Going the extra mile to make people happy means so much more in these challenging times. Here, we celebrate our Champions of Happiness - hotel staff who’ve gone above and beyond for guests and colleagues
Jobin Joseph Senior Banquet Executive, Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
Hotels have always been popular venues for events like wedding ceremonies, but COVID-19 has reshaped the way our hoteliers handle such occasions.
Jobin Joseph, a Senior Banquet Executive at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, has received praise for his excellent service and attention to detail. Placed in charge of the hotel's first event after the resumption of weddings was announced, he ensured that it ran smoothly and adhered to current safety measures.
Wanting only the best experience for the newlyweds, Jobin also took the initiative to check on guests at every table since social distancing rules did not allow the couple to do so in person. His actions were greatly appreciated as he assured them that each guest was well-taken care of by himself and his team.
Elina Neo Club Host, InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay
The hotel industry is all about providing the best experience for guests, and some of our hoteliers have taken that to the next level.
Elina, a club host at InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, was re-deployed to the Front of House Operations Team to oversee the welfare of Stay-Home Notice (SHN) guests. Working together with other departments, she made it a priority to ensure a comfortable stay for them.
Going the extra mile, Elina and her colleague Krishan developed the SHN Wellness Team program, which explores new ways to engage guests daily via a WhatsApp channel. One such initiative was the towel origami challenge, whereby guests could create a towel animal of their choice for a chance to win dining vouchers at Publico, the hotel’s flagship restaurant.
The challenge garnered many positive responses from guests - a testament to Elina’s ability to bring people together despite challenging times.
Lim Jin Shuan F&B Service Leader, JEN Singapore Orchardgateway by Shangri-La
Social interaction is a big part of working in the hotel industry, and it’s also a skill that’s applicable in our everyday lives.
Jin Shuan, a bartender at JEN Singapore Orchardgateway by Shangri-La, has been re-deployed as a safe distancing ambassador at Berseh Food Centre for the past five months. As a team leader, he’s stepped up to take charge of rosters, shifts, and even administrative tasks.
According to Jin Shuan, the change in roles might be drastic, but he still takes pleasure in socialising and interacting with the public - just as he does while hosting guests back at the hotel.
Azkhairulzafie Bin Azman Assistant Operations Manager, Resorts World Sentosa
With all that’s happened lately due to COVID-19, it’s more important than ever for our hoteliers to be versatile and rise to the challenge. Zafie, Assistant Operations Manager at Resorts World Sentosa, is a great example.
Having been deployed as a team leader at Community Care Facility at Singapore EXPO, he took the responsibility to provide the best possible care for its residents. Despite the challenging nature of his role, Zafie also made it his top priority to ensure the health and safety of his team.
Going the extra mile, Zafie also arranged for the installation of money transfer machines in the facility, a respectable feat that allowed foreign workers to easily send money home to their families.
Rosnita Binte Ahmad Safe Distancing Ambassador, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore
Rosnita, a Senior Banquet Captain at Four Seasons Hotel, is well-versed when it comes to facing guests - and she’s taken that experience far beyond the hotel’s walls.
Re-deployed to Geylang Serai Market as a safe distancing ambassador, Rosnita applies her hospitality skills to better communicate with the public. Aside from ensuring that everyone wears their masks, adheres to the 1m rule and scans their NRIC for SafeEntry, she also assists patrons and stallholders with any queries they might have on safety measures and practices.
On one occasion, she even managed to befriend an elderly lady, convincing her to stay home instead of loitering outdoors. Realising that the lady lived alone, Rosnita bought her coffee and accompanied her home - a display of service that’s truly commendable.
Arwin Magendran Food and Beverage Service Leader, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa & Spa
Proper hygiene and safety measures are now a big part of our everyday lives, and Arwin, Food and Beverage Service Leader at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa & Spa is always sure to have them set in place.
Arwin was re-deployed as an SG Clean Ambassador, during which he led a team of 20 others to encourage safe distancing. Tapping on his extensive hospitality experience, he was able to communicate with the public in a warm, approachable manner.
