“The importance of compliance training is not publicised enough in the world of hospitality. Businesses invest a lot of money in training on other business areas which don’t directly impact revenue. Training in best practices guarantees quick wins and is therefore one of the highest ROI investments a business can make.”
– Duncan Colvin, Head of Compliance, Venners
Table of contents
- What is best practice compliance training?
- Why is compliance training relevant to hospitality?
- Which business areas should compliance training cover?
- How to design best practice compliance training programmes
- The benefits of best practice compliance training
- Compliance training as a core principle in business
What is best practice compliance training?
Best practice compliance training is the education and implementation of both generic and company specific hospitality standards and ideals.
It is about immersing your teams into learning why certain processes and procedures keep your business performing at its optimum. It is also about helping your teams understand how policies and related business practices are vital not only to the business, but also to their own professional development.
Why is compliance training relevant to hospitality?
When compared to other industries, hospitality tends to be more open to scrutiny than any other customer-facing business. It is for this reason that it has one of the greatest needs for best practice compliance training.
1. Meeting customer expectations
Engaging with hospitality services is generally considered a luxury, which is why customers often arrive with high expectations and individual demands. They come into your business with the predisposed notion that they are about to have an incredibly fun and enjoyable experience before your business even has the chance to manage expectations. Any experience less than this will automatically result in a negative impression.
Compliance training provides staff with clear guidelines on the level of service and quality required to keep customers happy.
2. Being culturally relevant
Hospitality businesses are at the mercy of various other external factors too – ranging from social to environmental and economic. Particularly multi-site or franchise businesses, including pub companies, restaurant groups and hotel chains, are affected by this due to their geographically dispersed business locations.
Hospitality best practices can vary regionally, but there is a certain level of standardisation that should be achievable across the board in terms of delivery. Best practice compliance training will help teams understand the difference between the two.
3. Mitigating staff divergence
Internal factors also contribute to the need for best practice compliance training. As a customer facing industry, hospitality staff actions are strongly linked to the success of a business.
If one of the team drops the ball, but the rest of the team deliver a fantastic experience, customers may still judge a business on the one negative experience they encounter.
With staff often transient, diverse, and varying in skillsets, performance can fluctuate not only from staff member to staff member, but also from team to team, and location to location. This, coupled with the fast paced environment of hospitality businesses, is why best practice compliance training is a wise precautionary measure to invest in.
It ensures that staff know what is expected of them and that they are held accountable for their actions as well.
Which business areas should compliance training cover?
Every business is different. Best practice compliance training should cover those areas in a business where on-site excellence is the defining factor to delivering a high level of quality and control. In general, the main topics to focus on should include:
- Due diligence
It is wise to tailor best practice compliance training to both the industry, and the sector within that industry. Beyond that, it could be beneficial to customise the training curriculum to the direct needs of the business too. Either way, the ultimate aim should be to deliver practical skills development, as well as to boost general knowledge and awareness of expected best practices and compliance.
Keep in mind that the compliance training programme itself should be progressive, score driven, measurable, offer genuine improvements and have an achievable end goal.
Offering compliance training where employees can not only be prepared for a potential audit, but to actually pass it with flying colours, is hugely beneficial. Compliance training provides practical and tangible actions that ensures that best practice learnings are truly put into practice.
How to design best practice compliance training programmes
By nature, the term ‘compliance training’ sounds fixed, but when it comes to hospitality no one size fits all. Every business has different needs and each individual has different learning styles. Understanding your teams and the learning style that would be best suited to them will be fundamental to the success of any compliance training programme.
There are a lot of hurdles when it comes to making training worthwhile for a hospitality business. At the moment, some of the biggest obstacles to training include working in an environment that never stops and dealing with constant staff shortages. Having access to flexible training partners can make things easier.
It is worth asking a training partner to help design a bespoke best practice compliance training programme. Whether it is classroom training, on-site training, e-learning or an amalgamation of all three, each business should dictate what programme would be most practical to integrate into their overall business strategy.
The benefits of best practice compliance training
1. Practical skills development
Best practice compliance training directly delivers tangible on-the-ground improvements. Due to the practical nature of the topic, which aims to ingrain and polish best practice procedures and processes, a business can expect staff to adopt new and better skills for working.
2. Career progression
A common misconception amongst hospitality staff is that there is a lack of progression available in the industry. Compliance training expands staff skillsets, gives them a new challenge to perform better, and inspires a fresh drive for career progression.
Professional growth keeps staff happy and motivated. Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.” Investing in staff through compliance training is a win-win for everyone. It enables businesses to run operations more efficiently and keeps staff happy and thriving.
3. Enhanced company reputation
Staff who are trained to adhere to best practice procedures through compliance training are always going to deliver a better quality of service. From this, businesses can expect happier customers who are more likely to return again, recommend the business to others, and spend more money during their visit.
4. Increased revenue
Beyond the increased revenue that can be expected from improved customer service, compliance training can also increase revenue in other ways.
Best practice compliance training from an operational perspective will help staff learn new tricks for running things more efficiently. It will help them implement better controls, which in turn will reduce unnecessary losses. Lastly, it will enable staff to utilise sales opportunities through techniques such as upselling.
5. Robust governance
If compliance training has been delivered, the business can effectively prove that it has done everything in its power to ensure that best practices are followed. If staff are then found not to be delivering the expected standards, they can be held accountable and be corrected should that be needed.
Compliance training in best practices is about setting clear standards and delegating an acceptable of responsibility to each individual staff member.
6. Staying on trend
The hospitality industry will always need to stay current and adapt to changes in customer behaviours. With that come regular changes in best practice procedures. At the same time it is crucial for businesses to be progressive in order to maintain its competitive advantage.
If a business invests in compliance training they can be safe in the knowledge that their teams are well versed in the latest best practices, standards and expectations.
Compliance training as a core principle in business
Compliance training is essential to the growth and development of any hospitality business. It is also key to running your business in a tight and profitable manner. It should therefore be one of the core principles guiding your business as it evolves.
Best practice compliance training is about achieving operational excellence by improving standards, whilst at the same time introducing operational risk resilience through effective controls.
It is about knowing what the balance is between delivering standardised service and taking a flexible approach to get the best on-the-ground results. It is also about learning from other businesses, knowing what you’re competing with, and ensuring a level of compliance that is line with the rest of the industry.
Are you interested in receiving best practice compliance training? Find out more by visiting our Hospitality Best Practice Training page, or filling out the form on this page.