Hotel Professionals

The ten essential traits of management

traits of management traits of management

The hospitality industry employs millions of people. Some positions require little or no skill, others adequate training or two to three year apprenticeship (i.e cooks, in some countries servers, front office clerks, accountants, controllers, internet and software specialists just to name a few).

All these people must be managed in different segments of the industry – hotels, restaurants, resort operations, tourist guides, accountants, controllers, gardeners etc.)

Department or division managers report to the general manager who is responsible for the smooth running and profitable establishment.

Managers at all levels require traits:

To some individuals, management acumen comes naturally; others have to acquire them if they have the ability and willingness.

Some mangers are “though” and demanding, others flexible, and yet others “soft”, willing to spend time with subordinates to mentor, or guide, or teach, or train.

A restaurant or hotel manager must hire people who understand that each position in the establishment is a link in the chain to satisfy guests. After all, paying guests represent the basics of revenue, and employee cheques at the end of pay period, be it bi-weekly or monthly.

A successful manager, including the general manager need to:

Care about the property, guests and all employees.

He/she leads by example – picking up a scrap of waylaid paper in the lobby means that all should do the same. The property belongs to all employees!

He/she must spend time with guests, employees, in meetings with contracted companies, owners, and divisional vice presidents. Managers in general, general managers in particular, cannot and must not treat their positions, as a 9 to 5 p.m job, for five days a week.

A manager who works by the clock should not expect promotion, and advancement.

Have an excellent memory and love to learn new things all the time. The excellent memory relates to names of guests and employees. It means a lot to a guest when a manager addresses him/her by name, and mentions something about his favourite drink or food or room. Both restaurant and hotel industries are detail-oriented. Managers with detail oriented minds and working habits are likely to become successful.

They must remember what pleases guests; costs of food, beverages, room furnishings are only some of the things.

Of course then there are utility costs, maintenance costs, repairs and many more to worry about.

Must enjoy working with people, and care for employees.

Managers must have patience to teach, persuade employees to perform as expected, and never force them to follow their mandates regardless of merit.

Patient managers achieve more in the long run. They don’t give up on recalcitrant or rebellious employees. They try to guide them at least three or more times.

Good managers display a keen sense of humour though they take their job seriously.

A joke amuses them. They use humour to persuade other managers.

Effective managers persist and never give up a goal or objective that they are convinced to advance the financial well being of the establishment.

Any manager who gives up a project or goal after the first try is doomed to be stuck, and rarely, if ever, will advance to bigger and better positions.

Successful managers believe in fair play and think about the fairness of a rule to their employees. Is it fair to schedule an employee with a family to work on Christmas Eve or Christmas day, if there are other alternatives? Is it fair to institute a policy of no imposed gratuity for groups of six or more? (Groups are notorious for tipping poorly, and servers, at least in North America depend on tips).

Lethargic young managers soon find out, if they lack energy and action-oriented attitude, to follow up projects, that they cannot succeed.

They must inspire their employees to become energetic, and emulate them. The same is true for general managers for their department heads.

Anyone who dislikes managing should decide early on to abandon the task and do something that he/she can perform without the help of others.

Successful managers love what they do. Every morning they go to work as if they own the establishment, and try to make it better at the end of the day.


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