What a month it has been! In February, the month of love, I’m loving everything at Woburn Forest. In the past few weeks I’ve leaned on a kitchen counter of a fully furnished lodge, poked my head inside the shower of a hotel room and sat in the Salt Steam Room in Aqua Sana. Believe it or not, everything is looking almost complete: there are furniture deliveries, bike deliveries and even the rides for the Subtropical Swimming Paradise are being fitted.
Woburn meets BBC
With the Village really coming together, it is also great to know that almost all of the team are on board now too. You may have seen some of our new starters on BBC Breakfast on February 19, where employees featured in a story on reduced unemployment figures. It featured Ross Airson, the star of a recruitment post written a couple of weeks ago. I have been seeing the recruitment numbers being updated week after week and this month, I really wanted to take some time to meet some of the new starters and capture their experiences in some way.
I had sent an email to Tracy [Walker, Training and Development Manager] a couple of weeks ago and she invited me down to her desk. Perched on a seat next to hers, she brought up the training schedule for me to see – you should have seen it! A mosaic of lots of coloured boxes, each one a particular type of training session, on a particular day at a particular time with details of how many attendees and location.
Investing in people
Tracy glanced at my face and I think my expression said it all as she said: “Do you want me to suggest a few?” “Yes please”, I said quietly. Our BMS film crew, photographer and I then created a Training Road Trip to see how the training takes place and talk to the people who are going through the process. What better way is there to really get to know the Village than talking to the people who will be running it very soon?
Each new employee was bright-eyed, committed, warm, and friendly, all enjoying spending time with their team mates and learning new skills. They spoke about how they had been so impressed with the recruitment process and how much training they had been given since starting. It’s really apparent that Center Parcs is a company that invests in its people through support and training.
Inside one of the completed lodges, there were rows and rows of treatment beds lined up. This is the make-shift spa treatment training facility, where the therapists learn the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art treatments. When we asked for a volunteer to be interviewed on camera, a few were eager to come and speak, one of whom told us about her past experience in the spa industry, how close she lives to the site and how excited she was about welcoming guests to the brand new spa very soon.
I have to say, I became very sentimental on this trip – more than I imagined I would. I found myself re-living my own journey with Center Parcs which began five years ago. I thought about how welcome I felt, how excited I was about working for the company, the inductions, training and support. I really felt part of a family and this certainly seems to be the case for Woburn Forest.
See you next time,