Comment: Elegant Resorts’ Lisa Fitzell

      Lisa Fitzell joined Elegant Resorts in April 2018. Before that she was group managing director at Bangkok-based DMC Diethelm Travel. She has also worked for STA Travel, Austravel, Gold Medal and Tailormade Travel. 

When I landed a job at Lunn Poly at the age of 16, my manager quickly became a huge role model because of her leadership style. The travel industry is a people business, and our people are what drive success. 

To get the best out of our colleagues, those of us who manage teams need to create an environment of trust and respect. We also need to treat our customers and staff as kings, because without them we don’t have a business. So communicate the vision and be open and honest about challenges and opportunities to ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction. 

Working for a company is not just a job, it’s also about being part of a community. It’s about having a purpose and making a difference; being part of something you’re proud of and believe in; and, most importantly, feeling valued and cared for. 

For many companies, the past two years have been about survival, making investing in staff a challenge. But there are many things we can still do to create a great working environment. 

I am passionate about wellness in the workplace, and it is more important ever before in the challenging environment we are in. Healthy employees mean less sickness and a happier team, and it doesn’t take huge investment to create a healthier workplace. 

You can start with fitness challenges or walking meetings. During the pandemic, we partnered with Lifeworks, giving employees access to24/7 counselling and online wellbeing resources. We also have an onsite gym and a quiet room, and we’ve provided yoga and HIIT classes as well as many fitness challenges.

The hybrid working model, and recruitment of more homeworkers, also adds to a healthier work environment, and we’ve seen an increase in productivity due to this enhanced flexibility. 

Now, it’s time for us to get our businesses thriving again. We need new people to feel enticed to join our industry because of our company cultures and great working environments. Flexibility is important but career progression and training and development are still the fundamentals. 

Management and leadership training is key to developing tomorrow’s leaders. This, together with the fun aspect of our trade and the opportunity to travel the world, makes our industry a great career choice. 

That’s why I’m looking forward to playing my part in developing the future of our industry and seeing the next generation succeed.

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