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Dubai's Atlantis resort has once again won an award for its committed human resources policy, an award that recognises the strong commitment of all teams.


Dubai's Atlantis resort has once again won an award for its committed human resources policy, an award that recognises the strong commitment of all teams.

Catégorie : Moyen Orient - Émirats arabes unis - Carrières - Interviews - Recrutement, emploi, formation - Interviews
Interview réalisé par Vanessa Guerrier-Buisine le 29-03-2023

The Atlantis Dubai resort has once again won an award for its committed human resources policy. The Palm and The Royal hotels alone host nearly 6,000 employees. A staggering number that represents a real challenge for managers and executives.

To mark the opening ofAtlantis The Royal, the Journal des Palaces interviewed Timothy M. Kelly*, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Atlantis The Palm & Royal Atlantis, to find out the reasons for such success.

Journal des Palaces: You have a strong employee engagement strategy, and you have won the “Best Employee Engagement Programme” at CIPD Middle East People Awards 2022, could you say a few words about it?

Timothy M. Kelly: Our vision at Atlantis, The Palm is to create Amazing Experiences and Everlasting Memories for all those whose lives we touch: our Guests, our Colleagues, our stakeholders, and our communities. We purposefully place the emotional experience of our Colleagues at the heart of our overall business strategy, and this is realized through our approach to Colleague Engagement.

How we achieve this is through our Service Culture of Extraordinary. This is brought to life through behaviours that we wish our colleagues to emulate. These behaviours are the foundation of everything we do and are anchored in what we call Service Pillars. These are:
  • Warmth: I always greet others warmly and make everyone feel welcomed. I foster an environment of trust where I support others and celebrate differences.
  • Care: I actively seek the opinions of others and treat others as they wish to be treated. I am always genuine and respect others. I demonstrate that I care for our oceans.
  • Connection: I proactively anticipate and understand other's needs and remember what is important to them. I take action, I smile, and I bring positive energy and fun to everything I do.
  • Precision: I always look for ways to make things better and make every detail count. I act in a professional and organized manner that delivers quality results.
  • Empowerment: I am confident and always take ownership of my actions and go above and beyond the expected. I demonstrate pride and keep an open mind.
Having a series of activities and programs that cater to our various demographics is one of the secrets to our success. We also connected to colleague feedback through a multitude of communication channels such as focus groups, colleague committee’s and online social communication tools. This allows us to have our finger on the pulse and have our ear to the ground. In addition, we also focus heavily on Colleague Recognition, Colleague Wellness encompassing Physical, Mental, Emotional and Financial, Learning and Growth.

Over the past 12 months, we were able to increase our colleague engagement from 4.29 to 4.48, putting Atlantis Dubai in the 80th percentile of Gallup’s global database of companies.

The past year has seen our HR team respond proactively to our business objectives and demands as we were faced with the challenge of attracting and hiring for Atlantis The Royal. Our team needed to hire, onboard and train 2264 Colleagues in a period of just 9 months! All whilst still ensuring that 3500 colleagues working for Atlantis, the Palm remained engaged and motivated.

To mention one of many success stories, I will tell you about Dale, who came to us years ago with no background or education. He started as a lifeguard, became a team leader, a manager. Today he is the Director, Employee Residence, managing 3,000 people! His situation allowed him to have a beautiful wedding, to have children…

Journal des Palaces: How do managers embrace your employee engagement policy?

Timothy M. Kelly: The following responsibilities ensure Managers are held accountable for the overall performance of their individual team members:
  • Reading, analysing, and discussing survey results with their teams
  • Identifying areas of strength and opportunity to improve engagement
  • Defining their team’s engagement goals
  • Implementing engagement activities
  • Having one-on-one and group discussions within their teams
  • Making engagement an ongoing conversation and focus throughout the year
We also hold Managers accountable through the following:
  • Keeping engagement a high-level company goal: to be able to deliver emotional experiences requires Colleagues to always be at their best; their wellbeing and engagement is therefore considered a business priority.
  • Action planning: our managers are now focused on taking action and having ongoing conversations with their teams, rather than focusing on survey results alone.
  • Job descriptions: when joining the organization, Managers have the organizational values within their job descriptions, ensuring engagement and the performance of their teams is a high-level priority and an expectation.
  • Survey results: by partnering with Gallup, we have made survey results even easier for Managers to access via Gallup’s user-friendly reporting system. Reports can be broken down into specific demographics and Managers can easily view and understand them, and therefore be more likely to act on the results.
We have developed a Legacy Leadership program, designed for new leaders. The program covers the changing role of leaders, Colleague engagement, performance management and being a purpose-led leader, setting them up for success, unifying them behind the same culture, and increasing their engagement and accountability for their own team.

*Timothy M. Kelly was elected in 2009 as a Life Member by Les Clefs d'Or International, in recognition of his work and support of concierge services worldwide. He is also a member of the Forbes Travel Guide Advisory Board and as such, he represents the Asia Pacific region in setting service standards for five-star hotels.

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A propos de l'auteur

As a journalist and luxury hotel expert inspired by the men and women who embody it, Vanessa aspires to enhance and sublimate the beauty and elegance of palaces through her writing. "In a palace, simplicity serves the quest for excellence" she admires.

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