Magazine article Workforce Management

Wyndham Looks to Leap Language Gap

Magazine article Workforce Management

Wyndham Looks to Leap Language Gap

Article excerpt

Equal opportunity

THINK YOUR JOB is tough to navigate? Try doing it when you don't speak your boss' language. That's the situation many hospitality employees are caught in. While hotels have among the most diverse workplaces of any industry, workers who can't speak English are stuck in the lowest-level, dead-end positions.

Those are the people whom Dallas-based Wyndham Hotels has in mind for its new self-guiding voluntary education program called "Sed de Saber" (Thirst for Knowledge), launched in April. While just 40 employees are currently participating, with another 40 on a waiting list, the company expects to expand the fledgling program with the goal of eventually boosting morale, retention and customer service and improving the employees' ability to win promotions.

The program includes a batteryoperated LeapPad portable system from LeapFrog, a company that makes technology-based educational products. The system has interactive modules that incorporate pictures, sounds and activities. The program begins with basic English and advances through tutorials for language used on the job as well as in everyday settings such as the grocery store and doctor's office, with lessons in how to make an appointment, write a check-even how to call in sick. …

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