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Getting to Know You: Andrew Cunningham

Getting to Know You: Andrew Cunningham

June 7, 2022 | Community, News, Openings, Our Team, Signings


Andrew Cunningham is Interstate’s Head of Learning and Development International and has been with the company for the last six months. In our latest Getting to Know You feature, we find out more about Andrew’s role developing staff across the organisation.

Tell us about your role and what it involves?

As the Head of Learning and Development my role is to lead the L&D centre of excellence team to develop and deliver world-class learning and development across all areas of our business. In the first few months my focus has very much been about shaping a development strategy that reviews what we do well (and there is a lot of that!), where we want to be in five years and then creating the tools, resources, and curriculum to help us get there.

I have most recently been working with our colleagues across in Aimbridge US to define and build a set of Leadership Competencies that will help us create a set of world-class leadership development programmes and a suite of business skills programmes to enhance what we already offer. This will start to be rolled out soon and, in line with some exciting changes we are making to our FLOW platform which currently delivers our mandatory learning, we are all set to make the learning experience so much better for all our staff.

What does a typical day in your role involve?

The best part of my job is that no two days are the same. I work as part of the wider HR team, which includes the Talent team, the Shared Service team and our HR Business Partnering team. This allows me the opportunity to be involved in supporting the development of our staff across a broad spectrum of routes.

Most of my day-to-day work involves supporting the onboarding of staff and new hotels, the development of new curriculum and the identification of learning needs and their potential solutions, In addition, I oversee the maintenance and reporting of the FLOW platform and am also devising a new competency framework to support leadership development.

What’s your favourite part of your role?

Our ‘people’ are obviously central to not only my role here at Interstate but also the company as a whole. Providing high quality professional development opportunities is a real priority for us so to be involved in creating the strategy and approach in this area is something I really enjoy.

However, going on to see the people that I am working with develop, grow and excel in their roles and make the very best of the opportunities available to them is really important to me. It really is a privilege to witness.

What do you think makes Interstate stand out from the crowd?

I have been blown away by the level of support we provide to our customers and the attention to detail that we focus on. I don’t come from a hospitality background and haven’t worked anywhere so process driven or customer focused.

And this approach is exactly the same when it comes to our employees. We want to provide them with the very best professional development so they can provide the best service to meet the needs of all our customers. It’s very much a team-work approach.

Tell us something about you that not everyone knows

During the pandemic, as a way to balance my mental health, I took up woodwork and now create garden games from scrap wood in my spare time. I do everything from Chess to Jenga, Scrabble and Yahtzee.