On-demand video: the future of learning in hospitality?

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At peak times, hospitality is one of the busiest and fastest moving sectors and finding time for staff training can be difficult. But even this demanding industry has its natural downtimes, and new technologies such as on-demand video and peer-to-peer learning introduce exciting opportunities for staff development. In fact, these new platforms are fast becoming the future of learning in hospitality.

Traditional learning will always be a vital part of an ever-changing industry like hospitality. However, finding the time to take staff out of the business, and delivering training – usually around 40 hours per employee per year – can be time-consuming, inconvenient and costly, with training bills regularly running into six figures for larger companies.

An alternative is to use on-demand video to deliver micro-training. Sites such as YouTube and Netflix are hugely popular and video has cemented itself as a key element in most people’s lives, so why not take advantage of the video revolution to enhance your in-house training? Video learning platforms are a cost-effective solution that, once set up, are easy to update and deliver, as staff can access learning using something they carry with them every day – their smartphone, tablet or an Android-driven POS handset.

Rather than delivering training in bulk, across hours or even days of sessions, on-demand video means learning can take place whenever there’s a lull in the day. During those downtime periods, staff can access training materials in short, manageable chunks. This is a win-win situation for everyone, as employees develop their knowledge and skills while increasing their productivity and effectiveness – all without having to be absent from the working day. 

Video is well known to be one of the most effective methods of training, but when you integrate on-demand video with peer-to-peer learning, the opportunities for learning in hospitality are infinite. Want to show staff how to make the perfect latte, or set the tables, or where napkins and glasses are kept? Encouraging your staff to make their own instructional videos and upload them to a peer-to-peer platform, such as Watch and Learn, involves everyone in the training process and helps build employee confidence and self-esteem because they see their knowledge and experience is truly valued.  Using an on-demand platform enables you to build up a library of training resources very quickly, and the peer-to-peer aspect means staff can request videos to fulfil their specific learning requirements as and when needed. 

Solutions such as these aren’t intended to replace your current learning management system; there are always going to be some areas of hospitality that require a more traditional or in-depth style of training. Peer-to-peer learning also needs to be well managed to ensure it doesn’t interfere with productivity or become a well-intentioned timewaster. Instead, view on-demand video as a useful supplement to your current training needs, and one which is likely to become far more prevalent throughout the hospitality industry in future.

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Watch and Learn Limited, c/o Avenue HQ, 10-12 East Parade, Leeds, LS1 2BH, UK