THE running of a modern, four-star hotel like the George Washington can, at times, require an almost military level of planning and precision. Everything always has to be present and correct on the day; every effort made to ensure that all things are shipshape.
So it was only fitting that the GW staff were keen to take part when an ‘Army Reserve Experience Day’ was offered to them as part of the hotel’s heavy involvement supporting the Armed Forces Covenant.
The Covenant is an agreement between the Armed Forces and civilian employers to actively look at making best use of the skills and abilities of ex-military personnel. And as part of that programme, staff got the chance to see some of those transferable skills upfront and personal at the Army Reserve Centre in Dykelands Road, Sunderland.
Hotel staff taking part were Sandra Devlin, Amanda Wilson, Anna Carr, Tony Wilkinson, Gary Marshall, Michael Short, Joe Whelan and Damien Wright.And the aim of the day was to enhance skills for the workplace, through building confidence in dealing with ‘unknown’ problems as they arise.
The George’s marketing manager, Sandra Devlin, said: “It was tough at times but great fun because the idea was to use practical activities to support learning and personal development. “It gave us a great insight into the wide range of transferable skills that Army Reservists develop during their Service; skills that are beneficial to them not only as individuals but also to their employers. “We all thoroughly enjoyed the day. “It meant taking us out of our comfort zone at times but we didn’t back out of everything and threw ourselves into all the activities.
There were other companies taking part – almost 60 people in all – we were Team 5 and at the end of the day, we were named as the winners for full participation and ahead of other teams by 4 mins 18 seconds. “We were welcomed back to the hotel and congratulated by an excitable general manager, who had a spread fit for a king laid out in the Carter & Fitch restaurant.”
George Washington Hotel general manager Ian Gray and his team are passionate about offering active support to the Armed forces and, in particular, to the Armed Forces Covenant. He said: “We are proud to be involved with, and to promote, the exceptionally important Covenant and we were delighted with the opportunity this gave my team to join one of the Army Mini Stretch’s Command Task days. “It was great fun and highly rewarding for the team who got a huge amount from the experience and have learned lessons that they can apply to their daily and to their work lives. “