The President Hotel, a well – loved establishment tucked into upmarket Bantry Bay, has launched an initiative for staff called ‘RISING STAR’. Quite simply, it’s an initiative for employees to rise within the company and enrich their skillset, not only from a technical perspective, but from a mental and emotional point of view too.

In December 2020, Forbes published an article about why employee upskilling and reskilling is so important right now. Amazon, for instance, has invested $700 million into reskilling and upskilling programs, and Mastercard has been running its own retraining program since 2016 to gain a competitive advantage over start-ups. In the long run, upskilling and reskilling programs can improve employee engagement and retention, attract new talent, increase collaboration between departments and speed up the adoption of new trends within the company.

The Rising Star programme launched at the Hotel on 1 September 2021 and will run annually. It’s ideal timing too as World Tourism Day falls on 27 September 2021. The key theme this year is ‘experiences and people’ – encouraging and supporting others in the South African hospitality industry by boosting spirits and creating a sense of community – recognition that ‘we are in this together’. A big shout out also is attributed to the local market & trade who have supported the Hotel and others in this challenging time.

The candidates were nominated by their respective line managers and had to justify why they should be considered as a Rising Star (RS). At the end of the 12 months, all Rising Stars, after receiving extensive training and mentoring, will be eligible to be promoted to a more senior position within The President Hotel.

The programme will run in quarterly segments. During the first quarter, the Rising Star will spend time being trained and groomed by their HOD as well as being allocated a mentor (from another department) who will spend time with them on a weekly basis.

During the second quarter, the RS will spend time across various departments understanding the different skillsets required for each. The obvious purpose of this cross-departmental training is to offer the RS a firsthand experience of how each department operates and how they fit together to form a cohesive whole.

The third quarter will focus on tailor-made training conducted by external advisors, Service Gurus. Key training workshops include but are not limited to “Wellness at Work”; “Enabling Conversations”; “Time and Self-Management” & “Emotional Intelligence”. These workshops will offer valuable insight and knowledge to many who haven’t had access to this style of training before.

During the final quarter, the RS will return to their own department and will continue to receive on-the-job training. The program will conclude with the RS graduating successfully and being in a positive position to earn a promotion.

Frank Gormley, Strategic Director of the President Hotel concludes: “Our role in nurturing up and coming talent is critical both for the future of the business and in providing opportunity for these talented young people. They are our future. It should be a priority in all businesses.”

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