If you’re wondering whether working in hotel management is the right choice for you, it all comes down to your interests and personality traits. Positive attitudes, customer service and communication skills, problem-solving abilities and a talent for making sound business and leadership decisions are among the qualities that will be your greatest strengths in this exciting and yet challenging tourism profession.
Deriving Job Satisfaction From Guest Satisfaction
Being the kind of person who gets innate enjoyment out of making other people happy is a good indicator that you would do well in the field of hotel management. Although hotel managers are responsible for many different job duties pertaining to the operations of the hotel and its progress toward reaching short-term and long-term goals, guest satisfaction is of the utmost importance. In fact, lodging managers report that answering guest questions and complaints is among the most important of the core tasks involved in their work.
The best hotel managers consistently ensure that their guests are happy – and that happiness may be contagious. Hospitality has been ranked among the happiest industries for employees.
Having a Flair for Customer Service
What several of the qualities considered to be the most important for lodging managers by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) have in common is their impact on interactions with guests. Listening skills, interpersonal skills and general customer service skills are crucial to success in this position, the BLS reported.
After all, if you don’t have the strong listening skills to understand what customers are saying and where they are coming from as well as making them feel that they are being heard, you won’t be able to resolve problems and complaints. Customer service skills, which you can often learn in common first jobs in industries like retail sales and fast food, give you a repertoire of strategies and communication skills appropriate for professional service. Interpersonal skills that allow you to win over disgruntled guests, as well as work productively with colleagues at all levels and in all departments of hotel service, are also valuable.
Although addressing problems is important, the attitude you display while working with customers is just as crucial, if not more so. Researchers have found that the attitude of any employee in a customer service role has a strong influence on customer impressions.
Navigating the Problems and Keeping Track of the Details
What does it mean to manage a hotel or other large, logistics-heavy operation? Challenges of all natures are bound to arise, so you must be something of a professional problem-solver. Being able to identify all of the practical solutions to an issue, whether related to personnel or inventory or occupancy or guest satisfaction, and then narrow down your options to the most effective and reasonable solution, is in important skill to attain. This trait requires a strong degree of resourcefulness as well as familiarity and proficiency in negotiation, coordination and persuasion.
When possible, preventing problems from arising in the first place is even better than solving them promptly and effectively when they do occur. One way to reduce the number of problems you encounter in hotel management is to stay organized. A lack of organization could mean that the hotel is short-staffed and unable to provide the service guests expect, rooms are double-booked or incorrectly assigned, inventory of kitchen ingredients or clean linens runs low and rooms are not cleaned appropriately. By keeping schedules, budgets, inventory orders and hotel policies and employee training initiatives organized and up to date, hotel managers can better avoid unnecessary problems and focus on solving the issues that weren’t easily preventable.
Some people have a natural knack for problem-solving and organization, while others struggle to develop these skills. Regardless of where you started on these qualities, you can benefit from taking steps to enhance your organizational and problem-solving abilities.
Managing Hotel Employees and Business Operations
Some people are born businessmen and businesswomen and natural leaders. For candidates with these inherent personality traits, a career in hotel management may be a natural fit. If you worry that you don’t have some mysterious instinctive insight into how to make business decisions and motivate others, the good news is that these qualities can be developed over time through academic and on-the-job training and through practice. Hotel management degree programs usually devote a good chunk of their curricula to courses in business and management, focusing on matters like accounting, hotel finance, human resources in the hospitality industry, strategic management and leadership principles.
Companies not traditionally in the hospitality industry, including luxury brands and the so-called experience industry, are starting to recognize the unique strengths candidates with a background in crafting the perfect guest experience can bring to their businesses.