The Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) on Wednesday held a training workshop for its members on leadership and team building.
The training, according to the Federation was to help refresh members’ understanding on having leaders and systems that help to deliver best results in their individual businesses and collectively as an association.
Vice President of GHATOF, Joe Wilson Tetteh after the training said the workshop was to empower individuals to further strengthen the association. “…we looked at building and managing the associations themselves, because ultimately, if the associations are not grounded, GHATOF cannot be in existence and do anything good. So this is to help the individual associations manage their administrative issues, build themselves up and then they can effectively contribute to what GHATOF,” he said.
He added that for a service oriented industry like tourism, such trainings are always imperative because, “when we talk of tourism, we talk of service; intangible service that we are giving and so when people do not understand team building, and there is apathy in businesses, employees, and among workers, service delivery suffers.”
The training is the first of periodic workshops that have been penciled down by GHATOF to be held within the year.
“We definitely could not exhaust the topic in one training, but we know that this will tickle the passion so the next time members are invited, there will be the need for them to come. Most people are excited about the training and they really want to have more of this. We’ve planned a five-series training programme and this is just the beginning,” Mr. Tetteh reiterated.
The Vice President further stated that they are looking forward to organizing the next four, after which “we will do certification, have an evaluation team that will see how the individual associations are implementing the things that we are learning because we don’t want it to be just a talk shop. We believe that this helps the associations to be strong and once they become strong, and they are contributing into GHATOF, not only funds but also personal resource and the technical knowhow, ultimately we can say that GHATOF will be strengthened and that is our main reason for having this training.”
From the reactions and contributions that came from the floor,facilitator of the training opined that “it seems that the critical thing that the Federation needs is leadership skills.” According to Dr. Joseph Mensah-Ansah, Head of Department – Hospitality Programme and Director, GIMPA Executive Conference Centre, “these are soft skills that we should let them be aware of and they are prepared to learn all the skills so I’m glad that the leadership has now seen it important that the members need skills in terms of leadership and have started this programme for them.”
For him, it is important that GHATOF members work closely together with whatever resource is available to them. In an exercise, members at the training were required to divide a circle into 11 with four straight lines. Dr. Mensah-Ansah explained that, “the concept of the circle and the four lines is about resource allocation and also about team work, about people not working in silos and that when we work together as a team, we achieve more than working as individuals.”
He added that if GHATOF would be prepared to cede some of their authority to the associations, the associations will work for them. “But if the associations are meant to feel that even this that they are doing, the glory goes to GHATOF, they won’t do it. But if they feel that this is for us and we are only doing it through GHATOF, they will own the project and work on it.”
The Ghana Tourism Federation is the umbrella body of all private sector tourism and hospitality trade associations.
By Samuel Obeng Appah