Sponge and Travelodge shortlisted for Personnel Today award for data-driven digital learning.

Travelodge, one of the biggest players in the independent hotel sector, has been shortlisted for the 2022 Personnel Today Awards, in the category of ‘HR Technology’.

The award recognises the effective use of technology by HR teams to bring about business benefits. Rather than traditional learning data (i.e., ‘completions’), Personnel Today is interested in what organisational changes have been implemented, why they were necessary, and how they were facilitated by the technology.

Although the following of correct procedures is essential within the hotel sector, by the end of 2018 Travelodge’s manual learning processes were feeling the strain of rapidly onboarding staff, and the sheer scale of Travelodge’s reach across the UK.

“The manual learning processes we were previously using meant the completion of the training was heavily reliant on management direction and capacity,” said Dan Curtis, Head of Talent at Travelodge. “In order to ensure future growth, it was essential we automated processes, created a ‘self-serve' model of content distribution, and developed a data-driven learning strategy to align content to knowledge gaps.”

Since 2020, Sponge has rolled out a learning data analytics project built around character profiles of various Travelodge employees, including heads of department, hotel managers, and colleagues.

Sponge’s solution had three clear aims:

  • To increase the accessibility of the compliance training.
  • To reduce the dependence on the hotel manager to direct the learning.
  • To enable the extraction of data to enable future course adjusting to reduce risk and increase relevance.

Sponge worked with Travelodge to develop a solution that spoke directly to these aims. Regarding accessibility, Sponge ensured that the training was mobile-ready and integrated with the HRIS so that new starter and leaver data was updated continuously. This mobile readiness reduced dependence on hotel managers, as did the automation of previously manual processes.

“This new learning solution means that Travelodge is leading the way when it comes to a data-driven compliance strategy,” said Zach Romain, Head of Product Innovation at Sponge. “The combination of automation, dashboarding, and reporting that Sponge deployed has improved compliance rates as well as overall organisational efficiency.”

Overall, compliance rates have increased to 100% completion within expected timeframes excluding validated exceptions, with the speed to reach completion being reduced by two thirds. However, the solution’s impact extends far beyond completion data.

No longer being forced to undertake manual processes, manager wellbeing has increased, while Travelodge has been able to diversify its learning offering and upskill its workforce in customer service, management, and DE&I.

The winners of this year’s Personnel Today Awards are announced on Tuesday 15 November 2022.


About Travelodge 

In 1985, Travelodge became Britain’s first value hotel brand when it launched in the UK, opening its first hotel at Barton under Needwood in the heart of England. Since those early days, Travelodge has gone from strength to strength and is now the UK’s largest independent hotel brand.

With more than 590 hotels and 40,000 guest bedrooms across the UK, Ireland and Spain, you’ll find us in major city centres and towns as well as seaside locations and vital roadside stops. And we continue to expand, with new hotels planned to open and further locations identified for the coming years.

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