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Elephant Lake Hotel and Safari

The chief function of business in the hospitality industry is to serve people – whether it is food, accommodation or a combination of both.  The importance of employee training and development is something that can not be overstated and is something that should not be overlooked.  All staff in the hotels ultimate aim should be for guest satisfaction.  If staff do not understand their role fully or are not trained, how can they deliver the service your guests expect.  We all understand that training can be expensive, but the benefit will outweigh the cost involved.  It is important to remember that without proper training, employee-guest encounters can go off track, which ultimately will affect your business and profit margins.

If you have tight budget constraints, there is no need to train everyone, but focus on the areas that are under-performing.  If you have noticed an increase in complaints from guests about food quality and service, your training should focus on these areas specifically.  The benefits will soon start showing when customers complaints start turning into praise.

New recruits should be trained soon after they have been hired.  You need to start instructing them on your standard operating procedures and the specifics of their jobs.  By doing so places them on the right path from the beginning of their employment and should prevent bad habits from developing.  Staff training for new hires should go well beyond the initial orientation, which typically focuses on your company policies and employee benefits; consistent training can contribute considerably to the advancement of your organization. When you invest in new employees by providing learning opportunities, they may be inspired to do more than the minimum required of them. Adequate and appropriate training furthers your ability to determine the potential superstars who might be shaped into leaders. And focused training has a trickle-down effect: New employees learn from well-trained workers optimum ways to advance customer satisfaction.

Developing your employees is essential to providing a consistent level of guest satisfaction over time. After you’ve built a reputation for excellent service, you might select your top performers to take part in advanced training that may be associated with promotions. The importance of progressive employee advancement is not lost on your workers. Your investment in fostering new supervisors and managers demonstrates your confidence in the people who work for you. The hospitality industry, with its high turnover rates, can benefit from grooming outstanding individuals. Doing so retains consistency within the business as well as enhancing your future work force.

Providing ongoing attention to training and development affects your business’s ability to remain competitive. Hospitality is fast paced and constantly evolving. The best way to beat your competitors may be through ensuring your employees’ expertise in performing the day-to-day necessities, such as maintaining exceptionally high levels of housekeeping or making sure front desk employees are adept with computers and other technological tools required in their jobs. Frequently revisiting customer service training, such as how to address visitors in both positive and negative situations, can ensure your guests enjoy their stay and depart with plans to return.

Well done to Elephant Lake Hotel and Safari in St Lucia for recognizing and investing in your staff.  If you ever find yourself in the area, why not stay at this lovely hotel and enjoy true customer service – the way it should be!

Training covered – Food and Beverage; Housekeeping; Front Office; Managers on Duty all training also incorporated Customer Service and attention to detail.

http://www.elephantlakestlucia.co.za/home

Managers On DutyFront Office TeamSecond group of Front Office TeamFood and BeverageFood and BeverageHousekeeping and Laundry

Ghost Mountain Inn

I had the privilege of doing some training at Ghost Mountain Inn.  Honestly, what a lovely little gem.  This is a family owned hotel with so much to offer, such character and AMAZING staff.  From the delightful waiting staff, cleaners and reception to the welcoming GM – everybody goes out of their way to make you feel more than welcome.

The training covered various topics like Customer Service, Dealing with difficult situations or guests, body language and how to deal with certain emergency situations.

Trying to work in an environment like this is pretty tough, but well done to everyone on completing the course and a massive thank you for your very kind hospitality shown.

If you ever find yourself heading North of Durban, visit this lovely piece of paradise, you will not regret it!

http://www.ghostmountaininn.co.za/index.phpA piece of paradise!bghost-mountain-inn-restaurant-outside

NH Lord Charles Hotel

It’s always great returning to an area as beautiful as Somerset West in the Western Cape.  The past 5 days have been pretty intense as we had so much to get through and so much to prepare!  I did one on one training with a young lady that has been employed to look after a group of UK holiday makers that will be staying at the NH Lord Charles hotel.  Our training covered, customer service, enhancing the customers experience, dealing with difficult situations, body language, soft selling skills, listening and communication to name a few.

