Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Fred Sirieix, Galvin at Windows

Published:  11 August, 2011

The general manager's view


I spend about 50% of my time training, thinking about it or finding ways to motivate and inspire my team at Galvin at Windows. Being a good teacher is, for me, a prerequisite for being a successful professional, as much of our workforce is made up of people from outside the UK or part-timers who have little or no training.


Many do not consider our industry as a viable career choice and are only passing through until something better comes along.


It is a well known and documented fact that the hospitality industry is still badly perceived by most people in the UK today. Combined with the on-going confusion with the numerous professional qualifications available, it seems things will not improve this much in the short term.


Indeed, the qualifications have changed so much over the years that too many professionals and students do not know what they stand for, refer to or what the level actually is.


Being a UK resident for 20 years, these unnecessary changes have always puzzled me. In France the professional qualifications have been the same for as long as I (or my father) can remember. These are CAP (apprenticeship), BEP and BAC for the main ones.


There is some good news, though. Apprenticeships are back on the table in our industry. Currently, 22,000 people are on apprentice schemes and there are plans to increase this number to 30,000 by 2020, with an expected completion rate of 80%. However, according to Mintel we are still about 30,000 people short.


This basically means that if every restaurant, hotel, bar or club does not undertake extensive training programs within their business, quality will go down dramatically due to the increased staff shortage created by our industry's growth.


There has never been a greater need for managers to believe in training, be patient and invest the necessary time and energy to teach, develop and coach those who will be tomorrow's stars.


For me it is more than just work, however, because to develop staff it is imperative to believe in people and in their potential - both on a professional and personal level.


Whenever I coach someone I always dig deep. Everyone is different and every time I must find a way to relate and connect to my trainees if I am going to be successful.
It is not just about the business; it's about important things like inner values and what they want to be. It's about teamwork, the joy of learning and embarking on a new amazing journey every time.