Hotel is a dynamic industry that requires dynamic people. Hotel staff is an important variable that determines success of the hotel. It is the people that drive the hotel business. Hotel has certain criteria to select the best talents to fill in the position available. Not only to select, has hotel also had learning and development program to enhance the skills and performance of the people hired. Several learning program starting from orientation, leadership, service standards, and management, all of the subjects are incorporated to promote organization growth.
Early on hotel establishment, there may several learning agenda takes place, they are: service standards, induction, team building, and first aid. All of the learning has brought interest to the writer. The purpose of the learning itself is to make employees to perform well at work in accordance with the expected standard. Strong knowledge and team work become the foundation to do the work. The entire learning program is to promote skills, knowledge, and attitude.
The word of attitude is greatly emphasized in this paper, as many experts have argued that it is crucial. Kuo(2007) stated the importance of service attitude in relation with guest satisfaction. How important it is to provide a service attitude to the customer. Attitude means not only is “dedicated” to jobs but also is the love of lives and having positive, optimistic, and cheerful qualities. Hritzova (2013) mentioned that Hotel has been one of the key players in business tourism, and one which responds to new trends and demands in the tourism industry. To achieve that, there is – more than in any other sector – a need for a positive, caring, and genuine attitude. For hotel hospitality, it‘s an absolute necessity to have highly experienced and professional staff with a naturally positive outlook, passion, commitment, and loyalty to the company. Due to its importance, it becomes one of training topics carried out in hotel (Quimei Fan: 2009).
Some of nine attitudes that incorporated in the staff learning may include Honest, Modest, Can Do, Enthusiastic, Value Creation, Persistent, Sociable, Self Confidence, and Positive. In line with the industry, educational institutions also incorporate Character Building as part of the curriculum. It has a significant weigh in national agenda. The attitude is referring to national 5 pillars; they are belief in God, Humanity, Unity, Synergy, Social welfare. Inline, Higher educational institutions educators are also trained national wide to deliver Character Building program. The educators themselves are expected to have some attitude traits, they are: Honest, Tough, Caring, and Smart.
The concept of learning in industry as well as in formal education is to develop a person as a whole human being not just necessarily on either knowledge or skills, but also attitude. And the attitude is the one that forms the expected behaviors. Attitude has been considered the most difficult target to achieve compared the other two dimension of competencies (knowledge, and skills). In developing attitude, there is the need to boost the spirit in the learning program delivered, so that the positive attitude will turn into positive behavior. There are five principles in learning on place, they are:
- Participations : involves trainees, learning by doing
- Repetition : Repeat ideas and concept to help people learn
- Relevance : Learn better, when materials are meaningful and related
- Transference : To real world using simulation
- Feedback : Ask for it, and adjust method to audience
In terms of adult learners, there are some key principles how adult learns including, internally motivated, bring life experience, goal oriented, relevancy oriented, practical and likeness to be respected.
Understanding the nature of how learning takes place, gives a better input in delivering the learning program to audiences. In changing adult learners’ attitude it is necessary to employ exercise that allows learner to: Participate in, React to, Provide feedback in, and Receive inspiration to move on. There are several methods that can be carried out, a variety of method can apply; they are: Role-play, Games, Simulation exercises, Discussion/debate formats, Experiential exercises, Self-evaluation (e.g. video tape trainees performance & let them evaluate their own behaviors).
The question asked is how to develop that positive attitude in people required in the hospitality industry. One of the ways is through disseminates the required attitude in a micro learning program. The step is as follow:
- Start the session
In early of the learning session, in order to build a fun and enjoyable atmosphere, music is played. The music should the one that does not sound sad or too loud. But it has to be something that can lighten up the good mood of the learners. The beginning is very important, as it can tell how good or how boring the whole session is. Having as much as collections of songs and choosing the right one is a big help. In addition, an ice breaking activity can be carried out to lose tension on the first place.
A small talk of highlighting the importance of the session for learners is conducted. It is to answer the WHY questions. It is necessary to make sure to inform the learners how the learning meets their need and for good of their interest.
- Develop the Session
This session deals with sharing the information or explanation. Sharing in a good order and steps by steps will make it easier to understand. Using supporting multi-media to highlight the message can be done. Using audio-visual or simulation (transference) can be used to give examples of positive attitude. You Tube contains many sources of motivational videos that can be used to display certain attitude samples. In addition, presentation slide also can display a powerful message.
Discussion is carried out to check on understanding. It is necessary to have feedback and responds from the explanation given. Learners may have different perceptions. By discussion, the differences in perceptions can be accommodated and be synergized and lead to the appropriate message.
Involving participants to do a role play can be done. Role play has several benefits, such as building confidence, develop listening skills, and creative problem solving (Buelow: 2014). Beside role play, other activities such as simulation exercise, debate, etc can be done. The key is to make a relevant meaningful activity. However, it is necessary to maintain during the times, the learning atmosphere relaxed, fun, but focus on the materials.
A small quiz, to check learners understanding is necessary. Some questions can be asked to find out the message have been transferred well. It may be quite difficult if the quiz is asked at the end of the learning session; especially if it takes long hours. Breaking down the quiz in parts of the learning may be much simpler and easier to do. It will be easier for the learners to understand.
At the last session is to make a small summary of the learning session, highlighting the important points of the overall message. To evaluate the effectiveness of the learning program, it can be observed with the behavior performed after it or feedback received from the customers.
In conclusion, to change people attitude it has its own technique to make it effective. Understanding the nature principles of hospitality industry, learning principles, selection of the appropriate method, and have wide amount of learning resources can help making learning much more fun, fully energized and effective.
Buelow, J. (2014).3 Benefits of Making Role-Play Part of Training.http://www.trainingmag.com/3-benefits-making-role-play-part-training
Gunawan, R (2014). Trainer of Parador Workbook.Internal Training Module: Jakarta
Hritzova, M(2013). Hire for Attitude, Train for Skills. PR Article. Sheraton Bratislava Hotel.
Kuo, C-M (2007). The Importance of Hotel Employee Service Attitude and the Satisfaction of International Tourists.The Service Industries JournalVolume 27, Issue 8.
Goldstein, I. L., Ford J.K. (2002)Training in organizations : needs assessment, development, and evaluation, 4th ed. Belmont, CA
Quimei, F (2009). Study on the Issue of Staff Training in Business Hotel. International Journal of Business and Management.Vol 4, 8.