When people leave a job where they were in a customer facing role, it's usual for them to quietly disappear from the scene with as little as possible said to the customers. I can understand why that's the convention, but I'm going to do rather the opposite here and write a little piece to say "Thank you" to Leah and Christine for all they have done for us, to wish them all the very best for the future, and to tell our customers who are reading this article about how we're moving forward.
It was as recent as summer, 2006 that we took over "The Old Manor". A B&B, much used by our delegates, it had become progressively more run down as the former owner looked to sell it to developers who were very keen to knock it down and build between 20 and 25 accommodation units on the site ... plans which had been rejected after a great deal of planning activity and at least one contested planning application which was rejected.
It was, then, only natural that the place was in need of a great deal of attention, and doing that work was a doubly tough task as we needed to keep the training business firing, throughout the works and initial period after we opened, on all cylinders. And it's no small thanks to Christine and Leah - and many others too - that we were able to do so.
Two years later, and the place - now known as Well House Manor
- is well established. With Leah working largely behind the scenes on setting up 'systems', and Christine pounding the pavements and helping to raise awareness and to sell rooms and events to local businesses, we've moved in the 24 months or so since our first course at the new centre from a hotel and venue where, apart from our delegates, to a bustling venue where at times it seems that there are customers everywhere - and we love it!
Yet having invested all that hard work in putting systems into place and in raising the visibility, the workload for the development people naturally drops off rather; one systems are written and in place, they should have a good few years of care and maintainance (only) that needs to be done on them, and once we're well know to (and established with) local businesses and visitors to the area, that hard pounding of the pavement becomes inexorably modified to a much smaller - but never the less important - role in maintaining customer relationships with people who have, by now, largely become friends. And this changing workload and these changing needs mean that the people who were filling the old roles as we grew to make best use of our resources are not necessarily going to be the best people (or the happiest of staff) in roles which of necessity have changed.
Both Leah and Christine have chosen to leave us, but on the very best of terms and it doesn't really feel as if they're gone. Indeed - Leah was back in to help us out for a few hours yesterday (A quite exceptional day ... starting with breakfast for 25, a course to give, and all five rooms checking out and to "turn over", and one of our regular team out due to a bereavement) and will almost certainly be back and using our training rooms for her exciting new project that I'll be telling ou about in due course, and Christine popped it too, to return a few things and she stopped for a chat, and look forward to Christmas and some things she has happening. Also concerned to make sure that some things have been passed over smoothly.
So ... let me tell you about the key, customer facing people you'll find on our team as we move forward into 2009. I (Graham) remain as the trainer; I'll be running the courses, answering the technical emails ... but also looking after customers as and when I'm around at "The Manor" and generally keeping an overseer's eye on things. Starting in the mornings, Sharon will be serving breakfasts, doing rooms, and keeping the housekeeping and consumables inventory side of the hotel running. Chris, from early afternoon until final check-in, will also be doing elements of the hotel work, HR, looking after maintenance and the less routine inventory issues - and also continuing to provide me with "back room services" so that I know that the systems and web site will be running for me when I start a course. At our HQ, up the road at 404, The Spa, Lisa continues to look after the admin, books, bookings, and a wide raft of other things. And Sarah, with us for only a couple of shifts a week but never the less a crucial team member, helps us take up holiday, weekend and extra manning needs. See Staff page
for more about each of us.
With the new, more compact team we've all got to work effectively and efficiently, but I know that we can and do. With such a wide range of tasks, we're crosstraining ... Chris can turn his hand to most roles, Sharon can pick up the phone and do an excellent job of taking a booking when Lisa's engaged on another call, and I know that I can leave the hotel in Sarah's hands with a number of time-critical jobs to be done, and they will be done.
It's all rather exciting, and I for one am looking forward to Christmas, and beyond Christmas to the New Year and a busy, but fun 2009 with role filled, very capably, by someone who's really enjoying that role. After all - if we enjoy our roles, then our customers will enjoy being with us.
Our phone numbers:
for Training - 01225 708225
for Hotel and Meeting Rooms - 01225 709638
(or use our freephone 0800 043 8225)
fax line: 01225 707126
Our web sites:
for Training - http://www.wellho.net
for Hotel and Meetings - http://www.wellhousemanor.co.uk
also: secure HOTEL booking page
and: secure COURSE booking page
Our email addresses are:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc ... but if you have a general enquiry or you're writing non-specifically, please use firstname.lastname@example.org
and your email will be automatically routed to them most appropriate person who's on duty.
404, The Spa, Melksham SN12 6QL (HQ / correspondence)
Well House Manor, 48 Spa Road, Melksham, SN12 7NY (Hotel, Training) (written 2008-12-06, updated 2008-12-07)
Associated topics are indexed underM301 - The Well House Manor team 
Annual Accounts - a big job for a small business - (2013-02-15) 
Three cheers for the staff at Well House Manor - (2013-01-24) 
On getting noticed for the right reasons when you ask about job availability - (2012-09-26) 
Our National Autograss Champion, from Melksham - (2011-09-08) 
Are you cheerful, reliable and available on Saturday mornings? - (2011-05-30) 
A change to the Well House team - thank you and good luck, Chris - (2011-03-14) 
Concluding the interview process - (2010-09-10) 
Level playing fields, job vacancies, lemons and peaches - (2010-09-05) 
An opportunity to join our team! - (2010-08-28) 
Job applicants - wondering why they apply - (2010-08-16) 
The Interview and The Lift - (2009-02-12) 
Who sticks by you in the snow? - (2009-02-05) 
Short health and safety course - (2009-02-02) 
Job application - (2008-10-13) 
Carlisle High School - Class of 1973 Reunion - (2008-09-21) 
Well House Consultants / Manor - Staff - (2008-03-21) 
Congratulations, Martin and Marta - (2008-03-17) 
Well House Manor appoints a General Manager - (2007-08-28) 
Behind the scenes - (2007-02-17) 
Graham Ellis - an Introduction - (2007-02-05) 
Meet the neighbours - (2006-12-20) 
Both one team and two - (2006-12-08) 
Welcome, Martin - (2006-10-16) 
Staff Meeting - (2006-08-30)
Some other Articles
Frosty Morning, foggy eveningBath Christmas Market2009 - Hotel, Meeting, Training Course pricesMelksham Oak Community School, Melksham, WiltshireTeam changes at Well House - looking forwardFlash (client) to PHP (server) - exampleIntroduction to Object Oriented ProgrammingPreventing ^C stopping / killing a program - PerlMaking it all worthwhileFlurinci knows Raby Lae PHP and Jeve