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Former Team Members Head Back To Sandals

Image of Sandals Chairman, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart.

PRESS RELEASE – Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia has been welcoming back several of its former team members, who barely six months ago left to pursue what at the time seemed like a better opportunity at another hotel property in the north of the island.

General Manager of Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort, Winston Anderson, says while a number of former team members have already been integrated back into the company, dozens more have inquired about a return to the world’s number one all-inclusive resort.

One returning team member, who held the position of Restaurant Manager, said she returned to Sandals after finding out that the grass was not greener on the other side.

Another employee, a fine-dining chef, insisted on taking the only job available, even though it meant a demotion, just so she could return to Sandals, confident that the company’s development structure will allow her to work her way back to the top.

According to Anderson, Sandals was happy to welcome home many of those who have returned.

“We were disappointed when some of our team members decided to leave and travel to the north. However, I can’t say we were surprised when just months later, they’ve come knocking at our doors asking to return home. We mean it when we say we always put the welfare of the employee first. We are happy, therefore, to welcome back team members, understanding that some would have made a mistake, although you would appreciate that some of the jobs we ended up filling already.”

Anderson said it is the unique Sandals culture that promotes an environment of inclusion, respect and team building which cannot be replicated despite the best efforts of the competition. More than that, Sandals’ depth of investment in training and development of its team members is unmatched anywhere else in the Caribbean.

Last year, Sandals Chairman, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, said that many large hotel chains come to destinations like Saint Lucia and try to entice employees away from hotels that invest in training like Sandals.

President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Karolin Troubetzkoy, had also criticized the practice of ‘poaching’ as being inimical to many indigenous resorts that invest in training.

Access to training and development was a major concern of several of the employees who returned to Sandals.

Regional Public Relations Manager, Sunil Ramdeen, pointed out that Sandals Team members have access to over 200 accreditation programmes through its Sandals Corporate University, and are also able to access degree programmes and scholarships to pursue academic achievements up to the doctorate level.

“Not too many people do or care to do that for team members. We do it because Sandals is a Caribbean company, and we believe in the people of the Caribbean. It’s easy to promise people the moon and stars, but to deliver on that promise is something else. At Sandals, everyone is treated with respect and that example is set at the very top by our Chairman, Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, by our Deputy Chairman and CEO, Adam Stewart, and by every Director and manager in this company.”

Beyond training, the overall compensation package for Sandals team members offers unique benefits that are not commonplace in the industry, such as pension and healthcare benefits. Sandals’ continuous expansion and development activities also ensure that there is the opportunity for vertical movement for team members.

Sandals has been investing in the development of Destination Saint Lucia since 1992, and has played a pivotal role in helping the island transition from a banana-based economy to one that can now boast of a vibrant tourism sector.

The resort employs over 1,500 team members at its three resorts and is anticipating providing direct employment for another 700 persons with the addition of the fourth property, Sandals La Source St. Lucia, a 330-key all-suite luxury resort. Further opportunities are also expected to arise following the proposed upgrades to the 18-hole Championship St. Lucia Golf Club, which was recently acquired by the group.

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