STAFF members at Sandals Resorts in St Lucia have expressed ‘tremendous confidence and satisfaction’ in the resort’s protocols for COVID-19, suggesting that the measures in place are among the strongest they’ve seen on the island.
Sandals Resorts International unveiled a wide-ranging set of health and safety guidelines early in the pandemic designed to keep staff safe, while also giving guests the peace of mind they need to enjoy their vacation.
A management source contacted following news about the new measures said some include ‘mandatory temperature checks for everyone entering the resorts and mask-wearing by staff at work, who are also provided with facilities to shower and change their clothing before starting their shifts and again before leaving for their homes.’
She said, ‘Hand-wash stations complemented by hand sanitizing dispensers have been installed in strategic locations across the resorts, making it easy and convenient for team members to practice proper hand hygiene.’
The source said physical distancing is highly promoted on the resorts with specially-designed markers placed on the floors, ‘and there have also been changes to the way guests are greeted, with handshakes and hugs being replaced with elbow bumps and hand gestures.’
There is also frequent and stringent sanitizing and disinfecting of high-touch surface areas and common areas.
Meanwhile, Loyalty & Travel Consultant, Kersanny Renee, commenting on the measures stated, ‘The company clearly has left no stone unturned in developing those protocols. It really is a lot.
‘It has transformed the way that we do things, but at the same time, it gives me a sense of assurance that my health and safety, as well as that of my family, is being taken seriously.”
Two months since Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort and Spa reopened to guests, most staff say they have ‘never felt more comfortable to work amid the global pandemic.’
Meanwhile, Sandals Regency Spa Manager Kim D’Auvergne says the Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness has come like a SavioUr.
She said: ‘It has really boosted my confidence. Knowing how all-encompassing the protocols makes me feels protected; it makes me feel safe and worry-free.
‘It is so detailed and comprehensive in terms of the things that need to be done in each individual department. I can truly say that it makes me feel very comfortable.’
To ensure staff are familiar with the new protocols, Sandals Resorts in St Lucia says, it implemented a robust training and education program as a prerequisite to the resumption of employment.
The training covered Coronavirus Sensitization, Platinum Protocols General Company Requirements and Platinum Skills Training Departmental Requirements and was designed to ensure staff are fully informed of the risks as well as the measures that must be taken to mitigate the spread of communicable diseases, such as COVID-19.
According to Sandals Regency Training & Development Manager Shaniel Cowans, ‘The team assimilated easily to the training and have since then been very vocal about their confidence in seeing the efforts and resources installed to protect them, while they execute their job functions.”
Cowans added that “Team members noted that the company’s proactive and heightened approach to health and safety measures, combined with team member engagement and customer experience is the winning formula to ensure our survival.’
Recruitment and Compliance Specialist Shenaaz McAnuff noted that, ‘from a Human Resources perspective, what I like about the protocols is that the verbiage used is simple and very straight forward.
‘It’s easy to understand and thus transcends comprehension across all stratas of the organization. Quite frankly, you can’t ask for more than that.’
She added: ‘I also appreciate the way we are transferring the information because we are catering to different modalities of learning.
‘As we move on, it is important that we continue to refine our protocols based on any new learning and also continue to remind our staff of the importance of following the protocols.’
In an effort to ensure that the new protocols are fully implemented and maintained, Sandals says it has established Quality Assurance Teams across each resort.
The teams are made up of Platinum Protocol Inspectors and Platinum Protocol Marshalls whose job it is to look out for each other and ensure compliance with the new health and safety measures. The Marshalls are line team members who, during the course of their shift, look out for potential breaches in their surroundings while the Inspectors carry out weekly audits.
According to Junior Sales Executive Judy Modeste, each individual has a part to play in keeping us all safe.
‘Coronavirus is impacting each and every human being on this planet, therefore it’s our responsibility to ensure that we follow the protocols and continue to be safe.
‘That’s why I volunteered to become a Quality Assurance Marshall,” Modeste said, adding that ‘With all the protocols that the company has already established, it gives me a sense of duty in that, I feel like I’m doing my part to keep myself and my fellow team members’ safe.’
The Caribbean’s leading all-inclusive resort chain has long been at the forefront of health and safety in the hospitality sector and the company sees the new protocols as simply an expansion of the processes and systems that have been in place.
As the world continues to deal with the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic and as the Caribbean slowly begins to welcome back international visitors, Sandals Resorts International says it is doing all it can to affirm and confirm its commitment to providing a proper safety environment for its guests, staff and the islands in which it operates.