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How to Become a better Hotel Manager 2019-04-18 21:15:13 Admin

A hotel business takes a lot of hard work to run effectively because it mostly deals with people. This business has to do with the comfort and ever changing needs of people. It takes a person who is given to the minutest of details to manage a business like this successfully.

One of the most difficult things to achieve is the sincere satisfaction of people; you have so many people with different tastes, desires and expectations coming into your hotel. There are going to be things some guests prefer that other guests may find repulsive, how then does one please every single person that comes through their doors, knowing that one negative review of your establishment from a reputable critique can produce catastrophic events for you business?

So it is important to know the tips and tricks that would help you satisfy all your customers no matter their age or social class. The general idea should be that if someone comes to lodge at your hotel, then they should have one of the best experiences there is.

A lot of effort goes into making a hotel successful, and much of that responsibility falls into the lap of the hotel manager. Regardless of the size or location of a hotel, the hotel manager needs to work cohesively with other team members to get the job done.

Successful hotel management relies heavily on a manager being able to motivate staff members to accomplish their own individual tasks and goals with gusto.

The best hotel managers are able to recruit top staff members for available positions, and continue to motivate them to do well by listening to them, evaluating their performance and rewarding them when they exceed expectations.

If you manage a hotel, you are probably always seeking advice on ways that you can improve your skills and become a better manager. We have compiled some tips and tricks to help you better manage a hotel and improve the operations at your property.

1. Find a mentor

Mentors are such an awesome resource, especially ones who have experience in the hospitality industry. It’s one thing to read about the industry in a book, and it’s another to have a discussion about the subject with someone who knows what they’re talking about and wants you to succeed.

But what if you don’t know anyone who would make a great mentor? That’s OK. You just need to find someone and it’s not as hard as you think.

Go through your professional network and ask a hotel manager you respect to meet you for coffee. Spend that time asking some of your deepest questions, and really, really listen to the responses.

You’ll find many hotel managers would love to become a mentor to someone, if they were only asked. Even if they’re a complete stranger at first, most will be flattered to be approached. And anyway, the worst thing they can do is say “no.”

2. Make decisions quickly

Successful leaders are expert decision makers.  A General Manager’s day is filled around the clock with meetings and exchanges with staff, guests, vendors, suppliers and new recruits, etc.  The goal of each meeting and encounter is to make decisions.   Successful hoteliers either empower their employees to reach a desirable outcome or they do it themselves.  They focus on “making things happen” at all times – encouraging progress and keeping their hotel above par. 

3. Be selective in your hiring

A hotel manager is only as good as his or her team. You’re not hiring a line cook to work an idiot-proof system at McDonald’s. You’re hiring people who need to be both highly skilled and highly personable.

Hiring the wrong person will just cause immense frustration for you. Your job is tough enough as it is—if you’re going to have to clean up after another employee’s messes, forget about doing a good job at running a hotel.

On the other hand, good employees are a force multiplier. When you can trust employees enough to give them the authority to make decisions, it frees you up to do the really important activities that can help your hotel grow, such as talking with customers and promoting the hotel.

But how do you do that? For one thing, don’t hire only when you have an opening. If you do, you’ll feel rushed to fill the spot and won’t take the time necessary to sort through applicants to find the person with not only the requisite experience, but also the right people skills for the job.

Instead, recruit throughout the year to help you find star talents that will make your job easier and inspire your hotel guests to rave about you later.

4. Get out of the office

Years of hands-on experience in the trenches have finally led to a nice, large office, but don’t get too comfortable. With so many meeting, emails, and administrative tasks to attend to, it’s easy to get trapped. Spend too much time in the office and you may lose track of what is happening in the “front of house.”  So make it a practice to spend a little time each day walking around the hotel, helping the front desk, directing and motivating employees, inspecting rooms, interacting with a guest or two. This will help you understand your employees, guests and hotel better and also leads us into our next point:

5. Lead by example

People truly follow only those they trust.  If you want to gain the trust and confidence of your employees (and believe us, that’s something you definitely want to do), you must set an example for them. This may sound easy, but few leaders are consistent with this one.  Successful leaders practice what they preach and are attentive of their actions.

6. Surround yourself with the right people

This is easier said than done as high employee turnover continue to plague the hospitality industry – wreaking havoc on productivity, morale and the hotel’s bottom line.  Reports show that 54% of organizations see greater new hire productivity and 50% higher retention rates for new hires when they have a well-planned on boarding process in place.  You already know that first impressions are so important when it comes to hotel guests, well the same goes for new recruits: Give them an exceptional first experience; so you can both know you made the right choice. Claim your free copy of our EBook: Five Steps to a Successful On boarding Process.

7. Focus on leadership, not management

Yeah, it’s in your job title. But if all you’re doing is managing, you’re not really doing a great job of being a hotel manager.

You absolutely must be a leader, and that requires being proactive about how you approach your job, and not simply reacting to every single crisis that rears its head.

One big way you can be a great leader is to delegate. By taking advantage of that great staff you hired, you can free up your time for the more important stuff. But you’ve got to work hard at first, because delegation is not easy. You’ll have to create training materials and take your employees step by step through them until they can take the reins.

Training materials should include clearly defined objectives and performance measurements so your staff knows exactly what you expect from them. Arrange weekly or at least bi-weekly meetings with each individual staff member to make sure they are meeting those standards. And don’t forget to attach nice little bonuses to meeting them so it becomes a positive and motivational experience.

Another part of being an effective leader is being prepared for emergencies. When a crisis happens, you’ve got to be calm and decisive.

Let’s say you overbooked this evening and now a guest doesn’t have a room, and they’re not happy. Treat the guest to a drink on the house and hit the phones to find a nearby hotel room that is even nicer than what they booked, pay for it out of your own pocket, apologize profusely, and bring them to the other hotel yourself. Then consider offering some vouchers redeemable at your hotel should they decide to come to the area again.

As mentioned above, regular meetings with individual members of your staff can help. But you need to go beyond that. Schedule regular meetings with the entire staff to talk about all changes, even small ones.

Send out regular email blasts to your employees. Put up a bulletin board in a space visible to all employees where you can post announcements. Or perhaps find an hotel management app that offers the ability to directly message any employee in the hotels.

8. Listen to your guests

Who’s the best person to talk to in order to find out how well you’re running your hotel? No, it’s not you—you’re a terrible judge of your own performance. Neither is it your staff—they can only offer you limited perspective from their point of view.

Ding ding ding, it’s your guests. At the end of the day, their opinion is the only one that really matters. So talk to them at every opportunity.

Did a customer complain about your hotel online? Great! You’ve just spotted an area of weakness you can correct, and you have a rare opportunity to reach out to the customer and make it right. Many guests simply leave silently and never come back if they don’t enjoy their experience.

But again, don’t be reactive, be proactive. Conduct surveys of your guests to ask them about their experience at your hotel. Use hotel management software with a guest experience management feature, so you can track guest preferences and wow them when they (hopefully) return to the hotel with a personalized experience.

Also, take advantage of the miracle of social media to both promote your hotel and interact directly with customers.

9. Delegate

Don’t try to do everything yourself and don’t micromanage! Communicate the hotel’s mission, vision, values, and goals, etc., then step back and let your staff take it from there. Setting this example will encourage your department heads and managers to do the same.

10. Measure and reward performance

Studies show that a lack of praise and recognition is a top reason that employees are unhappy at their jobs. Successful managers (hotel GMs included) are active in recognizing and acknowledging hard work and are mindful of rewarding top performers. These employees and their efforts should not be taken for granted – they are the ones who will help you achieve your company goals and, potentially, motivate others to become more engaged.  They are also the examples other employees look to when trying to improve themselves professionally.

11. Implement the right technologies

Technology is the key to running a hotel in this modern day and age, from managing a guest’s experience, to property management, to employee training. While rolling out new technologies can be daunting, the benefits are worthwhile and often necessary to remain competitive.  Also read:  Is Your PMS Actually Harming Your Hotel’s Profitability?


12. Take Responsibility

Great leaders know when to accept that mistakes have been made and take it upon themselves to fix them. It doesn’t help to point a finger or place blame, if you are the leader, you need to take responsibility, attend to the matter, learn from the situation and then move on.

13 Love your job

Successful hoteliers love being leaders; after all, making a difference in other people’s lives is why you chose the hospitality industry in the first place. Being a successful hotel General Manger is all about your ability to serve others and this can’t be accomplished unless you genuinely enjoy what you do.

14. Communicate, communicate, and communicate

This could be a subset of leadership, but I feel like it’s such an important aspect of your job that it needs to be broken into its own section.

You must, must, must keep your staff in the loop, whether that be about a change in policy, new hotel management software, or a problem with the plumbing. If your staff is in the dark, that’s when mistakes happen, and that leads to unhappy customers, which leads to bad reviews, which leads to fewer bookings. It’s important.

As mentioned above, regular meetings with individual members of your staff can help. But you need to go beyond that. Schedule regular meetings with the entire staff to talk about all changes, even small ones.

Send out regular email blasts to your employees. Put up a bulletin board in a space visible to all employees where you can post announcements. Or perhaps find a hotel management app that offers the ability to directly message any employee in the hotel


15. Keep learning

All of the most successful people in the world have one thing in common: they read voraciously. There’s a wealth of information out there to absorb, and those who gobble up as much knowledge as they can have the edge over the 99% of people who don’t.

Take just a half hour each day to read up on news in your industry. You’ll be surprised at what you pick up throughout the week. Set aside time every day to read a book on the hotel industry. Reading 10 pages per day may not seem like much, but after a year you’ll have read 3,650 pages, or about 10 sizable books.

Imagine the advantage you’ll have over your peers if you absorb such a huge volume of industry knowledge every year on a regular basis.

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