Developing “Hamptonality” – Testing the Training

The Company

Like many organizations, Hampton invests substantial resources into creating a thorough brand and culture training for its employees. And like other organizations, they wanted to know if was truly working.

The Business Need

The Hampton Brand Culture and Internal Communications team set out to understand if and how the brand and culture training conducted at Hampton mattered to its franchisees and their people. They knew that training usage led to increased knowledge, a greater number of brand-related customer service behaviors, and ultimately, to increased loyalty. However, despite the effectiveness of the training tools and resources, the use of these tools and resources in the field was low. The Hampton team wanted to engage its general managers in a way that would help them see the value of the training tools and resources and to encourage them to use the training at their hotels.

The Process and Implementation

In partnership with Critical Metrics and Root, the Hampton Brand Culture and Internal Communications team designed an innovative qualitative and quantitative assessment approach to determine if the brand and culture training designed for Hampton hotels impacts business results.

The assessment involved day-long property visits that included in-depth interviews and focus groups with general managers and team members. The site visits included surveys of training usage, knowledge assessments, observations of team member customer service behaviors, and observations of the usage of brand and culture training tools and resources. The team and its researchers visited 81 Hampton properties over a five-week period, conducting more than 200 interviews and focus groups.

Results

When all the results were in, they found that, in general, training usage and general knowledge of Hampton information were low. On average, 62 percent of the team members surveyed had not experienced the available training tools and resources. Even the most frequently used training tool was used by only 61 percent of the properties.

When the results were comprehensively analyzed the team concluded that the use of the existing brand and culture training tools and resources had a clear relation to measures of business results. Locations with higher training usage scored an average of 11 Total Quality Service (TQS) points higher than those with lower training usage. Locations with higher training usage received 6% higher guest loyalty scores on average than locations with lower usage. Locations with higher training usage received 6% higher Quality Assurance (QA) scores on average than locations with lower usage.

  • Locations with higher training usage scored an average of 11 TQS points higher than those with lower training usage.
  • Locations with higher training usage received 6% higher guest loyalty scores on average than locations with lower usage.
  • Locations with higher training usage received 6% higher QA scores on average than locations with lower usage.

Conclusions

The team concluded that overall, the training and communications programs designed for the hotels were having a definite impact on team member knowledge about the brand – which impacts brand-related behaviors and, therefore, on guest loyalty. The team found that the keys to training usage in a property were the general manager’s belief about the effectiveness of the training tools and resources and their encouragement of their team to use them. When the general manager of a property believed the training tools and resources were effective, training usage was 13 percent to 25 percent higher. And when a general manger encourages a team to use the training tools and resources, training usage is 8 percent to 20 percent higher.

The results of this project proved that the usage of training impacts guest loyalty. Based on the success of this project, Hampton’s Brand Culture and Internal Communications team extended the project to examine training effectiveness at properties outside the U.S. The results will continue to provide greater insight to how training impact team members and leads to improved business results.

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Training and Skill Building
Developing Leaders and Managers
Implementing Strategy