Delivering hospitality in a digital world
With seemingly endless choices for travelers, world-class hospitality companies like Hilton Worldwide need to constantly evolve to meet higher guest expectations in a digital world.
To attract busy business travelers, Hilton launched the digital key. This technology allows Hilton HHonors members to check-in, choose their rooms, and use their smartphone as their room key.
Since guests may no longer stop by the front desk, hotel staff across Hilton’s more than 4,000 hotels needed to learn new processes and practices to better serve these “digital key Guests.”
Digitec worked with the Hilton team to create targeted learning for more than 80,000 team members, so far. The training rolled out using an Agile Learning approach to reflect rapidly evolving technology and processes. The training has earned Gold in the 2016 Brandon-Hall Excellence Awards for innovative learning and high level 1 assessment feedback.
Sharing the Light and Warmth of Hospitality
Conrad Hilton had a vision to fill the world with the light and warmth of hospitality. But how do you continue to deliver this promise when guests can bypass the front desk?
Since Hilton’s introduction of digital check-in with room selection in July 2014 – an industry first – HHonors members have digitally checked-in more than 5 million times.
When we first met with the Hilton team in early 2014, it was important to us to understand the specific learning outcomes and the brand identity, so that we could offer the training solution that fit the culture. Ultimately, the training needed to inform vital roles in the hotel about the Digital Key technology while reinforcing Hilton’s vision.
The Trouble with Technology
Implementing the Digital Key technology meant that now, Hilton HHonors guests may never stop by the front desk. As a result, non-Front Desk team members at the hotel needed training on welcoming Guests, assisting with digital key problems, and providing Guest service and hospitality. The training needed to cover process changes, new systems training, and change management for a variety of roles, tailored to reflect the unique brands under the Hilton Worldwide umbrella including the Waldorf, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, and others.
It was critical that as the new technology rolled out across the brands, guest service would not be negatively affected, as measured by customer satisfaction scores.
As an extremely innovative technology, much of the processes and technology continued to evolve right up to the rollout. Yet the Digitec team needed to deliver training to very aggressive deadlines. As a result, Digitec would need to follow an Agile learning design process, delivering learning very quickly, yet adapting rapidly to change.
Delivering on a Promise
Digitec designed and delivered the Digital Key training, which consists of 21 modules, assigned across 12 affected roles at the hotel.
Phase 1 involved supporting the early adopter pilot hotels. The learning modules were first created from preliminary use-case technical documentation and designed as interactive job aids for performance support. These modules were SCORM-conformant, mobile-compatible, delivered through the Hilton Worldwide University LMS.
The Agile approach allowed the interactive job aids to be quickly updated, as technology and processes changed. The job aids could be easily replaced in the learning matrix and uploaded to the LMS.
Phase 2 began after the pilot evaluation when the technology and processes were more solid. The goals were to create more learner engagement. This included augmenting the interactive job aids with game-based elearning modules and video.
Along the way, as changes occurred, the affected job aids were updated and the associated eLearning games reviewed to determine any impact. New builds were assigned based on the learning matrix and posted to the LMS.
This approach supported a highly efficient, rapid development process to deliver performance support early in the process and more engaging learning delivery as technology was refined.
Two Great Organizations, One Vision, Excellent Results
The Digital Key training program earned a Gold Excellence in Learning award from Brandon- Hall for Unique or Innovative Learning. At last report, there have been nearly 10,000 course completions tracked through the LMS, with average level 1 assessment feedback scores of 4.33 out of a possible 5.
However, our success is not just measured in numbers, but the responses of Hilton Worldwide’s learners, who state:
“I thought it was great training to update us on what is occurring on the technology that is changing,” “Loved how there were examples of guest and team member questions, followed by the selection of the appropriate responses,” and “The interactive game was a very practical application of the material vs. just taking a quiz. Scenario-based quizzing proved to be actively engaging.”
We’re Always Learning
From a lessons learned perspective, the Leaderboard integration with the LMS was a challenge. Leaderboard functionality had never been done before through the Hilton Worldwide University LMS.
As a result, there was more testing between the Hilton LMS team and the developer than was anticipated or scheduled. After the leaderboard functionality was confirmed, it was decided to deactivate the leaderboard in the final learning experience. In future, it was agreed that the leaderboard and other types of unique functionality needed to be tested on the LMS earlier in the process.
Today, any new functionality is prototyped first, with enough time for testing before learners need to complete the training.
Digitec Interactive strives to exceed client expectations and with each project we complete, become even better at delivering the results our clients need, and a learning experience their team will never forget.
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