Four Seasons team back after year-long training in Maldives


Mr Rahim (left) and Mr Porteous (right) congratulate employees Vanessa Brutus, Taciana Servina, Mary Zialor, Christoper Luc and Rosemay Quatre (from left to right)  on a job well done

Room attendants Rosemay Quatre, Taciana Servina and Mary Zialor, food and beverage servers Vanessa Brutus and Silvy Alissop, as well as baker Jean-Paul Telemaque have returned from an exchange programme with Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Givaaru, on the Baa Atoll.

The group left in late 2010, returning in December last year to help during the busy festive period.

They were given coaching by their employers before they left for the Maldives, to help them cope with the possible culture shock they might experience in their new surroundings, but the change proved to be easier to handle than they expected.

“We missed our families, of course, and the culture is very different from ours. But everyone there was very welcoming,” said Quatre.

“The human resources team had a great programme in place to ensure we could meet lots of new people. I even learned some of the local dancing!”

The team enjoyed a warm welcome from local staff who did their best to involve them. “They always wanted to involve us in games on the beach, and would never let us refuse to take part,” said Zialor. “All the guys there treated us like sisters, and there were lots of social activities like barbecues and night picnics organised by the team at the resort.”

Adapting to life in the Maldives had its challenges but it was easier than anticipated. The team enjoyed the food, but missed activities like going to church, and being able to go anywhere they like, as they do on Mahé.
“If we wanted to leave the resort we had to take a boat, instead of going by car or bus. The landscape is very flat compared to all the hills here!” said Zialor. “We worked split shift, which was tiring at first, but we got used to it. There was a lot of great teamwork there too. We do prefer our uniforms in Seychelles though. We had to wear trousers that were like fisherman’s pants, because of the culture difference. We prefer the shorter trousers we wear in Seychelles!”

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles human resources director Abdul Rahim said the team are very pleased with the results.
“We started this exchange programme with our sister property in early 2010. The latest group has returned with some great experiences and new ideas after their exposure abroad.”

“We have now identified another eight employees who will go to the Maldives this year,” he added. “We intend to continue this programme with some of our other Four Seasons hotels and resorts worldwide in the near future. It is our hope that many more of our staff will get on this programme to enrich their skills, cultural understanding and expand their knowledge."

Christopher Luc was a Food and Beverage stewarding attendant when he became the first member of the Four Seasons Seychelles team to take part in the programme back in April 2010. “I was worried about being the first person to go, but I was made to feel very welcome, and learned so much while I was there. I loved the culture, and it was great to meet lots of people. I even learned some of the Maldivian and Indian languages!”

The experience was clearly beneficial for Luc as he was promoted soon after he returned in May last year, and now enjoys the added responsibility of his new role as a supervisor in the staff restaurant.

General manager Alex Porteous added: “The cross-exposure programme gives the team an incredible cultural adventure, and means our team in Seychelles can share new ideas and the experience of our staff with our friends in the Maldives, and vice-versa.”
Mr Porteous added that “our guests and employees come from all over the world, with languages, beliefs, cultures and traditions of such variety that they enrich our lives. Our goal is that everyone is respected, welcomed, understood and developed to the best of their ability, and it seems that the goal of our colleagues in the Maldives is the same.

“The team has already settled back in their respective departments, where they have proved to be valuable assets to the company and Seychelles. We are very proud of them all, and look forward to implementing some of the great ideas they have brought back, and supporting them in their career development.”

Contributed by the Four Seasons Seychelles

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