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Think about the moment when you first enter your hotel room. Look around: Does the room tell you anything unique about the hotel where you are staying? Or is it all beige walls and double beds with white covers, and you have to walk back outside and look at the sign on the hotel’s facade to even remember where you are?

Hotel guests commonly bring multiple devices with them during their stay. However, many hotel environments don’t provide easy access to charging outlets. This situation can lead to a guest feeling more than inconvenienced. A recent survey found almost 90 percent of people "felt panic" when their phone battery dropped to 20 percent or below.

Spam is one of the major problems that most hotel website owners face on regular basis. It is a bad practice used by spammers to persuade the page rank of a site.

GBTA recently partnered with AccorHotels to conduct a study investigating the role of loyalty in managed travel programs in Europe with the goal of understanding how loyalty programs currently fit within company travel policy and what opportunities may exist in the future.

People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 



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SMAC Talk: Four Ways to Compete in the Middle of a Talent Shortage

04/10/2015

Not to be confused with the exchange of taunts by athletes, SMAC is a helpful acronym. Each letter represents a direction in workplace learning that, if utilized together, they may combat hospitality’s globally crippling talent shortage. At the very least, they will boost your ability to compete.

Today’s dizzying multichannel marketplace offers attractive promotional packages designed to lure would-be guests away from their familiar haunts toward something/someplace 'new.' For many, to survive means cutting prices. But for those looking to thrive, first achieve superior customer engagement. Then, pray your customers will be loyal.
 
When it comes to engaging customers, there are two areas to throttle: technological gadgetry and old-fashion hospitality. As for technology, the options are seemingly endless (i.e. from front entrance touchscreen kiosks to back office optimization software suites and any number of devices in between). However, when it comes to hospitality, it’s really only your people that will be able to deliver what customers expect: a highly personalized experience. This assumes that you are able to successfully attract and retain top industry talent. Only they possess the professional range to impress even the most sophisticated international travelers.

If getting top talent has proved to be difficult, take solace in knowing that you’re not alone. The talent shortage is worldwide. Forecasts show a dire future where industry growth will likely be compromised by an expanding talent gap. For instance, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) issued a report in 2014 indicating the industry’s human capital challenges could create a net loss of as many as 11 million jobs across 37 countries by 2024.

Here’s the irony: The best approach in this competitive marketplace is to leverage your staff’s professional skills, however, talented professionals are becoming more difficult to find.

What to do? Well, when confronted by challenges, it’s often helpful to start talking SMAC.

1. “S” stands for Social

Scholars and workplace learning practitioners have long identified the fact that learning is social. Whether through direct instruction or observation, we’ve always learned from one another. The significance of this fact is our access to information. Put another way, we can learn almost anywhere and in a variety of formats (termed learning interventions). In order to take advantage of this, forward-thinking organizations are abandoning the top-down mentality of talent development toward strategies that incorporate informal learning and interactive games. Today, these organizations are transforming their “learner population” from passive consumers into actuators who are able to and even expected to contribute to the organization’s developmental goals.

2. "M” stands for Mobile

Mobile Learning or “mLearning” builds on the social basis of talent development by leveraging the portability of personal electronic devices. Effective mLearning presents the assistance people seek when they need it … smack-dab in the middle of the task at hand.

Also, mLearning is the ideal way to activate learning over time. With it, talent development interventions can be spread out, prior to the moment the knowledge is required on the job as well as afterward. These reactivation interventions are especially beneficial for memory retention.

3. “A” stands for Analytics

Evaluating training activities with smile sheet surveys consisting of “Did you enjoy the training?” and “Do you think the material was relevant?” questions are not good enough. Such satisfaction and reaction assessments have been widely used for two terrible reasons: they safely avoid accountability and are easy to tabulate.

Business solutions today must be supported by the collection, measurement and analysis of both valid and reliable data. In the world of talent development, organizations must measure the application of learning via actual behaviors, not by happy faces on an evaluation form.

4. “C” stands for Cloud-based

Digital, cloud-based interactivity means creating, sharing, viewing and collaborating. Learning leaders of the future will be less like trainers and more like librarians. Or, better yet, curators. Today, learning interventions are generated more and more by the consumers themselves. Meanwhile, content may be access farther afield in a variety of locations (i.e. Massive Open Online Courses or “MOOCs”). To complete, organizations must act as developmental custodians in a symbiotic exchange where both they and their people thrive.

So, to compete, you must start talking SMAC. You and your people will be glad you did.

About The Author
Daniel Johnson
Chief Operations Officer
Venza Group


Daniel Johnson co-founded the Venza Group, is a partner, and holds the title of chief operations officer. On a daily basis, he builds and reveals the world of training and communications possibilities for Venza Group clients and team members through operational oversight, strategic initiatives and business development. Daniel’s primary focus is to facilitate Venza Group operations so as to best serve the needs of our clients.

 
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