European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2018 Winner - Tony Berisha

22nd of July 2019
European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2018 Winner - Tony Berisha

Tony Berisha is the quality and cleaning specialist manager at Insider Facility Services in Norway. His dedication to his employees, his colleagues and his clients made him a worthy winner in the 2018 European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards as Leader of the Year.

Berisha first joined Insider in 2012, as contract leader for Sandefjord Torp Airport, one of Insider’s largest clients. At the time the company had received termination notice from the customer and had about four months left to run. Within two months however, and thanks to Berisha’s efforts, the termination notice was revoked.

One year later he also became head of Insider’s Vestfold branch (the business has 12 branches around the country) while also maintaining his duties at the airport. So in one year his responsibilities have included: day to day organisation of Sandefjord Torp Airport and training of his replacement there; night-stop planes charter and all plane cleaning for a Norwegian airline; start-up of a large energy company customer with 23 power plant locations; organising a one-week test run at a potential new trade fair customer; various transitions and contract start-ups; calculation of large public tenders; quality control at various branches; holding courses for the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service NAV; organising internal courses for company employees; review certification standards; and running his own branch in Vestfold.

Marketing and purchase director Thor Nielsen explains why the company nominated Berisha for the European Cleaning & Hygiene Award. “Tony has so many positive leadership characteristics. One of the most important in our view is communication, especially direct communication. Tony listens to everyone and is always open to input from all employees.

“It is very special to visit our Vestfold office because it’s full of smiling, happy staff – a big happy family with a clear leader. Throughout the past year we have witnessed the same thing after he has been in other parts of our business around the country.”

Nielsen adds: “Tony is without doubt the leader who is best-liked among the cleaners. If you asked him why this is he would certainly say it is because he involves himself in their daily routines. The feedback I have had from cleaners is that they are very surprised a manager from HQ runs machines, fixes machines, uses mops and cleans toilets with them in order to teach them the most effective methods.

“He inspires his team to be engaged and take ownership of what they do. He knows all of them personally and they have the greatest respect for him. But they can approach him with their problems too and he will listen willingly and try to help.”

Berisha involves himself on a very personal level, Nielsen explains, and that inspires the people who work with him to do their job to the best of their ability. The success of his strategy is proven in the fact that every new contract he has been responsible for at the start has run smoothly.

“He also encourages members of his team to think for themselves and make their own decisions about problem-solving. And he spends time examining new ways of doing things – different cleaning methods or tools – and inspires his team to do the same.” It’s clear that leading by example is very much his style.

Berisha has become the figure at Insider that everyone looks up to – whether it’s cleaners or fellow management. “It’s easy to call Tony and ask for help,” says Nielsen. “Either it can be solved by phone, email or he travels out to the relevant office personally – nobody in middle management will say they didn’t get help from Tony.

“We run annual employee surveys and many people express how they enjoyed the time they spent with Tony – how friendly, educational and helpful he is. To me that is the sign of a good leader – being involved and being visible.”

Michelle Marshall, editor of ECJ and member of the European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards judging panel comments: “Tony sees himself as an instrument for his colleagues and clients at Insiders Facility Service to use, not the other way round. He lives and breathes Insider Facility Service according to the company’s ceo and is described as a gentleman who understands the strengths and weaknesses of his employees and always sets a superb example.

“The judges were struck by how highly everybody at Insider Facility Services speaks about Tony. They clearly have the utmost respect for him and talk about his direct and clear communication, his approachability, willingness to listen, ability to delegate and make difficult decisions.”

The 2019 European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards ceremony takes place at the Church Hall, Westminster, London on October 17. For details of how to reserve your place visit


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