What it means to us to be short listed for the Caterer’s Best Places to Work in Hospitality Award.
I opened my copy of the Caterer last week and was stunned to see Georgian House featured as one of the top 6 shortlisted for the Best Employer Catey! You might know that these awards are amongst the most important in our industry. Of course I knew that we had entered as I prepared the entry myself, but to see that we were featured and are still in the running for the main award came as a huge surprise. I should tell you something of our journey to this point, for you to understand quite what it means for us.
I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to run the Georgian House back in 1987 when my mother inherited the family business. I was 19 years old and smitten by the industry, but with very little experience under my belt. That wasn’t the only problem. The place had an awful lot of potential but was in a very poor state of repair. With steady years of care and investment we have moved from 28 rooms and 2 guest accommodation stars to 60 rooms and 4 stars. The state of the property is one aspect, but of course the service is just as important. We work in a people industry, and from the beginning I have believed that caring for people doesn’t just apply to the guests. We have worked hard to create a culture that puts the happiness and wellbeing of our team at the heart of what we do. This has been a rewarding and challenging evolution and I have been blessed with the support and commitment of a loyal and steadfast team.
I am proud of the structure we have put in place and of our attitude to our team, and I find it hard to put into words what it feels like to have our hard work recognised in this way. I always imagined that awards like this were for the big corporates, or at least businesses with professional HR support. I didn’t think that we would get as far as we have, with our systems that we have put together ourselves, and with all our HR issues dealt with by our management team. Just entering the award was a revelatory experience for me, because it gave me the chance to contemplate all that we do as part of one picture and to see how much we do all the way through from recruitment to when our team members leave. As a team, seeing it all laid out gave us a boost. Then for us to see our hotel listed alongside such well respected hotels, as one of the 6 finalists – we are still pinching ourselves to believe it’s true. Reaching this stage is a big thing for a small business like ours and our success has given us all a great sense of achievement and pride. Now it’s time to cross our fingers for when they announce the overall winner in July!