Industry Insights with Radisson’s Jan Hanak

The GM of the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek discusses safety, motivation and an impressive new skill

Jan Hanak
Jan Hanak

How has your role changed in recent weeks?
During the recent weeks, my focus has definitely shifted from driving the commercial and operational  aspects of the business to focusing on crisis management as the top priority, ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of both our guests and employees. We have implemented strict health and safety procedures, constant reforecasting of our revenues and cashflow and implementation of saving plans to protect our bottom line. 

Are you learning any new skills?
I have been using the extra time I have time to learn new skills. We have a fantastic online platform available, named Radisson Academy, for all of our employees and I have signed up for some new courses. Also now when I’m home I’m also trying to do some home-baking with my two boys, six and nine years old who are also teaching me tricks on the trampoline – I can do a front flip now, which I’m very proud of.

What are you doing to stay safe and keep guests safe?
We strictly follow all guidelines from the WHO, the local authorities and from Radisson Hotel Group, which provides us with regular updates. Together with the very experienced safety & security director in my team, we constantly monitor the health of our employees and have medical assistance available in the housing facilities. In addition, we deliver individually packed food to our staff in housing facilities and ensure social distancing. In the hotel, we have disinfection schedules in place, offer hand sanitiser to guests in public spaces and ensure we follow all the latest guidelines and mandate from the authorities and RHG. 

How do you stay motivated?
 I’ve been through quite a few challenging times in my hospitality career – the banks collapsing in 2009 – just when I got my first general manager position in Northern Ireland, the crisis in Crimea when I was in St. Petersburg, Russia to name some and we always managed to through it. The global COVID-19 pandemic of course is completely different to anything we have ever experienced, but I am optimistic we will get through this and our business will be much stronger than before. Yes, we had to implement some temporary savings and this is of course affecting all of us, but I’m really motivated by the positive response of the team and how bravely they take this. Also the kind words from our guests – both from guests still staying with us, or those postponing their trips, make me grateful for the trust guests put in Radisson Hotels and confident the business will recover soon.

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