"Feel the Extraordinary – be a part of it” is a global gamified training programme that has taken learning and employee engagement to a whole new level in NH Hotel Group
NH Hotel Group recently redefined a new brand architecture so that now, each of the Company’s brands has a defined and differentiated operational promise, attributes, essence and characteristics.
In this sense, NH Collection, the Group’s upper-upscale brand, has the overall aim of making its guests enjoy hotel stays that exceed their expectations. To achieve this, the brand creates extraordinary experiences that combine thoughtful attention to detail, outstanding services, premium and innovative products and state–of–art technology and gastronomy that make NH Collection hotels a destination in themselves.
And it is in these extraordinary experiences, that the brand’s employees play an essential role. They have the capacity to offer memorable moments in which unexpected gestures will result in an unmatched stay.
In light of the employee’s key role in delivering an amazing NH Collection experience, NH Hotel Group’s Corporate Learning (NH University) identified the need of helping this brand’s staff to fully understand and incorporate NH Collection’s attributes and meaning into their everyday tasks, pushing the message that a memorable experience for a guest is a result of the whole team’s work.
With this clear objective in mind, NH University created a training programme called “Feel the Extraordinary – be a part of it”. Conceived as a board game, it was specifically designed to transmit the essence of the NH Collection brand using a motivating, fresh and innovative methodology (gamification).
Through “Feel the Extraordinary – be a part of it” every NH Collection hotel was invited to divide their staff into multidisciplinary teams, each of which would have to overcome 7 brand-related trials. The overall winner at each hotel level would be named Brand Champion and receive a prize of a value of 60€ per team member. Among all the hotel winning teams, one final international champion would be chosen by a Jury made of Executive Committee members of NH Hotel Group.
Feel the Extraordinary – be a part of it was deployed in 62 NH Collection hotels located in 11 different countries and trained close to 2.300 employees between October 2017 and March 2018. Each hotel competition lasted 8 weeks: 1 week per trial and an additional one to create expectation until the final hotel winner was announced in the corresponding internal ceremony.
The project had 4 clearly differentiated phases:
1. Design and production: When designing the training programme, the NH University team identified and included these key strategic elements: empowerment, inclusiveness, creativity, independence, hands-on learning, compensation & Recognition and interdepartmental collaboration . In this sense, Marketing & Operations were key in order to design the initiative together with Dreamsbuilders, an external partner.
2. Pilot phase: Two pilot tests were done in the NH Collection Palacio de Tepa in Spain and in the NH Collection Brussels Center in Belgium for the space of one month and a half. After the tests, the valuable feedback received from the participating employees was used to fine-tune the final training programme.
3. Pre-communication: before the launch of the game, all hotel General Managers and Guest Relations were informed about Feel the Extraordinary – be part of it! in sessions led by the HR responsibles of their country through different channels: group kick-off sessions, webminars or individual meetings at each hotel.
4. Deployment: The game was led in each hotel by the Master of the Game, who received a guide book and a game box with all the necessary materials and instructions to lead the game smoothly, act as judge and report on the hotel’s progress to NH University. In this phase, all hotel received their board game along with all the necessary materials for the correct development of the training, including instructions, communication posters, the board, etc. and started the game with a duration of 8 weeks.
The results with regards to engagement and enthusiasm surpassed all of the Human Resources Department’s expectations. Such was the case that, when presenting the Brand Champions competing for the final International prize to the Company’s Executive Committee for their evaluation, they ended up changing the rules and naming 3 international champions:
one for each of NH Hotel Group’s Business Units!
Based on the success of the Feel the Extraordinary - be part of it! training, NH University immediately started out on the design of a new programme based on the same methodology and deployment but for the Group’s core brand: NH Hotels. This programme will be called “Always a pleasure – build the experience” and will be launched in Q1 2019. Throughout 2019, NH University will also work on designing a gamified learning experience for its third brand: nhow.
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