Welcome to the 12th
edition of RTO7’s staff picks of the month! Here we share our experiences and recommendations on Typsy courses, the on-line training platform that is available free-of charge to those who work in tourism in BruceGreySimcoe. The training is open to all levels of employers and employees – business owners, managers, full-time and part-time staff, and seasonal employees.
After reading our choices below, try Typsy out for yourself and share this awesome training tool with your staff, co-workers and fellow business owners.
Bill Sullivan, CEO, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Effective Communications with Staff
Total Course Length: 21 minutes
In the Staff Typsy Picks for May, I featured the Effective Communications Essentials course, which I'd like to draw your attention to. This course, titled Effective Communications with Staff, works hand in hand with the essentials course. You might recognize certain lesson elements, which, in my view, underscore the vital importance of putting these elements into practice.
I truly believe this course serves as an invaluable refresher, especially for experienced managers across various levels: Front Line, Back of the House, and Senior Level. For those of you in leadership positions, I strongly recommend considering this course as a mandatory resource for new managers. As we're all aware, new managers undergo a learning curve as they adjust to their roles. This concise 26-minute course can significantly contribute to their onboarding process and help them avoid common pitfalls.
Within this course, you'll discover valuable insights on effectively onboarding new team members, conducting productive team meetings, skillful performance reviews, adept conflict resolution, and fostering a workplace free from harassment. These practical pointers can elevate your managerial skills and lead to a more cohesive and productive team environment.
More About Bill
Bill Sullivan is the CEO of Regional Tourism Organization 7, BruceGreySimcoe. Bill has over 40 years in senior management roles within the hospitality and tourism industry in rural Ontario. Bill’s operational experience during previous booms, recessions, emergencies, pandemics is assisting the industry on its road to recovery. Bill is responsible for strategic planning and operations of the organization. Prior to joining RTO7, Bill held progressive management positions over a 30-year career in resort operations. Bill received his education in the Hospitality and Tourism program at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).
Alex Hogan, Project & Administration Manager, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Showing Kindness
Total Course Length: 52 minutes
I’ve always been impressed by people (you often encounter them in service situations) that are always one step ahead of you, anticipating your needs and helping you out in the most genuine manner so it seemed worth checking this one out. I found it interesting the differentiation the course makes between being nice and kind. Also (makes sense) the importance of self-talk as you really need to learn to be kind to yourself before being able to extend that to others. But for me, the most helpful lessons were around the importance of honesty (which I’m big on), but in a kind context. It made me think about an instance I’m currently managing where I’ve really wanted to be honest but in thinking about it, there wasn’t really anything to be gained by doing so (and a lot to potentially be lost). So, I reframed my thinking to communicate in a kinder fashion, and I realize it was far more effective than potentially losing the respect and trust of the person I was dealing with. We could all benefit from a little more kindness!
More About Alex
Alex Hogan is the Program & Administration Manager at RTO7 and has over 20 years’ experience managing a wide variety of projects. Alex brings strong communication and organizational skills to projects to meet the needs and objectives of partners and projects. She manages the Partnership Program, as well as contributing to sustainable tourism and workforce development projects. Prior to RTO7, Alex managed training projects for a Toronto based environmental consulting company specializing in waste management and climate change issues. She graduated from Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo.
Ginny Henry, Communication Coordinator, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Showing Kindness
Total Course Length: 52 minutes
Who knew? Not only is kindness contagious, it’s also good for your personal mental health! Instructor Nahla Summers makes being kind under all circumstances and situations look so easy; like any other skill, kindness needs to be practiced regularly and to be sincere to be totally effective. One of the benefits of kindness in the workplace is an increase in business and positive online ratings. What you’ll learn in this course:
What being kind means
How it’s different from being nice
How being kind can help you in your personal and professional life
Referencing mostly front-of-house staff in restaurants and hotels throughout the presentation, adding kindness to your professional toolbelt can be applied to any job in any business – tour operators, office staff interacting with other office staff, retail, online customer service through social media, emails and direct messages, attractions’ staff, housekeeping staff – anywhere there is human-to-human conversation or communication. The principles outlined here can be carried home from the workplace, too, and applied to our day-to-day interactions with our family (especially useful if you work from home). I thoroughly enjoyed this course, found the information practical and down-to-earth and highly recommend it to anyone looking to take customer service at their business to a higher level. Definitely worth the time invested! Remember…being kind with others starts with being kind to yourself 🙂
More About Ginny (Note: already in MailChimp Template)
Ginny Henry is the Communication Coordinator at Regional Tourism Organization 7 / BruceGreySimcoe. Her career in the tourism industry started from the “bottom up”, with a summer job cleaning toilets and rooms at a family-run motel in Port Elgin, Ontario just over 40 years ago. Many of her job choices were inspired by the words, “it’s something I’ve always wanted to do”, with a strong focus on customer service, tourism, event organization and small business support. Her role at RTO7 includes social media, overseeing the seasonal partnership/image campaigns, newsletters, website content and pretty much anything communication-related that crops up. Ginny has a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Kim Clarke, Manager, Stakeholder Relations RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Knife Essentials
Total Course Length: 40 minutes
I was in my kitchen making a BLT and slicing a tomato (or at least trying to) when I decided that I needed to learn more about knives and sharpen my knife skills.
