When Lauren O’Sullivan received a call from Dalata to say she had been accepted onto the HR Graduate Programme she wanted to shout for joy, but she couldn’t as she was in a library surrounded by hard working students.
Lauren was just finishing a four-year degree course in Business Studies and was still trying to decide on a career when she got the call from Dalata. She had been in the library preparing for her final year exams when a Dublin number flashed up on her phone.
She said: “I was elated when the call came but if I am honest I had no real desire to move away from my home in West Cork and I had never been to Galway before so I had to really push myself outside of my comfort zone.
“But I’m a firm believer things happen for a reason and I ended up loving my time on the Graduate Programme and I feel very fortunate to have worked with some brilliant managers in Bethany Potter, Stephanie McIntyre and Lorraine Hannahoe.
“There were nine of us on the graduate programme and we have all stayed in touch which is great as we can all lean on each other for support in our new roles.”
On completion of the 12-month programme at Clayton Hotel Galway City in September, Lauren joined the team at Maldron Hotel Sandy Road in Galway where she currently works as a HR Executive.
..I’m still finding my feet at Sandy Road, but I feel confident I can do the job and although I am on my own in the hotel’s HR department most days, I know there is a great team at the end of the phone ready to help me."
“If you met me for the first time you would think I am very chatty and confident but that has not always been the case. When you work for Dalata you are surrounded by people who want to lift you up and want to help you achieve your ambitions – this has really helped my confidence.”
Lauren has set her sights on continuing to grow her career with Dalata and believes the opportunities available to staff are unlike other companies.
She said: “I want to keep working hard and progressing to become an Assistant HR Manager and then a HR Manager. I am determined that I can reach that level.
“The opportunities at Dalata are endless and when you tell your manager about your career plans you can be assured they will do all they can to encourage you and help you achieve your goals.
..Even though Dalata is a huge company and continuing to expand, there is still a family atmosphere."
“This is something I have felt and experienced first-hand. I still stay in touch with my fellow graduates and the team at the Clayton Hotel, we all support each other, and it is a wonderful environment to be a part of.
“I have given a presentation to Dawn Wynne, our Chief People Officer as well as to Des McCann, the company’s Chief Operating Officer. It’s a hallmark of this company that the people at the very top make time for people at all levels of the business.”
Lauren said: “Working in the HR department I see our fairness put into action almost every day.
“I am completely confident that I would be treated exactly the same as Dermot Crowley would be and I’m not sure this happens in other companies.
“Everyone at Dalata is afforded the same opportunities, it is really just up to the individual person to show the initiative in going after them.
“Fairness in a company like Dalata is crucial for creating a positive work environment and promoting employee satisfaction and productivity. Ensuring that hiring, promotion, and other employment decisions are based on merit, skills, and qualifications rather than personal biases.
“Dalata also puts a huge emphasis on encouraging a healthy work-life balance and discouraging excessive working hours to prevent burnout and ensure the well-being of employees.
“As you know Dalata is the first organisation to receive accreditation for its commitment to employee health and wellbeing in both the Ireland and the UK. The company has been awarded The KeepWell Mark from IBEC in Ireland and has received Workplace Wellbeing Charter Accreditation in the UK.
“By continuously incorporating these practices, the company continues to create a fair and inclusive workplace, fostering a positive culture and encouraging employee loyalty and engagement.
“As a hospitality business service is always going to be a key focus for Dalata, but I can see real attention to detail in ensuring high standards are met and maintained.
“For example, every employee gets a skills training folder which tells them how they can go about their duties and covers everything from meeting and greeting guests to how to hold a tray when serving.
“By having this kind of focus it ensures the same high standards are maintained across the group. No matter what hotel you go into you will recognise the Dalata brand of customer service.
“The attention to detail which sets the standard for great service also stretches across other areas of the business which really adds to that feeling of authenticity when it comes to the culture of the company.”
“But, of course that’s not to say everyone is robotic, staff are encouraged to bring their own personalities to the job. This is what really helps all Dalata hotels have that warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We are completely authentic.
“Our people are encouraged to bring their differences to the company, they are seen as a strength and are to be celebrated.
“I have loved my first year at Dalata. I now know this is the career I want to pursue and I know Dalata will provide me with the opportunities to help me climb the ladder.
“While I am very much my own person it has been a real positive for me to be surrounded by experienced people and people who genuinely want to see you succeed.”