A Day in the Life of Yasith Keshan

Yasith Keshan Kokuhennadi is the learning and development manager at Cinnamon Velifushi. Yasith has worked with the management to create a great learning environment throughout all the departments. He is responsible of effectively and efficiently implementing the full learning cycle at Cinnamon Velifushi, starting from the development of TNA (training need analysis) to carrying out the post training evaluations.

“The best thing at Cinnamon Velifushi Maldives is the working culture, it’s not only a hotel but also a family to all of us, we strongly believe our strength is the diversity of the team and we feel valued, safe, comfortable, and flush with opportunity for growth. So what else an employee needs to give their 100 per cent back at work?” he said.

Here is a what a normal day looks like for Yasith.

7.00 – I always love to start the work bit early and the first activity of the day is to take a walk around the Island and to have brief conversations with people I meet during the walk and usually my walk ends up with a hot cup of coffee. This walk would help me to make sure all our products are up to the standards as well to assist the departments if any area needs immediate attention.

8.00 – In an ordinary day I would read and reply all the pending mails and handle any administration work related to Learning & Development function, because I prefer to complete any pending work prior to the start of days’ trainings.

9.00 – Usually I will definitely be on the training location at least 30 minutes prior to the starting time, no matter how big or small the content would be, 70 per cent the time I’m occupied with a training program during these hours, some days it could be a full day program, other days It could be a half a day program and also could be bite size programs throughout the day, purely the programs are based on the need of the business and based on the pre-communicated training plan. It’s not always classroom programs, we have a wide variation of On the Job training sessions, Online training programs, outbound training sessions and Individual & group coaching sessions, also it could be a blended program which we plan according to the need of the business.

On other 30 per cent of the time where there are no planned training programs, I spend time on several different activities to keep me occupied, starting from developing training programs by analyzing the future need of the business. Afterwards, I visit the departments during the operation to observe as well as for quality assurance purposes, which is something I do wholeheartedly. I enjoy being in the operation because that is where I started my career and there is always a special place in my heart for key operations of the hotel.

Furthermore, if there is no planned training session from 10.00am to 10.30am, attending the morning meeting would be a regular activity of my day.

16.00 – The first half of an ordinary day will come to an end after the evening tea together with all my colleagues, this is where we all get mingle and enjoys a cup of tea/coffee along with a fun filled chat, I personally believe that these sorts of causal catchups strengthen the bond of the team. After tea/coffee, it’s time to get some excise so I would engage with a sport activity every evening, it could be volleyball, football or cricket which I can witness the hidden talents of our employees.

20:00– After getting refreshed it’s time to start the second half of my day, being a hotelier living in an Island, I would prefer to keep myself engaged all the time, as same as I start my day in the morning it’s time to visit all the operational areas and mainly focus on speaking to guests during this walk, by experience I would say this is one of the best ways to find out different levels of training needs and points of improvement as an establishment. Believe me, this really works for a trainer.

21.00 – As a person who always looks at developing people, I will invest some time daily for my personal development as well. This one hour is dedicated to improving myself as well as to getting prepared with any pre-preparation or pre-studies needed for next day’s programs.

22.00 – This is the final activity of an ordinary day of mine to check and complete any pending administrative work and reply any pending emails. Review the day and soft plan for the next day. Also, If there is any event happening at the hotel, I would always attend and offer my fullest assistance to make it a success.

All in all, I enjoy my career as well as my life to the fullest being in a profession of people development and working with Cinnamon family, what keeps me motivated and enthusiastic throughout is seeing the continues development and success of people which reflects the effectiveness of a well-established learning culture,

In my free time, I love to watch movies, watch sports especially when it’s a live show and to experience different cultures. I also love to try authentic food from different cultures.