This is not a new subject for Insiders--many of us have pointed to training as one issue in elite recognition.
Worth a read
This is really a great article and IMO it hits a home run regarding training issues. If more businesses followed the model of training/cooperative efforts/apprenticeship with their hiring and placement programs, there would not be as many issues as are seen with training failures.
There are colleges and universities that do partner with business to help in these areas. Northeastern University in Boston, for one, has a co-op program that allows students, over a five year period, to gain both their degree and work experience in the field of their choosing over an extended five year period. The students get to spend a certain amount of time in classes and a certain amount of time in a work environment with a company that has partnered with Northeastern. Their partner corporations are world wide. The best part...many of the companies who partner with Northeastern in many many cases do a permanent hire of those who have apprenticed through the co-op program!
Thanks for the article.
Reality check - Marriott has their training program (KUDOS) to improve customer service. That has got to cost lots of $. However, I cannot believe with the high turnover rate of front desk employees that any training program will be effective over the long haul if the training must be repeated to capture the new hires at a high cost of implementation. So to me, it is short-lived at best.
Then what is the answer to get improved customer service? Seem like in the past, Customer Service was outstanding with the Marriott and now seem to be on a downturn. Is the downturn in customer service a result of cost cutting and understaffing as well as inadequate training?
jasper - it is a Catch-22 for Marriott, but I believe there is no right answer. Without getting too philosophical, I believe the issue is a combination of expectations and values. Most of my finest customer service experiences has been with more "seasoned" desk clerks who are beyond the video-game/iPod generation who have internalized long held traditional values of working hard to earn a living. I think you catch my drift.
Hello fellow Training enthusiasts! A few updates:
> As of October 31st, we have had nearly 65,000 associates take AND certify (pass the test) in Marriott Rewards training modules. You may recall that we rolled this out in March, and it is the highest adoption anyone in Global Learning has witnessed. I'd like to think that it is because we employed the latest best practices in terms of interactive, multi-media formats. The content is presented based on one's position and chunked down into manageable bites. The video's are outstanding too - funny, informing and really engaging. Wonder if there's a way to share a peek with you...you'd get a kick out of them! Heck - I bet Insiders could pass the tests without even taking the training!
> Any minute now, we will be pushing out all of our modules in Universal Spanish. We have several modules that have been translated into Simplified Chinese (the latest round to be released in January) and our primary introductory modules have been translated into Italian as well. Multo Benne (I've learned all of my Italian from the Food Network, so sorry if I'm slaughtering the beautiful language).
> Beginning in 2012, training of incumbents AND new hires will be required (first year it's recommended - second year we hammer it home). As a matter of fact, it will be part of a property's QA audit, which, believe me, gets everybody's attention!
> Yes Pingreeman, this training was a very hefty investment, and took my team over two years to develop and deploy. Happy to report that THE BOSS is so committed to maintaining the program, training is now a regular 'line item' on the budget with a respectful sum for continually updating the material.
> We're so enthusiastic about the energy around activation of the program on property that my team has been reorganized to reflect the dedication to continual outreach to properties, using all sorts of techniques, with lots of 'carrots'! We can't wait to get started on all the great ideas. Seriously - tons of energy throughout HQ on dialing up the Elite experience.
Thanks for your interest! Travel well
We'd love to see a sneak view, if you can pull that off. This will be interesting to see how it works in the long term. What would be very beneficial, it seems to me, would be to have something measurable. Measurable might mean something like mandatory customer feedback (maybe the new online method will cover this?), with measures on customer satisfaction that is visible. Nothing like giving public recognition for a job well done, and also nothing like public recognition showing some problems, to drive some changes. That's what reviews and ratings are about, at least in part.
Happy Monday everybody! I've worked with my awesome video vendor / partner, Cold Coffee Films, and they came up with a way to give you a little taste of our videos. This link and use the password, "insider" which will take you to Vimeo -- you can look at a snippet that announces the training module for an on-property tool we use at property-level to issue points (eBonus). It'll give you a flavor of how we set the modules up, and the characters / theme we use across all videos (Sir Basil Pilkington Smythe and Samantha). Now please pinky swear that you won't post this elsewhere because it's just for our Insider pals, ok?
Regarding measurement: We do employ shopping services that perform fairly sophisticated reporting (beyond a QA audit) and everyone knows that their hotel could be selected at any time. We also use our Guest Satisfaction Surveys to chart satisfaction, and its movement, by brand. We also employ "click-through" surveys via this tool when we want to get measurement around a specific topic (You'll be happy to know that we just completed one on upgrades). A social media listening / monitoring platform called Brand Karma helps properties/regions/brands understand sentiment analysis via channels such as TripAdvisor, FlyerTalk and even Insiders. Finally, we do monitor who takes the training certification - by individual, property, region -- even by senior leader -- and can perform any variety of functions using this information, such as overlaying satisfaction scores with training participation.
Hope this answers some of the comments here - let me know what you think!
Good answer Michelle.
What metric will be used to determine if it is working? Just like the pastor says to the choir, "Hope to see you here next Sunday," we all hope that training conditions behavior, even makes things that were formerly uncomfortable for an individual more comfortable.
Have you thought of using selected Mystery "Insiders" to rate hotels that they stay at for Marriott while they are staying there? If your associates knew a program like this existed, they may even pay more attention to the detail knowing their hotel could be subject to this evaluation. I am sure a lot of Insiders would be happy to provide this service to you at "no cost" to help Marriott improve it's customer service. You could provide a checklist that the Insider could use to evaluate the hotel..