The hotel industry has always tried to embrace change, whether it be technological, environmental or operational. However, the implementation of a new property management system or any new product into a hotel's operational ecosystem can be an incredibly painful experience. It can be time-consuming, distracting and hotels can lose employees during the switch from one system to another as the processes may change because many people tend to dislike change.
Today we live in a state of constant change. It is all around us. The new phone that we purchased just last year is already outdated because of the newer, faster models that have hit the market. When you think about it, phones aren't really phones at all anymore. They are more likely to be used for texting, social interaction and for taking pictures. The phone functionality is now essentially an afterthought. What is interesting about the new phenomenon of constant change is the fact that there is little actual training going on to accompany this evolution. The consumer is increasingly reliant on being self-educated. Think about it: Who signs up for Instagram or most any new platform and then reads a manual on how to use it? We can say the same for most of the leading technology brands like Apple that are designed to be highly intuitive in every way. In truth, most modern instruction manuals are not worth reading in any case, since they have turned into catalogues of health and safety advice, and instructions on how to dispose of the product once it breaks. We are not expected to spend much time thinking about who made it and how.
Now enter the hotel industry. Yes, hotel specific systems are much more complex than Instagram or Facebook, and yet they manage and influence your entire business. They have multiple integration points with other primary systems on property that all need to work in harmony with each other. However, there is a much greater need to be trained on these systems in order to ensure that your hotel operations run smoothly and that your guests are happy.
Introducing a hotel system that has a self-educating component embedded within it should be top of mind when looking at something new that will have an impact on your hotel operations. Self-educating solutions should be equipped with multiple ways of self-learning. Video based training videos should be part of the working solution. User Interface (UX) design should be in such a way that users can learn on the job. It's all about selecting a product that anyone can learn with little or no effort, Some important considerations to look for include:
- Minimal inputs in fields, encourage drop downs or selections
- Floating label text or placeholder text in the fields of data entry
- Distinguishing mandatory fields
- Flow of data in the order of conversation
To optimize your technology implementation, comprehensive training programs should be designed to both engage and entice your hotel staff to learn more than the basics. These programs need to be modular to assist with cross-training, and most importantly, they need to have an online certification component. Through the delivery of standardized processes, hoteliers can be confident that staff education will be simplified, efficient and on target to maximize their investment. They can also rest assured that through a certification process, both current employees and future new hires will have the most effective training. If everyone is well versed in how to use the technology there will likely be less push back against the implementation and actively engaged employees are happier and help your hotel produce better results.
The bottom line is that good technology should benefit everyone who has to interact with it and the right training is as essential to success as the right technology. Creating an environment that focuses on how hotel systems not only impact operations, but also influence the guest experience is the best type of education that front-line employees and management can receive in this ever-evolving hotel landscape.
"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." Kofi Annan
About IDS Next
Founded in 1987, IDS Next became India's largest hotel software company in its first decade of operations and Asia's largest in 2009.
Today, IDS Next is the leading provider of smart hotel software across Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, Africa, and Oceania, serving over 6,000 customers in 45 countries with $10 million in daily transactions and 300,000 daily check-ins.
With the goal to redefine the way hotels operate through smart software solutions, IDS Next has been a trusted technology partner and preferred supplier to the international hospitality industry.
From contactless check-in, front desk, guest request and housekeeping management to payroll, finance, inventory management and procurement, IDS Next's award-winning software automates and streamlines front and back-office hotel operations, making sure all departments are covered.
With an open API approach, IDS Next integrates with over 100 of the world's leading, best-in-breed technology partners to ensure hotel operations run smoothly and securely to complement a hotel's existing systems and solutions.
Available in single modules and as an all-in-one solution, IDS Next's smart hotel software is designed by hoteliers for hoteliers through the company's in-house development team comprising 135 hospitality technology professionals and supported 24/7 by 90 customer services agents in 30 languages.
With all software PA DSS certified, front-of-house solutions GDPR compliant, and the business ISO 27001 certified, IDS Next's smart software solutions are accredited, certified, and compliant with the industry's most stringent standards for data protection and security.