emily abbott

Emily Abbott

Operations Manager, Fowey Harbour Hotel

Emily has worked at Fowey Harbour Hotel for six years, including through its transition to become a Harbour Hotel in 2018. Her start in Hospitality was as a Receptionist and she has since gained experience in many different Front of House roles, which stood her in good stead to take on the role of Operations Manager.

How did you start your career in Hospitality?

I started as a Receptionist but I've done all sorts of Front of House roles including Waiter, Restaurant Supervisor, Head Receptionist and Reception Manager. I also did Business Management while I was at college but I found the NVQ I did while working was much more valuable - your tutors can make all the difference, plus I already had an understanding of how to put what I was learning into practice. 

What skills have helped you get to where you are today?

Understanding and empathy for sure. Guests are our main priority so learning how to understand their needs, getting to know their wants and being flexible is important. You need to be adaptable - every day is different in this job! You also need empathy for your team and once you understand that everyone has a different learning style, this is a lot easier. My door is always open for my team and I think it's important that I know about their stresses at work but also outside of it, if I can help by being supportive. 

I've also had the opportunity recently to provide cover and support for other Harbour Hotels and this has opened my eyes to how I can apply these skills in different situations and with different teams. This definitely boosted my confidence in my leadership abilities and I would recommend asking for ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone so you can do the same.

I've never been afraid to ask a 'stupid' question (yes, I know, there's no such thing as a stupid question)! I'd always rather ask than not be able to complete a task and I try to be as approachable as I can be so my team know they can ask me their own questions. You can learn from lots of different areas of the business and from experts in that area if you just keep asking questions.

What advice would you give someone looking to follow in your footsteps?

Take in as much information as you can from any role models. Be a good communicator to your teams and listen to them - be approachable. 

Not each day is the same, so try not to let the day go home with you too much. I have an outlook as much as I can, that there will be an endpoint to the day and I would have done the best I can during any situations that arise at work. 

Do you have aspirations for the future?

I'm really looking to develop more as an Operations Manager and learn as much as I can. I've been nominated for the Harbour Future Leaders Programme and I'm looking forward to gaining new skills and knowledge from senior leaders as well as from my colleagues from other Harbour Hotels.

Do you have a highlight from your time working with Harbour Hotels?

It's so hard to think of just one thing! But most recently we were able to take a pause and celebrate all our achievements from the past few years at the Harbour Heroes awards.