This assignment is designed so that I may fully meet all requirements through 5 tasks. Task 1 requires me to distinguish between the terms "Learning", "Training" and "Development". After doing this I will then use examples to further contribute to my definition.
In Task 2 I will discuss the contribution that training and development activities can bring to a tourism business and outline the potential training and development activities which will bring success to the business.
Task 3 requires me to evaluate a different range of methods which I see suitable for a tourism business and then explain in what situation this method of training would be needed. Here I will explain the negative and positive of each training methods and give my suggestions on how the training method should be planned.
There are many successful travel and tourism business around the world that pride themselves on customer care and service. In Task 4 I will examine 2 different travel and tourism businesses and show the approach that these businesses take in terms of training staff and making them skilful and knowledgeable within the workplace.
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In Task 5 I will then suggest a number of emerging trends that I think travel and tourism business managers should implement and embrace into their business so that their staff is learning continuously.
Learning within the workplace is very important to managers and staff alike. It allows the individual staff member to acquire new skills and gather further knowledge about the area in which they work. This learning process results in a permanent change in the behaviour of the staff member. Not only are the employees involved in the learning process, but the managers are also involved. They acquire the skills and knowledge necessary through the learning process which will benefit them and also the staff because it will allow for a more sustainable working environment.
Training employees/ staff leads to individuals gaining new skills which will enable them to move forward within the company. It also gives them the ability and confidence to carry out their daily role within the organisation, which leads to future promotions internally.
Development refers to the process whereby individuals gather or acquire the skills, knowledge and abilities which are required of them so that they are enabled for the future roles they may have within the company. The process of developing an individual's knowledge and skills is a continuous process which takes place during the individual's lifetime on the job.
GrahamO'C of trainingzone.co.uk sees training as: "a planned activity designed to help an individual or a group to learn to do things differently, or to do different things within the concept of their current or future jobs."
He then says that development is an ""Untaught activity" observation or study where the primary purpose is learning or increasing someone's potential. Continuous development suggests on-going learning, growth and change."
GrahamO'C then defines learning "as the process of acquiring or developing knowledge and understanding, skills and changes in behaviour and confidence and attitudinal change."
The contribution of training and development can make a significant difference to the activities of the business and potentially identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the businesses. Once the weaknesses are identified they can be improved through training, which will then lead to the development of the business. These activities benefit the employees and also the managers who are involved in the training and development process.
Training can be seen as cost effective activity, due to the investment that training brings to the business. Many managers look for ways to keep the cost of training to a minimum, however money should not be a matter when investing in training activities, this is due to the fact that training is very beneficial to a business. Over a long period of time the investment that was made in training activities can be seen. It affects the employees because they are more professional within their operational role in the business. This trained workforce will bring higher productivity levels for the business and for staff the outcome would be higher bonus payments. The professionalism of a trained workforce will bring a better level of service to customer and thus enhance and increase the reputation of the business. The employees of the business will gain job satisfaction, increase morale, will reduce the labour turnover of the business and will result in a more consistent service within the business. Training activities will also make staff aware of Health and Safety within the workplace so this results in less accidents and a safer working environment. The overall outcome of training and development would be the fact that there will be less customer complaints and there will be a stronger working environment in the business, both internally and externally. The training activities of a tourism business would be very beneficial to these methods of training, due to the tourism industry's continuous changing cycle with new technology, new trends and increasing/decreasing tourism numbers. This will bring profit for the tourism business, giving the business the opportunity to invest in new markets, facilities, advertising and also for further training and development.
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Before spending money on training and development, the business should first weigh up the many options that they may have before deciding on the type of training and development activities that they will carry out. The tourism business should consider all aspects, from the cost to the return on investment that the business will gain. Also the business should consider whether or not they want any new injections of ideas within the business, this could come from a change in direction that the business wishes to take or it could be the result of the business investing in a new market i.e.: the Ecotourism tourism market. Managers should also consider what improvements need to be made to the employees, both as individuals and as a group. This will be very effective because every employee has goals they want to achieve within the business, they may have weaknesses within their job role and this will increase their efficiency within the workplace.
