Hotel Leadership

‘I took the role of Operations Director at Agellus Hotels six years ago – a small privately owned group of hotels with the ambition to grow and develop into a successful business in its own right.  The key aim being:

 ‘To develop and expand a group of individual hotels all with the same focus of great local food, fantastic accommodation and service levels’. 

With this came the challenge to develop the culture and a way of working within Agellus Hotels.  I had personally experienced success with Fairstead at another business and how bespoke development for colleagues had helped to shape how they work and the culture within the business.  I soon realised that something was missing at Agellus to ensure the language, culture and way of working was spreading quickly enough.  Every colleague in Agellus Hotels at some point ‘touches’ the guest and it is vital that all colleagues represent the relevant hotel brand…it’s that old adage “you are only as good as the people in it!”  We got Fairstead involved in developing programmes at all levels in our business.

The most powerful stage, was working with Fairstead to focus on our managers, where I felt we had a gap with our development support.  These are our team leaders whom report into the General Manager.  These leaders have small teams and invariably have been promoted and need support with developing and enhancing their own ‘tools’ to lead well.  With Fairstead we introduced the 201 development programme; four one day modules with some ‘homework’ in between.  The 201 is bespoke to Agellus Hotels and was the result of Fairstead interviewing our managers and colleagues to help identify the skill gaps.  The key to success was ensuring the skills were developed in a practical way.  As a result the 201 gives the team leaders coaching and practical skills to enhance their learning and development with:

  • Communication
  • Giving instructions
  • Coaching team members
  • Giving feedback
  • Holding one-to-one meetings
  • Conducting our own appraisal process

As a result I now believe we have a fantastic development programme for all levels within Agellus Hotels.  This focuses on giving support to all our colleagues tailored to their role and also acts as a key part of how we all behave, perform and work successfully together.  I can confidently recommend this approach with Fairstead works.’

Rufus Harper

Operations Director, Agellus Hotels