When thinking about industries that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitality comes to mind immediately. All hospitality businesses, from hotels to food service, suffered from the worldwide lockdown. While some companies had their team’s loyalty put to the test, others took the time to build up more resilient staff.
For Best Western Hotels & Resorts, their resilience stems from a culture of caring. The well-known hotel chain understands that investing in staff encourages employees to remain committed to the workplace during unforeseen circumstances. One way Best Western is boosting morale is by offering educational opportunities to current employees in collaboration with University of Phoenix. Improved staff morale will ultimately translate into a more positive customer experience.
Unprecedented Support During Unprecedented Times
Per Michael Morton, vice president of operations at Best Western Hotels & Resorts, the brand is “known for our caring spirit. Throughout the pandemic, we have rallied to provide unparalleled resources and support to our guests, hoteliers and associates. We recognize that now, more than ever, people are leading from a place of empathy and caring – attributes that are core to Best Western’s DNA.”
Among Best Western’s unmatched offerings is its Education and Training Program. Best Western named University of Phoenix one of its preferred education suppliers. The University offers programs that can directly reflect hotel chain staff needs.
Morton is incredibly excited about Best Western’s alliance with University of Phoenix, in part because of how the University can reward students’ on-the-job experience. The University allows students to receive credit from their experience in their Best Western employment, as applicable. Morton celebrates this policy as a possible way to “reduce the length of a college education up to a semester and the costs that are associated with that semester.”
How Best Western’s Educational Values Set It Apart as an Industry Leader
Best Western understands that prioritizing a brand’s workforce benefits the entire brand. It’s no surprise that Best Western’s leadership development courses instruct general managers regarding how the service profit chain trickles down from management to the team. The more managers seek to make their workplaces enjoyable, the more brand loyalty the team will have as a whole.
One example comes from Travis Smith, a Best Western hospitality management trainer. Smith recently received a call from a hotel manager who lost half of their team during the pandemic. After hearing this story, Smith realized that managers should focus as much of their energy as possible on fostering a positive work environment. Said Smith, “If I’m the general manager of a hotel, I should be focused on taking care of our guests but that job starts with taking care of my employees first. My job is to invest in my employees and make sure they have the learning, development and upskilling opportunities necessary to do their job, which is create memorable guest experiences and build guest loyalty so that they want to come back to our hotel.”
Smith decided to lend a helping hand to the struggling: “This hotelier and their staff could benefit tremendously from the learning opportunities available through Best Western.” For most brands, managerial learning opportunities focus on compliance, but Best Western takes a broader approach. In addition to compliance, Best Western’s Education and Training Program builds on their core philosophy of caring through a people-centered method. Focusing on “the people that shape our brand” during managerial training, Smith noticed a brand loyalty that is core to the success of Best Western’s COVID-19 staff resilience.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is renowned for offering higher education programs geared toward adult learners. The University first opened its doors in 1976 and remains committed to allowing students to attend degree or certification programs on their schedule.
The University offers both in-person and online classes with multiple start dates and open classroom access so that students do not need to sacrifice their priorities at home. Programming includes bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral credits. University of Phoenix also provides continuing education programs for students looking to earn a certificate in topics such as data analytics and advanced cybersecurity.
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