Hotel industry stars of the future embark on unique development programme launched by Starboard Hotels

A new and unique UK wide employee accelerated development initiative has been launched by leading hotel owner/operator Starboard Hotels at its award winning Holiday Inn Express hotel in Burnley, Lancashire.

Aimed at providing ambitious and talented employees with the opportunity to enhance their leadership qualities and maximise their growth potential, Starboard Hotels new SHAPE accelerator programme has just launched with a special dinner at the hotel, selected as the national assessment centre for the course.

Highly regarded hospitality industry professional Robert Crook, former Managing Director of Interstate Hotels & Resorts Europe, who was born and studiedin Lancashire, was the
special guest at the dinner, along with Dr Alan Gregory, doctor of literature who is now mentoring some of the candidates.

The first 13 candidates, all Starboard employees in various roles, selected for the
programme, hail from across the country including from Starboard properties in Gatwick, Epping, Birmingham, Plymouth and Leeds.

Following the launch dinner, which was prepared and hosted by the Holiday Inn team which has two candidates selected for this unique programme, the course began with the ‘Insite’ personality profiling module, teaching the candidates about their style, how they communicate and learn. They also met their mentors, senior managers from Starboard
Hotels and agreed how they will work together over the coming year.

The scheme is the passion of Kerian Barnes, Director of Operations at Starboard Hotels, one of the UK's fastest growing hotel owner/operators with a portfolio that includes world leading brands such as IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group), Wyndham hotels, Ibis Hotels and Best Western. Kerian is a shining example of someone who started out as a part time worker aged 15 in a Lancashire hotel and now sits on the board of Starboard Hotels run-ning operations for a growing, highly valuable hotel portfolio.

As Kerian explains: "We are investing in excess of £30k on the programme, excluding the support from suppliers, many of them from the Lancashire region. Working in partnership they have a vested interest , sharing their knowledge, driving best practice, building rela-tionships, share in our quest to keep great people within our business. If we can encour-age and motivate these young Starboard team players to have a voice in the development of the company – bring their innovation, style to the wider benefit of the group. It also prepares them for working across the brands.”

“We really want to be the employer of choice. To achieve this, we have to look to enhance the training available through the brands, which is excellent but is very specific. SHAPE which stands for Starboard Hotels Accelerator Programme, is designed to broaden their horizons and is a blend of leadership, personal development and high level management and training. It is designed to be motivating to encourage much more self learning, to grow confidence by working in teams on specific projects, working to deadlines."

The candidates, all of whom already work in various roles for Starboard Hotels, will now go on to complete a series of set modules during the next12 months, including learning how the hospitality supply chain works by shadowing suppliers such as food and bever-age producers and furnishing suppliers. They will also "shadow” marketing and
sales managers and the media communications team and other vital support functions.

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 Starboards portfolio including Best Western, Days Inn, Ibis, Holiday Inn Express and Holiday Inn.

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