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Raising the Productivity of Firms in Tourism and Hospitality through Operating Model Excellence

Dates: 23 & 24 Mar 2021
Hours: 07:45-16:15
Location: Online Learning
Company Visit: 4 Hours
Language: English

Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus

Lead Instructor

Philippe Leliaert

instructor Philippe Leliaert

Dr. Philippe Leliaert is an associate consultant of Ackinas bvba (management consulting group specialising in Process Performance, eLearning and In. View seminar instructor

Program Rationale

Given the cyclical nature of tourism and hospitality industries, the emerging multi-channel structure and the intensity of customer servicing, the operating model of companies in these industries becomes the most critical part of the business.  As a result, companies in tourism and hospitality industries such as hotels, restaurants, car rentals, theme parks, venue centres, tourist shops and excursion providers should manage the performance of their operating model very efficiently in order to raise productivity – especially during and after the Covid-19 related lockdowns: it is simply imperative to identify and reduce, if not eliminate, any non-value-adding operating costs that could mean the difference between profit and loss, between sustained business and bankruptcy.

The reality is that the operating model of many companies in these industries is not optimal:

  • Over servicing clients – dedicating resources to deliver non-value-adding services
  • Not considering the cost to service customers
  • Not recognising differences among strategic segments thus providing one-fit-all solutions
  • Inefficient utilisation of resources


In order to deal with the issues identified above and achieve operating model excellence companies in tourism and hospitality industries should:

  • Set performance standards and KPIs
  • Focus staff on managing efficiently the customer contact points
  • Provide information about the key operating areas
  • Procure data to a single database from where to calculate indicators and produce reports

Given the complexity of these tasks and lack of experience to deal with such issues, training and guidance is needed. The additional safety measures imposed to counter the spread of Covid-19 are particularly challenging in this respect: Are they value-adding or not? Are they a necessary cost of doing business? It is imperative to assess and (re)design these safety measures to yield the highest possible return on investment.

Managing the performance of the operating model is a very effective approach to improve productivity as it aligns the whole organisation around key operational goals.

How to apply

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Target Audience

Owners and managers in tourism and hospitality industries such as hotels, restaurants, exhibition venues, amusement parks, travel agents, tourist retail shops, who manage the company or who are responsible for customer facing or support functions such as marketing, sales, service delivery, operations, accounts, IT and HR.

Program Objectives

General seminar objectives:

The general objectives of the two-day training would be to help participants 1) re-evaluate the firm’s operating model and set productivity goals 2) measure performance of the operating model 3) manage performance. The specific objectives (knowledge, skill and attitude-related) are identified as shown below:

  • Knowledge-related objectives:
    • Understand how to evaluate customer expectations and how to identify, classify & prioritise gaps of expected vs. delivered service – including their perceptions of (Covid-19-related) safety.
    • Understand what is required to capture and interpret customer feedback that is relevant for enhancing service effectiveness and productivity
    • Identify critical success factors (CSF) for operational excellence AND safety
    • Know how to define, record and communicate related KPIs that can enhance productivity across key service delivery processes.
  • Skills-related objectives (Be able to)
    • Chart actual versus desired performance, and provide constructive feedback to all team members on how to close that gap
    • Motivate and engage staff towards the achievement of company priorities and safety standards
    • Maintain collaboration and partnership across the organisation in the pursuit of clear & common objectives
    • Develop an organisational climate that raises staff engagement and productivity, and due care with regard to everyone’s safety
  • Attitude-related objectives
    • Demonstrate effective and exemplary performance-focused leadership
    • Formulate and continuously monitor appropriate operating standards in support of the organisation’s critical success factors for achieving operational excellence and safety.
    • Adopt, advocate and exemplify the right values and organisational culture

In-house seminar objectives:

The company-specific part will help the companies in tourism and hospitality industries introduce specific productivity improvements by identifying problematic areas, setting objectives and developing an approach to manage the performance of the operating model for excellence and safety.

Ideas generated in class and other ideas brought to the training will be assessed based on their contribution to productivity and analysed in detail both from an operational and an organisational perspective in order to develop an effective implementation plan. The in-house training aims to help participants learn specific skills to address productivity challenges at their company. More specifically, depending on the company scope for productivity improvement participants should be able to:

  • Identify gaps in the firm’s delivery and develop an implementation plan
  • Identify operating standards for company operations
  • Define KPI formulas to measure company objectives
  • Set processes for continuous improvement
  • Set policies to improve employee engagement

Program Outline

 Day 1:






Arrival & registration

Trends in tourism and hospitality and the need for raising productivity

Current trends that require immediate response

  • The changing structure of the industry
  • The need to manage fixed costs
  • The operational complexity of the multi-channel environment

The operating model and challenges of managing performance for excellence

  • Defining the operating model
  • Line managers are not properly equipped
  • Cost and revenues are not aligned


PRACTICAL SESSION: Identifying your company’s operating model performance goals and current measurement

  • What KPIs do you monitor
  • How do you manage the performance of the operating model
  • What challenges do you face




Coffee break


Setting operational priorities in tourism and hospitality

  • Identifying critical success factors of the operating model
  • Developing a set of balanced objectives and causal links
  • Translating critical success factors to KPIs
  • Recognizing levels of authority

Case study: How a hotel identified critical success factors and developed a strategy map. The objective is to demonstrate the practical application of operational objectives





