Name: Silvia Maria Putinica
Placement: Reservations supervisor, PPHE Hotel Group
Apprenticeship: Level 3 Team Leader Umbrella apprenticeship
Why did you decide to complete an apprenticeship?
I saw this apprenticeship as a good opportunity to step up, after being a supervisor for nearly two years at the time. The apprenticeship opportunity was offered to me during the first lockdown and it was a perfect excuse for me to keep my mind busy with something that was not only working. It served me as a motivational tool during a challenging time for everyone.
What are the three main things that you have learned since starting your programme?
- Time management – I have always been passionate about time management and productivity, but since I started the apprenticeship I had the perfect scenario to practice different time management techniques and implement those that truly work for me and my work environment.
- Delegating –I have always struggled with delegating because I feel extremely responsible for everything that comes my way and I find it extremely difficult to let go. In the last few months I have been delegating more and more those tasks that can be easily done by the team members in order to make time for the very important ones, as well as making time to train the team for more specific tasks. I feel more fulfilled with my job now, since what I love the most about it is the people management/training/career progression for me and team members. Delegating has made a big difference on how I approach my days now, and stress has reduced considerably. This is a skill I want to master along with the time management.
- Types of personalities and learning styles – This has helped me understand we all have different personalities and learn in completely different ways. When I am training someone I am more aware of their needs, which allows me to accommodate and therefore have a much more successful result. My team members are now very excited to learn, to the point they ask for additional training that is not included in their plan.
What has the impact been to the business of you completing your apprenticeship?
- Increased productivity – this applies to me and to my direct team, as I have been able to implement different productivity techniques that involve them as well.
- Improved decision making/levels of empowerment – the main goal is to teach each team member how to make unassisted decisions and prepare them for the most challenging situations they can get, in order to build up their confidence and grow their comfort zone. I have also improved my decision making skills, especially since the work environment is very unpredictable with the pandemic going on, we need to be ready and able to make quick, efficient decisions to accommodate any unforeseen circumstance, aka Government announcements.
- Development of coaching/mentoring skills – This is the part of my role that I enjoy the most and I am proud to say, our department has never been so involved with trainings before. Our team members are excited and look forward to more and more trainings.
- Retention of team members – We work very hard to welcome everyone and make them feel at home, safe and trusted. This has resulted in many of our team members being promoted to Executives and supervisors, and some of them moving to other departments such as Groups, Meetings and Events, Reputation or Distribution. It is great to see people making a career within the company.
What would you say to others thinking about taking up these development opportunities?
It is a great opportunity to step up. This apprenticeship prepares you to be more efficient with your time and energy. And what is more important, it helps you build awareness around the people, the culture, the finance objectives and the bigger picture. You learn how to understand the “why” behind every action, every decision and every project that the company makes, which gives a big sense of belonging, and therefore all the positive impact this brings along. After completing this apprenticeship you are ready for when a higher position becomes available, all you have to do is apply and keep learning and growing but without the struggle of a starter.
Summarise your experience in three words
Insightful, motivating and mandatory for everyone!