Training in the Mountains

November 26, 2015

Recently, we had one of the lodge investor’s visit for two weeks to deliver training to our prospective team of new staff. With a background in hospitality and tourism management, Marnie Robinson worked alongside Limalimo Lodge Operations Manager, Julia Jeans, and Assistant Manager Bamlak Tadesse, to provide the newly recruited staff with an insight into top quality customer service.

We asked Marnie to write a guest blog about her experience…


Prior to beginning the two week training session, I worked with Julia to determine what the training goals were. In turn, we set out to achieve the following goals for the newly recruited staff: 

  1. Ability to anticipate guests needs
  2. How to respond to guests requests
  3. Building a strong sense of team and ground rules

The selection process was difficult, with over 300 applicants from the region. 20 were selected to begin training immediately, with more positions to fill closer to opening day. 

As part of Limalimo Lodge’s commitment to the local community, all of the employees selected to be a part of the team are from a 5km radius, with the majority living in the Limalimo region and Afaf village.

This meant, from a training standpoint, we had a lot of work ahead of us as none of the new employees spoke any English, or had prior experience working in any sort of Hospitality/Tourism position. They did, however, possess warm hearts, a willingness to learn and a definite excitement about Limalimo Lodge.

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The new team will try every item of food served at the Lodge - the first was watermelon. 

Recognizing that Hospitality and Tourism positions are new to all of our staff members, the two week intensive training session was focused on how to provide an exceptional guest experience to every Limalimo Lodge visitor, and each day had an English class incorporated into the training.

Games were used to encourage better communication between each other, and to build a strong, reliable and effective team. 

undefinedOne of the team building exercises, assembling Mr. Potato Head.
Day 1 assembly took 17 minutes, Day 11 took 7 minutes - Progress!!

We also did a lot of role-playing to practice common situations the group will encounter while working. Our wait-staff were fortunate to have been provided the opportunity to practice their efforts with some early visitors - Julia Bleasdale and her family! 

With the foundations set, Julia and Bamlak will continue to work diligently with the staff with ongoing training sessions throughout the year.

There is no doubt, Limalimo will have a group of caring professionals, set on providing exceptional customer service.

undefinedThe new staff team, with trainer Marnie, far right 

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