Nwabisa, or “Sweetness” as she is know to her guests is passionate about delivering the best service to her customers and her focus, determination and dedication to her role is going to get her far in this industry.  What a lovely place to be working and what a fantastic opportunity for this young lady.  I wish her all the very, very best.

If ever find yourself in the Somerset West area, make sure you check out the NH Lord Charles Hotel.  Excellent location, excellent staff, excellent all round.

http://nh-hotels.co.za/42153

Botswana

I had the opportunity to return to Botswana and carry out some training.  It is always nice to go back and see familiar faces again.

Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa, has a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, which becomes a lush animal habitat during the seasonal floods.  Luxury safari camps are a common way to spend your time in the bush.  In the Delta’s Moremi Game Reserve, dug-out canoes are used to navigate past birdlife, hippos and crocodiles.  On dry land, wildlife includes lion, leopard and black and white rhino to name a few.

There is so much to do in Botswana and to ensure you do not miss out, i can highly recommend the service of Pride of Africa Safari.  They will make your trip one you will never forget.

http://www.prideofafrica-safaris.com/

Pride of Africa
Some fun while training these great people.

Some fun while training these great people.

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Madagascar – Unique, interesting and the Land of Lemurs

I was fortunate enough to travel back to Madagascar and work with the local agent Mercure Voyages.  During my week on the island, i was training two of the local guides.  Our training focused on International Tourists, ways to enhance customers experiences and general dealings with International guests.  The guides are very passionate about their island and were very keen to learn and explore the many different ways to satisfy guests.

This island has so much to offer, i thought i would share 8 quick facts about Madagascar with you.

  1. Most of Madagascar’s wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth!
  2. Lemurs are sacred in Madagascar.
  3. Madagascar was settled by Asians before mainland Africans.
  4. Before French colonial rule, Madagascar was ruled by a woman.
  5. Many nature plants of Madagascar have medicinal properties.
  6. There may have been an anarchist pirate utophia in Madagascar.
  7. Madagascar has strong human rights protections.
  8. The cuisine in Madagascar reflects its cultural diversity.

If you ever find yourself in Madagascar, do yourself a favor and contact Mercure Voyages who will make your stay relaxing and interesting.  They offer great customer service too!

http://www.mercure-voyages.com/

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Assessor, Facilitator, Moderator Courses

Wow, how time fly’s!  As you may all be aware, we are now offering ETDPSeta Accredited Assessor, Facilitator and Moderator courses.  We are so pleased that we made this move as it have been well accepted by many.  It is important to point out, that although THT Hospitality Training is mainly focused on exactly that – the Hospitality industry, the Assessor, Facilitator and Moderator Courses are courses that ANYBODY can do, you do not specifically have to work in the hospitality industry.  These courses are standard, so anyone wanting to be an Assessor can complete our course and you will use it in your field of expertise.  We wanted to broaden our scope to enable us to accommodate and assist more people.

So you may ask who should do one of these courses?  We will help you out.

Unit Standard 117871 Facilitate Learning using a variety of Methodologies:  This one is excellent for any person in Sales and Marketing or head of personnel.  If you are in HR/HRD practitioner; teacher of any sort; lecturer anywhere or trainer of any kind, this course will benefit you hugely.

Unit Standard 115753 Conduct Outcomes-based assessments:  This one is for Supervisors doing assessments in the workplace.  Again also beneficial to HR/HRD practitioners; teachers; lecturers; trainers in any field!

Unit Standard 115759 Conduct Moderation of Outcomes-Based Assessments:  To all our Supervisors and Managers, this one is perfect for you!  Yes, also to HR/HRD practitioners; teachers; lecturers; trainers in any field!

So as you can see, a step in the right direction for us to offer these 3 courses.  We also need to point out that we offer them as correspondence courses.  Since we have recognized that many people are working and would not have the time to attend lectures, you can now do this at leisure.  You will have a maximum of 3 month per course to work your way through producing your PoE (Portfolio of Evidence).  Remember, we are here every step of the way to assist you if you are stuck.

