Four hotels across the country were recognised for excellence in talent development this week at the Irish Hotels Federation's (IHF) national Quality Employers Awards 2022.
Awards were made in three categories, according to the size of the property, with hotels from Kilkenny, Laois and Cork taking the honours. Ashford Castle of Co. Mayo, brought home the honour of "Distinction in Human Resource Management and Development", which was open to hotels that had won category awards in previous years.
The category winners were:
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Intermediate The Cork International Hotel
Medium The Midlands Park Hotel
Small Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel
Chairman of the independent judging panel, Dr Donagh Davern of Munster Technological University, paid tribute to the award winners and commended them for their human resource practices and innovations, which were particularly essential in keeping teams together during the immense difficulty of the last two years.
Davern stated, "The judging committee was impressed by each winner's dedication to people management and ensuring high quality employment practices are in place. Each winning hotel showcased a true innovative spirit, offering superb employee benefits and career progression opportunities."
Congratulating the winners, Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, outgoing IHF President, who presented the awards, commended the commitment shown by employers to creating and maintaining high levels of employment standards.
Fitzgerald Kane stated, "Irish hotels have a well-earned reputation for excellence as employers and are committed to best practice employment standards in looking after their teams. Over 65,000 people are employed in the sector right across the country in a diverse and inclusive range of roles from entry level to highly skilled employment that provides fantastic opportunities for advancement."
IHF Crowns National Employee Of The Year
Additionally, Klara Vrlika, senior receptionist at the Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa, Cork, has been named the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) "National Employee of the Year". Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates and recognises the hotel team member who has made an outstanding contribution to their workplace. Fitzgerald Kane presented Vrlika with her award at the IHF's Annual Conference in Cavan.
Congratulating Vrlika and the six other nominees shortlisted for the award, Fitzgerald Kane paid tribute to the high calibre of people working within the sector, and said, "This award truly showcases the immense talent and dedication shown by hotel and guesthouse teams right throughout the country. Over 65,000 people are now working in the hotel sector, and the diverse and engaging roles available ensure there are fantastic opportunities to build a rewarding career. This award provides us with an opportunity to show our appreciation for the valuable contribution that hotel team members make each day in providing a world class hospitality product."
Vrlika was commended for being an integral part of her team since first joining in 2019. Her career at Inchydoney began as a receptionist and it was soon clear that she had a natural talent and warmth in dealing with guests. Less than a year later, Klara was promoted to senior receptionist and was chosen by the management team as a candidate for the three year Trainee Manager Development Programme at Munster Technological University-MTU.
The IHF said that, over the last year, amongst the backdrop of restrictions and the uncertainty that came with it, Vrlika has always offered a knowing smile, words of reassurance and willingness to go above and beyond to ensure guests are happy and comfortable.
Members of the IHF could nominate a candidate who consistently shows outstanding hospitality from their hotel/guesthouse to go forward for their regional branch award.
The other shortlisted nominees for the award were:
- Midlands Siofra Ryan-Smith, Kilkea Castle Hotel
- Shannon David Kelly, Fitzgerald Woodlands House Hotel
- Kerry Joe Moriarty, Dromhall Hotel
- Dublin Jack Cummings, Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane
- Cork Klara Vrlika, Lodge & Spa at Inchydoney
- Sligo/Leitrim/N. Roscommon Conor Conway, Sligo Park Hotel
- South East Amy Sheridan, Tower Hotel & Leisure Centre Waterford
The national award was adjudicated by an independent panel of judges, chaired by Dr Donagh Davern of Munster Technological University.
© 2022 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.