When investing in training the organisation should look at the employees performance, this should have been evaluated from the time the employee started working in the business. This helps to clearly define how the training will be carried out, while also keeping in line with the company objectives. It also significantly improves the results of the business, due to a more skilled and knowledgeable workforce while also increasing employee awareness. First the objectives for the training activities must be set, such as why the training is taking place, which employees are taking part in the training and what return on investment the business will gain from investing in training. The right people must be chosen for the training and up skilling of knowledge within the workforce. Employees may lack certain knowledge or skill within the job they operate in; training will (as F.W Taylor said) create the "right person for the right job". Then employee motivation should be obtained by telling and explaining the employees why they are taking part in the training, what they will gain (learn) and what is in the training for them to further their quest in their chosen career direction. The employees will know that they will learn if they have learnt about the objectives of the training. The managers will be satisfied that they have chosen the right people for the training, resulting in organisation satisfaction because the training will have a return on investment and also due to the managers enabling the employees to gain the skills and knowledge which they want them to learn.
To clearly define this Annette Poro's "2009" example would be the example that helps me to understand this:
"Too often training session are a bit like throwing buckets of paint at a high wall and hoping the paint will stick in the right places. Instead, the training manager should paint carefully, in collaboration with unit managers, using a fine tipped brush that targets the nooks and crannies of each person's job-specific learning needs".
Training can happen either within the organisation or outside the organisation. It may also be able to acquire a third party to carry out the training activities or it may be carried out by employees within the business. Their can be positive and negative of both internal and external training activities. External training courses may cost a lot of money for the business, also if employees are not within the workplace this may cause disruption and also leave other workers with a heavier workload. However if training was to be done internally and it was related to the like of I.T, which would be necessary for employees working within the Travel and Tourism Industry, then a course carried out by a third party would be necessary. This type of training would be beneficial to a tourism business due to the growing trend in internet based holiday bookings and also employees speaking over the phone to customers. It would increase the knowledge and communication skills of the employee. On the other hand for internal training to take place within the workplace, the facilities and resources would need to be in place. Time would be needed, along with equipment such as PC's and telephones. Internal training can be positive due to the fact that it would cost less than hiring a third party to carry out the training. It would also work around the time that suit the business and the employees because they will not have to travel to different destinations, leaving them capable of carrying out their everyday job, thus making the training time effective. However internal training is also negative due the business not being able to have a trainer suitable enough to carry out the training or the business not having the adequate facilities for carrying out the training activities. It may also lead to the passing on of negative business practices which should be changed within the business.
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When deciding over the method of training for the business, the business should take into consideration the culture within the business and also what the employees learning preferences are. This is due to some employees learning better at certain methods than others.
In order to evaluate this, the HR team should speak to employees and gather data to include in a personal development plan, which will show the business how to carry out the training with as many methods as they can, thus meeting all of the employees training preferences. Employees training methods could be either Active or Passive. Active would consist of:
And passive would consist of:
Observing the information
Reviewing the information seen necessary
The training methods which I would suggest for a tourism business are as follows:
Simulations: Simulations would suit tourism businesses due to the process of mimicking certain events and circumstances of the employee's job. Simulations can range from equipment simulators to behaviour modelling. My suggestion here would be the equipment simulator for air hostess. This allows the trainee to gain experience amongst and aircraft which is not in flight but due to the simulator it seems realistic. It allows the trainee to gain an insight into how the aircraft works, what to do in certain circumstances etc. It is an efficient training method which allows the trainee to gain knowledge and apply this to their job role.
Simulation Role Play: The role play simulation allows the trainee to gain an insight into an event which takes place or a situation which may occur during their daily working role. This is effective due to the trainees being given a role to act out in the simulation and also becoming aware of the objectives of their role, their emotions and their concerns. This allows them to face the problem which may be occurring in the event taking place. I suggest this for tourism businesses because due to the every changing environment of the tourism industry there are always problems which need to be tendered to. Training trainees in this method of training allows them to handle situations effectively and professionally.
Job-Instruction Technique (JIT): JIT is an old training method which was first used and developed during WWII and is still being used in businesses today. It comes under the heading of On-The-Job-Training or OJT. The four steps of the JIT process are: Prepare, Present, Try out and Follow up.
Prepare: The prepare process requires the trainer to evaluate the job that the trainee has, thus establishing a written breakdown of the job. This allows the trainer to create and instructional plan which allows him to know what the trainee knows and does not know. For the trainer to know what the trainee knows, he should check all documentation relating to the trainee. He should do this through an interview with the trainee, personnel records and also previous training that the trainee has completed. The trainee should then be made aware of the process of JIT and then should know what to expect and when it will occur.
