From training participant to manager

Making career tracks with the GCH Leadership Programme

The GCH Hotel Group offers its Leadership Programme to all members of staff who want to take the next step along their career path. Maja Krüger, the current Training Manager, took part in the Leadership Programme herself and was able to successfully and actively shape her own career. 

1. Maja, you took part in the third round of the Leadership Programme. What makes the course unique in your opinion? 

The Leadership Programme combines an interesting mix of soft and hard skills – there’s no either/or; you learn in a much more all-encompassing way. The practical content of the programme in particular gives participants the opportunity to be able to work up to a managerial position within the GCH Hotel Group. Thanks to the combination of internal specialist expertise as well as external trainers and coaches, I was able to expand my horizons and gain a lot of experience within a year. At the same time I expanded my network within GCH; knowledge sharing amongst my colleagues is an important part of my job and it’s something I’m constantly learning from. Now, in my position as Training Manager, it’s something I pass on to the course participants. Ultimately, the Leadership Programme was the ideal career booster for me and it was an immense help to both my personal and professional development. I was able to use my newly acquired skills from the areas of self and time management as well as communication training in the first week in my new position.

2. How has GCH supported you in achieving your dream job?

From day one, GCH placed a lot of trust in me and I’ve always had the feeling that they believed in my abilities. I’ve been given space to grow and develop. I’ve been constantly supported and encouraged – by everyone from general managers, area vice presidents and by headquarters. This individual professional support, combined with participating in the Leadership Programme, gave me the opportunity to develop a set of skills that equipped me to embark on the topic of Training Management. 

3. ​​You’ve gone from being a participant to becoming a trainer. Today you provide training sessions and workshops where you share employee knowledge from various areas of the business. What are your objectives as Training Manager?

I love to get ahead, advance myself and others, and follow and adapt innovations. Generally, anything new will catch my attention. I want to intensify and strengthen the link between the practical, operative area of the hotel industry and the strategic focus – including setting standards – that we as a management company practise in our hotels. The HR department’s main focus for 2018 is to support the vision and mission of the GCH Hotel Group in all our hotels using the motto ‘act as if you own it’. This comprises special training sessions and workshops for all members of staff within the company.

4. On the subject of career opportunities, have your colleagues from the Leadership Programme also achieved new career goals?

When I look around at my ‘fellow students’, I see many examples of the programme’s great success. There’s Bilal Al-Njadat, who manages our newly opened Excelsior Hotel Nuremberg Fürth, and Malte Wortmann, the new Area Director Sales & Marketing North – these two really progressed thanks to the Leadership Programme and were rewarded for their great performances with a jump up the career ladder. 

5. Would you recommend GCH to friends? If yes/no, why? 

I would certainly recommend GCH for the simple reason that the company is very quick to respond and is very adaptable. GCH can react to changes ad hoc and draw the greatest possible advantage from them. Consequently, we are open to new and innovative changes. Structures are not entrenched and rigid; instead, as a member of staff, you can contribute your own ideas, make suggestions and thus be part of a growing and permanently developing company. I've always found it off-putting to hear phrases like: ‘But we’ve always done it like that’. I’ve never heard this attitude at GCH and the willingness to push on forwards makes working in the operative area extremely exciting – particularly for me as a Training Manager. 

Thank you very much for talking to us, Maja, and all the best in your new position!

Editor: Caroline Wacker