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Recently I was assigned to perform quality audits “mystery shopping” for a hotel company.
It was remarkable how within one company standards could be exactly similar, yet at the same time very different. The similarities were mainly in the look and feeling; the differences were mainly in the staff performance. Because the audits were consecutive, I experienced the differences very well, hence this article “why employers should put efforts in training staff in the hospitality industry and beyond”. Facts demonstrate numerous advantages. Here are three of the most important advantages: 1. costs-benefit analysis, 2.employee satisfaction and 3.improved employee performance, with a higher customer satisfaction.

Firstly, the return on investment (ROI) from training and development of employees is really a no brainer as many studies shows. Various ways exist to calculate this ROI depending on KPIs. One example out of the hotel industry is measuring the ROI by measuring stick words used by a reservation agent during a room reservation by phone. It has been studied that the use of stick works such as a proper professional greeting, gathering contact information right away, using the guest’s name throughout the conversation, increases the likelihood of booking by 2.5 times! One of the reasons of few training in hospitality is the cost factor, but what about increased revenue after training?

Secondly, employee satisfaction. In average, the Fortune 100 ‘Best Companies’ to Work For list’ provide twice as much trainings for full-time employees, compared to standard practice. These top organisations have 65 percent less staff turnover than other organisations in the same sector, partly due to their employee development programmes. According to surveys, 46 percent of employees say their company’s training courses make them more likely to stay. Employees show increased satisfaction levels, feel appreciated, have better internal relationships, feel challenged and are more efficient in executing the job. Knowing that the turnover rate in hospitality industry is extremely high, 70-75 % annually in US (according to the US Bureau of Labour statistics), investing in staff trainings seems to be a logic choice. In addition, training and career development are among the top factors millennials use to rank the attractiveness of a job or company as a place to work.

Thirdly, the impact on staff performance, with a higher customer satisfaction. Clients truly sense whenever staff is trained. In average, quality of service level for experienced or trained staff are significantly better. Trained staff are not only focusing on the task but can consider giving the little extra to please the client and make clients loyal. For example, within a hotel reservation process, while the talk time is a bit longer, the satisfaction rate from customer surveys indicates a very high satisfaction level.EHL has participated in a measuring exercise with a big hotel group and we managed to demonstrate that well trained staff increased revenues by more than 5% and guest satisfaction by 5 to 7%.

About EHL Group
EHL Group encompasses a portfolio of specialized business units that deliver hospitality management education and innovation worldwide. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Group includes:
EHL Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne Lausanne is an ambassador for traditional Swiss hospitality and has been a pioneer in hospitality education since 1893 with over 25,000 alumni worldwide and over 120 nationalities. EHL is the world’s first hospitality management school that provides university-level programs at its campuses in Lausanne and Chur-Passugg, as well as online learning solutions. The School is ranked n°1 by QS World University Rankings by subject and CEOWorld Magazine, and its gastronomic restaurant is the world’s only educational establishment to hold a Michelin Star.
EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (Chur-Passugg) has been one of the leading hospitality management schools for hotel specialists for 50 years. The school delivers Swiss-accredited professional training and higher education in its newly renovated 19th century spa-hotel in Chur-Passugg, Graubünden, to Swiss and international students from 20 countries.
EHL Advisory Services is the largest Swiss hospitality advisory company with expertise in the development of educational models and quality assurance for learning centers, as well as strategic and operational advisory for businesses, namely providing benchmark service culture implementation to companies within the hospitality sector and beyond. EHL Advisory Services has offices in Lausanne, Beijing, Shanghai and New Delhi and has delivered mandates in more than 60 countries over the past 40 years.

About the Author

Jochen De Peuter picture

Jochen de Peuter Consultant at EHL Advisory Services

As a Consultant in the Lausanne office, Jochen puts the customer at the center of his approach. With efficient use of resources and well-determined activities, Jochen commits to creating significant added value for the customer and therefore a positive return on investment for the business. He is convinced that digital transformation, constant innovation, employee education and customer focus are fundamentals for a successful business. Prior to joining EHL Advisory, Jochen worked in the online hotel distribution and hotel technology industry. He has proven outstanding results in customer acquisition, business development in new markets and relationship management across various markets in Europe. Jochen operated in demanding and fast evolving work environments. This setting helped him to collaborate and think with the team so as to stay ahead of competition. Jochen holds an academical degree in economics and business administration, a post graduate degree in hospitality operations and an Excecutive MBA from IESE business school. He is a native Dutch speaker, business fluent in English, German, French and can communicate in Russian. Areas of Focus:

  • Customer service design
  • Online hotel distribution
  • Digital transformation
  • Business development
  • Digital marketing
  • Business analysis of SME and start-ups