David’s job has him covering HR and development for no less than six IHG hotels in Central London, so he always aims to start work early at 7am.
The first two hours are sacred: managing emails, focussing on priorities and planning. After that, work varies immensely from day to day, and he’ll roll his sleeves up to deal with all kinds of HR-related activities, from recruiting, training, coaching, handling employee relations to managing payrolls.
‘There are always challenges to work on,’ he says.
His qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) are important, but learning on the job has proven invaluable. ‘My CIPD course gave me a solid background into the theory of HR, but most of my learning has come from the practical experience of dealing with the human side of the business while on the job,’ he says.
David entered the hotel industry as a barman, a temporary assignment that led to a full-time career. ‘I really enjoyed meeting guests and getting to know the people I worked with. When I was given the opportunity to progress to a more senior role, I decided to stay in hotels.’
After ten years in F&B operations, IHG gave him Room to grow. He made the switch to his first role in HR, where an inspirational Director of Training encouraged him to come out of his comfort zone and experience different ways of approaching and managing situations and people.
There was a time when David perceived hotels as formal places where work could be stiff and regimented. But experience has taught him differently. ‘In fact, it’s been great working in contemporary hotels with an informal atmosphere and relaxed service style.’
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