Q: Can you briefly explain your career path, that led you to the position of General Manager of Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel?
It has been already 18 years since I first stepped into Hospitality not even knowing this will be my career path for such a long time. I was young fresh university graduate with entirely different field of study. I applied for the position of Training Manager but I was hired within Fitness and Spa department. From this area, rather quick, I switched to Security and later to HR and Front office where I gradually stepped up to the management level. After 11 years with Radisson I spent 2 years at small Residential Apartments Hotel which was my first GM role. I was approached to return back to Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel – at this point as its General Manager. I have been at this position since December 2014.
Q: What motivated you to go to hotel industry?
Being a people’s person, I always enjoyed working in a team while providing a pleasant experience to our guests. I believe that it is important to work with passion and spread it to the team and the guests. It has been my motivation since I first started to work in hospitality business. Sharing and introducing our services to our guests is still one of the greatest motivations I professionally encounter. Also, hospitality industry is a very intensive and dynamic environment that brings new challenges every day. This fast-paced environment combined with guest service fulfils my idea of a perfect job!
Q: What challenges are you facing in this manager position?
It’s difficult to specify most challenging situation as every year or season some new top challenges appear. At present, and what was always my primary concern, is finding the right talents to became our team members to be able to provide top service and meet guest satisfaction to the maximum possible extent. We have been lucky so far to attract those right talents to become our team members and I’m happy to say we have employees with over 10 years presence with us.
Q: Are all the companies’ standards and policies in consonance with your own?
Our beliefs as “YES I CAN” or “EVERY MOMENT MATTERS” definitely corresponds to my personal belief and approach. I stand for the same principle in my everyday life as well as in my work. To do the best that I can for the guests, associates and people around me is something that our brand and myself have in common.
Q: How do you motivate your staff?
It is very important for me to make our associates feel comfortable and appreciated. We, at Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel Bratislava, strive to customize the benefit system according to individual needs of our associates. Of course, we have a general set of benefits but on top of that we try to meet individual needs of each department. Knowing the differences among associates and their individual needs enables us to offer different motivation/reward tools. Our reward system is based on guest satisfaction scores and are directly linked to these results. Connecting the benefits of associates to satisfaction of our guests proved to be very motivational and effective tool.
Q: Which event or meeting organised in your hotel was the most challenging?
Our hotel has already hosted numerous events that were challenging but our professional team went above and beyond to fulfil all the needs and requests of our customers. The most demanding event I am proud of was the arrival of George Bush to Slovakia and one of his meetings was organized in our conference premises. It was very exciting to work with pre-arrival team and to see how detailed and focused the organization can be, especially in terms of safety and security analysis.
Q: Have you ever been a guest in your hotel? What would you change?
There are always plenty of things to be changed. It is many times just the matter of investments and planning. It is important for us to grow, to continuously move forward and work on improvements. We, in Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel Bratislava, we strive to deliver a better product and service to our guests every day. It is our commitment to serve them the best we can.
Q: You were recently awarded “hotelier of the year” in Slovakia. What does that mean to you?
I very much appreciate this award. There are many successful hotel managers who do their work with both professionalism and passion and exceptional hotels with high level of service in Slovakia as well. Our work is a mission and lifestyle. For me, it is the reward for our consistent efforts. It is the support and vision for the future that we can do great things as Radisson Blu Carlton Hotel team.
Q: How do you see that Bratislava is developing as a destination in comparison to other European destinations?
Bratislava is developing according to the investments which were devoted to its growth. Obviously, we have moved forward in the last years, big steps were done but we are looking forward to the next steps and additional funds for tourist board to boom even more.
Q: What are you professionally and personally most proud of?
Being part of a great hotel, a property that has become a legend in Bratislava, being able to continue its long-lasting history and create and write it further. I’m also proud of our associates who prove day by day that providing top quality service and achieving high guest satisfaction ratios is the philosophy they are living.
Prepared by: Ajda Borak