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  Which Training Plan is Right for You?
by Harry Nobles
June 15, 2009

Sir Winston Churchill is credited with saying”Truth is the first casualty of war”.  An applicable paraphrase for our industry might be “Training is the first casualty of bad economic times”.   Since less effective training often leads directly to a lower quality of guest service delivery, is this a loss you can afford?
Not only can you not afford the loss, you can avoid it or at least lessen the impact by taking a positive pro-active approach.  If your guest service delivery does suffer for any reason, you will certainly take corrective action at some point; the sooner you address the problem, the sooner you can begin to improve the situation.   Sometimes prompt and decisive action can also reduce the long term cost.

Here we go again: talking about that “long” term versus “short” term thing.  You don’t need an MBA to know that if you don’t handle the short term successfully, there is no long term unless you are a failed bank, car manufacturer, or other federal bailout-eligible entity.

      Ask Harry

We encourage readers to email us with questions on ratings, guest services, design, decor, etc. We'll  respond  promptly to your questions. Email:

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to do some contract work for the Educational Institute, American Hotel and Lodging Association. I worked primarily with Performance Plus, an excellent training system developed by EI and widely used by both the commercial hospitality industry and military lodging facilities.

The most important thing I learned from the experience was that certain components are absolutely essential to an effective training program.   First, the program must be clearly focused on your specific goals.  Before you start training, determine exactly what training is needed and who needs it.  Perhaps the only thing worse than no training is an unfocused fuzzy program that looks like training for training’s sake.  Your staff will see this immediately and will generally respond poorly.  This can result in training that is ineffective and potentially counter-productive.  It is also costly with no or little positive results.
Another required component is accountability.  Training is an integral part of your managers’ and supervisors’ responsibilities.  Train them to do it well, give them the tools they need, and hold them accountable!  Require them to hold their employees accountable!
Another key component is follow-up.  Post training evaluations can tell you when remedial training is needed, and help you identify weak areas and weak personnel thus keeping your training always focused. 
While the actual training is very important, the pre-training preparation is essential as the solid base on which to build your program.   Once the training is completed the cycle starts all over again because follow-up action tells you where you are now, and helps to identify the next step.

Lastly, we encourage our clients to keep training interesting and be innovative.  The most costly and least effective training are the sessions that bore the employees to tears.  Keep it focused, enjoyable, and serious, but make it fun too!   I know this is possible because we do it regularly.


Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
(757) 564-3761

Also See: Is Hospitality For Hotels Only? / Harry Nobles / June 2009

How Important is Service? Very! / Harry Nobles / May 2009

What to Do? Improve Guest Services or Upgrade Facilities / Harry Nobles / December 2008

My Dream Hotel? / Harry Nobles, October 2008

Hurricane Ike:  Challenges and Opportunities? / September 2008

Who Should Train Your Employees?/ Harry Nobles / September 2008

Designing for the Future a Key to Earning 4 or 5 Star/Diamond Rating / Harry Nobles / February 2008

Look for the Ducks / Harry Nobles / April 2007

How Should Casino-Hotels Be Rated? / Harry Nobles / April 2007

Is 'Mega Boutique Hotel' an Oxymoron / Harry Nobles/ December 2006

Hotel People I Have Know / Harry Nobles / October 2006

Now I’ve Seen Everything -  “Food Servers Employing the Internet to Divulge Names of Customers Who Tip Less than 17%”/ Harry Nobles / September 2006

Does Hotel Room Size Matter? / Harry Nobles / September 2006

If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating / Harry Nobles/ May 2006

AAA Evaluation Procedure: Is It Fair? / Harry Nobles/ May 2006

Four Star vs Mobil Four Star / Harry Nobles/ February 2006

Rating Condominiums / Harry Nobles / January 2006

AAA Five Diamond Lodgings; Chain vs Independent / November 2005

Katrina & Rita: Silver Lining or Opportunity? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / October 2005

Our Dream Hotel / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / July 2005

Losing a Diamond or Star / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs /  March 2005

Ratings vs Guest Satisfaction / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / February 2005

Our "Pick of the Month" / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / November 2004

5 Star vs 5 Diamond: What’s the Difference? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / November 2004

Strategic Alliance Announced, Committed to Hospitality Excellence / August 2004

Family Resorts: Suggested Strategies / Cheryl Griggs / July 2004

Are Small Resorts Unfairly Treated by the AAA and Mobil Rating Criteria / July 2004

Designing For Optimum Global Ratings / Cheryl Griggs / June 2004

QualAsia Formed to Provide Authoritative Organization to Inspect and Evaluate Hotels Across Asia; Harry Nobles Appointed Chairman of New Asian Hotel Rating Service / May 2004

Validity of Online Hotel Ratings / Cheryl Griggs / April 2004

Resorts Ratings Redux / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Griggs / February 2004

Are Your Trainers Trained? / Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson Grigg /  January 2004 

The Language of Service / Cheryl Griggs / October 2003

Hotel Renovation Ideas vs AAA Ratings Criteria / Harry Nobles / October 2003

New Employee Orientation: Necessity or Luxury?  /  July 2003

Save the Best - Replace the Rest / July 2003

AAA and Mobil Ratings As a Sales Tool / May 2003

How Well Do You Know Your Competitor? / May 2003

Our Favorite Hotel?  / March 2003

The Current Value of AAA Hotel Ratings / Feb 2003

Stars and Diamonds; Some Similarities and Some Differences / January 2003

AAA's Delay: Good or Bad? / July 2002

Timing Is Everything, Or Is It? / July 2002 

Boutique Hotels: Have They Gone Too Far / May 2002

People Really Do Make the Difference / Jan 2002

What Is a Boutique Hotel? / Dec 2001

The Non-negotiable Traits of Leaders / Oct 2001 

How Important is Service? / Sept 2001

Front Desk Service Mistakes / Aug 2001

Food & Beverage Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001

Bell Staff Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001 

Attitude vs Aptitude / June 2001

Female Business Travelers' Expectations / June 2001

Is Outsourcing Your Training a Viable Alternative? / June 2001

Unique Identity + Consistent Service = Success / May 2001

AAA Standards vs  Guests' Expectations / May 2001

Are Your Guests Better Informed Than Your Staff? / April 2001

Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels? / April 2001

The Design Theme - AAA / Mobil Ratings Connection / March 2001

Attitude Can Make the Difference / January 2001

How Should Casino-Hotels be Rated? / Dec 2000

Does AAA Rate Resorts Fairly? / Nov 2000

Is Your Property Suffering From Design Deficiency? / Nov 2000 

The Future of AAA Ratings / September 2000

What Is Your Optimum AAA Rating / August 2000

If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating…../ June 2000

Are AAA Ratings Always Accurate and Objective / May 2000

Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000

What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999

Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999

Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult? / Oct 1999

Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999 

Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999

Who Should Train Your Employees  / Aug 2000 

Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998 

Key to Success: Training + Follow-Up / June 2000

The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999 

To Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting Index Page

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