January 2023: RTO7 Staff Typsy Picks of the Month

January 2023: RTO7 Staff Typsy Picks of the Month
Welcome to the 5th 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.

Courses chosen by staff this month:
  • Introduction to Hospitality Management
  • Creating Magic
  • Concierge Fundamentals
  • Leading and Motivating Teams
  • Writing 101 for Hospitality Businesses
  • Job Finding Skills for Hospitality
  • Optimizing Your Hospitality Business

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.  Certificates are issued after successful completion of a quiz at the end of Typsy course.

Learn more and register for Typsy by clicking here or on any of the images  in the blog below.

Bill Sullivan, CEO, RTO7 / BruceGreySimcoe
Typsy Pick of the Month: Introduction to Hospitality Management
Total Course Length: 30 minutes

Over the past two plus years we have witnessed the disappearance of our front-line supervisors and managers.  Now, as we start to rebuild our industry it is time to reintegrate these positions into our day-to-day operations.  This course will help you with part of that journey. 

We all experienced the transition from staff to management and the trepidation that we felt during the change, this course will provide new leaders with some of the steps and homework that they will need to make the change.  And as a Senior Manager or Owner this course helps you support the success of your latest promotion.  The training of brand-new managers is often overlooked.  This course should be part of your training kit or a foundational piece to build a robust management training program within your organization.

Of note, the course leader often uses the term ‘restaurant’, don’t let this term dissuade you from completing the course as all the information is transferable to any sector within the Hospitality Industry. 

Blue and red font on turquoise background for checklist for Typsy course on hospitality management.

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: Creating Magic

Total Course Length: 1 hour, 40 minutes

I really enjoyed this one! It’s a different format - an hour and 40 minutes - that I thought worth making time for. Former Disney execs share what creating magic is all about.  They provide practical tips and tactics within leadership and the customer and employee experience to create and maintain your operation’s culture (or how things are done).

While we’re all familiar with reviewing our price, our costs, and our volumes, they suggest that sustainableresults are all about reviewing Intent to Return and Intent to Recommend…do you know these stats for your business?

For Disney, success is absolutely about fulfilling customer (and employee) expectations, but then going well beyond this to making the customer feel special, to make their life more convenient, to address negative stereotypes often associated with your business, etc. They focus on value, not on price – while you won’t pay more for a coffee than any local coffee shop (there’s competition there), they sure can charge a lot for your child’s Bippidi Bobbidi Boo princess makeover ‘cause where else are you going to find that?? ;)  Disney is so committed to providing value, they actually follow up with guests not right after their trip (although they do that too), but 40 days after their trip to ask about how their trip was.  Why?...because by that time guests will have received their credit card statement, and Disney really wants to know whether after paying it off, people still feel they got their money’s worth, that the trip was worth every penny!

And their approach to employees is much the same as their approach to customers…because the front line delivers the bottom line. And their focus on culture (and technology where possible) has traditionally minimized recruitment and workforce challenges.

All in all, an entertaining delivery of some thoughtful ways in which you can apply pretty common-sense concepts to create a culture of excellence.

Sparkly white font and graphic on black background for creating magic Typsy course. Typsy logo in red on black background.

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: Concierge Fundamentals
Total Course Length: 41 minutes

From a customer service standpoint, there’s a lot to pull from this 41-minute course. And, although my career aspirations don’t include becoming a concierge in a high-end hotel, I found the course, led James Ridenour, Chief Concierge, invaluable in how to offer high-quality and consistent customer service. Whatever your role in the tourism industry, the same principles of customer service apply with the most basic being to help guests and visitors make the most of their stay or visit to your community. Today, time is the new luxury, so your local knowledge is a valuable commodity in making this happen. Make it your business to be an expert on your community in your role as front desk staff, restaurant staff, cashiers, store clerks – basically, any job where you interact with visitors to the area. Keep your standards of communication professional, whether dealing with people in person, by email, social media, texts, or chat platforms. Create your own personal brand through your character and actions and stay true to your brand, which will help to build loyalty and trust with your customers, guests and visitors.

