Hotel management is not a career choice for the weak at heart. It requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to excellence. Managers are more or less responsible for all areas of the business, including operations, human resources, sales, and customer service. They are the face of the company and represent the hotel to all stakeholders, both internal and external. With this comes an incredible amount of responsibility. So, are the benefits of the job worth it?
Life as a Hotel Manager
With any potential career, it’s important to note both the positive and negative aspects of the role to see if it is the right fit for you. The daily life of a hotel manager continuously changes, and no day is exactly like the last. You meet new faces often, encounter new challenges and get to represent the hotel throughout it all. For some, this may seem daunting, especially those who love routine. Others thrive in this type of environment and look forward to new experiences every day.
Possibly the most challenging aspect of being a hotel manager comes down to the demand – both on your time and energy. Hotels operate 24/7, so there is never a true “day off” for a manager. While they certainly take time away – as representatives of the hotel, managers are very much always on call and liable for finding solutions to problems that arise.
If you think you are up to the challenge, how do you know if you have what it takes to manage a hotel successfully?
Essential Traits of a Successful Hotel Manager
Hotel managers come from all walks of life and bring with them various experiences. Many have worked their way up to their current role from more entry-level positions in the industry. Hard skills can be learned over time, but when it comes to core personality traits, successful managers tend to exhibit some of the following.
It is no secret that hotels have a lot of moving parts and require a small army to operate efficiently. General Managers are not only inevitably responsible for all of these moving pieces – but they are also responsible for keeping those employed satisfied with their work and committed to giving guests the best experience possible. When employees feel fulfilled at their job, they are more likely to stay with the company long-term and work hard every day. Managers must be able to lead the team by example, putting 110% effort in every day for their staff to model. It is not enough to simply give orders. The most successful managers are those that lead by example.
Tied directly to leadership is the ability to communicate with a variety of personalities. As a hotel manager, you must first have the ability to listen – being receptive to feedback, questions, and concerns from staff and customers. Everyone wants a voice, so it is crucial to take the input from others into consideration when making decisions and leading the team. Along with listening, managers also need to be able to articulate themselves. Equally as important as what you say is how you say it. As managers must communicate with different types of stakeholders, they need to adjust their language and delivery to fit the situation at hand so that the message can be clearly understood.
Hospitality is a fast-moving industry, and hotels have an incredible amount of things working together to keep the wheels in motion. Inevitably, conflicts arise, staff quits unexpectedly, and customers complain. Managers have to be able to think on their feet and find solutions as these problems arise. They must also keep a level-head when doing so, keeping staff and customers equally as calm while issues are sorted.
Like any business, a successful hotel is one that continues to grow. Managers must look for ways to improve and set goals for the future. Targets may be set from owners, investors, or other stakeholders, but managers need to be on board as well to make them happen. Having a growth mindset helps you identify ways to improve operations, target new audiences and overall get more people in the door and leave the establishment happy enough to return. Managers have to think long-term, and in an ever-evolving industry, they have to constantly set high goals looking to capitalize on opportunities to achieve them.
How to Become a Hotel Manager
Generally, people don’t become hotel managers without prior experience and years of dedication to the hospitality industry. Having worked in other roles, such as housekeeping, customer service, or guest relations equips future managers with the experience and skills needed to lead others in each of those areas. Larger hotels often also look for candidates with either a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in a related field such as hospitality management or business administration.
Whether you have the education or not – if becoming a manager is a goal of yours, it is most important to simply break into the industry. Turnover at hotels for entry-level roles is often high, so there is a good chance that ones in your area have open positions. Even if your first role is not something you see yourself in long-term, think of it as a chance to gain knowledge on how a hotel operates. You will be much more able to lead a team of housekeepers if you have personally performed the same duties as them at some point in your career. The same goes for all areas of hospitality. You will learn most of the industry skills and knowledge on the job, so take these roles on with enthusiasm.
Hospitality Opportunities in 2021
Whether you are ready to take that next step into management or are just looking to get started in the industry, now is the time. With open positions ranging from Front Desk Associate to Maintenance Technicians to General Manager, there is a hospitality role for everyone. Check out our updated list of current openings to find the one best suited for you.