Global hotel group Le Méridien is using collaborative e-learning to train its widespread workforce
Le Méridien, which runs more than 125 hotels in 56 countries, rolled out Centra's Collaborative Learning Solution in April last year following a year-long selection and implementation process.
The group is now planning to extend the use of Centra's system. Jutta Moore, the Le Méridien's revenue development manager, said: "We're starting to use it in HR and finance and are aiming for a much wider roll-out.
"For example, we're currently developing a major course on conference and banqueting management."
The system allows a presenter to run an online training session in real time from anywhere in the world. Delegates logged in hear the presenter's voice, see visual material on screen and can interact with the group via integrated text chat and other tools.
Le Méridien created a core training and development programme called Revenue Masters. Its initial aim was to put around 200 of its revenue managers and other key revenue-generating staff through an eight-week foundation course, with one 90-minute session a week.
"The interactive nature of the system also allowed us to gauge the real level of knowledge we had in the company, as well as to create knowledge-sharing networks among revenue managers and promote best practice throughout the organisation," said Moore.
She added that training Le Méridien's widespread staff had previously been a costly and inefficient exercise. "It was very ad hoc. I personally spent a total of about four to five years on planes travelling to and from hotels to conduct training sessions.
"We'd generally visit one hotel and call others in the region to see if they wanted to send anyone in for training. This meant additional travel and time costs, and limited follow-up."
The system has proved very popular among users. Moore said: "The feedback is just excellent. It's easy to use and install, the audio is crisp and clear and there's no noticeable time delay.
"We're also able to deliver training we couldn't before, to places as far flung as Bora Bora and Tahiti."
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