Present: This process of JIT allows for four activities to take place: tell, show, demonstrate and explain. During the telling and showing process the trainer briefs the trainee on all aspects of the job and also gives an overview. He then demonstrates to the trainee how the job should be carried out, why it is done this way and also demonstrating safety instructions.
Try Out: This allows the trainee to try out the job and then be corrected for any faults or mistakes that he/she makes. The trainer questions and then facilitates the trainee so that he may carry out the correct procedure.
Follow Up: This allows the trainer to follow up the trainee during his/her work so that he may correct faults and prevent bad habits from developing. The trainee should also be reassured to ask questions so that they may improve within their job role.
The JIT method can be very effective if implemented within a tourism business. However it would be hard for this method to be used among a sizeable workforce and so should be used for smaller businesses such as a Travel Agency.
Coaching: Coaching differs from on the job training. This is due to the employee being employed within their job for a long period of time. Coaching allows for the one to one guidance of employees who are given instructions to improve their working performance in a specific area.
First the trainer must understand the job the job of the trainee, the trainee's current level of performance and also outline the resources to meet performance expectations. The next step should be a one-on-one meeting between the trainee and trainer so that they can (by mutual agreement), outline objectives to be achieved. They should then be able to arrive at a plan so that they can achieve the performance objectives. Then when the trainee arrives at his place of work to achieve the objectives, show the trainee the best way to do this, then observe their performance and then provide the trainee with feedback. This should be repeated until the trainees performances improve.
This method of training may be pressurising for the trainee due to the close observation of the trainer on the trainee's working job role. However is can be effective if applied to a tourism business which has a large workforce, such as that of a hotel. It is also positive that the trainer repeats the steps so that faults by the trainee are corrected and he/she may improve their working performance.
E-Learning: Now fast becoming a training method, especially among tourism businesses which manage bookings online with a booking reservations system. E-learning may be less expensive because it allows for distance learning. However it may reduce motivation among the trainee's due to the remoteness of having no trainer. The training consists of combinations of text, video, interactive assessments and quiz questions coming after a documentary that the trainee may have watched online.
E-Learning can be an alternative to classroom-based training. It reduces learning time due to the trainees being able to train at their own pace. Due to the costs of travel and training the trainees, E-Learning allows the business to keep the costs low by providing distance training. Reduces boredom due to trainees progressing at a gradual pace. The computer simulations provide the trainee with a safe working environment where they can practise and correct the faults that they make. It allows creates a worldwide base of training to learners.
The negative side of E-Learning is that the situations are not real and are computerised, this means that when a situation arises in the working environment how will the employee deal with this situation because they have not been trained face to face, only by computer simulation.
For travel agencies, this method of training is vital. Employees will learn about Microsoft word and also about reservation systems such as Galileo. E-Learning is also becoming more popular due to the advancement of technology and also the low cost associated with E-Learning.
Many different Travel and Tourism Organisations have their own methods for training their employees so that they may increase customer numbers and also to increase the profitable margin of the business.
A company which was founded by former SAS officer Mike Gooley in 1970, Trailfinders is widely known for its excellent travel packages and unrivalled customer care. This has enabled them to boast about them having no complaints from customers due to the knowledge and efficiency from their staff when dealing with holiday bookings. However to work for Trailfinders you must be highly qualified with the experience of travelling to worldwide destinations. The benefit of this is the opportunity to work for a widely known travel agency and one of the best salary packages in the business.
Trailfinders expects their staff to be always knowledgeable and able to handle any situation. This is done through numerous training camps which are continuously happening. In my opinion this is justifiable and right due to the ever changing environment of the Travel and Tourism industry. Trailfinders believes there is no better method than speaking one-to-one to the customer and so expects customers to enter any of their offices in Ireland and the UK to book a holiday. They offer unrivalled excellence and customer care. All staff at trailfinders undergoes extensive continuous training so that they are up to date with the latest service and products.
Due to Trailfinders specializing in one-to-one contact with the customer, I would suggest that all staff is trained in face to face contact with the customers. They would also use E-Learning because the business deals with so many booking even though it does not have and online reservations system. They would also use simulation role plays so that they can train beforehand on situations which may arise when they are in their working role within the business.
