Hilton International has capitalised on the recent slowdown in travel to champion staff training via its innovative on-line Hilton University training programme.
In the months since the impact of the Iraq War was felt, Hilton International vice-president for Human Resources Middle East Asia Pacific, Rosie Hollis, said the drive to utilise downtime has resulted in a hike in the number of on-line training courses completed by Hilton's Middle East and Egypt teams.
"Hilton is committed to training and developing people, and in spite of War and current austere measures, we will continue to invest in our team. In the two-month period since April 1, there has been a 300 per cent increase in the amount of courses completed with Hilton University compared with the period leading up to outbreak of war.
"Times are tough, but we have been advocating that all staff take full advantage of the situation to upgrade skills and prepare for a return to normal trading. Last month, the team in this region completed 842 courses, up from 197 in February. On a per person basis, that's 2.51 courses per month, with each course taking anywhere from two to 20 hours to complete," Hollis said adding that "the training is a positive step in shoring up morale and keeping motivation levels high."
One department that has been at the forefront of the training drive is Information Technology. In February this year, Hilton International implemented an on-line IT Professional Development Program designed to improve the skills of its 103 world-wide Information Systems Managers (ISM). According to James Wright, the area director IT, the program has had a swift uptake in markets affected by recent global events.
Hilton University provides a forum for Hilton's 65,000 team members to broaden their skills and move their careers forward. It offers 'horizontal' modules, which focus on hotel management skills and provides knowledge and understanding of other departments, as well as 'vertical' modules designed for a specific department or division.
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
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