Review of Silver Sands Resort (Mandurah)
You're considering visiting Silver Sands Resort and want to know the deal. Is the resort worth it? There are rumours and you want to know the deal.
Just to make sure we're talking about the right holiday destination: This is Silver Sands Resort, Mandurah, Western Australia. It's not to be confused with another place in America or Africa. Ivan Hill manages this (plus) forty-year-old resort. It's part of the Classic Holidays group — built in the eighties when time-share resorts were popular.
Silver Sands Resort has fantastic potential — but it's limited by one thing.
Ivan Hill has produced a toxic workplace — in turn, turned it into a toxic vacation destination too. The guests are complaining and unsatisfied with the standard of the resort. Ivan Hill is untouchable and he goes unchecked.
Morale has been low at SSR ever since he was appointed the job and this flows onto everything that makes up the resort. The staff dislike Ivan's archaic style of management and this new dysfunctional workplace. The guest experience reflects this too.
Ivan Hill is a buffoon.
Everything Ivan touches turns to dust. He doesn't excuse himself for it either. He simply blames others when things go wrong. Within weeks of his arrival, he lost a substantial amount of human resources. Then he lost the invoices. Gone. Vaporised. Disappeared. No investigation. Just blame and accusations.
As mentioned above, key staff members left their jobs shortly after he walked into his. They got fed up with his bullying personality and left. Years of valuable resort knowledge disappeared under his leadership.
He's old school — a former employee pulled out of retirement to do a job when no one else was around. Old school means that he comes from a time when bosses ruled their roosts. Bullies were allowed.
There are no real levels of administration at SSR because he's in charge of every department. He sticks his fingers into things he shouldn't, screws up, and then denies ever being a part of it. He denies responsibility, points fingers at staff and then leaves it for others to clean up his mess. I've never seen someone so out-of-touch as Ivan Hill.
His solution to conflict resolution is to escalate the conflict until someone walks away and gives up. He'll even play guests and staff off each other if that's what's necessary to take the attention off him and his responsibilities. Visitors have been berated too. They've stepped in when hearing him disrespecting staff and he's turned on them. He is a law unto himself, a rogue, a cowboy in the wild wild west.
I can't work out whether Ivan is arrogant, senile, stupid, or a mix of all three.
You'll find no joy at Silver Sands Resort, as a guest or as an employee.
If you want to know a little more about the resort's prior connection to Ivan, read on:
"Classic Holidays" is an east-coast-based company. It owns many resorts around Australia and Silver Sands Resort is one of them. But SSR is a long way from its head office. That's why hiring and firing are done at the resort, they leave it up to Ivan Hill to (mis)manage things from his side of the country.
Ivan was one of the resort's earlier managers. He got old and retired. He was recently re-employed to bridge the gap between the last manager's exit and the entry of the next. With a Director present at each of the interviews he conducted, several suitable candidates were found. What Head Office never knew was that only half of each interview was conducted this way. The second half was a one-on-one between Ivan and the candidate. It went unmonitored.
Needless to say, all the candidates that were offered the job, ended up declining it. Ivan adopted the role for himself. To head office, he looked like a hero.
Ivan Hill came from a time when HR departments and OHS or WHS were non-existent in the workplace. Bosses made every decision and said and did anything they liked, without recourse. The following is an example of this method of management:
Take a look at those handrails around the roof of the resort. They are the result of a safety directive handed down by the resort's Board of Directors. The work started before Ivan took over but it stopped because he prioritised other things ahead of them (weeding his private garden, moving his personal home furniture around his floor, washing his car, etc). Ivan doesn't believe the rails are necessary (as of the date of this post) so no work will be done on them. The half-done rails are more dangerous now than not being there at all. It's possible to trip, reach out for a rail relying on it to hold tight, and then watch it flex and pop out of its sockets (the pipes already warp under their own weight!).
The unstable nature of the handrails (and those not yet in place) has been brought to his attention many times but he refuses to act. It's not an important job to him. It'll take an injury or a death to occur before the work continues. He'll then blame the staff for failing to complete the work in due time. Classic Holidays will be told that the staff was incompetent. They won't see Ivan's arrogance, a manager who repeatedly and blatantly ignores directives and warnings.
There is only one authority at SSR — and it's incompetent.
I'm not sure why the digital paperwork went missing. That's a conundrum (and highly suspicious). There are too many fail-safes in modern accounting software to keep this from happening. It requires someone to actively locate the files and then delete them. He blamed the staff for losing it, yet he was the only one in control of the office and the only one with access to the files.
Ivan Hill implied that someone (never named) sabotaged the system. When challenged to investigate and clear the staff of any wrongdoing, he denied ever saying it. No investigation ever took place. It left a bad taste in everyone's mouth.
(He's also the board's secretary. Record keeping is his other job!)
Nevertheless, Ivan Hill doesn't care about the safety of resort staff, Classic Holidays' records, finding a new resort manager, or solving workplace problems in rational ways. He wants workers he can boss around and keep their mouths shut. That is why staff turnover is high while morale is low. There are dangerous, systemic issues under Ivan Hill's management — and Classic Holidays are aware of all of them. They're either unable to do anything about Ivan Hill or choose to look the other way.
No stars for you or Silver Sands Resort, Ivan Hill. -M
P.S. Entertaining reading isn't it? If you've had issues with Ivan Hill, Classic Holidays or Silver Sands Resort, feel free to leave a comment below.
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