Food and Beverage Manager Has Career Skills Covered

Rodd Hotels Employee Completes Third emerit Professional Certification

Not long ago, Wendy Murphy of Rodd Hotels and Resorts successfully completed her emerit Food and Beverage Manager Certification. This is a notable accomplishment on its own, but is truly remarkable given the fact that Wendy has previously been certified as both a Supervisor and Front Desk Agent. Her latest certification makes Wendy the first person on Prince Edward Island, and one of a select few in Canada, to hold all three emerit credentials- Tourism Certified Professional, Tourism Certified Supervisor, and Tourism Certified Manager.

HR Times recently had a chance to talk to Wendy about her career in tourism, her recent accomplishments, and emerit training.

Congratulations on your latest certification! Tell us a bit about your employer, Rodd Hotels and Resorts, how long have you been with them, and what positions you’ve held since joining their team.

Rodd Hotels and Resorts has eight properties in Canada’s Maritime Provinces which are run independently of each other. The company is large enough to provide good career opportunities and room for advancement, but still small enough to retain the feel of a family run property.

I have worked for Rodd for 16 years now. I started in their central reservations office as a summer job during University, moved to work in the front office in Miramichi, and then as a Front Desk Agent in Charlottetown. From there, I managed the property at Montague for two years, and then moved to Crowbush where I worked for ten years as the Rooms Division Manager and the Conference Services Manager. Finally, I returned to Rodd Charlottetown, where I have been the Food and Beverage Manager for two years.

How did you first hear about emerit? What incentives are there for Rodd employees to pursue Professional Certification from emerit?

Like other new employees, I heard about emerit through more experienced staff who had already pursued certification. In fact, I saw the certificates displayed and the emerit pins on other staff and asked about them.

Rodd encourages emerit training and certification by paying half of the cost for employees in frontline occupations, and providing successful employees with a raise on completion of their certification. Rodd pays the full cost of Supervisor and Management level occupations. National Occupational Standards are a great reference to have around; employees use them to prepare for certification, and we also use them for training development.

I was certified first as a Front Desk Agent, then as a Supervisor, and most recently as a Food and Beverage Manager.

Having experienced certification at all three levels, what did you think of the process? Was everything that you needed to know in the occupation covered? Was it challenging, realistic, and fair?

It was interesting because it is hard to let go of company policy/habits. The performance evaluation for FDA was nerve wracking because of the mystery shopper component- anticipating the evaluation made it stressful, but in the end it was not that bad since you were just expected to perform your normal responsibilities.

Supervisor was more intense- it has four workbooks and covers a lot more material than the frontline occupations. The certification involved self-evaluation, management evaluation, and an in person evaluation, as well as case studies and an interview. There was a lot involved, partly because Supervisor is more general than the specific occupations and has to cover a lot of different scenarios.

Food and Beverage Manager was also a large body of material, again with four workbooks. It was less stressful after having been through the process before and being well-prepared. It was a little different as well, with part of the evaluation being a phone interview.

How has being emerit certified helped you in your role at Rodd Hotels?

Supervisor showed me the importance of proper documentation, file practices, and time management. These skills helped out in many ways as my career at Rodd progressed. They would be even more important if I worked at one of the two union properties in the Rodd portfolio. (None of the hotels on Prince Edward Island are unionized.)

Would you recommend emerit certification to others in the industry? How do you think the tourism sector in general benefits from professional certification?

Employees who go through the certification process gain confidence and have good habits reinforced. Certified individuals require less general training, and just need to get up to speed on the unique requirements of the property where they will be working.

Employers who encourage emerit certification show a commitment to career-minded staff and improved customer service.  Plus, the recognition and investment in employees creates pride in their work and loyalty to the company. Most of the employees who are certified are with the company long term, those who don’t plan on staying usually aren’t interested.

Most importantly, guests who are served by emerit certified employees have a better overall experience and are more likely to return.

How do you think emerit training and certification programs could make it easier for people just starting a tourism career?

For those just starting in a tourism career, emerit training gives them a wide range of entry level skills needed in the industry, gives them increased confidence which is always an advantage for applicants, and being enrolled in or completing an emerit Professional Certification program looks great on a resume and would give them an edge in the hiring process.