Online Learning for Housekeeping – A New Approach
In the last year Lycette & Associates has embarked on a new approach to education and training – elearning! Elearning is a term used for computer based, web-based learning, using mobile technologies and digital communication in a virtual classroom environment.
By keeping up with technology and understanding that elearning is becoming an integrated component of corporate expertise and employee development, L&A has incorporated its Finance for Housekeepers Course into its main stream training and courses as a part of the overall education for Housekeepers in the hospitality industry. Compared with face-to-face courses, elearning has the capability of building knowledge and developing skills while keeping the training related costs down.
Elearning in hospitality has been expanding rapidly and is predicted to grow considerably over the coming years. Integrating elearning into Housekeeping offers the industry a new way to improve efficiency, quality and standards.
L&A’sonline course “Finance for Housekeeping Managers” has now been available to Housekeepers worldwide since the beginning of 2011.
As the year is drawing to a close almost 4 courses have been completed with successful attendees enrolling from all over the globe including Hong Kong, Germany, Malta, Indonesia, India, China, USA, Singapore, Ghana, The Czech Republic, Bulgaria and of course Australia.
The online course “Finance for Housekeeping Managers” is interactive and engaging and can be undertaken in the participant’s own time at work and/or at home provided there is access to a computer, high-speed internet and printer. The programme is constructed in 3 modules which are scheduled over a 3 week period, followed by 2 substantial work based practical assignments which require a further 3 weeks. The overall facilitated course is to be completed in 8 weeks. The participant’s commitment is expected to be approximately 20 hours with the majority of time required in the first 3 weeks of the course. Although the online programme offers maximum flexibility for each learner, it is recommended that participants allocate some time each day to move through the course comfortably as a group with other learners.
We asked several participants for their feedback on elearning and got many diverse responses;
Does your company have available on line courses or elearning opportunities for either you or your housekeeping team?
Larger organisations such as Marriott have great programmes such as “Passport to Success” for Managers to complete on line; although not specifically housekeeping related, the material is perfect for an overall grounding in Management skills. Smaller hotel companies may not have a dedicated elearning network or university online however they are affiliated to organisations such as Hostec in Australia for elearning, Harvard in the States and Hotel School in The Hague, The Netherlands.
Some of the other courses our Australian participants have undertaken include Induction, OH&S, Revenue 101, Certificate IV on Front-line Management and Diploma in Hospitality. For the international participants courses included Diploma level Rooms Division through HCIMA and Hotel Management through Cambridge University in the UK.
When we asked whether participants found online learning experience more effective than face-to-face learning we got a range of interesting responses
- It’s easier learning online earlier in ones career as there is more time, now the demands are greater and time for training and study is an issue
- Online is easier than face to face as you don’t feel the pressure of someone watching you
- We can ask more questions on line if we don’t understand and get a quick response. With face to face we may feel shy or afraid to ask questions
- You have to be more focused and self- disciplined for online learning. With face to face once you are in a classroom environment you are there.
What are the positives of learning on line?
- You can choose the environment to study (at home) in private
- You can choose the time to study (print something off and take it to the beach to read for example!)
- You can study online in your own time, anytime of the day
- You can retrace steps and when there are challenges, skip ahead and come back later
- It’s easy to contact the tutor for one on one personal advice
- There are simple communication lines for a quick response and quick feedback.
What about the negatives?
- We are unable to discuss problems face to face with other students
- Some computer/IT difficulties in the process
- If there is no one to guide you, you can lose track
- It can be lonely when there is nobody to discuss things with straight away
- Opportunities to network and chat online takes more effort than in a face to face environment.
(However, we have found that the younger generation is more accustomed to communicating with others online)
Most of the participants were able to get their employer to pay for the course however some did pay themselves.
What kinds of learning activities lend themselves more to elearning?
- Induction, tutorials, OH&S, emergency and evacuation procedures
- Any learning activity can be turned into elearning
Are there any other words of wisdom for someone embarking on an elearning course?
- You need to be committed and schedule the time in your diary
- Just do it! In today’s world we need to keep up to date, elearning enables us to do that with flexibility both at work and at home
- Tell your colleagues you are participating in elearning for Housekeepers!
Some other quotes worth sharing
- Most of the exercises relate to our daily housekeeping operation, this has shown me new ways to solve problems
- I did not really understand how to read a P&L – after this course, I found it much easier to understand our P&L
- This makes my job more measured and focused
- Sharing information with others helped me in my operation
- I learned from my co-learners and didn’t feel alone
- I enjoyed being able to do the course at my convenience
Upcoming Courses in 2012
Hospitalit-E Finance for Housekeepers courses in 2012
- Course 1: 20th February – 15th April
- Course 2: 23rd April – 17th June
- Course 3: 20th August – 14th October
- Course 4: 22nd October – 16th December
- Investment: $550 (+ GST in Australia)
About Hospitalit-E “Finance for Housekeepers” course
For many years Lycette & Associates has been at the forefront of new technology in Housekeeping and has successfully delivered many different training programmes around the world. These workshops, courses and programmes have always been in a face-to-face environment, but now the first course ‘Finance for Housekeeping Managers’ is available online.
This project, Hospitalit-E, was a collaboration between Lycette & Associates, Balfour College and PHAN (The Professional Housekeepers Association NSW). The course has been financed through a grant awarded under the Australian Flexible Learning Framework.
The aims of the course are to empower and up-skill Housekeeping Managers in financial management competencies.
The units of competency are as follows:
- SITXFIN003A – Interpret financial information
- SITXFIN004A – Manage finances within a budget
- SITXFIN005A – Prepare and Monitor budgets
The course has been divided into three modules and the design includes a range of delivery strategies and learning activities. Assessment is undertaken through online and work-based tasks. The course enables participants to use current work examples for learning and assessment, improving work performance and enhancing computer skills at the same time.
In December 2010, the Hospitalit-E project “Finance for Housekeeping Managers” was showcased at the Framework’s annual conference. The course then went even further and won an award at the Australian Regional Finals for 2011 “Learning Impact Awards” L&A is very proud of this achievement!
About Liz Lycette
Liz Lycette, founder of Lycette & Associates was born in New Zealand and is a graduate of École Hotelière de Lausanne, Switzerland. She started her career in the hospitality industry in 1981 and at the age of 23 became Executive Housekeeper for the grand opening of Mandarin Oriental in Macau. She subsequently held this position at The Conrad Hong Kong, Mandarin Oriental Jakarta, Le Meridien Hotel, London, and The Regent Hotel, Sydney. Liz was also Project Manager for the opening of 3 properties in China for Harbour Plaza Hotels and Resorts.
Liz established Lycette & Associates in 1999 and has since undertaken hospitality consulting assignments and training both in Australia and overseas including work for Moevenpick Middle East, Taj Hotels & Resorts in India and Australia, Marriott Hotels India, Hong Kong Hotels Association, Langham Hotels & Resort, Venetian Macau, Hotel Nikko Bali, Galaxy Macau and Westin KL. Liz’s extensive international expertise and considerable Housekeeping knowledge, has given her a truly multi-cultural approach and a wide range of diverse contacts throughout the industry. Her excellent organisational skills, adaptability and integrity enable her to complete any assignment with energy, efficiency and positive results.
About Lycette & Associates
L&A specialises in all aspects of Housekeeping Management including on-site consulting, training and development workshops including assistance with initial set-up of housekeeping operations at pre-opening. The Company also undertakes customised operational reviews of existing housekeeping operations identifying and further improving the effectiveness and efficiency of current departmental procedures. For more information visit www.lycetteandassociates.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org