Considering difficulties and challenges as opportunities to learn and move forward is the spirit of Ms. Donna Tran, Cluster Associate Director of Sales & Marketing, InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort & Regent Phu Quoc. For the past 10 years, this passionate female leader has accompanied InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG Hotels & Resorts) to give wings to the next generation of hotel leaders.
Join the Destination Review to learn about the leadership perspective as well as the aspirations of Ms. Donna Tran in developing young Vietnamese personnel in a professional environment with international standards!
Having been with IHG Hotels & Resorts since 10 years ago, I have witnessed a lot of changes in the hotel industry in Vietnam. I started in my hometown of Da Nang with InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort in 2012. At that time, luxury hotels and resorts like ours were not really popular and appeared much.
After that, I moved to Ho Chi Minh City, then took over projects in Phu Quoc. After only a few years, it is possible to see the remarkable development of the luxury hotel industry in Vietnam when many large international corporations entered the market. And when high-class brands invest in executive management, the most significant change is the experience for customers. At IHG, we focus on bringing personalized experiences to each customer depending on the needs of each vacation, anniversary, or meeting.
As an international corporation on a global scale, IHG always keeps the criteria of service quality throughout whether in Vietnam, Asia, or Europe. However, with each different destination, depending on geography, infrastructure, culture, and especially people, we will see the spirit of that local hotel. At each destination where IHG is present, I believe that our group always brings the best quality experiences with international standards to Vietnamese customers.
Another thing is human development, IHG Group always appreciates and creates opportunities for all employees to be developed wherever they are in the world, and also in Vietnam. I myself have been cultivated and given the opportunity to achieve important positions. And I am also very proud to see the two trainees who have progressed to become senior managers for the group today.
In addition, the group respects diversity, regardless of country or gender, all employees in every department will be able to freely express themselves and develop together.
For me, the hotel industry is the best place for everyone to learn, practice, and develop themselves in a professional environment. That’s also the reason why I stick with the industry to this day and consider professionalism as a top criterion when working. I also keep in mind that I will share my experiences with the next generation.
I look forward to seeing talented young people on the leadership team with us because I see a lot of potential in them. What they lack is just guidance or experience sharing from their predecessors about the vision to be able to become better leaders. Everyone certainly has some basic expertise, but there will always be a need to learn from those with experience. Just cultivate and expose as much as possible because everyone’s experience is different, then you can filter the factors that are most suitable for you. I am always interested and want to be a companion on the development journey of every employee.
I am a very proactive person and always want to do more things, expand my skills and knowledge, so I want to see that in my team as well. In particular, there is a very good spirit from IHG that all leaders are interested in: sharing. While people work, I will create space for them to express themselves, so they can fully contribute to the company based on their strengths. All ideas and contributions will be heard and improved to make the team stronger.
Ultimately, I aim to create a workspace that is comfortable and respectful of each individual. I want people to see the workplace as their home because the peculiarity of this industry is that people will spend more time at work than at home. Therefore, all members of the company are members of the same family, if they work together and treat each other like family, they will have the highest spirit of support.
The biggest change after the epidemic is the shortage of experienced human resources because many people have changed industries in the past two years. This is not only happening in Vietnam but I believe it happens all over the world. But if you look at it from another perspective, this risk is a great opportunity for young people studying in the hotel industry. It is clear that now, you will have more opportunities to do internships and find positions in big and prestigious hotels that were previously difficult to find vacancies.
On the other hand, for an investor or a leader of a hotel, I think it is important to attract and retain good personnel. To do that, we must show our employees a clear career direction and contributions to the community.
Besides basic benefits such as salary or bonus regime, career progression is an important factor. The responsibilities and benefits according to the job description are the default, but to attract today’s young people, it is necessary to show them a picture of what they can do in 6 months or 1 year, who they can become and what role they can play in the company. Through recent interviews, I realized that the strength of young people today is that they are very proactive and goal-oriented about what they want to do, and have great ambitions for their careers from a young age.
First of all, one thing that both I and the group’s management are very grateful for is that over the past 2 years, we have maintained our staff. The investor (BIM Group) and the leadership took advantage of that time to cultivate employees, and train them in more skills to ensure they are ready to return to work in the best way. That gives customers a very good impression that our hotel has not been backward during the epidemic.
Heading to the future, what our group always focuses on is unity and continuity in vision. From the group’s leadership to each hotel, we have jointly defined a clear vision and direction, thereby making strategic plans to meet that orientation. Then use those plans to sit down and discuss with employees so that they can come up with individual thoughts and contributions. Once we have a final plan in place, we will make sure that everyone in the hotel from the lowest employees to the highest positions is on the same page to move forward. This is what I am especially proud of about IHG, we create a very different spirit of solidarity to grow together. I believe that with that spirit, we will return to the racetrack in the best way and continue to deliver unique experiences for our visitors.
Thank you for your sharing!