Jisha Anish, Assistant Director of Housekeeping, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts, Oman
Women throughout the world have proved themselves capable of managing the pandemic. From female Prime Ministers to housekeepers, women are being acclaimed for their management skills. This month, we highlight the journey of one such woman - Jisha Anish, Assistant Director of Housekeeping, Golden Tulip Hotels, Suites & Resorts, Oman.
Jisha hails from India and has been part of Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel for the last ten and half years. She is a highly energetic and motivated housekeeping professional and a proven leader with great success in managing a diverse range of housekeeping tasks and extensive management experience across different brands. Jisha talks to Clean Middle East about her career, the current pandemic, and how hotels must evolve with the times.
I work with a positive approach and have proven myself able to go above and beyond for the cleanliness of the organization’s premises. I am an expert in the provision of housekeeping services in accordance with the procedures and protocols of Golden Tulip Hotels. I have extensive functional knowledge of chemical and cleaning supplies to use in a safe environment. I am very adept at monitoring and developing team member performance in terms of professional development and evaluations. I am very effective in handling queries and complaints in a professional and resolution-oriented manner.
For the past 18 years, it has been a pleasure to work in various capacities in the most critical department of any hotel - housekeeping. I started my career with CGH Earth Properties as an Industrial Trainee and moved to Abad Group’s pre-opening resort as a housekeeping supervisor. This experience was a stepping stone to build my confidence to lead the team in two other pre-opening projects in Evolve Back Kabini Resort and Fariyas Resort, Goa, India. I was also fortunate to lead the team of the Raviz Kadavu Resort Calicut as an executive housekeeper for the classification of the 5-star category.
Teaching was an area of interest from childhood. I was a housekeeping faculty member in the Academy of Management Studies Calicut for a certain period while I was working at Calicut. My industry knowledge was a great advantage in this stint. I also worked with Aitken Spence Hotel - Poovar Island Resort for two years before I reached the Middle East with Golden Tulip Hotels. Currently, I am leading the housekeeping, laundry, and horticulture teams in the capacity of Assistant Director of Housekeeping.
After college, my main subject was Electronics and Communication. I studied for 5 years in this stream and later I decided to shift to the hospitality industry and focused my career on housekeeping management. I completed my Masters in Hospitality management and am also planning to do an advanced Room Division Management course by this year to be able to take my career to the next level. This is the most challenging department and always a vital element in the hotel business. Learning by growing is the motto I have always believed in.
Your work and profile in your current establishment
My current assignment is with iconic Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel. I oversee the cleanliness and hygiene aspect of the 26 year old hotel with 120 guest rooms and various F&B venues and meeting rooms. I am leading the housekeeping, laundry and horticulture team with 80% Omanisation in the department. I hold the additional responsibility of a Hygiene officer, NSF Audit coordinator and Crisis Management Member since the pandemic started in 2020 and ensure the adherence to COVID-19 prevention rules and regulations. I ensure clinical hygiene is followed in the guest/staff areas. I am also an active member of Oman Housekeeper Group and represent Oman as a media coordinator in the Asian Housekeeper’s Association.
The best part about your job
The best part about my career is that I learned to adapt to the culture, values, and beliefs of many nationalities. This, in turn, helped my department stand out as the best in the hotel. Other than that, I strongly believe in motivation, empowerment, and delegation. Motivation makes any task easy and enjoyable, empowerment enables any individual to take necessary decisions that give them the confidence to deal with any kind of emergency situation, and delegating improves staff morale and increases team productivity. With a keen focus on these aspects, I am able to manage and lead a team that eventually develops future local talents and supports the vision of Omanisation in the industry.
The most challenging part of your job
The most challenging part of my job was the pandemic. For many months we were dealing with many positive cases daily as most of the guests were in quarantine. Initially, it was a huge task to build trust and confidence amongst the team to manage this situation. But, adhering to the COVID-19 prevention rules and regulations and following clinical hygiene and hygiene protocols became routine due to continuous on-the-job training. Today, without any doubt I can say my team is confident enough to deal with any positive case. To make the staff mentally and emotionally strong was the biggest challenge during this time.
Why is sustainability important for you?
Sustainability is the key to a better future. Humans rely on natural resources for business, activities, and survival. Ignoring sustainability can lead to the exhaustion of these natural resources. The three core pillars of sustainability are economic development, social development, and environmental protection. The above can be achieved in our industry through continuous training, awareness campaigns, and implementation of eco-friendly systems in hotels.
My sustainability goals are as follows:
- Use of eco-friendly chemicals to preserve human health and protect environment quality.
- Reduction of plastics and control of spillage.
- Supporting and reinforcing green housekeeping programs for guests by proper monitoring of linen change data of guest rooms, etc.
