Coffee Catch Ups… with Lisa Evans-Crann our Learning & Development Manager

Over the next few months we’ll be catching up with some of our amazing team members, talking about their roles, and showcasing what they get up to day to day. First up is our Learning and Development Manager, Lisa.

How long have you been doing Training and Development? How did you get started?

I did an award in education training. It was a basic entry-level qualification for me to teach in business studies or theatre design (which is my background). I then fell into a job working with students with special education needs helping them into employment.

 A friend actually told me about the Learning the Development job at the Penventon, and I’m so pleased that I went for it. It was a new role and no one really knew what it would look like or how it would develop. We’ve turned it into a real management and team development programme. So, not only do we have our online learning portal which is open to everyone, we also deliver training programmes on our policies and procedures so we’re building those skills and knowledge for managers to do their jobs better and train their teams better. Seeing that change in culture over the last two years has been amazing.

Walk us through a typical working day.

Coming in it’s always a friendly good morning to everyone I pass. It’s always emails first and I apply the principle of first-in-first-out so no one is waiting longer than they need to hear back from me. There can be so many email enquiries from colleges, schools, and special educational facilities asking me to go and engage in career talks or career fairs. I work closely with Truro and Penwith College and Cornwall College on their curriculum development and their employer engagement which I love.

I also get lots of work experience requests from year 10 students which I manage, as well as emails from people who run training programmes that they want to sell to us. I also look into training that’s bespoke for certain specialist areas and get the best price that we can. And then it’s developing learning programmes, or policies and procedures and then assuring those are being followed. Auditing things like onboarding or reviews so everyone gets the best possible start when they join us.

I can do development programmes for individuals. So, where we spot talent we work with those individuals to identify skills gaps and then we can retain them within hospitality, which overall reduces our recruitment costs. It also enables people to participate in a long established business that has a great reputation and build their futures by supporting them to be the best that they can be.
And then I do things like recruitment, we get a lot of seasonal job applicants (it’s great that we’re seen as an employer of choice) so I filter through those and send them to managers for them to interview. And I fit in a bit of study myself when I can.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Communicating. Talking to the staff, listening to them and being a bit of an empathetic ear. Listening to people’s problems and trying to give them the tools to resolve issues with a bit of advice and guidance. So directing people when they have a lack of knowledge – what can they do to make that better and how can they go over it and repeat it so that it sinks in. We want everyone to work well and when I see people that are keen to learn, and start to implement their training especially with their teams, that’s really rewarding.

If we don’t develop our team we’ll just stagnate. We see the opportunities and little diamonds in people and polish them. At the end of the day people want to live well, and if they live well they can work well. That’s the guiding principle. A member of our bar team went on a course recently with the hotel manager and some of the other team, and he really thrived because he knew he was being invested in. And hopefully, with a learning and development plan, we can get him onto the next level to be a supervisor and then in a few more years with a couple more skills hopefully he’ll be ready to be a bar manager. And even if he doesn’t stay because the opportunity isn’t here for him, he’ll be able to take those skills elsewhere.

What’s a project you’re currently working on that you’re excited about?

I’ve been tasked with taking over HR which is being run brilliantly by Laura Pascoe. As part of that, I’m currently studying my level 5 CIPD in People Management but I’m doing it as an apprenticeship so will be doing it over 2 years. It’s so lovely to be supported by Laura, giving me advice, guidance and information. And from Darren, our General Manager, so that he knows what my progress is. My biggest achievement is submitting my first academic assignment in 20+ years. And really not knowing if I hit the mark, but passing and not having to do any retakes was my proudest moment. Now I can move forward and know that I’m on the right track. 

If you were staying as a guest what would you do? 

On check-in, I’d test out the bed – they’re the comfiest (in the universe!). I’d then go enjoy a Gin Board or Drink of the Month in our lounge before heading into the restaurant to have dinner. The menu is so extensive and I would highly recommend the Pill Pill Prawns and Chicken Supreme. In the morning I’d enjoy a Breakfast, the continental stuff as I love the yoghurts and croissants we have. After check-out, I’d enjoy some time by the pool and sauna. (Maybe book a few treatments as well). Really just enjoy the full Penventon experience as we have so much to offer.

Which fictional character are you most like?

I’m most like Moana. She sees a problem and has empathy for her people. She has really strong values & won’t let anyone stop her from helping. She never backs down and learns on the way, as well as communicates. She returns to lead her people, and doesn’t want to be a hero. She lost her identity a bit but will forge ahead anyway. She’s Accountable. Strong. Resilient. And independent. 

Favourite band, artist, or author?

Favourite Musician – Paulo Nutini – I’m seeing him at Eden Sessions in June. 

Favourite Band – INXS – They’ve been my favourite band forever. 

I love the fact that we have such a great playlist in the hotel. Everything from Nora Jones to Red Hot Chilli Peppers. There’s such variety and that makes it so easy to start singing something when you come out the office.