Let’s Voyage with the Marriott


Marriott International is the world’s largest hotel chain and in 2017 it broke into the top 500 of Forbes Global 2000 list.

Click here to view Forbes’ list.

Yes, mergers and acquisitions have added to its global size, but it is Marriott’s quality systems that keep their growth going and their customers coming back. The Marriott has the highest customer loyalty of any hotel chain, according the 2017, J.D. Power report.

One of Marriott’s successes factors is its unique employee onboarding, leadership, and development program, which is called “Voyage”.

Here is a case study on the Voyage training program.

Marriott has transformed its very traditional and dated training systems to utilize the latest technology and has integrated aspects of Web 3.0 learning theory into all aspects of this unique training .

Click here to learn more about Web 3.0.

Marriott’s Voyage program is a holistic training program that includes:

  • a sophisticated learning platform
  • Integrated approached
  • Webinars
  • Blended learning
  • Virtual learning and collaboration
  • Hotel simulator and gamification

This program has expanded and is now a global leadership development program run by the Marriott University. Its chief goal is to develop post-secondary graduates into leaders in the Hotel Industry.

Click here to learn more about the Marriott University.

Marriott has done what so few organizations do; it understands the quality equation, which is that the quality of its services is based on the quality of its employees, which is in turn based on the quality of its training and development. The Voyage program, from on-boarding to global leadership development, was a major contributor to Marriott’s stock price rise of 64% in 2017.  Many other organizations may want to model this training concept in their own contexts.


Discussion Questions:

  • Research and identify the differences between Web 2.0 learning and Web 3.0 learning?
  • Give examples of two other organizations that are using Web 3.0 principles of learning and explain how they have been successful with their training programs.











Know Your Stuff? Share Your Stuff!

It seems to be a fairly simple concept – effective training should be provided by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).  They bring knowledge, expertise and, most importantly, credibility to the topic at hand.  They also bring ‘real world’ experience that should help to bridge the knowledge gap for learners that can, sometimes, be pretty vast between the discussion of theory and the application of that theory.

SME acrostic - Subject Matter Expert
Source: Constantin Stanciu/Shutterstock

Using an obvious example, if a trainer was hired to teach trainees how to play hockey, they would have to show people how to skate, pass the puck, and handle the stick.  An effective trainer would not be someone who could just ‘talk’ about these skills or describe how to play the game. They would actually need to be a skilled hockey player themselves and be able to share what it feels like to learn and perform at a high level of expertise.

This concept seems to be taking hold in formal training processes, including post-secondary learning organizations.  It is not enough for a professor to provide theory, they must be able to bring some subject matter expertise into classroom learning in order for students to make the link between theory and ‘real world’ application.

A recent article in The Globe & Mail, highlights the effective use of subject matter experts in traditional business school environments.

Click Here to Read the Article

This article brings forth the wonderful opportunity that business executives can bring to formal learning settings.  It also presents the changing perspective that not all knowledge should be vested in one person at the front of the classroom in a formal learning organization.  It is clear that the more we can bring in the expertise of others into the creation of effective training models, the richer the shared learning becomes for everyone.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Thinking about your own learning experiences, how did you learn to drive a vehicle?
    • What theoretical concepts did you have to learn?
    • What were the practical steps that you had to learn in order to actually drive the vehicle?
    • Who taught you how to drive a vehicle and what expertise did they bring to that learning process for you?
  2. Have you been inspired by any SMEs during the course of your program studies? Who were they and why were they inspirational?
  3. Why does ‘real world’ application matter for effective training and learning?

From Bad to Good Training

Ok let’s talk about it, we have all experienced it, and we all loath it – The horrible training session!

Whether it was a lecture at school, an in-house training session, or an expensive professional development session, some of them are terrible. The kind where the clock actually stops ticking and you resort to counting the dots on the ceiling tiles.  I once counted 3864, so I am speaking from experience!

What can be done about this problem of terrible training? John Wellwood in his article, How to deliver a training course in 14 easy steps, addresses this problem. The 14 lessons, recommended by Wellwood, are as follows:

Lesson 1) Send out pre-work or communicate the aims or objectives for the day

Lesson 2) Ensure students receive a warm and friendly welcome

Lesson 3) Lay the room out to be comfortable and effective

Lesson 4) Introductions are essential

Lesson 5) Keep your insecurities to yourself

Lesson 6) Project your voice

Lesson 7) Build up to the complex stuff

Lesson 8) Ensure your examples add clarity, rather than muddying the waters

Lesson 9) Reading from a slide is not presenting

Lesson 10) Your hand-outs must add value

Lesson 11) Be dynamic and engaging

Lesson 12) If something goes wrong, own it

Lesson 13) Take your lead from the delegates

Lesson 14) Summarize!

Click here to read the complete article

This is an excellent checklist to start your training delivery on the right track and keep it there.  Whether you are a student doing an in-class presentation or an experienced trainer, keep John Wellwood’s training checklist in mind, so your participants are not counting the ceiling tiles!   

Discussion Questions:

  1. Think about the last training session you attended.  Did the presenter follow Wellwood’s 14 lessons?  Which ones did they miss and how did that affect the presentation?
  2. Think about the last time you presented to a group, did you follow Wellwood’s 14 lessons?
  3. How would you incorporate Wellwood’s 14 lessons, into your next presentation?