During my college year 2009-2010 and during the summer of 2010 I worked as a student trainee at the Belvedere Hotel. Before I ever worked in the hotel I had an opinion of what I was going to learn. It was positive and I was excited of a new challenge and to gain experience and knowledge within the hotel.
However after carrying out my work experience at the hotel I was slightly disappointed due to the fact that I was not trained, I merely learnt everything by myself. When working at front desk I was always under pressure due to the business of the hotel and I quickly learnt how to speak to people who were staying within the hotel. I was shown once or twice how to use the reservation system, which was an older system compared to the more modern hotel reservation systems which are in place today.
I also worked as a food and beverage assistant working in the restaurant serving customers and learning to be professionally mannered and customer friendly. However I learnt to do all these tasks by myself and at times gained an insight into the job by asking fellow employees within the hotel.
Training in the hotel does take place but not on a regular basis and it is done by the trainer coaching the trainee's. The only training sessions I seen on the notice board in the hotel were health and safety courses which took place in the Maldron Hotel, Cardiff Lane.
With the rapid expansion and development of the Travel and Tourism industry managers and business owners have had to develop new ways of trainer their staff in a cost saving, time saving and efficient manner. This is due to the new products and services that the Travel and Tourism industry provides to customers. It may come in the form of new tourism markets such as the eco-tourism market where customers which to keep their carbon emissions footprint down while also keeping the price of their holiday down. Also the expansion of the online booking system. Staff need to be trained so that they understand and can cater to the needs of the customer. If this is done then profits will be exceded and businesses will be able to attract customers due to customer satisfaction, like that of Trailfinders.
The recognition of new market trends and ways of training employees should be embraced. Below I have suggested new methods of training which I think managers and business owner should embrace if they are to keep up with the pace of other Travel and Tourism businesses.
E-Learning: E-Learning is cost effective and will be very valuable to a business if staff is trained in this method of training. Due to the technological advancement of the Tourism Industry, more and more bookings are being carried out online and so staff should be well aware of the benefits of being trained in E-Learning. E-Learning is usually a worldwide based training programme and is so recognised across the globe. This outlines the importance of this training method for the development of the business.
Independent Learning: This is much the same as E-Learning as it allows the trainee to learn at his/her own pace. However this can be a negative aspect of this training method as there is no trainer in the presence of the trainee. However distance training is becoming ever more common among businesses and is very effective for the business. It allows trainee's to learn in their own time and will prevent interference in their everyday working role.
Video Conferencing: An unlikely training method, but a very effective method. Video Conferencing allows the trainee(s) and trainer to be in direct contact with each other. It is a type of distance training which is does not cost a lot of money to invest in and the business will get a return on investment from this method of training. It can be used to allow the trainee to learn at his/her own pace or it can be used for a number of trainee's who will gather for a training session and watch the video conference. They will then carry out the instructions given by the trainer. The trainer should also keep records of trainee performance after the training session to evaluate the effectiveness of the Video Conference training method.
In Task One I explained the terms of "Learning", "Training" and "Development" while giving examples to show the difference at a business level in comparison to the definition.
This then allowed me in Task Two to discuss the contribution that both training and development can potentially bring to a travel and tourism business and then going into discussion on the investment that business will gain back from training and development.
In Task Three I evaluated the different types of training methods which are suitable to tourism businesses and I then showed how they can be beneficial by explaining the situations in which they can be used. Negative and positive points were explained to show that the methods do have both positive and negative differences. In this task I chose 5 methods which I see suitable for tourism businesses.
In Task Four I then examined two different Travel and Tourism businesses which have used their training methods to train their staff and build a successful company. However here I used two situations, negative and positive using a well-known business in the Travel and Tourism industry which is successful and then using a business which I have worked for and have not thought highly of their training methods.
Task Five allowed me to suggest new emerging trend which manager should embrace and implement into their business. I chose 3 different methods which I see as a future investment by Travel and Tourism businesses which would suit the industry and carry it forward into the continuously changing industry.
In this assignment I used secondary research from class hand-outs and also my primary research which ranged from suitable suggestions to explanations to define the points that I made. I have also attached a bibliography with the confirmed references.