You just got promoted to the position of Hotel Manager. You worked hard to get there. Now you want to prove you can be the best HM (hospitality manager) the company has ever had.
Your career path depends on how well you perform at this next all-important stage. It’s the make or break point that separates the potential VPs from the pigeon-holed mangers who never rise beyond middle management. To shine at this mid-level post, there are five things you should know before you start your career as an HM:
Communicate with your employees. This is key. You can’t bury yourself in your office, text message your underlings or issue CYA dictatorial memos. You must conduct regular face to face meetings with your staff. Get as much feedback as you can. Do more listening than talking. Observe your employees in action. Praise them in public, admonish in private. Respond to any problems immediately—whether professional or personal. Never assume that problems will just naturally “work themselves out” over time. When listening and addressing employees, be sure to treat everyone fairly and equally.
Hire the best people. This is one thing Donald Trump insists on for his hotels. Hire better people than yourself. Train your employees well, guide them, and promote from within. Set benchmarks and metrics for performance. Reward top performers. Send your employees to training seminars, but make sure you know exactly what's in them and ask for reports on what they’ve learned. You don’t just want them to spend a vacation day on a beach in Maui.
Build strengths, acknowledge weaknesses. As Clint Eastwood used to say, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Know your own capabilities and those of your team. Build on the strengths and work to improve any weaknesses. Metrics and reviews should be used here. The team is only as strong as its weakest link.
Build esprit de corps, encourage competition. Good employees will rise to a challenge. Task them with competitions for best performance in the various areas of your hotel’s operations. Be generous. Acknowledge the accomplishments of all who participate.
Sweat the details. It’s often the little things that hotel guests notice. On-time service, extra clean rooms, service with a smile. School your employees about the importance of the subtle, attentive touches that lead guests to compliment the staff or hotel operations. Upper management often gets wind of these praises from guests. And that will make you shine as an HM.
Remember, you’re on trial as an HM. People will be watching you - sometimes when you least expect it. So follow these five guidelines and lay the groundwork for the next upward step in your hotel career.
For an added perspective, check out this video: