Newer hotels without formal on-the-job training programs often prefer experienced personnel for higher-level positions. However, most hotel chains have leadership development programs for their managers, often with rotations through a number of different hotel departments, in an effort to provide managers with an overview of the organization's operations.
Because hotel managers oversee so many different departments, even the most senior general manager must have an understanding of each one. Like orchestra conductors, they bring together a sea of different departments and employees to perform in harmony. The best way to learn about each part of the hotel team is through hands-on experience.
Orchestrating a pleasant stay
Hotel managers must oversee and synchronize the activities of all the different departments of a hotel, such as housekeeping, dining, recreation, security and maintenance, and make sure both guests and employees are happy. Hotel managers are also responsible for the behind-the-scenes operations, including accounting, personnel and publicity. They often assume a financial role, overseeing the business side of things, such as budgeting and revenue management.
Every member of a hotel staff, from housekeeping to the hotel manager, is responsible for the seamless operation of the establishment. At smaller hotels and motels, the responsibility for overseeing rooms, food and beverage service, registration, and overall management can fall on the shoulders of a single manager.
Large hotels employ hundreds of workers, and have many different levels of managers. The general manager may be aided by a staff of assistant managers, each with his or her own department to supervise. The hotel manager sets the establishment's standards of operation (within the owners' or executives' guidelines); it is the job of the assistant managers to see that these are executed adroitly. The general manager sets room rates, allocates funds to departments, approves expenditures and establishes standards for service that employees in housekeeping, decor, food quality and banquet operations must offer to guests. Many hotels have resident managers, who live in the hotel and are on hand 24 hours a day for guests and staff (though they usually work a standard eight-hour day).