Why an altruistic attitude is so important for directors

By Tarnia Robertson, Ufford Park Woodbridge

The pandemic has taught us just how much we need to appreciate our world, be it the environment or those who help build the things we love.
Published in Suffolk Director magazine, Spring | Summer 2022

Ufford Park: How our happy staff make for a great hotel

Feeling valued is important. From lending a helping hand to those in need, to rewarding someone for their good deeds, businesses need to recognise the hard work of others – even if there is no incentive for them.

We have always fostered a family atmosphere at Ufford Park. The business was built from the ground up by my parents, and every team member has become part of our family. We look out for each other and the community around us.

It is a culture that encourages to give back. Everyone deserves a thank you. Everyone deserves to feel valued.

The importance of giving back

From our golf course to our spa, no staff member is forgotten. This is something we paid particular attention to during the pandemic.

The lockdowns were a strange time for all of us at Ufford Park – be it working at our kitchen tables, missing out on invaluable social interaction or feeling alone. Even I was slightly scared about making the return to the office after so long away.

It was with those feelings in mind that I found it so vital to ask what seems such a simple question, but means so much more: “How are you?”

For those still coming into work at that time, my door was always open if they needed support with their wellbeing – or simple companionship. I want staff to know we care about them, that they are more than just an employee – they are family.

It means so much to see them happy. As a director, there is no more rewarding feeling than knowing your staff and customers sport a genuine smile. Our staff go the extra mile for us, and it is only fair we do the same for them, whether that be with days off on birthdays or free gym memberships.

In addition, our mental health champions come together to support those in need, with all staff knowing they have someone there for them. It is something many highlight if they return to the company after stints elsewhere.

These incentives have helped staff through mental health struggles, something no director should ever overlook.

Supporting the world around us

But there are other areas to consider, especially the environment we are so privileged to benefit from. We are custodians of this beautiful world, and we need to support it.

Likewise, we must give back to our local community. We love seeing local schools visit to learn more about their world, from our bug hotels to the reed beds helping to keep our rivers safe from harm.

Some say it is charitable; some may say it is altruistic. But to me, it is all part and parcel of being a good boss.

Why an altruistic attitude is so important for directors 1

Tarnia Robertson is Managing Director at Ufford Park Woodbridge Hotel Golf and Spa, an independently owned family business with a Quality in Tourism 3-Star Silver accreditation. uffordpark.co.uk

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