- 100% use of green chemicals to preserve nature and human beings
- Reducing carbon footprint
- Awareness of colleagues/teams about sustainability and water/waste/energy management
- Participation of teams in various CSR activities/cleaning campaigns.
- Save The World Project: Used tissues (Less than 50% rolled again to make jumbo Toilet rolls to use in Staff areas.
Best practices you follow
In Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel, we follow the highest standards of cleanliness and housekeeping practices in order to maintain the service quality and standards. The team is regularly trained for the latest trends and advanced cleaning protocols. Regular quality checks and inspections, and walkthroughs add value to the guest expectations.
In the current situation, housekeeping at Golden Tulip Nizwa became much more detailed. We focused on clinical hygiene measures rather than the routine cleaning. Furthermore, all housekeeping team members were trained and certified according to Louvre Group’s safety and sanitary hygiene standards.
The latest products (chemicals & equipment) that are in use
We use advanced cleaning products by Diversey in Oman. Their new chemicals like Oxivir Plus, Divosan, Suma D10 for sanitisation and sterilisation of high-touch surfaces in the guest/staff areas have proved to be very effective. All room attendants were trained for advanced cleaning and disinfection methods and certified by Diversey experts in order to combat the crisis. We also use colour-coded dusters for cleaning.
Latest technologies in use
I believe that the new technologies in the industry save time and effort to a great extent. Even though the initial implementation costs are high, in the long run it saves costs phenomenally. Technical advancements such as ULV cold fogging machines, electrostatic sprayers, nano mist guns, advanced air purifiers for indoor air quality have helped in recent times. Moreover, I’d like to mention the following technologies in more detail:
Linen tagging is the best for hotels to track the linen/uniform movement and inventory control; it saves a lot of time and effort.
• Cloud-based digital room checks
Room checks/preventive maintenance checks are very easy and more accurate with picture/voice addition during inspection.
• Robotic vacuum machines
Battery-operated cleaning systems save electricity consumption and aim towards a sustainable environment.
• Samfex/Kares/Optii Keeper
Hotel management systems make a housekeeper's life more easy and more productive. This enables everyone to create lasting impressions.
Training provided to the cleaning staff
Training is a vital part in any organisation. Being in this industry for many years, I have trained and developed many talented individuals and achieved development goals, which improved employee performance and employee retention. While training, I also understood and tracked the employee skills and helped them overcome their weaknesses.
Ten years of sheer hard work and initiating training programs for the team helped my organisation achieve better results and return of investments. My team does not have any prior housekeeping experience, but the efforts & pain I took to develop their skills paid off.
The future of the cleaning industry
The future of the cleaning industry lies in a technological boom. We must be able to cater to a tech savvy generation. In my opinion, all the hotels should upgrade the products and services to match the demand of the new generation. Most of the recent and upcoming projects are blended with the latest technologies in rooms and public areas like automatic climate control, app controlled blinds, lighting, etc. The latest innovations and development of technology in developing many advanced cleaning machines and artificial intelligence in robotic machines will change the future of the cleaning industry without doubt.
How do you think the COVID-19 pandemic should be dealt with?
During the pandemic , we followed the instructions, rules and regulations by law and Golden Tulip guidelines for the safety and well being of our guests and colleagues.
- Frequent disinfection of all guest /staff high touch areas and guest rooms using advanced cleaning agents and Chemicals was carried out on a routine basis.
- The Advanced Cleaning program was rolled out for all housekeeping employees and all colleagues were trained for new protocols in hygiene and sanitisation as per the brand standards.
- Our hotel was certified by NSF auditors in compliance with the safety measures adopted which gives a confidence for all guests visiting our hotel.
- By collaborating with Diversey, we intensified the cleaning protocols and all room attendants were trained and certified for advanced cleaning techniques.
- Introduction of new chemicals for daily cleaning.
- Crisis management team was formed during the pandemic lock down situation to support the room operations.
- On-the-job training for the core team during the crisis helped equip colleagues to perform their tasks effectively and efficiently with confidence.
- Physical and mental well being of all colleagues to lead the team to be calm and confident to handle the situation when there were positive cases in the hotel.
- Social distancing at the department for daily meetings and briefings , laundry collection and delivery and office space management. etc.
- Usage of nano mist gun for disinfection and ULV cold fogger for public areas.
- Automatic thermal temperature check at hotel entrance.
Being a lady and leading a large team of various nationalities was a challenge at the beginning of my Middle East career. But, the moral support and operational guidance from my CEO and General manager of Ubar Hotel Group, Mr. Sandeep Jaitly is praiseworthy. The support inspired me and proved to be a great motivation in my professional career. I am also thankful to the management team and my colleagues at Golden Tulip Nizwa for their continued support and collaboration.