Steffen Bach has a passion for knives. This course helped me to understand just how many different knives there are, what the different uses are and how to maintain them. Although knives seem like simple tools, they are far more sophisticated than that. I think I’ve always been intimidated by knives because I never knew enough about them. This course helped me understand more about knife construction, knife use and knife maintenance. Did you know that a dull knife can affect the taste of your food?? Neither did I!
As this course progresses, you will learn more about what knives are, how to get the most out of our knives. He even covers some tips for when you go to buy a knife.
Throughout out the course Bach has guides that you can download so you can apply the knowledge you learn directly in the kitchen. He is approachable and clearly has a passion for his job.
Although I don’t work in a kitchen, this course has tons of lessons that I will use a lot!
More About Kim
Kim Clarke is the Manger, Stakeholder Relations at Regional Tourism Organization 7, BruceGreySimcoe. Kim has spent over 15 years in the tourism industry working in destination development and management. She works closely with a variety of stakeholders to help them create amazing new experiences, managing visitation and works to find solutions to the workforce crisis. Kim is the lead for the experience and workforce development files at RTO7. She received her formal education, Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Allison Davies, Communication Assistant, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Online Reputation Management
Total Course Length: 48 minutes
Online reputation management: As a business owner, you have so many balls in the air already that ignoring your online reputation seems like an easy solution. But in this 48-minute course, Online Reputation Management, host Daniel Craig offers some concrete solutions and great starting points from auditing your existing online reputation to putting a plan in place to manage it going forward.
But why is managing your online reputation so important? Craig reminds us that online reviews are one of the first things potential customers see when googling your business. 72% of people say they always or frequently read reviews before making a purchasing decision. 94% say they’ve avoided a business before because of negative online reviews, and 79% say they are more willing to book a hotel because it has a higher rating. The trust is online reputation management can bring in revenue and, if left unattended, can negatively affect your bottom line.
Craig walks you through the process from doing an initial online reputation audit, to claiming your listings on Trip Advisor and Google, to planning for ongoing check ins, assigning review responses to staff members and even offers suggestions for how to deal with responding to both negative and positive comments. As with many Typsy courses, this one offers downloadable templates that will make your life easier—including a rater tracking spreadsheet and a template for setting objectives for your online reputation management.
The course also discusses the advantages of using an online reputation management software to help track objectives, summarize reviews, and often allow you to respond to reviews across platforms from a central location.
While dealing with online reviews may seem daunting, Craig says the key to success is asking yourself what you can learn from reviews to improve your business. Criticism is inevitable, so you might as well embrace it.
More About Allison
Allison Davies is a writer, photographer and content creator who has worked for Regional Tourism Organization 7 in the Communication Assistant role for 5 years. As a trained photojournalist, she worked for many local DMOs on both writing and photography projects before joining the RTO7 team full time. Today she uses those skills to help support tourism operators by marketing the region through social media and web content. She has an English Literature degree from McGill University and a Photojournalism Diploma from Loyalist College. In her free time, Allison loves to shoot sports and continues to write for several magazines on a freelance basis.
Amanda Pausner, Experience & Administration Coordinator, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Amanda’s Staff Typsy Pick returns next month.
More About Amanda
Amanda has worked in the tourism industry for over 23 years. She joined the RTO7 team in 2018 in her current position as Experience & Administration Coordinator. She assists with administration duties, programs offered by RTO7 and, over the last two years, has led the T3 Accelerator Coaching Program, which supports small businesses in Bruce, Grey and Simcoe Counties. Previously, she worked with Grey County Tourism for 16 years, managing operator relations and working as a media relations specialist, showcasing what the area had to offer. While taking the Tourism Management course at Georgian College, Barrie she spent her summers with the Owen Sound Transportation Company (MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry). In her spare time, Amanda enjoys travelling with her family of four and working in her many veggie gardens.
Robyn Hewitt, Program Coordinator, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Sales Techniques for Food & Beverage
Total Course Length: 40 minutes
As a business owner/operator, you know how important your front-line employees are in creating a positive experience for your guests. This course goes beyond that, training front-line staff to be “intrapreneurs” by recognizing opportunity and using that to complement the customer experience and increase revenue. I spent my early career as a server in various casual and fine-dining restaurants and have completed many different training programs. This course is highly engaging, and in less than 40 minutes, provides some easy sales techniques that are utilized by the best servers in the business. I highly encourage all food & beverage operators to utilize this Typsy course as a part of your training program for food & beverage servers. When servers are successful, they’re happy, and you will be too! If you would like to discuss how we can help you implement Typsy training into your business, reach out to me anytime. I’m happy to help!
More About Robyn
Robyn joined RTO7 as the Program Coordinator in August 2021 and brings a diverse background with almost 20 years of experience in various capacities of sales, marketing, and partnership development in the hospitality and tourism industry. Much of her experience is within the hotel sector where she specialized in the leisure travel trade, selling multiple properties within the Marriott family of brands. She has experience in creating integrated sales and marketing strategies and has managed the digital marketing for a large urban hotel. Robyn oversees the RTO7 Implementation Programs (OIP, SIP, RIP), as well as the administration of the Typsy training platform. She received a Business Commerce Degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) and completed a Certificate of Digital Marketing Management through the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto.