Hilton South Wharf Success Story

Like many hospitality businesses Hilton South Wharf experiences difficulties in attracting suitable staff. As well as matching variable business demands with skilled and motivated staff.

They sought out industry experts AVTES to assist with enhancing their current training and development strategies to help them improve staff retention and performance.

AVTES worked with Hilton South Wharf Director of Human Resources, Lyn Blight, to develop a Training Action Plan.

Their goals were to;

  • identify training to overcome the weaknesses in the organisation
  • access government funding for training where possible
  • develop a team culture

The plan would drive training for the organisation, the management team and individual employees. The training was tailored to meet the organisation's preference for workplace based learning.

“Hilton already had a number of great training strategies,” said AVTES Director Chris Fitzgibbon. “Such as; a formal induction and job skills program; each hotel department has a nominated skills trainer/mentor who assists staff to develop and improve their skills; and they conduct specific training sessions as needs arise.”

Retention Through Career Pathways

Through discussion and an initial training needs analysis it was identified that developing a supervisory team with strong leadership and management skills was integral to meeting their future workforce needs and business goals.

Hilton already had a strong focus on learning in the workplace and providing staff with career pathways. They regularly identify staff performing at a high standard for further training and development and succession planning.

Together, AVTES and Hilton South Wharf developed an accredited leadership program using the Certificate IV in Hospitality qualification. Monthly workshops focused on management skills like;

  • interpersonal skills, particularly conflict management.
  • leading by example and building self-esteem of team members.
  • delegation and empowering staff to make good decisions.

Retention Through Recognition

Retention of skilled workers at all levels remains a major priority for Hilton management. The hotel employs a number of effective recognition processes to that end;

  • Staff have direct access to online feedback systems.
  • Structured 'swing bys' by the hotel General Manager where he discusses key topics and staff have the opportunity to ask questions and raise issues of concern.
  • Special lunches and dinners for staff are held twice a month where staff birthdays, reports of positive customer feedback, Team Member of The Month and Staff Recognition Program are all celebrated.

Working with AVTES, Hilton South Wharf was able to recognise pre-existing skills of staff in a variety of roles within the organisation. Many had the skills and knowledge and through recognition of prior learning and some additional training were able to gain a nationally recognised qualification. Lyn felt staff enjoyed the recognition.


Lyn was “highly appreciative of the guidance provided by AVTES in recommending appropriate training, qualifications, and even specific modules which directly related to a wide range of different roles; Front of House, Food & Beverage, porters etc.”

“The recommended training options were very effective in up-skilling employees as well as clearly linked to financial incentives,” she added.

Hilton South Wharf identified a number of additional benefits arising from the training:

  • team building, group bonding and building morale.
  • supervisory staff using training to problem solve real work issues.
  • trainees were given project briefs based on workplace situations where they gained skills whilst simultaneously benefiting the organisation.
  • staff stayed with the organisation to complete their training.
  • involvement in the program from all levels within the organisation (from the General Manager, department heads, to line staff) moved the organisation closer to creating a learning culture.

Lyn Blight also praised the whole training program as being 'hassle free, consistent in its delivery, professional and inspirational'.

To discuss your how training could improve your staff retention and performance call AVTES on 1300 764 418 now.