Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
Innovation is growth and this has always been paramount to Acuatico Beach Resort’s General Manager, Ms. Simonette Gusi. It was never enough to simply build a structure, call it a beach resort and make money from it. For Ms. Gusi, the heart of the operation was always her employees.
On November 2, the ASEAN Business Award for Skills Development, Mid Tier Category was awarded to Ms. Simonette Gusi for her for her company’s skills development activities. This prestigious award was given as a recognition of an outstanding business that has demonstrated a significant contribution to human capital development.
She has always believed that excellent customer service comes from excellent skills development. Therefore, Simonette Gusi has never hesitated in investing her resources into proper training of her employees.
Acuatico advocates a training culture within the company. Its Continuing Education Program provides opportunity to employees to upgrade their knowledge and skills through training. Each employee is sent to at least 40 hours of training per year in various subjects pertinent to their function in the company.
Going a step beyond, this Batangas native initiated the K-12 Plus Project in collaboration with seventeen resort members of the Association of Laiya Resort Owners (ALRO), Laiya National High School, Department of Education, GIZ, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Human Resource Development Foundation (PCCI-HRDF) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
K-12 Plus Project is an initiative which aims to promote dual education and training in senior high school to ensure that graduating students are suitably trained and immersed in the workforce to properly equip them for the future ahead. This program also provides them sustainable jobs that will help them grow as budding professionals with marketable skills in the hotel and service industry.
With partner resorts providing subsidized workplace-based training to students, each student will have at least 800 training hours and National & Chamber Certificates in Housekeeping, Food and Beverage, Front Office Operation and Tourism Promotion by the time they graduate.
Dual training and education has been proven effective in maintaining a steady pool of multi-skilled professionals ready to address the demands of the industry. To date, the project has 156 graduates, 60% of which were already hired by participating resorts.
Simonette’s relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation and her undying passion for human resource development has certainly paid off. Acuatico Beach Resort has been branded as one of the finest resorts locally and internationally and awarded with Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame as well as the Traveler’s Choice Award for consistently receiving great reviews.
A true leader inspires to dream more, learn more, do more and become more – and this is what Simonette Gusi has contributed thus far and we are excited and filled with anticipation to see more from this inspiring innovator.
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