Together for improved quality and sustainability: Success through an innovative bottom-up approach
In 2018 some significant achievements have been made in the project of Thomas Cook and Futouris for an improved training programme for hotel employees in Tunisia. In cooperation with a local consultant project partner COMPASS has conducted a survey among the hoteliers as well as so-called “Staff Dialogue”-workshops in six Thomas Cook hotels & resorts. In these workshops the participants identified together the content of this training programme so that the goals will be accomplished. This approach proved to be useful as the participating specialists and executives of the hotels appreciated to be already part of the development of the training.
Based on the results of the workshops the innovative bottom-up training programme “Total Quality Training” was developed. Objectives of the programme are the improvement of the service quality as well as the integration of sustainability aspects into the hotel processes. The special feature is that both objectives will be accomplished through a professionally guided dialogue between hotel management and hotel staff.
The newly developed training programmes consists of three modules:
- Employee training on sustainability: Basic overview of sustainable hotel management with practical examples for hotel staff. Joint development of ideas and possible measures to implement in own hotel.
- Implementation and communication: Based on the results of module 1 the hotel management and the employees are jointly developing an action plan to successfully implement measures to improve quality and sustainability. During the implementation of the training appreciative communication methods between management and employees will be applied and thus also trained.
- Management and continuous improvement: Training of hotel management on leadership competence as well as on lasting implementation of measures. Nomination of a “Sustainability Change Agent” who is responsible for ensuring a continuous improvements of the hotel’s performance and a sustained embedding of the measures in the hotel.
Modules 1 and 2 were tested in the six pilot hotels in spring 2018. Module 3 was tested in autumn 2018 so that the experiences of implementing the measures during the summer season could be included in the training. The feedback from the participating hotels were very positive, the bottom-up approach worked well and approx. 80 to 90% of the measures of the action plans were directly implemented in the operating processes. The participants liked the implementation of the trainings in mixed groups of different hotels so that they can learn from each other. Furthermore the concept of the “Sustainability Change Agents” was well accepted by the hotels.
In 2019 the successfully tested training programme will be rolled out more broadly in the Tunisian hotel industry and it will be accessible to all Tunisian hotels beyond the end of the project.
This project is designed to qualify hotel employees with the aim to increase service quality and raise awareness of sustainability in Tunisia. As a result, the project aims to promote the regional tourism development and employment opportunities in the long-term.