To those of you that have done these courses with us – thank you as always, we appreciate all your support.  To those that are interested, give us a shout as we are running specials at the moment!

Chat again soon,

Celestenelson

Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge, Zambia

On the 15th of February 2015, i was fortunate to be given the opportunity to return to the stunning Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge in Zambia.  My mission was to do training with the Management and Rangers.  Among other things we covered Customer Service, Body Language, the use of vocal tones and the importance of listening to what your guests say and want.  If you ever find yourself at this lodge, i can assure you that this team knows how to make you feel special.

The accommodation is fantastic too.  The magnificent historic game lodge is set amongst lush forest.  It was built as a personal retreat for the Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda in the 1970’s.  The lodge itself has panoramic views across the valleys of the South Luangwa National Park.  This area is well known for its game viewing and endemic species.  Besides the animal viewing experience, you will have the added bonus of attentive and friendly staff, who will go out of their way to ensure you have a memorable stay with them.

Thank you to Sanctuary for welcoming me back again.

If you are planning a trip to Zambia, be sure to check out this lodge www.sanctuaryretreats.com/

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The Amazing Team

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Beautiful Sunsets

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Unreal game viewing

Beijing, China

15 hours on a flight is not for the faint hearted…however, when you have the opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China (the Long Wall as the Chinese refer to it), it all becomes worth it!  The Great Wall of China is one of the greatest sights in the world.  It is an awe-inspiring feat of ancient defensive architecture.  The Wall is the building project with the longest duration and the greatest cost in human life, blood, sweat and tears.  The most powerful advertising words in history come from the mouth of Chairman Mao “Until you reach the great wall, you’re no hero”.  This wall that modern estimates believe is 8850km, is a sight to see.

The main purpose of my travel was to do training for CYTS International Travel Co.  Typical of Chinese hospitality, everyone made me feel most welcome.  The staff are very friendly and always willing to ensure that you are happy.  If you ever travel to China and are wanting to explore this amazing destination that has so much to offer, my suggestion is that you contact http://www.chinatraveldepot.com/  They will ensure that you are well looked after.

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Mauritius

My bags are packed, i’m ready to go :)

I am in Mauritius having another opportunity to work with White Sands Tours (http://whitesandtours.com).  I love being invited back to work with companies i have dealt with in the past – it’s kind of like meeting up with old friends again!  This time round i had a group of 12 Tour Managers, some of whom i trained four years ago!  While all the tourists relax on the white sandy beaches of Mauritius, we were “hiding” indoors doing our training sessions in some hot and humid conditions – thank goodness for air conditioning!

All in all the training ran smoothly.  These Tour Managers are so focused on providing their customers with the best experience possible.  They are all willing to please and go that extra mile to ensure guests return back to Mauritius.  This island, as little as it is, is full of charm !  The smiling faces, warm welcome and true hospitality shown by all the people you encounter, is a lesson that many destinations can learn from.

With my duties done, here i am sitting in the reception of the lovely Tamassa Resort (www.tamassaresort.com) , waiting for my airport transfer to take me back to MY beautiful South Africa!   They say home is where the heart is – it’s true!

 
 

Pavilion Hotel Durban

Today i had the opportunity to do Customer Service training with the staff from the Pavilion Hotel.  The front office manager Navin Singh and his team made me feel very welcome and the training ran well.  I was really pleased that the hotel had given us the opportunity to carry out the training with their staff.  More organisations in South Africa need to start focusing on investing in their staff.  Our mission is to improve service standards and it is fantastic to see that this hotel is making the effort to arm their staff with the tools to exceed guests expectations when it comes to service.  I wish everyone at the Pavilion Hotel all the very best for the future and may you delight all your guests.

If you find yourself in the Durban area, check out the Pavilion Hotel  http://www.pavilionhotel.co.za/

pavilion hotel