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Tue 19 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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Mister motivator

Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort assistant executive house keeper T.M.H Zain talks to Hotelier Middle East about motivating his team and the challenges of working at a newly opened hotel.

Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort assistant executive house keeper T.M.H Zain talks to Hotelier Middle East about motivating his team and the challenges of working at a newly opened hotel.

How long have you worked for Miramar? What were you doing before then?

When there’s a happy team it makes everyone’s job easier.

I've been here just three months, so I'm still new. Before that I was attached to the Hilton chain in Saudi Arabia. I'd been there almost four years working in housekeeping. When I decided it was time for a change, Miramar seemed a very good place to be.

We have only just opened here, but everything is going along alright and we are kept very busy.

What originally attracted you to a career in housekeeping?

Actually in my younger days when I left school I did some courses - I tried being in front office, housekeeping, the kitchens - and I settled on housekeeping because I thought it would be a good career with plenty of prospects.

My instinct was always to be in hospitality; I like dealing with guests. You come across many different people of different nationalities, so it keeps it interesting.

What does your job entail?

In my role I coordinate my supervisors, I plan the schedules for the work that needs to be done and I help the executive housekeeper in recruitment and budgeting. So we have been busy recently!

What training have you received since you've been in the industry?

I have had a great deal of training during my time in the industry, mainly with Hilton. But I've been in the industry a total of 28 years. I've done many programmes, mainly about how to train staff and team motivation and so on.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I like to motivate the staff; that's what I've had a lot of training in. I always make sure there's a support system for staff and I like them to be able to talk to me about any issues. When there's a happy team it makes everyone's job easier.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

At the moment, I find handling guests requests difficult. It's because we are only recently opened and there are still certain things we don't have, so in time that will be sorted out.

How do you think you have improved during your time in housekeeping?

I've been in housekeeping 28 years so I have learnt a lot in my time. Since I arrived here, the one thing that I am having to re-learn is standards and normal practice. All hotels have different measures and standards, and once I master them here I will have improved again.

How has the job changed since you first started in the hospitality industry?

Yes, things have changed greatly. When I first started we didn't have all these machines and so on - we had to do a lot by hand.

Cleaning floors was done with a dustpan and brush, now we have vacuums to do that. Other things like extraction machines and chemicals for improving cleaning have made our jobs much quicker and easier.

What skills do you think are needed to be a successful housekeeper?

I think a person needs to be very strong and good at communication and a good team player, because you have to work in a big team and it's important to fit in well and be a part of that.

What are your future plans and ambitions for your career?

My ambition is to one day become executive housekeeper - in how long I could not say.

I would like to then go on further and move into the rooms division and then into the front office.

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