Since then, Arwin has been welcoming guests at Trapizza, an Italian eatery on Siloso Beach, where he skilfully applies his newfound knowledge to ensure that his guests are dining in complete comfort and safety.
Jeanette Ho Sales Manager, Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
Stepping out of her comfort zone in tandem with the new normal, Jeanette, Sales Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore found herself handling multiple hospitality-related roles during COVID-19.
In addition to her everyday duties, Jeanette was involved in the implementation of Mandarin Oriental’s group-wide ‘We Care’ programme in her sales department – an initiative to provide proper safety measures for hotel guests and employees
Going above and beyond her roles at the hotel, she was also deployed to Changi Exhibition Centre’s Community Care Facility, where she provided assistance to patients as well as logistical support.
Together with her team, Jeanette managed to source 6,000 drinking cups for migrant workers to enjoy hot drinks during Ramadan - an exemplary feat that shows how she extends her care to more than just hotel guests.
Muhammad Shaiffudin SG Clean Ambassador, Four Points by Sheraton
Customer service is a skill that transcends roles, and Shaiffuddin is a great example.
A concierge at Four Points by Sheraton, Shaiffuddin was re-deployed as an SG Clean Ambassador. He now manages a team of seven, educating the public at Marsiling Lane Market about COVID-19 safety measures.
Despite the challenging nature of the job, Shaiffuddin’s hospitality experience helps him communicate better. With a softer, more personable approach, he has managed to gain the community’s support and encourage a positive mindset towards safety.
April Tam Guest Relations Officer, Travelodge Harbourfront
After years as an F&B Service Ambassador, April has a new feather in her cap at Travelodge Harbourfront Singapore – through job redesign, she has been trained as a Guest Relations Officer.
The hotel provided support to enhance her capabilities, easing her into the new job scope. April learnt to operate the Oasis System - a hotel management software that helps Front Office staff communicate with guests, improving the hotel’s overall experience.
With this new skill, April has managed to handle every situation efficiently with confidence - whether it’s about special requests, feedback or even complaints. Her versatility in both departments have made her an integral member of a cohesive Front Office Team.
Namirah Khamsani Rooms Division Manager, Novotel Singapore on Stevens and Mercure Singapore on Stevens
Namirah Khamsani, Rooms Division Manager at Novotel Singapore on Stevens and Mercure Singapore on Stevens, has truly been a role model during this uncertain period.
Besides fulfilling her current responsibilities with focus and flair, Namirah had the opportunity to undergo training on a service response system called KnowCross, a system that enhances guest experience by processing their requests efficiently and seamlessly.
Namirah’s knowledge of this new technology saw her lead the implementation of KnowCross for the hotel. As a result, processes have been smoother with seamless coordination between departments, enabling hotel staff to fulfil guest requests efficiently.
With the timely introduction of Knowcross, staff productivity has increased as they are able to focus on enhancing their capabilities and skills to grow into new job scopes through job redesign training opportunities.
James Wong Banquet Chef, Park Hotel Clarke Quay
Culinary maestro and Banquet Chef of Park Hotel Clarke Quay, Chef James Wong is no stranger to elaborate feasts for weddings and business conventions. But equally close to his heart, are home-grown recipes passed down from his father and grandfather.
Since taking over meal preparation for staff meals, Chef James spares no effort in whipping up delicious meals inspired by his family recipes for his colleagues. Through the meals, he has ensured that both nutrition and spirits are lifted amongst his staff during this crucial time.
Ryan Rashidi Assistant Restaurant Manager, Grand Park Orchard
A thoughtful gesture goes a long way, and no one knows this better than Ryan, Assistant Restaurant Manager at Grand Park Orchard.
Ryan has been ensuring his guests' needs are met by assisting with their dietary requirements. When some of his Stay-Home Notice (SHN) guests requested for halal meals that the hotel's kitchen could not provide, Ryan promptly sourced for a halal-certified caterer to provide daily meals for his guests. Needless to say, they were deeply touched by his effort.
Nurlela Reservations Ambassador, Sofitel Singapore City Centre
Nurlela, a Reservations Ambassador at Sofitel Singapore City Centre, wears many hats. Recognising her passion and her hunger to learn, the hotel has been cross-training her in departments such as Housekeeping and Front Office — all while supporting her career progression through part-time courses.
