March 22, 2017

International Women’s Day Feature – Director of Learning, Isis Ong

Being one of the first few faces all new associates meets, Isis never fails to leave a lasting impression. Her majestic personality , sweet demure coupled with a huge box of treats, leaves us all comfortable with any training she conducts.

Having had the pleasure to be trained by Ms. Isis Ong, I enjoyed the opportunity to interview her.

Director of Learning, Isis Ong

Director of Learning, Isis Ong

MMWhat do you normally do in your free time?

I love exploring Singapore in my free time. During the weekends, I’ll try to get out of the house, go for walks and appreciate what Singapore has to offer. One of my favorite places to go is Tiong Bahru as you will find my favorite crab restaurant – The Golden Spoon that serves a scrumptious Crab Bee Hoon! I also enjoy traveling. One of my favourite destinations has to be Japan. I am in love with the people, culture and most importantly its collectables. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m in love with anything cutesy and my house is filled with different toys ranging from Hello Kitty to Lego to Nanoblocks.

MMWhat is your role and how long have you worked for Singapore Tang Plaza Hotel?

I’m currently the Director of Learning for the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, and I have been with this property for over 6 years as of today. Part of my job includes training and helping new and existing associates to achieve their maximum potential. I always believe that we all have untapped potential and it takes the right kind of leader (in my case trainer) to bring it out.

MMWhat inspired you to join this industry?

This story is something I share with all new hosts, 9 years ago, I had my wedding reception at the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel and I was extremely impressed with the level of attentiveness and service they have provided me. So much so that, I told myself one day I should be working for this hotel. Without hesitation, I knocked on the doors of this property soon after and they gracefully accepted me as a trainee in the HR department. It was only as a trainee; I developed my very own hidden talent of inspiring others and decided to become a trainer.

MMWhat are some of your day to day activities in this hotel?

I’m in charge of recruiting interns, training and maintaining the welfare of all our brilliant hosts in the hotel. Taking good care of our associates helps them translate the culture we have here to our guests. I firmly believe in Bill Marriott’s credo “Take care of our staff and they will take care of our guests”. From time to time, I ensure and organize fun activities for our associates to take part and interact with them frequently to ensure that they have a happy working environment.

I feel proud and happy that our hard work has paid off as we recently clinched the exclusive 2016 HRM award for the best Training, Learning and Development Company. This cannot be achieved without the help of my team and all our brilliant hosts commitment to learn! Thank you so much!

Our Director of Learning, Isis Ong with her team together with our GM, Simon Bell and the ex-com team at the award ceremony.

Our Director of Learning, Isis Ong with her team, our GM, Simon Bell and the ex-com team at the award ceremony.

MMDescribe a time you felt empowered in your workplace or given the authority to act independently.

There was once I was placed in charge of the HR department and we received a request from the rooms division for some help. They had to reconfigure more than 30 rooms in the hotel for our guests and despite dispatching additional help; the housekeeping team was just simply overwhelmed by the amount of work. Although it was not part of our scope, I made the decision then to close our department for half a day and together with my HR team, to assist them. It was such a fruitful experience for our team as we left not only with the pleasure of assisting our own hosts, learn more about the operations and efforts of the housekeeping team but also the praises from my superiors for making the decision to assist them.


MMWhat would you say to all the women around your workplace or the world in lieu of this special day – International Woman’s Day?

We can excel in our career as long as we put in our best efforts and share our goals with others. That way we are able to have a balance between our careers and our personal life! I challenge all women out there to be the best you can and inspire everyone around you to do their best!