Fast-tracking  the next generation of hospitality leaders

Fast-tracking the next generation of hospitality leaders


We turn the tables on top hoteliers and ask them the hard-hitting questions you want answered. Here’s what they said…

Amine E. Moukarzel Ph.D

Do you have an association with an educational school or an in-house program?
Immersive learning is a paradigm shift in employee training. Therefore, there is a plan for bringing it into our organization. Adoption requires a thoughtful commitment from the business to transform its approach to employee development, as well as identifying the right use for the technology that can truly drive impact. For this, we intervene to open new advanced pathways to some of our executives and enroll them with Cornell University, the Emirates Academy for Hospitality and Vatel: International Hospitality Management School. All executives who enroll in any program have to meet an obligation, upon their return to their workstations, to transfer their learnings and their new skills to the operation. There are certain conditions to be agreed upon, prior to any enrollment, and that is that it will always be at the discretion and motivation of the company. Our in-house program remains part of any training curriculum.

How are you preparing employees for their new position/advancement?
We initially meet the employee concerned and assess their knowledge, skills and attributes using the method that we see as most efficient, taking into consideration their ambitions, career path and intellectuality, also supported by the direct manager. The employee will then need to pass through a tailored in-house training program, with different platforms that support the employee type and level of interactivity applicable to the new role. The employee will be given a period of three months to prove their capability in handling the new task. During this period, the employee will often be coached, mentored and assisted to make their own decisions when permissible. Where there’s a will, there’s a way…

Pascal Gauvin

Do you have an association with an educational school or an in-house program?
We are building local capability to support our current and future growth through IHG Academy, which is a pioneering global collaboration between IHG and local education and community providers. In the Middle East, we are committed to bringing graduates from this program into our hotels in the region. It’s all part of our commitment to creating jobs and stimulating economic development in the communities where we live and work.

How are you preparing employees for their new position/advancement?
We have strong internal learning and development programs for our colleagues and industry professionals across job profiles. IHG’s Future Leader program prepares hospitality professionals for the next step management position in just 12 to 18 months. The candidates are given access to world-class training, supported by outstanding coaches and leaders. We also offer a supervisory fast-track development program called the True Leaders Programme.

Hassan Ahdab

Do you have an association with an educational school or an in-house program?
Training programs are ongoing throughout the year and at all levels. We have partnered with internationally and regionally renowned schools and institutions to provide all our associates with specialized trainings to maintain the highest Hospitality standards as well as adopt the latest technologies. We are also committed to supporting and developing young Saudi talents through our participation in various recruitment events including the 25th recruitment forum by Riyadh College of Technology, and the recruitment forum jointly organized by several entities in Makkah. We also signed a partnership with the College of Business Administration at Umm al-Qura University, and launched the Employment of Dreamers Initiative with the aim of contributing to the creation of job opportunities for jobseekers. Furthermore, we support nation-wide programs including the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program for External Scholarships, and the Tamheer Program by the Human Resources Development Fund.

Simon Casson

Do you have an association with an educational school or an in-house program?
Four Seasons operates an in-house training program led by a dedicated learning resource in each department who works hand in hand with management to develop and enhance the skills of team members. Our Four Seasons Standards Training Programme has been designed to assist in the training of new employees, as well as acting as a refresher for existing team members. The programme focuses on teaching employees the various skills, standards and safety practices associated with their position. We believe that continuous training across all levels of the organisation is essential to guarantee the ongoing success of the company. With this in mind, product and department-specific training is provided to team members from expert colleagues and third-party vendors on a regular basis. We operate a sought-after Manager in Training programme, which provides the brightest graduates with the tools they need to accelerate their careers and succeed as future leaders. Four Seasons also enjoys close links and collaborations with Cornell University, Lausanne Hospitality School, Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Hospitality School.

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How are you preparing employees for their new position/advancement?
Each new employee attends a three-module Introductory Training Programme to help them begin their journey with Four Seasons, understand our corporate culture and familiarise themselves with their working environment. Following the successful completion of their probation period, new team members are also invited to enjoy a complimentary experience at the hotel, which offers an inspiring opportunity to appreciate Four Seasons hospitality through the eyes of our guests.

Chris Newman

How is your hotel chain training the next generation of hoteliers?
Emaar Hospitality Group has structured, on-the-job training and talent development programs for our team, in addition to focusing on attracting new talent. One of our key initiatives, aimed specifically at nurturing female talent, is Hiya. The goal of Hiya is to achieve gender parity across all positions for the group.

Do you have an association with an educational school or an in-house program?
We also launched the ‘World Greatest Hospitality Talent’ to identify one under 26-year-old and give them the opportunity to undergo three years of training under Emaar Hospitality Group’s senior leaders and work across the board to gain hands-on insights into corporate hospitality leadership.

David Leman

Do you have an association with an educational school or an in-house program?
Marriott International has an in-house Learning and Development Department of learning professionals that develop custom programs and facilitate World-Class Leadership Courses. Here in the region, we have worked with Cornell University, Helwan University and Professional Development Foundation (PDF) to build Tahseen, a unique program, developed in response to the need in each individual market. Tahseen focuses on fast-tracking the next generation of hospitality leaders in the region by providing them with first-hand experience and an opportunity for graduates to rise quickly into leadership roles within the hospitality industry. The highly individualized program focuses on practical application across all departments, as well as an in-depth understanding of leadership skills led by teams across Marriott International’s participating hotels. The program runs for the course of 12 months and provides the candidates with operational experience and theoretical training, empowering them with the knowledge, skills and experience to become future leaders. In addition, participants get hands-on experience through the Cornell e-learning platforms and a university-led development program that provides them with the necessary tools to build on their talents.

Harpreet Singh

How are you preparing employees for their new position/ advancement?
Through mentoring and focused learning initiatives, based on the development needs of an individual. The Mentor Mentee Program is a structured approach to develop the skills of an existing employee to take up higher or additional responsibilities. Several chosen employees in the company go through an assessment center where each participant has a Development Program which is tailored and customized to the needs of the participant. These needs are then developed through Radisson Academy and a Mentoring Relationship. The participant will have a senior peer who will guide them, increase their self-awareness and encourage them to ask questions. Selected participants, if required, will go through the Leaders Excellence Program, as explained above, which includes business simulations and cases to enhance critical thinking skills and financial acumen.

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