What to include in a hotel staff training manual?

The first thing that a guest does when they walk into a hotel is walk up to the employees who are working at the front desk. Usually, they are already exhausted from a full day of travel. From almost the very minute a guest steps into a hotel, they interact with an employee in person. Therefore, employees must be trained so that they are always friendly and approachable.

Moreover, staying at a hotel can be a very vulnerable experience because guests are essentially utilizing the hotel as a home away from home for the duration of their stay. A home is a place of comfort and relaxation, so a hotel needs to feel very similar. Whether it is a friendly smile while checking in, or a breakfast buffet at sunrise, training of hotel staff members is vitally important for ensuring a plethora of repeat customers. Hotel staff training should be an ongoing part of all careers in hospitality because the circumstances with which guests need attention are constantly changing.

A Hotel Staff Training Manual represented by a hotel employee opening a room

Departments of Training

Hotel Staff Training can be divided into a plethora of areas from tasks that occur in front of the employees, to back-of-house operations. Training plans may be individually tailored for teams that work in these subsections:

  • Front Office/Desk
  • Housekeeping
  • Food and Beverage Service
  • Kitchen Staff
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Security
  • Store and Purchases
  • Maintenance

The Importance of Empathy

Empathy is a vital ingredient in all aspects of the hospitality industry. However, it is extremely important when working in the front office of a hotel. Training documentation should be centered around making the guests feel comfortable and at ease, even when they may be acting erratically or responding illogically to an inconvenience. Training manuals must emphasize that employees can quickly regulate their own emotions and listen to their guests. This way, employees can prevent escalation of conflict, and resolve problems efficiently. Emphasizing empathy also helps create more personal guest experiences. Personalization is extremely important because everyone has different needs, and being able to understand a customer is incredibly valuable. 

Training Software

Along with the soft skills that are required for those that work in the service industry, certain tools can be implemented to ensure that employees can work efficiently. For example, a property management system is extremely beneficial for ease of guest experience. Property management systems are a type of software that helps with guest registration, management of guests, and administrative tasks (such as housekeeping, payment processing, etc). A strong training manual not only gives your team the information they need to do their job well, but it’s also a guide to creating great guest experiences. While the customer-facing element of the hospitality industry continues to become more automated, the fact remains that there is no substitute for a friendly, helpful employee.   

Choosing and training employees on how to properly use the property management system is essential. Some of the top property management systems include:

  1. Cloudbeds
  2. Mews
  3. Clock Software
  4. HOTELTIME
  5. RMS
  6. innRoad
  7. WebRezPro
  8. ResNexus
  9. Oracle Hospitality
  10. RoomRaccoon

Keep Training Engaging

Hotel staff training, or any occupational training for that matter, can often bore even the most dedicated of employees. Therefore, staff training manuals must be engaging and exciting. Training manuals should function as a guide to creating an unforgettable guest experience. A major component that should be included in a training manual is a section that serves as a quick reference guide and addresses frequently asked questions. These elements can provide shortcuts for employees so that they can constantly be reminded of key functions and tasks. Since there is so much to consider, technical writers, such as those that work for Essential Data can aid in crafting these manuals.  

Another important element to consider when creating or updating a training manual is a personal experience. For example, quotes from customer reviews can provide specific anecdotal evidence for service that is so exceptional that guests keep reflecting on their stay. Moreover, the training process can be engaging because you can allow employees to role-play. By giving employees real-life situations that they can act out, they learn to be adaptable. They are also physically involved in the training process, which increases engagement and bonding between staff members. When employees work well together, the guest experience is more seamless. 

The involvement of current employees is especially important when updating training. Employees will have the best understanding of what needs to be emphasized most strongly in training, as they have years of personal experience. Employee feedback can help streamline training because they know what can be learned via the written word and what needs to be practiced physically. 

Technical Writers and Hotel Training Manuals

In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the hospitality sector’s need for employee training manuals. When a pandemic such as COVID-19 occurs, it creates a rapid decline in business for hotels. Therefore, employees have to work even harder to meet customer concerns so that they leave satisfied. With the rise in cases of monkeypox, the hospitality sector will likely continue to suffer significant losses. Hospitality workers need to adapt to the demands of their job based on the social and political climate of the period. Therefore, flexible and adaptable documentation for hospitality workers is vital to ensure that hospitality remains profitable. Technical writers craft training manuals for people that work in the hospitality industry. To read more about how technical writers can aid in creating these employee training manuals, click here.

In an increasingly globalized world, staff must be trained to empathize with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Hospitality training manuals are a positive return on investment because they increase customer satisfaction. Hotel guests are more likely to consistently choose the same hotel.  

Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project, or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, the quality of our work is guaranteed for you. Our clients work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us 

Written by Samantha Galvin

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