some feedback – and make sure that the online training programs you provide are clearly related to both the goals of your company, and the more personal goals your staff members might have. And remember, learning management systems are incredibly flexible when wielded efficiently, so you can really make the most of tailoring courses to different abilities, workloads, job roles and personal career goals. Make online training relevant for everyone and you’ll find that the uptake and continued engagement is going to be much higher. Online training software is only as useful as you make it, so ensure your learning programs are focused on delivering demonstrable value for your workers in their daily routines. If you nail this, then your LMS is going to deliver value for your business. The bottom line is basically, you want your people to buy into it and you need to show them why they should.
Promote Your LMS And Raise Engagement With Learning
Next, you should be looking at really promoting and raising engagement with the learning software you’ve chosen. The best way to begin this is to carefully consider your workforce as both individuals, and as a whole. What are their roles? Pain points? Are they lacking support or training in particular areas? This exercise is much like identifying your customers – they’re probably quite a varied bunch when you take the time to really break it down – and the same is true for the people who work for you. Now, back to marketing 101, take this group of folks (your staff) and decide how you’re going to communicate your message. It’s likely that different sections of your workforce will react better to some methods of communication than others. By understanding communication preferences, you’ll be able to drive learners to online training courses that will effectively inform and engage them.
Here’s a few ways you can do this. You might try email newsletters featuring new hospitality elearning programs which might resonate with staff who are largely desk-based. Give them something to open and read that makes a change from one customer query after another. You can position that mail as something being offered to them, as opposed to something somebody else wants from them. Perhaps start a blog that gives taster introductions to courses too. This could be a vlog or the more traditional written post type, but try and make it interesting! Give your staff access to LMS training through an easily clickable online portal. This will really lower the barriers to elearning if you do away with logins on internal systems only. Mobile learning is a growing sector in the online learning and development sector, which moves us neatly on to social media. Twitter, Facebook, Insta – you’ve probably already got all three of these marketing platforms up and running for your customers. Why not promote your LMS internally to your staff using the same method? And when it comes to social media, keep in mind the age ranges of your company’s employees. If you’ve got a young workforce, there are popular apps like Tiktok and Snapchat which might deliver your message more effectively. Facebook might be the best way to talk to the older ones. Get creative, because the messenger is just as crucial as the message if you want to promote and elevate engagement with hospitality training.
Keep It Going With A Schedule
All of the above should pique the interest of your staff in your online learning software, but all these efforts will be wasted if you lose momentum. Once you’ve got their attention and created a strategy to communicate LMS features and the benefits of online hospitality training, then your next goal is to build an ongoing schedule to elevate the culture of learning you’re promoting. Keeping the message up internally about the benefits of LMS training is not dissimilar to marketing your business to outside world: repetition is key. Develop a long-term plan for promoting online training to your users. Once you have an initial uptake, you’ll find that there is material which you can use to recruit more of your folks into elearning. You’ll be able to boost the engagement of your staff if you shout about the ways it’s helped their colleagues. There’s a handful of ways you can do this. You can host a kick-off event, or launch a newsletter that praises the achievements of a group or individual thanks to their completed hospitality courses for instance. Optimise your blog content based on the hits you’re getting, and make a social media calendar to get the most out of your LMS-related posts. Whatever you do (and the more multi-platform it is, the better) getting the word out about the ease, value and results of learning via online software should be an on-going endeavour.
Support Your eLearners To Raise Motivation
Let’s lastly talk a bit about the resistance you might encounter while launching your learning management software and getting your staff to engage with it regularly.
Much of the problem might be technology-related rather than adverse reaction to the course content itself.
An LMS platform does require users to adopt some new skills to access courses, and while some might already have those skills or take to the format like ducks to water, others might need a helping hand. Hopefully you’ve chosen your company’s LMS well and its user interface is intuitive. If not, you might want to read our blog post here which will give you some things to look out for when picking the best software for your operations. But, let’s say you’re happy with your platform choice; there are still ways to boost staff interactions and ensure positive experiences across the board.
To help with the adoption process and make online training enjoyable and effective, you might want to offer an option of supervised training sessions to give employees a first hands-on experience that’s a bit like a walk through. You might have employees in your HR department that you can appoint to mentor some users through the initial stages, and pass on tips to get the most out of the online learning experience. Blog posts focused on helpful tips and hints can support this.
Identifying which trainees might prefer to complete their training on a desktop computer, rather than a mobile phone might skip any teething troubles too – and if you can offer a little extra time to complete courses and lessons initially, this can also help. Increasing the skills of your workforce through hospitality courses online can really boost job satisfaction and ultimately improve how well your organisation works. It’s well worth reserving a proper amount of time and resources to get everyone started and comfortable from the beginning. Having been made aware of the value of elearning through internal marketing, it’s such a missed opportunity to wind up having individuals feeling far from engaged with it due to lack of support. The best online training platforms are designed to be as user-friendly as possible, but if you offer a little extra support, it’s likely strugglers will quickly become motivated to learn.
A culture of learning from the top down is one of the most important elements in a company that thrives and grows. Invest in your employees by employing all these techniques to market every benefit you can think of when it comes to the LMS you’re offering. Keep internal communication about online hospitality courses up-to-date, frequent, and engaging, and you’ll be on the way to having a workforce that is happy to learn, and reaping the benefits of learning software.