Delivering comprehensive training to a geographically dispersed employee base
Marriott created the “Breakthrough Leadership Program” with the goal of providing training to 733 managed hotels in 23 countries in the Americas. The program was initially delivered entirely through live, location-based instruction. Trainers were flown into different markets and managers of hotels were brought together to engage in the training. The program ran into challenges related to executing the training in secondary and tertiary markets, which often meant that associates had to fly or drive for hours in order to participate. It became difficult logistically and very costly. As a result, Marriott’s leaders looked for more efficient ways of implementing the program.
A customized Virtual Learning Environment
Marriott chose ON24 to build a customized virtual-learning environment that could be easily accessed by all Marriott managers. Participants could engage in real-time learning, including live webcasts and question-and-answer periods; they could also watch on-demand recordings after the fact. In other words, the virtual environment allowed for both synchronous and asynchronous learning.
The Marriott “Breakthrough Leadership Program” virtual learning environment, also provided a networking lounge where managers could interact directly with each other, and high-level executives, through scheduled chats, one-to-one interaction, and the exchange of e-cards. Each manager was also provided with a virtual briefcase to which they could download training materials and resources directly from the environment.
Cost-effective training, increased productivity
In the end, according to Marriott’s vice president of talent acquisition, the leadership program provided training that affected hundreds of hotels in many different countries and yet was accomplished in 18 months. Marriott was able to certify more than 5,000 managers in a short period of time, allowing them to train others in their hotels. It also hosted overview and “big picture” training for approximately another 10,000 managers via the virtual platform.
Aside from cost-savings, however, Marriott also benefited from a greater ability to engage managers in an experience that was “cool and cutting edge.” As a result, the virtual learning environment was able to dramatically boost productivity.