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Secrets to Successful Training & Development in the Maldives

September 20, 2018

Zakariyya “Zaki” Easa, Training & Development Manager for award-winning Crown & Champa Resorts has been with the company for over 19 years and offers insightful secrets to success in Training & Development in the Maldives.

 

Training & Development is an essential department in any organization, where employees are further equipped with a range of skills designed to enhance their job performance and shape their overall career goals. In the Hospitality Industry, resorts and hotels further invest their resources on training employees, and most importantly, developing the necessary skills within the company.

 

Born and raised in the Maldives, Zaki holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Open University of Malaysia; a Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management Honours from the University of Toulouse in France (via Taylor’s University of Malaysia); and has maintained a successful track record working in various departments of the hospitality industry.

 

He has grown in his career with Crown & Champa Resorts during the past 19 years, focusing on all the operational departments from junior levels to executive levels. His multifaceted management skills include the highest level of compliance-based activities, such as Implementation and HACCP/Food Safety Training, and currently leading the Training and Development team representing the entire award-winning group.

 

Zaki’s acute knowledge and experience allows him to observe the various changes in the training processes employed by various companies in the Maldives, ‘the perspective of Employee Training and Development has drastically changed over the years in Maldives, from least valued sector to the most vital strategic business tool towards a necessary competitive edge’, he mentions. He further emphasises the need to have skilled trainers at the various Crown & Champa Resorts properties.

 

“To sustain business success, quality standards and continuity of service improvements at a competitive edge, multi-skilled and experienced trainers are vital. Their partnership is inseparable from a company’s business strategies and the business plans.”

 

Open communication and genuine partnership are some of the reasons why the Training & Development Department at Crown & Champa Resorts is so successful and essentially, one of the leading teams in the Maldives. Zaki finds that although each company is unique, very few keep the global workforce in mind when creating training portfolios. Key factors such as cultural and generational differences in the workforce affect how receptive an employee is to any training activity.

 

There are many facets to understanding the factors that affect an employee’s development within a company. Zaki mentions, ‘not having clear expectations at an operational level, as well as a career and succession plan.’ He further states that career goals serve as a fundamental motivational tool for any employee who wants to work in this industry. ‘A development plan with a realistic time frame builds trusted social contract between employees and employers’, he adds. This plan eventually helps to sustain continuous service improvements by retaining qualified and experience employees.

 

Crown & Champa Resorts offer a variety of development programmes for the benefit of the employee, the company and our guests. These include a Sponsorship Programme for in-house staff, Graduate Management Training Programme, as well as Departmental and Inter-Resort Cross Exposure Programme.

 

“Apart from basic education qualification, good behaviour, a positive attitude, flexibility and a passionate for your work. The ideal scholarship programme candidate is a person who loves to learn and improve knowledge/skills, is results oriented and a people’s person.”

 

Find out more about one of the successful recipients of a Crown & Champa Resorts scholarship here.

 

Download our 5 ways to improve your Training & Development Methods and enhance your own teams… the Crown & Champa Resorts way.

Secrets to Success

Secrets to Successful Sales & Marketing in the Maldives

July 25, 2018

Ahmed Shaheen, Director of Sales & Marketing for award-winning Crown & Champa Resorts (‘CCR’) has been with the company for over 23 years and offers insightful secrets to success in the Sales & Marketing arena of the Maldives.

 

From Market Trends, Sales Strategies and Marketing Plans to Sales Calls, International Trade Shows and Lead Generation, Sales & Marketing is an essential department in the Hospitality Industry, which is visible in multiple stages of the Guests’ Journey between initial knowledge of a destination, to the checkout and aftersales experience.

 

Year after year, CCR continues to grow as leading Resort & Hotel brand in the Maldives, which currently manages a total of 8 properties with several new developments underway. The Sales & Marketing Department ensures that each Resort and Hotel individually, as well as a part of the renowned group, is well represented across all Markets and platforms among our partners, Travel Agents and Tour Operators.

 

Born and raised in Maldives, Shaheen holds a Higher Diploma in Hospitality Management from Taylor’s College in Malaysia and has climbed the ladder from a young age with experience in various departments of the hospitality industry. He has grown in his career with CCR during the past 23 years focusing on Accounts, Operations, Sales & Marketing and currently now taking lead of the Sales & Marketing team representing the entire award-winning Group.

 

Travel and Hospitality in the Maldives is a rapidly changing environment and an industry where one has to focus to stay ahead of the market. CCR’s diverse and experienced Sales & Marketing team sets the Group apart. Shaheen adds that, ‘each member in the team contributes valuable experience and knowledge to our sales strategies in order to keep up with the new trends of each market in the world and the destination itself.”

 

In his advise to Sales & Marketing professionals on setting a successful sales strategy, Shaheen lists the follow key points:

 

  1. Listen to your sources and evaluate their statements, concerns, suggestions and opinions.
  2. Discuss with your team of experts and evaluate the same.
  3. Use the contributions to implement a customized strategy.

 

“By listening to our valued partners all around the world, we focus on evolving our brand and creating new trends for our partners to join us on our journey of new and fresh offerings.”

