Life as a Regional Operations Manager
Meet Gill Klarin
As a parent, it’s always been my intention to show my daughter Chloe that you can achieve whatever you want in life with energy and enthusiasm.
It’s not always easy – especially as a single parent – with the extra demands that can bring. But as she’s grown up she's seen me develop from running five Premier Inn hotels to becoming a Regional Operations Manager (ROM) with 27 hotels, a £100m plus P&L and more than 1,200 team. She’s seen first hand that the right attitude and the right company can take you a long way!
My background wasn’t in hospitality at all. I joined Whitbread eight years ago following a career in Retail where I was an HR Business Partner for a large supermarket, so a different industry and role completely.
That switch was never a problem and what I found from the outset, was a sense that this was a place where ambition was rewarded and opportunity could take you further. Chelmsford was just the start. Looking back, it’s gone so quickly and I’ve covered so much ground.
I’ve looked after after Airports, which are the largest hotels in our estate averaging 600 plus bedrooms; Northern Ireland and our estate in the Republic of Ireland; and hub hotels in some of the busiest parts of London. I've managed various sites across Essex and North London – and been part of some fantastic new openings in the capital, most recently Hammersmith and Paddington. I’m really proud of Paddington – it’s our largest joint site business in the city with 400 bedrooms and is a fantastic addition to our brand.
Giving Chloe every opportunity available to her in life is really important to me. Now that she is older I don’t need the same level of flexibility but, when she was younger, that was crucial. As a ROM, I have so much flexibility in my role and a job that allows me to provide for our family and Whitbread has certainly supported that. Not just financially, the development I’ve had has taken my career in different directions.
No one day is the same; day to day I engage with my team to support the delivery of our commercial performance, building our pipeline and trying to have some fun too. Reviewing our goals and objectives regularly to make sure we stay on track. We work hard as team to create an environment where our team can flourish and enjoy satisfying careers with Whitbread. I also lead the Tactical Labour Group (TLG) where we support the operation with all things labour and efficiency.
That's the beauty of being a ROM at Whitbread. It gives you options. My role allows me to connect with the wider organization, building relationships with colleagues across many functions including Labour finance, new opening teams, training and development, HR, safety and security and many more. The TLG has supported the business to drive operational efficiency across the business for many years.
There’s no doubt this is a fantastic company to work for, I’m always grateful I took the leap when I did – although it was difficult to move from a business that I was comfortable in and a role I enjoyed. However, I knew if I wanted to develop and grow my career that I needed to push myself, I’m still growing and developing.
You’re really looked after and invested in here. I’ve been lucky enough to have been taken to the Disney Institute as well as the Dubai incentive trip (twice) and recognized for outstanding performance at our National conference.
The real feather in my cap though is my team. They’re amazing and some of my proudest moments are celebrating their achievements. In some cases they have moved virtual mountains in terms of performance and development. Always improving, always looking for that next goal. It’s a culture we live and breathe here.