The goal is to be approachable, friendly, trustworthy, and authentic in welcoming and assisting visitors and guests. Start with a “can-do” mindset and develop these four ideal service traits:

  • Listen
  • Be solution focused
  • Be open minded
  • Communicate clearly – your role is to fulfill guests’ requests, ensuring they are tailored to their needs

Work from the premise that “anything is possible” (as long as it’s legal, moral and humanly possible).

If you’re interested in offering top-notch customer service or honing your current skills, I highly recommend taking the time to watch this practical and informative course.  

White and red text on turquoise background with images outlining the history of concierge services.

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: Leading and Motivating Teams
Total Course Length: 36 minutes

Throughout my professional and private lives, I’ve spent lots of time in team environments.  This course outlined some of the key fundamentals about what makes great teams and why problems start. As I reflected on some of the teams I’ve led, I was able to use the fundamentals they presented to reflect on what had gone well and why there might have been issues.  The facilitator also outlined the differences between being a manager and being a leader.  This is a really important concept when learning to lead a team. 

Young woman against blurred background with Typsy tips in white font, Typsy logo in red font.

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: Writing 101 for Hospitality Businesses
Total Course Length: 29 minutes

This short and concise course resembles the very writing tips it gives. In just under 40 minutes, you’ll get some great advice on how to improve your writing for the hospitality industry. Beginning with identifying your target audience, creating a persona you are speaking to and having clear objectives, these simple steps can improve your messages.

Instructor Helen Steemson is easy to listen to and full of advice, energy, and ideas. I like how she used real-world copy examples from accommodators to illustrate her ideas. As Steemson says, you are already a communications genius! You adjust how you speak to people on the fly every day. Now you just need to apply that approach to your writing.

While some of the terms used reminded me of high school English—like passive and active voice, redundancy, and vague nouns—the basics are all useful in this course. The section on writing effective marketing emails is great. I had not thought about the fact that a badly crafted email can damage your reputation. Her suggestions about spammy words to avoid was useful too.

Perhaps the best takeaway for me? To focus on strong headlines and including key information in subheads and bullets for those who prefer to skim these days instead of reading text in its entirety.

Great little course that’s worth the time you’ll need to take it.  

White and red text on orange background with quote from presentation on Typsy course about writing for hospitality businesses.

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: Job Finding Skills for Hospitality
Total Course Length: 43 minutes

The hospitality industry is an exciting industry, filled with many job possibilities working for the food and beverage industry, attractions, resorts and accommodations - there are endless employment possibilities.  This course was developed for first time career seekers to anyone looking to find employment within the industry.  The presenter is extremely enthusiastic, provides practical advice and lots of resources.  She walks viewers through how to write the perfect resume, cover letter and provides key questions employers ask during an interview.

Did you know:

  • Recruiters take an average of 6 seconds to scan a resume.
  • 92% of employers hire based on attitude alone.
  • 70% preview the applicants’ social platforms. (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and others)

Whether you are someone just starting out on your career path or looking to brush up on applying and job finding skills this course was highly engaging, covered a lot of ground and gave lots of advice and resources to ‘get that job!’ 
Image of young woman speaking against a black background with list of job finding tips in blue font on white background. Typsy logo is red font on dark background.

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: Optimizing Your Hospitality Business
Total Course Length: 43 minutes

This is one of the best Typsy courses I have watched, and I highly recommend it for all business owners and managers in the region.  Although the examples are hospitality focused, the basic concepts in this course can be translated to any business, not just hospitality. 

The instructor states that “optimizing your business requires looking at everything that impacts time and money to find what isn’t serving your business”.  One key tip is to take advantage of the people around you to brainstorm and provide ideas on how you can reduce resource waste and improve the overall efficiency of your business.  After reviewing the course content, ask the team at RTO7 for some time to review your challenges and goals.  Explore the T3 Accelerator Program for coaching sessions related to specific areas of your business that you would like to optimize.  A great topic in this course is optimizing your technology and this can be viewed as a stand-alone lesson if you only have 5 minutes to commit.  The total course length is less than 45 minutes, and I am confident that it would be time well spent. Enjoy!   

Man in printed shirt and business jacket against a background image of a restaurant. Text in white and Typsy logo in red against the same background.

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.     

Views, thoughts and opinions expressed in the blog comments section belong solely to the comments' authors and are not necessarily those of Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7), its Board of Directors or its staff.

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