Typsy Makes Digital Training a Hospitality Gamechanger

Image credit: iStockphoto/bgton

It’s been a strange time for New Zealand’s NZD16 billion tourist industry.

Before the pandemic, just over 11 million foreign tourists visited New Zealand each year. But of course, that was stopped in its tracks by the lockdown.

While domestic tourism continued and increased as locals explored their backyards rather than holidaying abroad, the pandemic significantly impacted the tourism labor force and created challenges for employees and employers alike.

In an economy straining with labor shortages, again due to the pandemic not allowing foreign workers into the country, tourism operators all of a sudden faced staffing issues.

Not only that, but the staff they could attract and retain were often in lockdown themselves, which made engagement difficult.

Also, many of the available staff had not worked in the industry before and needed training. In addition, they were taking the roles usually filled by experienced foreign workers who already had the skills.

As with many situations created in the pandemic, digital technologies came to the rescue.

Training made easy

Industry body Hospitality New Zealand recently announced a new online training platform for the industry, saying the initiative could be a gamechanger.

After what it said was an extensive search, Hospitality NZ engaged Australian solutions provider Typsy to deliver its selection of online training modules to employees.

Designed specifically for the hospitality industry, Typsy — short for “tips made easy” — is an online tool with extensive hospitality training content. From entry-level to middle management, it offers a choice of courses spanning the full range of categories, from beverage, culinary, service, accommodation, housekeeping, business, management, compliance, and COVID-19.

Staff watch hundreds of videos from industry experts, with new content uploaded each month, and achieve relevant industry certification. These achievements are added to a student’s profile and can be shared with employers when they apply for jobs.

The courses, which are created in collaboration with leading hotel school Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in Switzerland, are customizable by business owners who can set programs relevant to the skills they need and then manage and track staff progress.

For their part, staff can access the courses on any device at any time from anywhere, either on a laptop or through an app on a smartphone.

Regional push

NZ is not the only country using the solution. The Alma Resort on Vietnam’s Cam Ranh peninsula partnered with Typsy to upskill hundreds of its hotel staff after the pandemic lockdown forced the resort to close.

Alma managing director Herbert Laubichler-Pichler said the resort had signed up as part of its efforts to do everything it could to retain and motivate staff.

The resort had been using video calling during the pandemic but viewed Typsy as a step-change in that it delivered contactless learning and fostered a culture of upskilling.

“The effort to invest in our staff signals we are serious about retaining and developing them, particularly while they’re not on the payroll due to a temporary hotel closure,” Laubichler-Pichler said.

Proactive step

Hospitality NZ’s chief executive Julie White describes it as a proactive initiative that will help build the industry’s new workforce in response to the dire skills shortage.

“It is like we are the forgotten industry by the Government,” said White.

“I’m very excited by this program, which is all about future focusing the industry to create better businesses with better staff and ultimately be a sector choice for more New Zealanders.”

White said it was perfect for “newbies,” who could upskill faster and achieve competency levels to make them immediately effective in their roles.

She said the industry was full of talented and dedicated professionals. Still, their skills had been mainly acquired on the job, and the knowledge hadn’t been captured so that it could be made available to others.

“Typsy will correct that gap with its modules that have been designed by experienced industry professionals,” said White.

Lachlan Colquhoun is the ANZ correspondent for CDOTrends and HR&DigitalTrends and the editor of NextGen Connectivity. His fascination is with how businesses are reinventing themselves through digital technology and collaborate with others to become completely new organizations. You can reach him at [email protected].

Image credit: iStockphoto/bgton