Tatjana Ahmed, Housekeeping Manager, Grand Hyatt Dubai
Ahmed introspects on her entire career in Dubai and lists out the 10 things she’s learned in this time!
1. Pressure creates resilience
In today’s working environment, periods of intense pressure have become a fact of life. Irrespective of the kind of job you have, pressure is a given. Pressure is different to stress and can, when managed well, be a challenging and motivating force. Developing the habit of using challenges as opportunities to acquire or master skills and build achievement is part of building resilience. Also, avoid making a drama out of a crisis. Stress and change are part of life as there will always be some aspects of work that you cannot control. How you interpret and respond has a big impact of how stressful we find them. After all, if pressure is managed well, one can celebrate their success.
2. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything
How can you manage to ‘do it all’? I can do ANYTHING I’m asked to do; I‘m ultra-flexible; and I wear so many hats. And, that I want to, especially as a woman. But, we CANNOT do EVERYTHING. Yes, often we try to be a perfectionist. And we want success. The idea that you cannot do EVERYTHING is often worrying. But, you will run in cycles if you constantly over commit.
3. Team work works
Your organization can only be successful if everyone works together as a team. Everyone, from the top man or woman down the ladder. Irrespective of your title, when required to work in a team, everyone feels the spirit of the occasion. It is very natural to either follow the leader or take the lead when required.
4. Plan ahead and stick to your schedules
The day has only so many hours, and the week so many days. Apart from your routine work, you have to fit in anything else that comes along. Planning my day and week ahead is crucial, and I would say that I complete what’s on the plan on priority so I can make space for other tasks to come in.
5. Keep on learning; educate yourself
For many people, housekeeping is a boring subject, and eventually the last department they would want to work in. I grew into housekeeping and developed a passion for what I do. I always felt that it is very important to learn about what is new in our industry, implement new strategies and become a trendsetter in operating with what is considered the best operating supplies available.
Housekeeping is extremely versatile, and there are many subjects one must know and learn about. A big part of learning happens at exhibitions or through trade magazines. I always encourage my supervisors to visit trade shows and ready relevant magazines.
6. Give back
People working in the hotel or FM industry work very hard. Firstly, because it is physical work; secondly, the work is scrutinized by performance and feedback all the time. The least one can do for their team is to give them the due praise and celebrate success as it comes.
7. Empower and trust
Empowerment means to include your team in decision making as well as to give them a participating role, which capitalizes on their own expertise and judgement. This will certainly increase their sense of worth as well as commitment to the company. Empowerment also demonstrates that you care about the input of everyone on your team and motivates the team to work together and increase the overall success of the department.
It also creates the secondary level of leadership necessary when you are not present for key decisions so that the work continues. Why do you need to empower your subordinates? The answers are clear. No one leads an organization to success on their own. It is the collective excellence of many that builds success
8. Think outside the box
I believe there is a solution for every problem. Being creative and innovative in finding solutions is key. At the beginning of my career, I was once challenged to decorate a ballroom for New Year with literally no funds. My creative thinking kicked in that time. With Do-It-Yourself and the assistance of my room attendants and engineering, the ballroom looked just great.
9. Care & empathy
Both go a long way. It is actually a part of Hyatt’s DNA to show and apply care and empathy. Especially during the Pandemic, teams feel secure and appreciated when care and empathy are shown. People who feel that they are cared for, care for you, too. The same goes for empathy. The importance of empathy in delivering great hospitality service has been known for a long time. A wide range of evidence points to the fact that hospitality providers who are empathetic tend to provide better service.
10. Share your knowledge
Nothing helps deepen knowledge as effectively as sharing it. If you have been working for some time in a certain field, you have most probably gained unique skills, knowledge and expertise relevant to your team and company. Sharing your knowledge is vital for your team as it enhances their expertise too. Writing an article about a certain subject is always a good tool to reach out to a wider audience.