When your goal is to be the best, you seek out partners who can help you achieve that goal. That's why the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, turned to the Educational Institute to provide its associates with the best in guest service training and professional development resources.
"Our vision is to be the best meeting and convention hotel in the region, and our mission states that we are committed to being the best through innovation, continuous improvement, and flawless execution," explained Stefanie Jenkins, manager of learning and development for the Galt House Hotel. "For us, continuous improvement means professional development. And professional development includes professional certification."
Back in February, Galt House rolled out its program of "professional development through professional certification" for all staff-from the Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) for guest service associates through department head and executive-level certification, including the Certified Hospitality Housekeeping Executive (CHHE®), Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE®), and the Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA®). Jenkins will sit for the Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT®) exam in July.
"When managers ask 'how can I make myself and my team better,' the answer is through professional development," said Jenkins. "The more I work on me, the more I can help build my team. As a trainer, I want to bring them the skill set they need to become that innovative leader who can build their team."
The hotel requires 24 hours of training as an essential part of an associate's evaluation-earning a professional certification from EI meets that requirement and results in an "exceptional" rating.
"Partnering with people in our industry is essential, people who are the best at what they do, who have a proven track record," said Jenkins. "EI understands who we are as a business. They speak the same language we do-the language of hospitality."
With 600 to 800 employees at the 1290-room property, training and certification is a long-term project for Galt House and EI. Jenkins was excited about the stack of 32 Certified Hospitality Supervisor (CHS®) applications on her desk and even more excited about the interaction among those supervisors and managers in the training class.
"We had new and experienced supervisors together, reaching out to each other, sharing across departments," she said. "There was power in getting people out of their silos and sharing experiences. Everyone was learning and growing together."
As a place that calls itself "the heart of Louisville," Galt House takes pride in making sure that its expression of heart, hospitality, and caring pervades every aspect of its business.
"We show we care by training and by supporting the professional development of every associate at every level," said Jenkins. "We want to give our associates the tools they need to do their jobs."
Published June, 2013.
About the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
Established in 1953 as a nonprofit educational foundation of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Educational Institute’s mission is to continue being the preferred provider to the lodging industry, hospitality schools, and related hospitality industries by developing and providing quality resources to train, educate, and certify hospitality professionals worldwide.
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