Welcome to the 4th edition of RTO7’s staff picks of the month as we share our experiences and recommendations of the courses offered on Typsy, the on-line training platform that is available free-of charge to those that 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 you’ve read about our choices below, we encourage you to try Typsy out for yourself and to share this awesome training tool with your staff and co-workers.
Bill Sullivan, CEO, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Introduction to Leadership
Total Course Length: 37 minutes
Have you just been promoted to a management role? Are you a good leader and want to become a great leader? Are you being a great leader and want to stay a great leader? The Introduction to Leadership course offered by Typsy provides a comprehensive first step for new managers and a refresher for long time leaders.
We have all had great leadership days, weeks, months and, sometimes, just hours. Wouldn’t it be great to be a great leader all the time? It may be impossible to be a great leader all the time, but shouldn’t we at least try.
There are days when I click, when I feel I have engaged with the team at RTO7, when I feel that we have come to a consensus that provides decisive action and moves the ball forward. There are just as many days when I don’t feel I have provided the leadership to move the ball. I am looking to move my leadership ball forward and I believe this program will help me do that. I think it could help you too if you want to improve your leadership skills.
TIP – be sure to download the manual and have it available for the course even if it is just something to write notes on.
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: Customer Service Recovery
Total Course Length: 38 minutes
This course follows on the Disney Magic one – at least it’s the same instructor and I enjoy his style. There were some useful takeaways for me for everyday life…like before jumping to trying to solve a problem, listen carefully to ensure you actually understand the underlying problem (which may not immediately be obvious and is often missed).
More on the service side, it’s important that your proposed resolution of a problem is proportional to the issue itself, and he provides some examples of the kinds of things you can do to resolve or make up for a customer’s poor experience. Of course, it’s best if you know what’s in your power to do/offer to resolve problems ahead of time, so you can resolve issues seamlessly, on the spot.
And there’s a lot that you can do to plan ahead to avert or address issues that you know from previous experience might pop up. Bottom line - you never stop learning in the customer service vein – there will always be something that we can do just a little bit better!
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: Sustainability and Your Experience Delivery
Total Course Length: 1 hour
With 90% of travellers actively looking for sustainability options and 65% of future global travellers expecting brands to play a more meaningful role in society, this video is a good start to understanding what travellers are currently seeking when booking a trip and, more importantly, shares the tools of how to meet those expectations.
Offered in partnership with EarthCheck, this course focuses on storytelling through sustainable tourism experiences. Course leader, Dr. Natasha Montesalva, leads you through the steps to develop and build an amazing tourism experience to attract visitors to your business, with the goal of increased visitation. She also explores some of the potential pitfalls of storytelling and how they can be avoided by taking the appropriate steps and working in partnership with others.
As with most Typsy courses, the practices and principles outlined for how to successfully deliver a memorable sustainable travel experience to your guests can easily be applied to any tourism business. Think experience creation, outstanding customer service in responding to your visitors’ needs, brand authenticity, digital marketing, communication with staff and visitors and much more.
The course comes with three downloadable documents: Guest Journey Self-Assessment, The Ultimate Transformational Experience Guide, and a Media Consent Form.
More About Ginny
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: Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention
Total Course Length: 1 hour
This is not a course that you can take lightly or something that you just breeze through. Human trafficking is unfortunately a reality of the tourism industry, although it can be very difficult to identify and should never be the responsibility of one person. The course will walk you through how to identify a person who is being trafficked, how to overcome your biases and provides some basics on how to develop a policy on preventing trafficking within your organization. There are some reference materials that you can download.
I learned a lot about this topic, but it did take me a bit longer to complete this course. Take breaks or complete this in a few sessions. It’s scary to know just how close you could be to human trafficking in your daily life, so it’s critical to understand the signs.
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: Introduction to Front Office
Total Course Length: 37 minutes
This short but extremely informative course is led by Soffia Barroso, who was once named International Receptionist of the Year. The course sets out to define the different roles of the front office staff from doormen to bellboys to concierge, reservation agents and guest experience officers. It’s packed with tips about how to better interact with guests from their phone and online bookings, during their stay and even after they depart to improve the chances of return visits.
I enjoyed the section on the four types of guests: the instructor guest, the describer guest, the comforter guest and the analyzer guest. By better understanding what each type of guest is looking for and what will satisfy them, staff can gauge the best way to respond to their needs.
The four tips for starting every guest interaction can be adapted for any customer service role. Starting with eye contact, a smile, offering a polite guest greeting and asking how you can help can go a long way in every guest interaction.
The section on team communication was also great. While the structure of that communication in a hotel setting is unique, one wonders if might not be worth adapting in other settings like retail and restaurants. The morning briefing, the standing meeting, the shift handover all offer great opportunities to keep up with the comings and goings at the hotel. Follow up emails and phone calls add another layer of communication that make sure guest satisfaction doesn’t fall through the cracks.
The content on responding to complaints also contained many crossovers for other areas of the tourism industry. By using L.A.U.R.A—listen, acknowledge, understanding, response and appropriate action—most complaints can be addressed calmly and quickly with the goal of leaving the guest feeling heard and respected.
The A to Z glossary of front desk language was a nice touch too for those just getting started in the hotel industry.
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
Typsy Pick of the Month: Improving Hospitality Business Operations
Total Course Length: 45 minutes
This course, taught by Eden Sunshine, on Improving Hospitality Business Operations is about developing an environment of consistency and predictability that will assist you with growing your business and becoming successful. If you are a new business, one looking to improve areas within your business that are not working, or have policies and procedures that are not working, this is a course for you to invest 45 minutes in.
It walks you through step by step how to put business operational systems in place that will generate results, overtime grow the business and ensure it succeeds.
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: Training Fundamentals
Total Course Length: 46 minutes
Did you know that approximately 40% of staff who receive poor training will chose to leave within the first year of employment? This Typsy course, Training Fundamentals, explores training best practices and is recommended for any stakeholder who want to improve their employee retention. You will learn about the different types of training, how to create and plan your training programs effectively, and a very important lesson about staff induction. This is a critical part of the training process which sadly, is left out by many organizations. Commit to the full course, which is just 46 minutes, or absorb it lesson by lesson, committing just 5 minutes at a time to focus on where there are gaps in your current training program.
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.
Learn More About Typsy & Register Here
Typsy Employee Incentive Program
Have you heard about the Typsy Employee Incentive Program?
This program has been designed to encourage managers, full-time, part-time and seasonal staff to use the online training platform, Typsy. Learn more about the incentive awards you can earn and how you can win as a team! Check it out on RTO7.ca and start training for your reward now!
New at Typsy
Wheel the world: Creating accessible experiences
Mentor session: 7 mins
Did you know there are 1 billion people with disabilities around the world? Have you ever thought about how they would access your hospitality venue?
Hear from Chilean entrepreneur, public speaker, and passionate disability advocate, Alvaro Silberstein and be inspired to start thinking about creating more accessible, inclusive opportunities and experiences for your guests with disabilities. Register for Typsy now to access this session.