The opening keynote speech and presentation at BNC Publishing’s Executive Housekeepers Conference on 21 November at Conrad Hotel Dubai, explored what housekeepers can do to develop their careers.
Keynote speaker, Feryal Haddon, director of HR, Hilton Resort and Spa Jumeirah – who moved to her role from the housekeeping department – said that cross-departmental experience is crucial for housekeepers looking to develop their skills.
She commented: “We’re not just here to do our jobs but always to learn something else. I was working in Sofitel and I made myself work in the kitchen for a couple of months just to understand how the kitchen functions and what the chefs are doing, and what their challenges are.
“In one of my properties, I also oversaw the laundry department and was very interested in programming the washing machines to become more knowledgeable. It’s very important to develop yourself in other areas, especially if you’d like to transition, as this will give you an edge to move forward.”
In addition to developing individual skills and experience, Haddon highlighted the importance of nurturing team members.
“It’s not just about developing yourself but developing a second or third layer at supervisory or assistant level,” she said.
“Sometimes we are in the office too much because housekeeping involves a lot of admin, whether it’s uniform, equipment or guest supplies. But it’s important you are close to your team – you should know them individually. You want to have the full picture of the workforce and in any team of fewer than 100 people, you can do that.”
Haddon’s top tips for career development for housekeepers:
- Develop yourself– in the workplace and beyond the workplace
- Develop your team and facilitate their career progression
- Be ‘on the ground’ with your team
- Do at least one opening
- Keep up to date with the industry’s latest trends
The second edition of the Executive Housekeepers Conference, presented by Du, took place on Monday 21 November at Conrad Hotel Dubai, with a stellar line-up of panelists and speakers from across the Middle East.
The event was supported by: Presenting Sponsor, Du; Workshop Sponsor, FCS Computer Systems; Guest Supply; Renarte LLC; A. Ronai LLC; Silentnight UAE LLC; UPI; Bahraja General Trading LLC; Hanse; TCL, Room Operations and Kraft Procurement.