The Cayman Islands Society of Human Resource Professionals (CISHRP) at its Top Employer Award Dinner has recognized Red Sail Sports as one of Cayman’s top employers on Saturday night May 24 at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. The award recognizes outstanding companies that help make the Cayman Islands a better place to work by creating a great workplace for its employees and by making significant contributions to the community.
With 153 current employees at its watersports operations and retail shops across the island, Red Sail Sports is also one of the largest employers on the island. The company went through a rigorous and lengthy application process that included a staff survey, staff interviews conducted by an independent party and a close examination of Red Sail Sports’ community involvement. The process examined Red Sail Sports’ work environment to determine respect, fairness, pride in the workplace, opportunity for advancement and happiness of the employees.
All Red Sail Sports’ employees were surveyed in the CISHRP survey and 90% responded: Are they happy with the company? Do they look forward to going to work? Is there opportunity for advancement? The compiled answers were considered as one of the components in the screening process.
“I came to Red Sail Sports 5 years ago to follow my passion – the beach and windsurfing,” says James Granger who started out as beach staff and has moved up through the ranks and various departments to become the Red Sail Sports Westin Supervisor where he helps maintain the company’s high standards. “I’ve always had opportunity to advance here and I’ve worked hard.”
Operations Manager Rod McDowall says Granger exemplifies the employees who are following their passion and having a great time at work while helping visitors have a fun in the Cayman Islands. This is good business for a company in the tourism industry.
“If you are in the business of showing people how to have a good time, it is important that the company supplies the environment for employees to be happy and advance in their careers.”
“Its about our customer service,” says Training and Development Supervisor Beth Hiryok. “Red Sail Sports employees are passionate about what they do and they share that passion with our guests, whether it’s at the beach, on the dive boats, on the catamarans or in the retail shops.”
Community involvement is also a key factor in the selection of a CISHRP Top Employer award winner. Red Sail Sports has long been a strong supporter of the local schools, especially with work experience. Five students have just completed 8 months of work experience with Red Sail Sports as part of the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC) programme. Red Sail Sports is also working with Cayman International School’s work experience placement by hiring a student in the retail department. The company is also supporting the government’s Passport to Success programme, which helps young people who have left school but have not found jobs. Through training and work experience, the programme aims to equip them to find work.
To further help young people break into the job market Red Sail Sports managers this spring held mock interviews with high students at Clifton Hunter. The goal of the exercise was to give them an idea of what to expect in real life interviews. After the sessions some students were invited to visit Red Sail Sports facilities for a day to learn about working in the tourism industry. The company has also reached out to Cayman’s youth by attending career fairs at John Gray High School.
Through direct donations and partnerships Red Sail Sports is also a strong supporter of the Special Olympics Cayman Islands and the Lighthouse School.
“I know Red Sail Sports does a lot for the community and we never pat ourselves on the back,” says Human Resources Manager Cashema Rankine, who initiated the application process. “I thought we’d be a great candidate for the award and I was right” Rankine has been a member of the Cayman Islands Society of Human Resource Professionals for 8 years and she proudly accepted the award at the gala on behalf of Red Sail Sports.