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Learning Solutions ManagerChar Rayner

Tell me a little bit about your background in hospitality 

I started working in a restaurant from the age of 14 and then when I moved to Aberdeen for university I started working for Revolution Bars in their gorgeous venue on Belmont Street. That was kind of my first proper introduction to hospitality and I absolutely loved working for that company. I was there for five years and it was just class - loads of great training, totally from the ground up. You didn't need to know anything at all and they gave you such a great grounding in cocktails and service that you could build on that for the rest of your career. 

I then spent 3 years working on a super yacht as a crew member which was an incredibly unique experience with it’s own hospitality challenges, being that it is mostly 7-star service 24 hours a day. The big lessons were in teamwork and communication - working together in a way that I didn't even know existed, patience to a level that I didn't know I could achieve.

When I came back to Scotland Flow was the perfect amalgamation of the things that I had experienced in hospitality and my degree in publishing and love of writing. My first job at Flow was researching the modules and writing the content for the modules which ticked all boxes for me. 


Tell us a little about your role now

So, the role that I'm in now is client liaison manager and I basically act as a middleman between our clients, and our creative team. What I do really is focus on the content that our clients want to deliver to their employees and work out how it can be delivered in the most engaging and effective way possible. 

So if, for example I just received a massive PowerPoint from a client this morning, with their two-day training course that they are delivering face to face. My job is to give them a digital solution for the different aspects of the course. This might mean turning aspects of the training into gamified modules, other bits could be short snaps of info with quizzes or checklists, whereas other areas may require more ongoing interaction from the trainees which means we would create it in an online workbook where they can feedback to their managers. 

I'll give the client a proposal, we'll have a discussion, and then I'll look more deeply at the content and look at everything from the tone of voice – “can we make it more informal or playful?” - to the voice over artist or any additional copywriting that needs done. 

I think this is also where my hospitality experience comes in really handy because having been on the receiving end of that type of training for so many years, and having lived the fast paced hospitality life, I understand what will land and what is realistic to expect trainees to complete and retain the information. 


What kind of clients do you get excited about? What kind of modules do you get excited about?

All of them are interesting in their own way and it’s different with every client – they have a different focus and a different ethos, but I suppose it is fun to do ones that are a bit out of the norm for us. For example, we recently we did some training for Compass Contract Catering, for their sales teams. This was completely different to our usual requests, and it focused on types of personalities and sales techniques, negotiating, all that kind of thing, but within a catering and hospitality environment which was really interesting. 

The other project I’m excited about is the Diageo Learning for Life project in collaboration with Springboard which are an amazing charity who work to get those who are unemployed back into work in the hospitality sector. They are such an incredible organisation and we are creating a great set on online learning tools for their trainees on things like mindset, timekeeping and assertiveness which are just great transferrable skills no matter what industry you work in.  


What are you most excited about in terms of digital learning trends?

I like the way that things are going with kind of animations, and like illustrate illustrative things. rather than a more basic sort of image led conversation I really like the way that illustrations are more popular at the moment. It allows you the opportunity to actually illustrate quite difficult situations, and find a more playful tone to it, rather than having the typical stock photography that you would expect within hospitality training. I think we're moving away from that and it's becoming more exciting, more colourful and more bright.