Over the next 12 months, 100 managers and supervisors at Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple Resorts across the Caribbean will be the first to participate in Sandals Resorts International’s (SRI) newest training initiative — the Management Exposure Programme (MEXP).
The MEXP is an initiative of the Sandals Corporate University (SCU), which was launched in 2012 to formalise and augment the company’s staff development and training initiatives, and provide team members with opportunities to further their studies.
Under the MEXP, resorts will nominate managers to be seconded to various properties across the region for at least one month in order to expose them to new working environments and cultures, widen their skills and insights, enhance their career development and positively impact their job performance on return to their home resort. In addition, participants will be able to share their own experiences and skills with their host resort.
Each participant’s unique training programme, including length of stay overseas, and learning objectives, will be determined through collaboration with the home resort and the SCU. All participants will submit a reflective report at the end of their training and will also be assigned SCU coaches who will assist them throughout their training journey.
The launch of the MEXP, which in its first year will receive an investment of over US$200,000, is especially timely as the company has officially dubbed 2015 ‘the year of leadership development’. Under this theme, other development programmes to be implemented include the SCU’s partnership with Knowledge Works Consulting which will grant executive managers across all resorts access to Harvard ManageMentor, the premier on-demand learning and performance support resource for leadership and management skill development. In addition, all heads of department will benefit from training in a range of topics including innovation and creativity, change management and project management, using the resources of Harvard ManageMentor.
Adam Stewart, chief executive officer at Sandals Resorts International said the company is very excited about the launch of the MEXP and is confident that team members across the region will benefit greatly. He said, “Sandals is a regional company and it is only fitting that we provide opportunities for regional integration and knowledge exchange. We want our team members to travel to other resorts, spend some quality time and learn from their colleagues. Each island is unique and so is each resort. This programme will not only build professional skills and relationships but will bring our team members closer together. MEXP will give our team members a refreshing learning and training opportunity while deepening their appreciation for different cultures.”
The programme is a further show of SRI’s commitment to regional integration — already evident in programmes like the Management Trainee Programme (MTP). The MTP identifies and grooms outstanding young recruits to become managers in the company through hands-on learning and training at resorts across the region. In addition, the company continues to carry out region-wide job recruitment exercises, offering continuous employment to Caribbean nationals and taking advantage of CARICOM’s Free Movement of Skilled Persons Agreement.