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Company: Creative Lodging Solutions, Lexington, KY USA
Nomination Category: Learning or Training Professional of the Year

Entry Title: Amanda Lewis, Senior Learning Specialist at Creative Lodging Solutions

Individual Essay:

Amanda Lewis, Senior Learning Specialist, has been with Creative Lodging Solutions 11 years. She started as an Account Manager and has worked in various departments including Billing and Hotel Network Management before moving to the Learning and Development (L&D) team. Her vast knowledge of all facets of corporate lodging management enables her to train both new hires and rising leaders within the organization.

Creative Lodging Solutions (CLS) is an award-winning corporate lodging management company that specializes in providing customized lodging programs for business travelers nationwide. CLS assists clients with lodging expense control, travel policy adherence, and consolidated billing while offering negotiated rates for hotel reservations and corporate housing. We’ve reserved over 13 million traveler nights and counting.

Over the past year, Amanda helped expand the training programs being offered to CLS employees. She successfully works with other departments to create the content and training communications for CLS enhancements and new operating procedures. To broaden her skillset, Amanda learned how to create web-based training.

The Learning and Development team’s goal for 2016 was to create a culture of learning within CLS. With the instant availability of information online, they wanted to create a similar experience for employees to have work-related learning opportunities at their fingertips. Amanda assisted with implementing a learning management system that houses all training content and standard operating procedures and provides a social learning network where employees may share best practices and ask questions. Employees may also create their own blogs and learning videos and post them within the system.

Employee participation in the new learning management system provides a wide range of training content. Launched last July, the site averages 121 unique users each month or more than half the number of all employees with 65% engagement. Total logins reveal that users are accessing the tool numerous times throughout the month.

L&D also offers employee career development training including leadership development designed for all mid-level supervisors and directors. The class meets monthly and additional one-on-one coaching is provided. They cover the core competencies needed to lead their teams or departments as Amanda helps them navigate obstacles and work through real-world problems to improve their problem-solving abilities. Amanda helped develop and implement this program.

Numerous participants have been promoted since beginning coaching sessions and employee engagement and morale has improved greatly across all departments.

Training is available at all levels within the company and classes are offered that support the various job functions. After CLS underwent a reorganization, all new hire training was revamped in 2016. L&D conducted 12 intensive four-week new hire training programs throughout the year.

Amanda successfully helped train 140 new hires during this time. She ensures that only the best of the best advance to the call center floor. Amanda then completed 3 quality assurance trainings to assist with their development.

Amanda was also instrumental in rolling out a new phone system by designing and implementing advanced training for all employees. She’s currently involved in the development of a new proprietary reservations system and will be crucial in developing training when it’s implemented later this year.

Individual Summary:

-Helped create a culture of learning within CLS
-Learned how to create web-based training
-Implemented a new learning management system
-Assisted with implementing a Leadership Coaching program for all supervisors and directors
-More than half of Leadership Coaching program participants have received a promotion since beginning training
-Revamped new hire training to increase the client experience which increased quality scores by 3%
-Helped train 140 new hires
-Successful completion of 3 quality assurance trainings to assist with the development of new hires
-Implemented a coaching program for new hires moving to the call center floor
-Successfully developed one employee to a supervisor level and another to Floor Lead

Link: www.yourcls.com