Dreaming Big at Marston's With Lyndon Pelka
09 November 2017
From Kitchen Assistant to Deputy Manager, read how Lyndon has progressed through our internal development programmes and continues to dream big at Marston’s.
What is your background at Marston’s PLC?
When I was 16 years old I joined Marston’s at the Corner House, a Two for One site as a Kitchen Assistant where I meet my current manager Natalie who was Deputy Manager at the time. Two years later I moved to the Front of House team where I quickly progressed to Shift Leader. For the next few years I worked in wet-led community pubs until I re-joined Natalie at a food pub where she had been given her first General Manager appointment. Now, I am a Deputy Manager on the Management Development Programme working at The Claregate which has recently undergone investment to convert it to one of our Generous George pubs. So you could say I’ve worked in most of the different brands and formats in Marston’s!
What do you enjoy about working for Marston’s?
Marston’s feels like a family, when you work for a big company you expect to feel like a small fish in a big pond but it doesn’t feel like that at all. I think there is a lot of support and everyone wants to help everyone.
What does your role involve?
I mainly help and support the smooth running of the business and cover reliefs for the General Manager. On a day to day basis, I coach the team to ensure they are keeping up with our brand standards, motivate the team to release their full potential and I provide support in difficult situations to ensure excellent customer service is maintained. I won’t make other members of the team do something I wouldn’t do so I like to get involved as much as I can.
What was it like being part of a major investment project?
I absolutely loved it! The training was really good I enjoyed helping to coach the team which continued following opening. With a major refurb or new build you’re able to set your own standards of service from the outset which is great.
What was your training?
Being a major refurb we had one week of training, new build pubs are provided with three weeks. It involved a lot of team building activities for everyone to get to know each other. During the dummy runs, when we opened for friends and family, we were able to quickly learn a lot about the new team such as who the ‘aces in their places’ were!
How have you found the training and development at Marston’s?
All the way through I have loved it! I definitely feel like training and development within Marston’s is up there with the best. Obviously I have worked hard for it but I really feel like Marston’s has massively helped me get to where I am today.
Also I think the training and development is only going to get better with the Talent Academy Online, so now you can access training resources 24/7, wherever you are. In particular I like the practical tasks in the development book which are signed off by your Manager as you complete them.
How did you find the Management Development Programme?
I knew I wanted to progress within Marston’s so the next step was getting on the Management Development Programme. I put my application forward after talking to my General Manager and Area Manager, who provided a short testimonial about me. Initially, I was declined for the programme however, the feedback was really positive and enabled me to develop further. After a few years I decided I was ready to apply for the Management Development Programme again and this time I smashed it!
The first assessment day I did to get onto the programme I was terrified, it was such an intense situation for such a young person as I felt like I was being assessed from the moment I got there. However, the second time I attended an assessment day I felt much more relaxed.
The first week of the Management Development Programme was incredible. Although tiring, I felt I learnt so much about myself. It was a positive experience focusing on the skills I have rather than the skills I don’t, in order to be a successful manager.
The programme lasts six months and I’m already really excited to go back for my second week working with Kimberley, the Management Development Trainer. It’s also nice to be part of a team, experiencing the new programme for the first time.
What is your next aim in terms of development?
Once I have completed the Management Development Programme I want to manage my own pub but I’d also like to explore the possibility of a role in Training, as I really enjoy bringing out people’s passion for the industry.