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CRITIQUE OF TRAINING DESIGN
This scenario is adapted from:
Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
You are the human resource generalist for College Inn, a chain of modestly-priced hotels located in the Southeastern United States. Each hotel has 100 to 150 rooms, a pool, and a full service restaurant. The hotels are located near the exit ramps of major highways in three Southeastern college towns: Raleigh, NC; Columbia, SC; and Athens, GA. You just received a memo from the vice president of operations asking for your opinion about some training he is contracting for with outside consultants. There is no training manager for College Inn, so the vice president often contacts you for help with training in the Operations division.
Prepare a 2-3 page memo to the vice president of operations that critiques the proposed training.
· Identify all problems related to the proposed training and discuss why these items are problems. Hint: You might want to review the competencies TD professionals should possess. The Association for Talent Development (ATD) Competency Model (https://www.td.org/Certification/Competency-Model) is a good resource.
· Give your recommendations for improving the training design and explain how your revised design will address the VP’s expectations regarding the training.
· Describe at least two ways managers can support the training. Hint: You might want to review the Transfer of Learning Matrix that is listed in the Week 4 Required Reading-Transfer of Learning area.
The vice president values your opinion but also likes to know what other experts have to say, so support your statements and opinions with citations from appropriate sources. The vice president is not familiar with training and development terminology, so provide definitions for key concepts and theories that you believe apply to this situation. Don’t forget to cite the source(s) of your definitions.
Your memo should be two to three single-spaced pages, excluding the cover and reference pages. Please use one inch margins and a font size of at least 11 points. Include a minimum of five references in your memo. Cite reputable sources such as the readings and resources posted in our classroom, and articles published in academic or practitioner journals within the last ten years. The websites of consulting firms and blogs are not appropriate sources for this assignment. Put your references on a separate page and use APA format for all citations, quotations, and references.
You might be tempted to propose conducting a detailed needs assessment but remember that the VP has already conducted a needs assessment and is eager to get started with the training. The VP mentions an article by Ross Tartell; the article can be found via the UMUC library:
Tartell, R. (2014). Use focus groups for rapid needs analysis. Training, 51(2), 14.
You might also want to read a bit about service recovery. Here are two articles that are available through the library:
Kim, T., Yoo, J. J-E., & Lee, G. (2012). Post-recovery customer relationships and customer partnerships in a restaurant setting. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 24(3), 381-401. doi: 10.1108/09596111211217879
Komunda, M., & Osarenkhoe, A. (2012). Remedy or cure for service failure? Effects of service recovery on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Business Process Management Journal, 18(1), 82-103. doi: 10.1108/14637151211215028
The memo from the vice president of operations follows the grading criteria.
To: Human Resource Manager
From: Vice President of Operations
Subject: Service Recovery Training
As you know, I am constantly trying to improve customer service in our hotels. I believe that one of the most important aspects of high quality customer service is service recovery, or how our employees both seek out and respond to customer complaints. There are two outcomes to a customer complaint:
the customer complains and is satisfied by the response, or
the customer complains and is not satisfied with the response.
However, sometimes the customer is dissatisfied, but never makes a complaint. In my experience, dissatisfied customers don’t complain because (1) they want to avoid confrontation, (2) they don’t have a convenient way to make a complaint, or (3) they don’t believe that complaining will do any good.
I have decided that we need to train our hotel staff in service recovery. My decision is based on the results of a recent needs assessment my staff conducted by holding focus groups with members of our frequent guest program. I followed the steps in the article by Ross Tartell that you sent me last year; it helped me and my staff get useful information. One theme that emerged from these focus groups was that our employees have difficulty in the area of service recovery. For example, one guest said that last month, in one of our restaurants, he had to wait more than 30 minutes to get a simple cheeseburger, which was cold by the time it was delivered to his table and had cheddar cheese instead of the Swiss cheese the guest requested. When the guest complained, the waiter rolled his eyes and said that the chef always messed up the cheeseburger orders. Another guest called the front desk at 6:00 p.m. to request extra towels and was told that all of the housekeepers were gone for the day. These service failures affect guests’ perceptions of our hotels and discourage repeat visits.
I heard two business process consultants speak at the International Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Show last year and I thought they were very dynamic. I contacted them about doing some service recovery training and found out that they have consulted on operational issues for one or two of our competitors. They have agreed to give a presentation about service recovery.
Here’s what the consultants proposed for the service recovery training. They will deliver a presentation accompanied by a question and answer period. The total time for the training session will be approximately three hours: the presentation will last one and a half hours, the question-and-answer period will last approximately 45 minutes, and there will be one 30 minute break. We will run one session for each shift (day, afternoon, and night shifts). I would like to pilot this training in the College Inn-Athens before rolling it out to the other two locations.
My expectation is that after this training, the staff will be able to successfully recover from service failures. Because you are knowledgeable about training, I want your honest feedback on the proposed training session. Specifically, I want to know whether or not our employees will be able to recover from service problems in their interactions with customers after they complete this training. If not, what recommendations do you have for improving the training? I also think the managers need to support the training but I didn’t address that issue with the consultants. Can you give me some ideas on the best way to engage the managers?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts. If you need any additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.