Punctual, reliable and passionate, Ingrida Baltrusaityte has found her passion as a housekeeper. She has been in the industry for 12 years and still finds pleasure in learning and discovering new things. Her positive attitude led her to earn the title of an Executive Housekeeper at Millennium Place Marina. Let’s learn more about her journey.
I would define myself as a hard worker, punctual, reliable and able to perform well under pressure. I am very honest and have a friendly and open character. I am a true team player, keeping the highest level of professionalism, product quality, service standard and the ability to excel myself on a daily basis. My Motto - attitude is everything.
Your experience and years in the industry
I have been working in hospitality for 12 years, and I found my passion in this profession. I am continuously learning and discovering new things. This is the reason I started travelling and working abroad. As a result, I had the opportunity to join properties in Sweden, England, Qatar and Dubai.
How you got into the hospitality industry and how you’ve grown since then
I have a Business Administration and Management University diploma. However, I decided that regular office work is not for me and started to explore other careers away from my homeland (Lithuania). I started in hospitality as a room attendant in Sweden and combined it with a part time waitress job at a restaurant. Afterwards, I moved to London as a Housekeeping Floor Supervisor and Office Coordinator, after which I was promoted to Housekeeping Manager. Another job opportunity took me to Qatar, this time as Deputy Executive Housekeeper and after a few years I moved to my current destination, Dubai, as an Executive Housekeeper.
What drives you and your career
Success is what motivates me to do a good job. Knowing that my hard work will help me achieve greater professional success is what keeps me motivated and on the lookout for new challenges.
An accomplishment that shaped your career
• “Manager’s Choice Award” at Hilton London Metropole – a huge motivation to move on into my career and develop myself as a leader.
• Partnership with ‘Unisoap’ ( Fraser Suites Dubai ) – step into the voluntary experience helping the environment by reducing soap waste and raising hotel associates' awareness on basic hygiene practices.
• Pre-opening and opening of Millennium Place Marina - a pilot property for the Millennium Place brand, a newly opened 4* hotel of the prestigious hospitality group Millennium Hotels and resort that started welcoming its guests in April 2019, aligning with the Millennium Place brand tagline ‘Find your happy place’. Working in a hotel during the pre-opening phase is stressful, and you need to be able to multitask and be flexible to changes. I always felt a sense of pride in knowing that I actually contributed to building the systems and procedures that are used to run not only the hotel but an exclusive meaningful brand newly born in the MEA region.
The best part of your job
• Culture & Variety – changing companies and countries, working with different nationalities and characters, gives you a huge experience, which you will never get at any university. It builds you as a great, stronger leader with manners and willingness to share your experience, develop your people and lead them to achieve their career goals. Every day is different, and it is a constant adventure.
• Challenge – I love the challenges of coming in every day, especially when it is the housekeeping department, and trying to figure out how I am going to resolve it. I feel very lucky; I have always been working with leaders who were and are believing in me, pushing me to the edge, supporting in the projects and appreciating the work I do.
The most challenging aspect in your job
The toughest part of the job is definitely dealing with the high level of customer expectation. You have to be well aware of how to present the product, maintain it in the highest service level and keep it beyond customer satisfaction.
Sustainability is about following practices that we expect will not deplete or destroy critical resources. I am an active sustainability follower: often making presentations as people will only support sustainability if they are educated about it.
Housekeeping practices you live by
Housekeeping is not just cleanliness. It includes health and safety, yours and your company presentation and the most important – attitude toward the guest and your colleagues. I am always saying that you can teach the person, you can guide him through his duties, hence the behavior and attitude is our personal responsibility. Constant training, one-to-one meetings, departmental meetings, motivation and praise. I always implement these main practices wherever I handle my duties. On the other hand, when you build a great team and develop a strong relationship with them, it is probably the most rewarding parts of the work.
Cleaning practices at your hotel
In the wake of this global situation, hygienic concerns become a priority - it is something that ‘never waits’. Undoubtedly, hospitality professionals pride themselves on high attention to detail. You have to access your current plan of action and cleaning regimen in order to take additional precautionary measures. During times of lower than typical occupancy or demand, the housekeeping team uses the opportunity to upgrade the hotel surroundings without major delay or disruptions in service. Of course, it is a matter of increasing deep cleaning efforts and reviewing disinfection protocols to mitigate the risk. This is also a good opportunity to take a second look at your hotel housekeeping checklists to identify any additional precautionary steps that may need to take place. Open lines of communication are also crucial as is the case with any good crisis plan, keeping staff informed and addressing employee concerns can make a world of difference in the overall hotel guest experience.
The latest technologies that have been introduced in the recent past making cleaning an easy job
As a leader, you are always on the lookout for new ways to optimize the cleaning processes. Smart tools hold great potential for cleaning work, as they can reduce the time needed to complete processes, simplify operations, and free up employees’ time for more important tasks that need manual care. It could be smar t dispenser’s, polishing, ozone or steam machines.
Training provided to the cleaning staff
The purpose of training for your associates is to enable an employee to begin an assigned job or to improve uses of product and techniques. I would say in the hotel housekeeping operations there are three basic areas in which training actively takes place – skills, knowledge & attitude. A ll this training is conducted on a daily basis in different ways.
To me the biggest challenge is always the health & saf ety of the staff and our guests. This is the first point I am looking at - no matter which property I am working for.
Innovations that you think will help in your cleaning processes
Currently, with the new situation we are facing, COVID-19, our company, Millennium Hotels & Resorts, launched a campaign “We clean, We care, We welcome” where all hygiene and safety protocols have been reviewed, updated and implemented to ensure the safety of our customers, associates and business partners. In line with the previous question, the future of hospitality and the futur e of housekeeping will definitely focus more than in the past on saf ety and hygiene than ever before.