Multi-skilling Millennials for lyf: A Multifaceted Role

Dec 17, 2020

lyf is one of the newest concepts under The Ascott Limited with over 2,700 units including those in the pipeline in Singapore, China, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. lyf is a gathering of people and ideas, connecting guests and fellow travellers to share experiences and foster a new way of community living, building connections and being inspired by the exchange of ideas. Targeted at millennials, the lyf concept is managed by millennials for the millennials and the millennial-minded to provide collaborative spaces and social programmes to create a live-work-play experience.

Unlike conventional serviced apartments and hotels, lyf properties are managed by lyf guards – millennials who are community managers, city and food guides, bar keepers and problem solvers all rolled into one. lyf guards also conduct residents’ activities such as workshops with local craftsmen, hackathons or even innovation talks with guests and partners. A day in the life of a lyf guard can start from checking in a new guest to recommending the best yoga studio in town, replacing a lightbulb, and end the day with having a cup of coffee together with the lyf residents in the social kitchen after work.

When lyf participated in the Hotel Job Redesign Reskilling Programme, lyf guards underwent intensive on-the-job training in operational departments such as housekeeping and engineering to enable them to render assistance effectively to the guests under their care. With multi-skilling and empowerment, lyf guards can provide an efficient and productive level of guest service despite a lean property manning structure.

lyf guards have well-defined career progression. They are given ample opportunities for learning and development, participate in strategic decision-making processes and be developed to take on future leadership roles within the organisation.

Tan Hui Xin is a lyf guard at lyf Funan Singapore. She underwent training and multi-skilling under the hotel’s Job Redesign exercise. Let us get to know more about her experience!

Interviews have been edited for clarity.

1. What were your first thoughts upon learning about Job Redesign (JR) and why do you think it is important?

It is an interesting initiative as it gives opportunities to expand our knowledge in other operational functions within the property. It is beneficial for my career development as it helps me to experience and understand the various functions and assist the team where necessary during work.

Through the relevant trainings provided, I was able to address guests’ requests effectively. The additional benefit I saw from Job Redesign includes the opportunity to understand the operations of the other functions such as housekeeping and engineering, which allowed me to make better informed career decisions.

2. Was there anything about the transition/learning process which was particularly memorable/enjoyable/useful for you?

As a lyf guard, I was aware that multi-skilling is required in this position and was excited about the learning opportunities.

I was scheduled to attend on-the-job trainings to get a clearer sense of the processes and skills required in other job functions. These trainings enabled me to resolve guest’s enquiries and concerns in a timely manner. I was also able to empathise with the challenges that other functions encounter and react accordingly.

I understand that every job function has its own challenges and level of difficulties. For example, the scope of work required in Engineering is vast and while we were able to assist in simple tasks such as changing a light bulb in the rooms, we were not able to carry tasks that require a higher level of skill and knowledge such as servicing air-cons as that involves piping works. However, I was reassured by the team members that such tasks will still be carried out by our Engineering colleagues which gave me a huge sense of relief.

In picture: Hui Xin meticulously arranges the pillows on the guest beds, keeping the apartments clean and tidy, and ensuring a comfortable guest experience.

3. Was job redesign useful to you? In what way?

Being exposed to the workings of other functions have allowed me to foster better communication and teamwork between departments. I was able to communicate and report issues effectively and get them resolved in a timely manner. This has helped improve guest satisfaction during their stay. I see this initiative as providing opportunities for me to grow my skills and improve competitiveness in my current role as a lyf guard, as well as to expand my role further in the near future.

4. Do you think this initiative was useful to the company? In what way?

Besides having highly motivated staff, the Job Redesign initiative has enhanced our quality of work and foster closer inter-department working relationships, boosting overall productivity.

5. What advice would you give to fellow colleagues in the hotel sector who are undergoing the Job Redesign training as well?

Keep an open mind and embrace new challenges.