• Cyril McAree

PREM Group Recognises Excellence At Engage Awards Night

Irish owned and run hospitality giant, PREM Group which owns and operates over 50 hotels across Ireland, the UK, Belgium and France celebrated excellence in hospitality at an awards night held on Wednesday night, 3rd October, at Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort in Co. Wicklow. The awards, which were attended by 170 people were part of the company’s ‘ENGAGE’ programme which encourages group wide entrepreneurialism at all levels within the company. The programme is the brain child of the group’s HR Manager (UK & Ireland), Sarah Marr and began in the early part of this year by inviting employees to submit ideas and suggestions on how business, services, products and employee wellbeing can be improved across the group.

35 teams were registered as participating in ENGAGE projects throughout the year with 8 teams making it to the final. The Aspect Hotel in Kilkenny came out on top and took the top prize for their project, ‘Tip Top Teams’, a project which focuses on employee wellbeing. With a combination of initiatives, the team managed to bring in a healthier living culture within the hotel. Examples of these initiatives included the introduction of subsidised gym membership, healthier staff meals, healthier free family days out and increased promotion of the company's Employee Assistance Programme. The impact on employees within the group was clearly demonstrated in a well-articulated presentation to the judges by team members Sebastian Wilczynski, Patrick O’ Neill, Ciara Lawlor and Caroline Whelan who will now plan towards attaining the IBEC ‘Keep Well Mark’.

A key motivation for the team was that a wellness programme could benefit everyone and could be seen as a support for all employees. They felt that promoting well-being could be beneficial for people not just in work but also in their personal lives, for example if they are dealing with difficult personal family circumstances or health issues.

The judges, Jim Murphy (PREM Group CEO), Dick Bourke (Board Member) and Natasha Kinsella (Manager of Dublin Regional Skills Forum) were highly impressed with all of the projects and it was not easy to choose the overall winner. In the end, they were taken by how passionate the team from Kilkenny were about their project. The presentation itself was highly professional and it was clear to see that the team had worked very steadily through the planning and implementation process resulting in clearly defined successful outcomes. The judges also noted that although the project was about creating a healthier life for all the team at the hotel, it seemed more personal than just introducing a general wellness programme. They felt that it was generated from a deep sense of caring for each other and reflects very well on the work culture at the hotel and noted that this sits very well with PREM Group’s ethos of ‘Do the right thing’ as well as the ENGAGE initiative principal of ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’.

Regional winners on the night included Premier Suites Bristol for their project, ‘The Incredible Edible’s’, Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort for ‘Tulfarris Tipples’ and Green Park Hotel Brugge & Hotel Inn Gent Expo for their ‘Connect’ project.

Jim Murphy, CEO of PREM said, “We were all blown away by the variety and standard of the project topics and presentations which made it a very difficult job for the three of us to choose winners. All 8 projects are living working concepts that now need to be adopted and rolled out as part of our overall company strategy.”

PREM Group is the parent to multiple business units operating across Europe including PREM Hospitality which owns, leases and manages over 50 hotels. It also owns Trinity Purchasing; a procurement business working with over 750 properties. Additional businesses include Trinity Revenue Management, Trinity Groups and Tours, Sprint Digital, Rewards From Us To You guest loyalty programme and Premier Business Centres, the serviced offices division. Hotels in Ireland which are owned by PREM include Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort, Wicklow, The Osprey Hotel, Naas, Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney, Premier Suites in Leeson Street and The Aspect Hotel Kilkenny.

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