Starboard's Future Leaders Graduate!

 The first “graduates” from a unique UK-wide hotel employee development initiative have been recognised in a glittering awards event  heralding the completion of the first ever SHAPE programme.

SHAPE, the Starboard Hotels Accelerator ProgrammE,  provides ambitious and talented team members from across the company’s multi-branded portfolio of twenty hotels with the opportunity to enhance their leadership qualities and maximise their growth potential.

A  special awards dinner, held at Starboard’s Lake District property, the Windermere Manor Hotel, marked the end of the first year of the pioneering professional development scheme as the ten successful SHAPE graduates received certificates and warm praise from Starboard Hotels founder and Managing Director Paul Callingham:

“ We are rightfully proud of our Class of 2018. It is astounding to see how each of our SHAPE graduates has flourished and gained in confidence and knowledge throughout the course, not only learning new skills they can use in their everyday working lives to progress their career, but also how SHAPE has given them enhanced life skills too.  This programme has encouraged and motivated these  Starboard team members to have a voice in the company and bring their innovation and enthusiasm to the wider group. It also prepares them for working across the brands.”

During the programme, the candidates, all of whom already work in various roles for Starboard Hotels, completed a series of set modules covering all aspect of the vital functions that help to run a hotel. This included insights into finance, revenue management,  house-keeping, food and beverage, sales and marketing, completing the course with the media module where each person had to face the camera and be interviewed about the course.

Mentors from within the Starboard Hotels management team guided and helped inspire the candidates throughout the course which also featured a Visions and Values project,in a series of presentations to the Starboard directors.

These first graduates hailed from across the country, representing Starboard properties in Burnley, Sheffield, Leicester, Plymouth, Tamworth, Wetherby, Epping Forest and Birmingham.

SHAPE graduate Victoria Marie Iles, a team member at the Ibis Hotel Birmingham Bordesley said: “SHAPE has been amazing. I have learnt things about myself that I never knew. Skills that I can now use for the rest of my life. I never imagined I would be presenting in front of the MD of our company, that he would look at my ideas and that these could be taken forward. It has changed my life.”

The awards evening brought together the graduates and their mentors who also enjoyed an entertaining presentation by the inspirational speaker Mark Pitcher.

Kerian Barnes, Director of Operations at Starboard Hotels, is a passionate advocate of the programme she has pioneered and co-developed with Sarah Fountain of odfconsulting.

Said Kerian: ”I am really proud of what the group have achieved in this, the first year of the programme. Having launched the new mission statement which is underpinned by the values on which the company’s future will grow, a legacy is created on which this first group can expand. With all the demands of recruitment and retaining colleagues to meet  the future growth in hospitality, the SHAPE programme is an example of how young people can contribute both to the business but also to their own development as future leaders. The future is all about guest experience and the great customer journey starts with great talent.”

 The new delegates for the SHAPE 2019  programme have now been selected and have begun their year of leadership and accelerated development training.

 This is the first time such an ambitious employee development project of its kind has been seen in the hospitality business as the programme encompasses team members from  all the different hotel brands within Starboard’s portfolio, including Best Western, Days Inn, Ibis, Holiday Inn Express and Holiday Inn.

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Alan Gregory