EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT - A COST OR AN INVESTMENT?

Customer service and staff development and training

EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT - A COST OR AN INVESTMENT?

I was recently staying in a hotel on the Salford Quays.  For purposes of my blog I will only say that it is a well known international brand.  Not a huge hotel, and therefore potentially able to give guests a more personal experience.   There was nothing particularly different about this hotel – the décor rather minimalistic, fresh and clean looking, but the rest was the same, as any other hotel brand.

There were several employee-guest interactions during my stay apart from the obvious checking in and out.    The toilet required a “Tarzan” type figure to flush it, the pillows were hard and about 18” deep as well as the need for general directions to where I was going.  Sadly not on any of these occasions was I referred to by name.  The person was empathetic, if needed, efficient in all cases, but did not take the opportunity to personalize our conversation, despite having the information on the computer before her eyes.  What would stop me staying in another hotel next time?  Absolutely nothing!  The location was no more convenient than competitors, the rate certainly not more beneficial, value for money – “No nothing there”.  Personalised and individual service – “No”.

Staff training and development is perhaps even more important when times are tough.  Sadly staff development is usually the first budget that gets cut.  Is this a luxury or a necessity?   Neglecting personal and professional development of employees and management is a false economy.

Staff don’t wait for the budget to come along to plan out their needs and create their own path of development.  They do this with or without the company’s help.  If they don’t feel they are getting what they want in your company they will take their skills and go elsewhere.

What tangible benefits can you expect from implementing an employee training and development plan to inspire and grow individuals and teams:

  •  Improved productivity through effectiveness, reduced wastage and a smarter approach to “doing”
  • Reduced sickness and absenteeism due to a happier more fulfilled workforce
  • Reduced staff turnover
  • Increased loyalty and engagement which correlates with increased customer satisfaction
  • Increased profits

In addition to this, though less tangible are other benefits such as:

  • Increased motivation, team spirit and morale
  • A feeling of being valued and therefore a happier place to work, thus directly impacting turnover  
  • Happier customers – would you, as a customer prefer to go where you are known and valued, perhaps even paying more, or where no one knows you?

Retention of customers is through personal recognition, we all want to go where we feel valued, referred to by name and where our business is welcome.

Will I stay in this hotel next time – unlikely!  I will go back to the hotel where I stayed previously, with the added bonus of a lower room rate.  More importantly, a hotel, where I am addressed by name by a smiling person, who genuinely loves what he or she are doing.

Where is the cost and where is the investment?  The business, in this case a hotel where you go once and don’t return or the business with repeat loyal customers?

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