Sandals & Beaches Learning Outcomes
Twelve team members at Beaches Resort & Spa complete their GULL professional Bachelor degree - March 2009
Step 1: Foundations
Establishing the foundations for personal and professional development at work
Identifying personal learning needs and aspirations, customizing the learning journey, learning how to reflect, to use action learning and a web of personal support (including a personal learning coach);
Learning how to learn from each other and to use work-based projects as a vehicle for learning and return on investment (ROI) – for the learner and the workplace.
OUR workplace IS the business school
‘It’s an amazing journey and I love the opportunity that this provides to reflect on my own learning needs. If you don’t know yourself, you can’t move forward in any area and this is a core benefit of the process.’
- CL, Front Office Manager, Sandals Negril
Professional Bachelor level 3: Diploma (Hospitality & Tourism)
This is a breakthrough for me: ‘I am feeling great about the outcomes so far – the process is helping me to ‘feel alive’ again. It’s pushing me to another level and it is helping me to realize that I can accomplish more.’
I love how you are working now: ‘I am doing things in the dining room differently now and the improvements have been noticed.’
Professional Master level 3: Diploma (Hospitality & Tourism)
Cooking means that you have to continually learn and develop yourself: ‘As a kitchen manager, it is vital to facilitate this and to develop multi-tasking skills. The diary format has helped me to think about the best ways of aligning team members with tasks and functions.’
It’s a phenomenal journey: ‘I had never before taken the time to write about my own learning and development. It has made me think deeply about myself and it has/is enabling me to take stock and move forward.’
I am truly excited about action learning: ‘The process is having a profound impact on me. When you work with other people in a group, you learn so much more. I feel empowered and excited about this degree process.’
I have found the process so interesting: ‘We are working in groups and sharing – I am learning and hearing new things. I feel more enthusiastic about learning and there a number of Bachelor level students who come to me for guidance. It encourages me too.’
This process is helping me to make adjustments to my managerial style: ‘I am learning how to coach my staff and to use my time more productively and effectively.’
This process enables me to plan: ‘It is really beginning to make sense for me (in terms of personal/professional development). and I am wholly convinced of the value …’
‘I’ve never had the time or opportunity before to reflect on what I know, where I have come from – and on what’s next. This process is also helping with goal setting, timelines and reflecting on daily events and helping me to learn from reflection.’
Step 2: Advancing
Advancing the personal and professional development process
Stepping-up action learning skills using a web of personal support (learning coach, specialist advisers and others), by sharing learning and insights (with group project colleagues) and managing a project support team (including a project client). Using work-based projects as a vehicle for learning and return on investment (ROI) – for the learner and the workplace.
Example projects: Beaches Turks & Caicos (BTC)
Left: Action learners at BTC
Right: Dr Shelly-Ann Whitely-Clarke, Regional Training & Development Manager
Professional Bachelor level 4: Associate degree:
(Hospitality & Tourism): Group project (Group 1)
The project: The piloting of a self review framework to assist team members and the restaurant management teams at Beaches, Turks & Caicos to enhance service performance.
The aim: To create a self review framework as an internal mechanism for gathering feedback on operational variances and identifying corrective action so as to improve online customer satisfaction scores.
Group commentary: ‘We learnt so much from committing to each other and from this disciplined approach. We have impact the entire Resort.’
Team 1: Fitzroy, Eversley, Nadia Stanley & Basil
(Hospitality & Tourism): Group project (Group 2)
The project: ‘Operation heart of the house’: Enhancing staff facilities and safety as a mechanism for staff retention and development.
The aim: To review, repair and enhance the back of house services and facilities for staff members and the management of goods received and waste management and recycling.
Group commentary: ‘Our differences helped us a lot. At the planning stage – the project looked like an uphill battle. As we made progress, others in the Resort came to us and said: ‘We have wanted to resolve this problem for so long – How did you guys do it?’ We not only found a solution, but we implemented it!’
Team 2: Devon, Jermaine, Jasset, Michael, Mark, Lincoln
(Hospitality & Tourism): Group project (Group 3)
The project: To review and improve the accounting procedures for managing and reducing charge backs for guest services.
The aim: To develop procedures to reduce and resolve the replacement cost of bath robes provided for guests to use at the resort (but taken by guests on departure) and ensure that the correct charges for ancillary guest services (e.g. babysitting) are posted prior to guest departure.
Group commentary: ‘The project has enabled us to review, improve and re-introduce effective measure to prevent the problems we were investigating. We also have evidence that our project has made a significant impact and is saving money and time.’
Team 3: Orian, Keva, Wal, Tanya, Courtney.
(Hospitality & Tourism): Group project (Group 4)
The project: Sea shore excursions.
The aims: To increase sales through the Beaches, Turks & Caicos tour desk; Increase revenue opportunities through cross-promotion and enhance the guest’s vacation experience on tours by fostering family experiences.
Group commentary: ‘The project process helped us to learn how to really listen – not only to each other, but to what is not being said. As a team we worked together, pushed each other and grew in confidence. We feel that we can achieve more now that we had imagined possible.’
Team 4: Raluca, Venroy, Nadege, Teri & Joel
Step 3: Expert
Confident, effective action learners – directing their own learning and careers
By the time that participants reach level 5, they are expert action learners who understand how to use the process for their own personal and professional development and to solve significant challenges at work. They are convinced of the value of lifelong learning, they can track their own development and provide tangible and verified evidence of return on investment for themselves and the workplace. They also know how to facilitate and to coach others in the use of action learning.
Professional Bachelor level 5: Bachelor degree
(Hospitality & Tourism Management)
‘It was remarkable journey. It taught me the value of teamwork. It also gave me a sense of purpose – this was my journey. It was great to see people coming together to develop something that we all had a hand in.’
‘Even as I worked on an individual project, I still felt like I was working in a team with very supportive colleagues and a web of support. This learning journey has changed me. I know myself better, I understand now where I am heading and what I want to accomplish in the future. It was a great, great experience.’
‘This is a great accomplishment for me. I never had an opportunity before. The project brought me respect from the community and from my colleagues and other team members. I have felt encouraged by all my fellow action learners and I have changed in many ways – both personally and professionally. Professionally, I started at BTC as a secretary five years ago and as an outcome of the Bachelor L5 project, I have been promoted to senior sales manager. A managerial position!’
"You can have 50 years of experience, but if you don’t have ‘black and white’ (qualifications) and someone else has only one year of experience, but they have ‘black and white’ – the qualified person is going to get the job. We do training every day, but it is the development (and self-development) that is most important. Action learning is the best way to accomplish this because the team member benefits and the company benefits. Action learning has made a huge difference here at BTC. If you have started working already, then the best way to enhance your career is through action learning."
- Shelly-Ann Whitely-Clarke
Professional Bachelor degree graduates, Beaches Turks & Caicos, 9 March 2009.
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