 

International Trade Fairs are a great way for Sales & Marketing professionals to foster Business-to-Business (B2B) partnerships, including some of the World’s leading travel events like ITB Berlin and the World Travel Market. At such events, Shaheen estimates that the team manages an average of 70 meetings including Tour Operator functions and networking events.

 

“A typical day at a trade show for our team includes a combination of meetings to acquire, developing and retain partners. With each partner, we actively solicit discussions on how we can improve, as well as plan and strategize how to keep up with the market trends and empower these relationships.”

 

The goal, to ensure that Crown & Champa Resorts remains the best partner in the Maldives, is intrinsically linked to the Group’s vision, as well as the mission to exceed all expectations, whether from behind-the-scenes, as with Sales & Marketing efforts, harnessing valuable feedback from partnerships or improving the overall guest experience.

 

Learn more about Sales & Marketing efforts in the Travel and Hospitality Industry. Read the 5 little known facts and the link between these efforts and the guest experience.

Secrets to Success

Secrets to Successful Human Resource Management

May 4, 2018

Recruiting and retaining skilled employees is an essential part of the Hospitality Industry, so much so that Resorts & Hotels invest most of their resources on HR Departments to find the right talent and ensure existing employees are well cared for.

 

Liezette S. Robles, Human Resource Manager for award-winning Crown & Champa Resorts (CCR) has been with the group for over 7 years and offers insightful secrets to success in Human Resources in the Maldives.

 

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Liezette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of the City of Manila (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila). She has extensive experience in the Human Resources Departments of various Resorts & Hotels, including the start of her career at El Nido Resorts in Makati, Philippines in 1995; La Cigale Hotel in Doha, Qatar in 2008; and then joining Crown & Champa Resorts in 2010.

 

The extensive experience provides keen insight into the changes in Human Resources, especially in the Hospitality industry and in the Maldives. “A lot has changed and improved in the recruitment process. Policies and procedures were not followed as strictly as they should have and often no standard forms were established,” she adds.

 

Over the years, CCR has only further grown as a leading group in the Travel & Hospitality Industry of the Maldives. The need to stay up-to-date with policies, regulations and procedures is crucial to a seamless HR Department and to help in finding the right talent.

 

In her advise to HR Managers, Recruiters and companies looking to improve their employee retention and general wellness of employees, Liezette lists the following:

 

  1. Build a good network with other Resorts and trusted recruitment agencies.
  2. Follow standard procedures and policies in the recruitment process.
  3. Use interviews as a more personal and in-depth approach to selecting candidates.
  4. Foster an open-door corporate culture that encourages employees to communicate.
  5. Walk-the-talk and follow what you implement.

 

CCR treats its employees as a family. Most of the long serving employees feel that they have found a second home in CCR. The open door policy is also a big advantage. Anyone can speak directly to the CEO or even the Owners. That makes the staff feel heard, valued, important and mostly, that they belong.

 

Crown & Champa Resorts’ core values are the foundation of HR Departmental goals, resulting in some of the top reasons why CCR employees are happy to work within the group. These values also provide for the health, educational, lifestyle and professional wellbeing of employees, as well as the overall growth of the group.

 

Start making improvements within your own department. Read the 5 common hiring mistakes and how to fix them, for successful recruitment and essentially, higher employee retention and employee wellness.

News

Supporting Earth Day 2018 towards a sustainable Maldives

April 26, 2018
Hurawalhi Eco-Friendly

Earth Day is one of the largest civic-focused days of action in the world held every year, where more than 1 billion people in 192 countries take part in green initiatives to highlight the importance of sustainability.

 

On April 22, 2018, each of the Crown & Champa Resorts showed their support of the initiative with a variety of activities involving guests and staff, from Reef & Lagoon Cleaning to educational tours and the daily commitment towards a greener Maldives.

 

Veligandu Earth Day 2018

 

Under the theme “End Plastic Pollution” and the impact of plastic on the Indian Ocean, Veligandu Island Resort & Spa and Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa held a lagoon cleaning activity to maintain the beauty and health of the marine life. The activity included members of the Euro-Divers and Ocean Dive Center teams, as well as staff and in-house guests at the respective Resorts.

 

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa held an active Island cleanup, while Meeru Island Resort & Spa hosted an informative Nature Walk and Back-of-House Tour. As TUI-certified Environmental Champions of 2017, the two Resorts continue to be leaders in sustainable efforts, with Kuredu recently introducing an eco-friendly linen bag to help guests recycle items back home that currently cannot be recycled in the Maldives.

 

Kuredu Eco-Friendly Bag

 

Another Environmental Champion, Komandoo Island Resort & Spa features glass water bottles and reusable straws, as part of the day-to-day sustainable operations. 5-Star Hurawalhi Island Resort brings environmental awareness through education in several initiatives over the year, including community outreach programs.

 

For more information on Crown & Champa Resorts’ committed towards preserving the Maldives and global environment, read our Sustainability Report.

 

To find out how you can help while on holiday in the Maldives, download your free copy of the 5 quick tips to saving water & energy.

