A hotelier’s guide to EU GDPR
Hospitality has always been more emotional than transactional. From handing your belongings to the porter, to the sanctity of your room - your preferences, privacy and comfort are inherently personal. EU GDPR asks, why should data be any different?
As a career-hotelier, what occupied my mind most was always the protection, privacy and comfort of my Guests. I see this regulation as another way for us to earn and retain our clients’ trust. But first, we must understand what it means for our industry.
The EU GDPR governs the processing of the personal data of EU citizens, irrespective of where the business is located or the data processed. Come 25 May 2018, all businesses are expected to comply and the penalties for non-compliance are significant.
During my over 38 years in hospitality, I’ve seen first-hand the power of technology. Like most, the internet revolutionized our industry. But the same technology that powers speed-of-light transactions can also spread news of data mismanagement faster than ever - turning one slip up into a PR nightmare. Make no mistake, your reputation is on the line, now more than ever.
So, how do you protect your business, your team and your Guests?
You train them effectively. That last bit is important because simply providing compliance training is not enough. Compliance training can be overwhelming and hospitality teams cannot be expected to be experts in every field. In my experience, effective training means giving the right people only the information most relevant to them and that information needs to be provided by leading subject matter experts.
When we set out to make EU GDPR training, choosing the right partner was essential.
Our partnership with PwC allowed us to create courses for both Managers and Associates that meet the highest standard of legal and compliance requirements for any organization. Delivered through our enterprise-class learning platform however, the result is a training solution that, I believe, is uniquely suited to some of the challenges faced by our industry, namely: Staff turnover, scalability and the significant time constraints faced by your teams. These courses can also be customized to meet a particular training need.
Lastly, I would encourage anyone who is responsible for training their teams to position this as more than simply ‘compliance’ training. Your team members are another business’ clients after all. They book holidays, shop online and should know their rights when doing so.
EU GDPR training is therefore worthwhile knowledge for all of us. Not only in a professional capacity but as a means to protect our personal data in a time when it’s more and more difficult to keep track of.