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Radisson Academy - The umbrella for all training and development initiatives within RHG

In our special Hospitality ON issue on hotel management schools and training, we looked at the human resources programs of hotel groups. Here we present the Radisson Academy.

The central objective of our staff development and talent management strategy is learning and development. It is a key pillar of our five-year strategic plan to create a highly productive learning environment that will ensure team members are engaged and focused, and that their capabilities are enhanced to meet the development needs of the company and the individual.

We take our motto "We develop talent, talent develops us" to heart as a company cultural belief by focusing on the development of our team members. Ongoing training through our Radisson Academy program aims to equip our team members with key skills to grow professionally, boost their potential through customized training programs from day one, enable individualized development, and create a strong performance culture, all of which play a major role in facilitating career development at all levels of our organization.

PROGRAM CONTENT DESCRIPTION:

In 2019, we laid the groundwork for our Radisson Academy with a refreshed brand that focused on three main formats: Online, Live, and On the Job. In 2020, we accelerated our learning offerings through these three channels and launched Radisson Academy Virtual as the world shifted to distance learning and training due to the pandemic. To help create the program content, we brought in leading external speakers from London Business School through our partner Illustra, as well as internal experts to share insights, new techniques and tools on topics such as innovation in critical times, navigating in crisis, "stop planning; start preparing," and team dynamics. To ensure we were always meeting the needs of our team members, we asked for their input on what content they would like to see and implemented a feedback mechanism.

For Radisson Academy Online, we worked closely with business leaders and provided new dedicated training on topics ranging from leadership and people management skills to hotel operational skills, as well as functional capacity building in areas such as M&E, sales, Revenue Management in anticipation of future needs. In 2020, we launched 15 training courses with over 90 modules on Radisson Academy Online.

In 2019, together with Radisson Academy, we partnered with Typsy to introduce Hospitality Fundamentals. Typsy is a learning platform of choice in the global hospitality industry. Typsy offers a growing library of 1,000 bite-sized video lessons from industry experts, the world's top instructors, and offers industry-recognized certificates.

OBJECTIVES:

Radisson Academy is available to all internal team members at all levels across our global portfolio of 1,500 hotels (managed, leased and franchised) as well as support functions. For us, investing in the personal development of team members is always a priority to ensure that our colleagues make meaningful connections with us as an employer.

By leveraging our Radisson Academy and digital innovations, we can reach a wider audience than if we had stuck to traditional methods. This was particularly effective during the COVID-19 pandemic, when we were able to continue to offer people on leave the opportunity to further develop their skills through our learning offering.

INTERVIEW WITH IÑIGO CAPELL, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & GLOBAL CHIEF PEOPLE AND RESOURCES OFFICER, RADISSON HOTEL GROUP

Who and/or what ideas were behind this program?

Iñigo Capell: Human capital is Radisson Hotel Group's main asset. Over the past few months, our team has shown remarkable resilience, commitment and a strong Yes I Can spirit, and above all, kindness and generosity to the local communities where we operate and live.

Shwetal Randive, Global Senior Director, Learning & Development and Employer Branding, leads Radisson Hotel Group's training initiatives. As a global hotel company, it is critical for us to provide continuous learning and personal development opportunities for all of our team members around the world by strengthening existing learning formats and experimenting and establishing new strategies to meet business expectations as part of our five-year strategic plan.

The program is constantly being adapted so that we can remain responsive to the needs of our team members. We do this by sending out regular satisfaction surveys and updating our training offerings accordingly.

If there are partnerships outside of the company involved in this program, what types are they?

Iñigo Capell: Any partnerships will be conducted internally by our internal learning and development team, mainly through internal experts who facilitate the training sessions, but also through external partnerships whenever relevant. To date, we have two key partnerships: Typsy (for operational and hospitality skills) and Illustra (for virtual training). We are also working with EHL to help us design a custom luxury service culture training program for our Radisson Collection brand. The EHL-certified train-the-trainer course provides an excellent professional development opportunity and recognition for being training ambassadors.

How sustainable is this program?

Iñigo Capell: The Radisson Academy is extremely sustainable because it is a self-financing model, relying mainly on internal expertise. Within the Radisson Hotel Group, we have a large number of managers with different backgrounds and experiences, which encourages peer-to-peer learning. Online and virtual engagement is favored where appropriate, as highlighted by the fact that the completion rate for online training has increased 5-fold from October 2019. Scalability also plays a key factor following the design.

To what extent is this program part of your employer brand communication strategy?

Iñigo Capell: Talent development is one of the five pillars of Radisson Hotel Group's employer brand and an integral part of our cultural beliefs. With strong internal equity, the Radisson Academy acts as a key incentive for talent to join Radisson Hotel Group.

What are the KPIs measured and their results or trends? Number of people trained, career development, etc.

Iñigo Capell: Our team rated their experience with the Radisson Academy Online as 4.9 out of 5. We have seen up to a x5 increase in completions in the April-October 2020 period compared to 2019.

At the end of 2019, we have over 50,000 hours of training available through 82 subscribed hotels on Typsy, 451,240 total competency credits earned, and 43,499 total certificates awarded. Through our COVID-19 support plan, over 16,000 training hours have been logged.

Are there any additional/complementary steps being considered?

Iñigo Capell: Our learning and development training program is constantly evolving, with a pipeline of progress underway to 2025. We are currently piloting virtual reality training for service and behavioral skills, as well as "Fast Track Hospitality," a new training program being developed to effectively onboard team members with no hospitality background.

 

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