PRACTICAL SESSION: Company operational priorities and measurement

  • Identify your company’s operational priorities
  • Recognize priorities on the strategy map
  • Place the current KPI set on the map and identify gaps
  • Develop company KPIs that focus on efficient operations
12:30-13:30 Lunch Break



Identifying customer expectations in tourism and hospitality and implications for the operating model

  • Recognizing and mapping the customer journey for strategic segments
  • Identifying different levels of customer expectations at different stages of the interaction with the firm

Case study: Applying the customer journey to a restaurant

The objective is to practically demonstrate how a restaurant applied this model to map customer expectations by considering the end-to-end process and actions, decisions, feelings of the customer at each stage of the journey



Coffee Break








Benchmarking customer expectations with the firms’ actual delivery

Mapping actual vs desired levels of delivery across key processes

Identifying gaps and finding solutions

  • Process innovations to raise productivity
  • Operating standards to raise efficiency

Day 2:


Review of the previous day.

PRACTICAL SESSION: Assess service delivery gaps – areas of over servicing customers and areas of underservicing customers and create ideas of how to improve productivity.

The objective of this exercise is to identify areas where firms in tourism and hospitality can optimize the delivery of service at customer touch-points across all channels.


Developing standards and KPIs for departments in tourism and hospitality industries

  • Principles
  • Types of KPIs - Examples
  • A cascading example
  • Aligning processes across functions
  • Aligning organisational culture
  • How line managers can bridge the KPI gap between corporate performance systems and operations

Example: Identifying KPIs for front line departments and support departments in tourism and hospitality


Coffee break


PRACTICAL SESSION: Identifying departmental KPIs and levels of ownership

  • Cascade corporate KPIs to departments
  • Identify new KPIs required to manage operational efficiency

12:15 – 13:15

Lunch Break


Aligning staff with operational objectives through the appraisal system

  • What performance measures
  • How to link to remuneration

Creating the right culture

  • Recognizing positive and negative behavior and taking action
  • Driving the agenda from the top

 Practical Session: Identify KPIs to include in the appraisal in tourism and hospitality

The objective of this exercise is to help managers understand how to create a more comprehensive performance management system


Coffee Break


Managing performance at operations in tourism and hospitality industries

  • Managing KPIs at different levels and departments
  • Tracking the action plan and benefits
  • Introducing agile methods to action implementation

Managing data quality

  • Setting controls to ensure data quality
  • Managing the data procurement process

Initiating an improvement project of the operating model

  • Work Plan – time scales
  • Critical factors for successful implementation

Program Faculty

Dr. Philippe Leliaert is an associate consultant of Ackinas bvba (management consulting group specialising in Process Performance, eLearning and Intellectual Capital Management); senior Organisational Effectiveness Consultant at The Sinclair Group (US-based consulting group specialising in Operational Excellence), senior consultant and member of the Advisory Board at ContentAdvisors (consulting group focused on Knowledge Management), Owner-manager of management consulting firm L-Consult bvba, and co-founder of the international consulting network Syntaxis Networking.

His consulting expertise focuses on organisational development & change as the industrial economy evolves into a knowledge-based economy. He provides management advice at both strategic and operational/implementation levels on the organisational impact of e-Business/the knowledge economy. He further advises on the development, introduction and management of knowledge processes (creativity & innovation; Communities of Practice) as the only sources of sustainable competitive advantage, and on the identification, measurement and management of Intellectual Capital value.

He is active in several European Networks of Excellence related to knowledge & intellectual capital management, including PRISM, NESKEY and KnowledgeBoard. He was recently keynote speaker at the 5th European Conference on Intellectual Capital.

His client list includes, among others:
-    Strategy formulation, development, and implementation (using amongst other the Balanced Scorecard model) at Belgacom (telecom operator), Union Minière (non-ferro metals), Siemens Building Technologies (security services), Xylos (IT & Training), BASF (petrochemicals), Ackinas (management consulting),
-    process performance measurement & change management at Hays Logistics Europe (logistics), Mercedes-Benz Europa (automotive), Janssens Pharmaceutica and Medochemie Cyprus (pharmaceuticals), Mercator Group (insurance), HP Consulting Europe and BaaN Belgium (IT), Xylos (IT & Training), Telindus (ICT); Telenet Vlaanderen (telecom operator); Kone Europe (elevators); Ericsson Nanjing (electronics); Laiki Bank and Hellenic Bank (financial services)
-    Knowledge & Intellectual Capital Management at ODG Toronto (consulting & Value Added Reseller), KBC bank and ING Carlease (financial services), Sharelink Nicosia (financial services), Leptos Cyprus (real estate), Bank of Cyprus and Hellenic Bank (financial services)

Subsidy, Attendance, and Cancellation Policy

HRDA Subsidy and Seminar Attendance

  • A company’s participant is eligible for subsidy when their Social Insurance and Industrial Training contributions have been settled in full by the time of registration/seminar. In case of ineligibility/disqualification, the company will be invoiced the full amount per participant.
  • A company’s participant is eligible for subsidy if he/she completes an obligatory attendance of 75% or more (both during seminar and company visit). In case of failure to complete the attendance, the company will be invoiced the full amount, per participant.

Cancellation and Substitution Policy

  • Cancellations can be accepted up to 5 working days prior to the seminar without penalties. For any cancellations received after the deadline (or no-shows) the company will be invoiced the full amount per participant.
  • Substitutions can be accepted any time prior to the seminar without penalties.

Approved By Human Resource Development Authority of Cyprus

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