News

6 Facts about Maldivian Culture & Heritage

April 13, 2018
Maldian Heritage - Meeru Museum

The Maldives, a tropical paradise of pristine beaches, is one of the most favored tourist destinations in the world with over 1,192 coral Islands grouped into 26 coral atolls in the Indian Ocean.

Here are 6 interesting facts that you should know about the colorful Maldivian Culture & Heritage for World Heritage Day, April 18, 2018:

 

  1. History of the Maldives

According to archaeological evidence, the Maldives Islands have been inhabited for more than 3,000 years, with a history of Hinduism and Buddhism before the country embraced Islam in 1153 AD. The first settlers are believed to be Tamil and Sinhalese peoples from southern India and Sri Lanka, as well as Traders from Arab and African Countries.

 

Tourism only began in 1972, after the opening of the first tourist Resort in the Maldives. Thanks to the Travel & Tourism pioneers, the Industry only continued to grow with Kuredu Island Resort & Spa being the first Resort built in the Lhaviyani Atoll in 1988, which paved the way for other Resorts such as Komandoo Island Resort & Spa, and recently opened 5-Star Hurawalhi Island Resort within the same Atoll.

 

Maldivian Heritage - History of Kuredu Island Resort

Kuredu Island Resort & Spa during development in 1988.

 

  1. Maldivian Language (Dhivehi)

With influences from Sanskrit, Sinhalese and Arabic, Dhivehi has its own script called Thaana that displays both an Abugida and a true alphabet principle. There are three major dialects spoken by local Maldivians, including Malikhu or Mahl spoken by the islanders of neighboring Minicoy Island.

 

Common Dhivehi phrases:

  • Hello: “assalaamu alaikum” (formal) | “maruhabaa” (informal)
  • How are you?: “haalu kihineh?” (formal) | “kihineh?” (informal)
  • Fine, thank you: “ran’galhu, shukuriyyaa”
  • Thank you: “shukuriyyaa”
  • You’re welcome: “maruhabaa”

 

  1. Maldivian Food

The natural abundance of coconut palms, Tuna and Reef Fish, and the unique mixture of curries and spices from initial settlers influence main Maldivian Traditional dishes enjoyed to this day. Combinations of these main ingredients are still found in various dishes, such as Tuna Bajiya (Fish-based), Garudhiya (fish soup) and Huni Roshi (Coconut-based Flatbread).

 

Coconut Juice or Kurumba is the most popular refreshing beverage of the Maldives, which is also served to tourists and guests at Resorts such as Veligandu Island Resort & Spa in traditional Maldivian style.

 

Maldivian Heritage - Kurumba

 

  1. Maldivian Clothing and Craft

Men traditionally wear sarongs wrapped around the waist with a long sleeved shirt, which is invariably white. Cotton is the preferred fabric due to the island’s tropical weather. Women traditionally wear what is called libaas, which resembles a dress typically worn during special occasions, festivals and during dance performances such as Weddings or Cultural Bodu Beru performances. They are usually adorned with gold or silver colored threads, and the best ones are hand stitched.

 

Museums, such as Meeru Museum exhibit several Maldivian artifacts, from traditional wooden boxes used as travel storage (lakudi foshi), to wooden Maldivian sandals worn until the early 1980s (ujjehi maravalhhi).

 

  1. Maldivian Heritage Sites

Because of the various influences, several religious monuments and temple ruins can be found throughout the local Islands, across the atolls. As small as copper plates and scrolls with details of historical livelihoods, to as large and noticeable as the mosques, temples and coral walls. The capital, Male’ City, features tourist attractions and heritage sites such as the Old Friday Mosque, conveniently located a short walk away from Champa Central Hotel.

 

Other sites include the shipwrecks and sunken boats along the popular trade routes, which are now home to colorful coral gardens and a thousand colorful fish. This makes for excellent diving, common in the South Ari Atoll, near Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa.

 

Maldivian Heritage - Old Friday Mosque in Male' City

 

  1. Music & Dance, the Maldivian Way

Music and Dance is an important part of the Maldivian heritage and culture, revered as a form of storytelling, celebrating occasions and pure entertainment. Bodu Beru, referring to both the traditional drum used and the cultural dance itself, involves a display of various performances, each unique to the occasion, such as the women’s Bandiya Dance, where they dance with traditional water collecting containers in rhythmic harmony and dance.

 

The Eid Celebration includes traditional parades on the streets of the islands, with giant mythical fish woven out of coconut palm leaves, called Bodumas and Maali.

 

Maldivian Heriage - Bodu Beru Culural Dance

 

Crown & Champa Resorts offers an authentic experience of the Maldives, with the Islands in their natural and unspoiled beauty, the culture and heritage proudly displayed and practiced by staff, as well as opportunities to learn more about the Maldivian way of life.

 

Visit any of our properties for a warm Bodu Beru welcome; Maldivian architecture-inspired accommodation; a taste of Maldivian Cuisine; and even traditional craft and clothing souvenirs to take home with you after your holiday.

 

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