One of the biggest benefits of the Glasgow Welcomes training for the Glynhill Hotel, Renfrew is the morale boost it has provided for staff.
The four-star hotel, spa and conference venue invested in the in-house trainer training option, which means they have been able to roll-out the course internally to a number of staff.
Judith Eck, learning and development advisor at the hotel, is a licensed Glasgow Welcomes trainer after completing the trainer training course and she has delivered the programme to a number of managers and supervisors.
Judith said, "There are lots of small benefits that add up to the greater good for Glynhill Hotel thanks to the Glasgow Welcomes training workshops. Many benefits are tangible and certainly they have all been of benefit to our guests and we have seen many examples of improved customer service excellence and staff morale.
"We have many long-serving staff and the immediate benefit of the training workshops has been the morale boost. Staff can end up in a bit of a comfort zone in their work, but thanks to the Glasgow Welcomes workshops they feel an extra incentive to find new ways to improve customer service. They can remind themselves of what works well and what they already know is good for customer service, but also assess what doesn’t work for customers and then come up with new ways to really make those small differences to a guest’s stay. We have seen some positive changes to processes and routines.
Judith has also noticed that the training has encouraged better communication between staff and departments. She said, "The workshops were a great place for people from different departments to get to know each other and to see what other people do in the hotel. This has built a better understanding of how the hotel runs as a whole and has given people an insight into a range of jobs and departments. This has definitely been a benefit because there is a greater understanding of each other and more willingness to communicate together for the good of the hotel.
Judith says there have been a number of business benefits for the hotel following the delivery of the Glasgow Welcomes in-house training workshops. Staff have taken what they’ve learned and implemented a number of practical changes that make things better for teams, but also for guests, including a team member in the restaurant who decided that one of their Glasgow Welcomes pledges would be to introduce a checklist of things to be done routinely by both day and night staff.
Judith explains, "There are routine tasks to be done in the restaurant, such as dressing the tables properly, putting out condiments and tidying up, but there was always a bit of a stalemate between day and night staff about who should do what or whether it had been done.
"The checklist allows for tasks to be ticked off and for staff to see who has done what. This has encouraged a better relationship and harmony between the two shifts. Of course, the benefits are also there for guests because if the tasks are all completed they will experience a better service.
"When discussing ‘moments of truth’ during workshops, reception staff said that guests becoming lost en route to different places in the hotel could be a problem. The Housekeeping Supervisor suggested that housekeeping staff could be more aware of lost-looking guests and approach them rather than wait to be asked for help. She also suggested that waiting staff be taken on a tour of the hotel so that they were aware of the bedroom layout, especially staff who work only a few hours at the weekend. This means that staff are better informed and can offer improved customer service and a better customer journey.
"Receptionists also suggested that they could sample some of the daily specials on the hotel menus and any new menu additions so that their recommendations to guests are more genuine.
Judith said, "Staff from different departments have met on the workshops and now feel more relaxed about communicating with each other. This means that there have been cross-department ideas for business incentives and improved customer service. If a staff member, regardless of their department, has an idea for a new ‘wow factor’ or a better way to serve customers they feel more able to impart these ideas to the right department. This has also led to a better service for customers. These might just be small things, like suggesting an event idea or a new dish on a menu, but this can make a big difference to our business.
Judith has introduced a new form of staff appraisal – or CPD (Continuous Professional Development) – through the Glasgow Welcomes training. Staff are asked to say what two things they think they do really well in terms of customer service and one thing they do not do so well.
Judith said, "This quick and less formal form of CPD encourages staff to really evaluate what they do. Having just a few things to think about is very effective in terms of focusing staff on customer service. The aim is to have these appraisals once a year with a six-monthly catch-up chat to evaluate progress. We are in the early stages of this, but we think it will be very useful for both the team and the business. The benefits to the business and customer service are most tangible when staff are asked to evaluate their own contribution.
Judith reports that the training programme has been also been personally beneficial in her role as a learning and development advisor.
"The Glasgow Welcomes programme is all-inclusive and very well thought out and this means I have a great resource at my finger tips. Although my training does need to be bespoke, I can use the Glasgow Welcomes training as the basis of a very effective customer service training programme. It saves me a lot of time and makes my life a lot easier.