Must-have skills for any hotel manager
Check out any hotel review website and you’ll find traveler comments like these:
“We loved the hotel’s atmosphere…”
“Very comfortable bed and beautiful balcony…”
“It was clean and the staff was friendly…”
“We enjoyed the options at the breakfast buffet…”
“The best valet we’ve ever encountered…”
“The front desk staff was very accommodating…”
“Housekeeping was miserable…”
“The bathroom was moldy…”
“We waited to check in for 10 minutes and then the clerk was rude…”
Some of the experiences were great, some were poor, but they all have one thing in common—the hotel manager is ultimately responsible for them. As the leader of the establishment, it is up to the hotel manager to make sure every guest has a pleasant stay, even if he or she never meets them in person. This requires ensuring each piece of the business—from reservations to maintenance and housekeeping to revenue—runs smoothly and efficiently, and that each employee works at his or her best as both an individual and part of the team.
There’s no doubt that’s a large order to fill. And if you’re interested in hotel management, you’re going to need the following skills in order to do so.
Much of a hotel manager’s job requires communicating—both verbally and in writing—with staff, guests, and vendors. In order to do so effectively, you must be a good listener as well as a clear and concise writer and speaker. You must also be likable, remain pleasant in stressful situations, and be able to interact comfortably with a variety of personalities.
Customer Service Skills
Travelers are the lifeblood of any hotel, and the quality of their stay is integral to the establishment’s reputation. Dissatisfied visitors leave negative reviews on ranking websites as well as tell their friends. As the hotel manager, you must lead your team in customer service excellence by example. This requires the interpersonal skills mentioned earlier as well as the ability to solve problems when they arise.
Depending on the size of the hotel, each department within it may have its own manager. However, the hotel general manager remains at the top of every leadership pyramid and must facilitate positive relationships between departments and team members to ensure the establishment runs smoothly. Much of your day will be spent motivating and coaching the staff as well as resolving conflicts.
Hotel managers must be great jugglers, as they always have multiple balls in the air that require their attention. At any moment you may be required to resolve a budget issue, accommodate a guest request, deal with an employee complaint, rearrange the next week’s staffing schedule, and contact a vendor to address a purchasing error. That’s a lot to keep track of, so organizational skills are essential.
Depending on the hotel you work for, you may be responsible for everything from hiring and firing to marketing and finances. If your goal is to become a successful hotel manager at a top tier establishment, you will benefit from developing skills in sales, administration, human resources, advertising, accounting, computer technology and other related fields.