ome is iHmportant to the folks who work at SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Bellingham. They take pride in offering comfort and hospitality to their guests, but team members also consider each other to be part of a family. It just so happens that this family is full of managers who are committed to seeing potential in their employees and helping them focus and direct their energy into professional growth and progress.
“We’re going to make sure you have all of the tools and resources to be successful,” shared General Manager, Keith Coleman, when describing the hotel’s commitment to supporting employee advancement. SpringHill Suites is part of the 360° Hotel Group which offers thorough training programs. “If I could pick any job in the world, it would be to just train,” Coleman said. “I absolutely love it.”
The hotel supports and helps develop employees that want to grow and do more. A desire to advance is rewarded by providing staff with the training necessary to be successful as they promote. “The time commitment is substantial because this program is so detailed,” said Coleman.
That time commitment is invested intentionally because the 360° Hotel Group understands that the growth of their team members leads to growth of the company. “We are committed to developing the next generation of leaders,” shared Shawn Walker, Vice President of Operations & Human Resources for 360° Hotel Group. “Our goal is never to need to hire outside the company for any leadership position at a hotel, but instead to always have multiple team members that are trained and motivated to step into their next role.”
The company’s philosophy is paying off at SpringHill Suites, where team members from a variety of backgrounds are advancing. After Lydia David graduated from Western Washington University, she joined the hotel as a room attendant in the hopes of working while she figured out how she could stay in Whatcom County. After a year, she was one of the first graduates of the supervisory training program and was promoted to Housekeeping Supervisor. Now she’s the Director of Housekeeping.
“I love my hotel family,” David shared. “I realized very quickly that this company had some opportunities for growth. I wanted to make Bellingham my home and I knew this was a way I could do that.”
In addition to the in-depth training and support she received to advance to her current position, the hotel sponsored her to go through the Leadership Whatcom program last year. This afforded her a wider breadth of experience and gave her opportunities to connect with emerging community & business leaders from a variety of backgrounds.
“I’m just very grateful for the willingness of this company to choose people within to move up,” said David. “They encourage us to hone our skills and to inspire others to step up and hope for the same for their future.”
“In order for 360° Hotel Group to continue to be successful we must constantly strive to be considered an employer of choice,” shared Shawn Walker. The group doesn’t just want to provide the best choices within the hospitality industry. They want to be competitive beyond hotels as well. “This requires us to consider all the attributes that not only attract a potential team member but which will motivate them to be long term members of our family. Good training programs allow our team members to develop, grow and stay engaged.”
One employee who has developed and grown with the company is Becky Doll. She had worked for a number of local restaurants and hotels before finding her home at SpringHill Suites. She had joined their team to be Food & Beverage Manager, but realized that she wanted to push herself further. Now she’s the hotel’s Operations Manager.
“I wanted to be challenged and I’m definitely being challenged,” Doll shared. “But I love it. I get a thrill from that. I love what I do and I love the people I work with.”
Sarbnoor Kaur started her role as Sales Coordinator earlier this month but she’s already thriving within the training program. “I’m really excited to be here,” she shared. “There’s so much to learn. You want to make sure everything is right and that you’re meeting all of the standards and guidelines and everything.” Even though there’s a lot to learn in her new position, Kaur is starting to feel more confident. Plus she knows that she can always ask for help. “They really put people first,” she said.
“This is hands-on, physical training to get you to that next level,” shared Keith Coleman.
As stellar as the training programs are, 360° Hotel Group doesn’t just want to be known as good trainers. “We want to be known as great developers of people,” shared Shawn Walker. “By deciding to emphasize development and opportunity from within, we have firmly established the direction of our culture and our commitment to the company’s future through our number one asset, our team members.”
SpringHill Suites by Marriott is located at 4040 Northwest Avenue in Bellingham.