Her enthusiasm shines in whatever new task she sets her mind to — be it ensuring that floors, rooms and corridors are at the highest level of cleanliness, or that guests are well taken care of when they check in.
She even takes it upon herself to clean and sanitise the staff common areas, lifts, and her department's office!
Jimmy Lim Security Officer, Park Hotel Alexandra
One of the departments that have been highly involved in these tough times is the security department. And nobody knows that better than Jimmy Lim, a Security Officer at Park Hotel Alexandra. The moment safe distancing measures were implemented, Jimmy volunteered to shoulder extra duties for his department.
Selflessly, he took on additional tasks to ensure the safety of hotel guests and staff, such as temperature taking, and making sure that the hotel’s security and safety standards comply with official government guidelines. Jimmy and his team truly stepped up to assist the hotel through the crisis.
Desmond Lee Sous Chef (Pastry), Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
For Pastry Chef Desmond Lee of Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, satisfaction comes from the simple act of putting smiles on faces. As a chef, he knows how much joy and comfort food can bring.
When he stepped up to help with the hotel's CSR initiative to support taxi and private hire drivers, he quickly got his team involved in preparing breakfast pastries from 6 am in the morning.
From croissants to Danish pastries and muffins, Chef Desmond would try to vary his recipes, so when drivers come by every Monday morning, their spirits are lifted with a bite of something new.
Joyce Ting HR Manager, Hotel G Singapore
When the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Singapore, Joyce Ting, an HR Manager at Hotel G Singapore, ensured that she was always on-ground with the front-line associates, so that they could approach her if they had any questions or concerns.
Even before the government’s official guidelines were released, Joyce had proactively prepared staff health declaration forms and notices to communicate the COVID-19 situation with the team. She also took the time to personally translate the items for non English-speaking team members.
As the youngest member among the head of departments, her level-headedness during this period has been truly inspiring and way beyond her years.
Eva Susanti Abdullah Director of Loyalty & Guest Relations, JW Marriott Singapore South Beach
‘Service from the heart’ is how Eva Susanti Abdullah, Director of Loyalty & Guest Relations at JW Marriott Singapore South Beach defines her job.
In recent times, her job has become even more demanding - balancing COVID-19 precautionary measures with different-from-the-norm requests from guests.
When a guest expressed his frustration at not being able to work out at the gym due to the closure of public facilities, Eva and her team decided to bring the gym to him, by setting up a mini-exercise area in his room.
Without compromising on any safety protocols, Eva managed to deliver an experience that left the guest happy and pleasantly surprised.
Muhammad Raihan Maintenance Supervisor, Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon
When the DORSCON level was raised to orange, Muhammad Raihan Bin Abdul Hamid, the Maintenance Supervisor of Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon, found himself becoming the go-to person for crisis management.
On his own initiative, he was quick to enforce safety measures within his team. Following his lead, the rest of the departments looked to Raihan for Crisis Action Plans. Soon enough, not only was he helping with safety measures, he was training staff and leaders of other departments as well.
George Ng Executive Housekeeper, Village Hotel Sentosa
As soon as COVID-19 was announced, George Ng, the Executive Housekeeper at Village Hotel Sentosa, had a plan.
He immediately split his team into three groups to minimise their contact with each other as a safety precaution. Despite being busy with his workload, George volunteered to be the one to ensure the hotel precinct and each room was thoroughly cleaned according to the hotel’s heightened hygiene protocol. And when the sister property had a confirmed case, George was the first to share his experience on what had to be done.
Muniyandy A/L Subramanian Concierge, Park Hotel Clarke Quay
How far would you go to help a stranger?
Muniyandy A/L Subramanian, a Concierge at Park Hotel Clarke Quay, went the extra mile for a guest in a heartbeat. When a guest worries about his wife's flu-like symptoms approached him, Muniyandy followed protocol – without sparing a thought, and immediately accompanied them to the nearest clinic. Thankfully, both husband and wife were cleared by the doctor to fly home.