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What Qualities Should a Hotel’s General Manager Possess?


Hotel General ManagerRunning a hotel can be challenging task as you need to ensure proper return on investment, higher revenues and enough sales to keep the hotel running smoothly. Investment on a hotel is humongous it requires right expertise and skillful professionals to handle. Question is who would you trust to manage your hotel?

Starting a hotel is not the most difficult task but finding the right resources to make the business work, definitely is. You need to employ experienced resources to run the business and ensure high guest satisfaction. Hotels have General Managers who usually are involved in running the operations, coordinating between departments, attending to guests and ensuring there are enough revenues and sales to keep the business afloat. Employing inexperienced or unskilled personnel means you are putting your business at a big risk. So, you have to make sure that the person employed should be able to relate to people well; not only the guests but also the staff. He/she needs to have a strong financial background to understand accounting and a solid marketing background to expand the hotel’s reach.

The job of a General Manager might look flowery but it requires a lot of work and expertise. The GM is required to be available 24/7, monitor staff and occupancy reports, conduct room inspections and attend to guests’ feedback/complaints.

Here’s looking at the typical day in a General Manager’s life:

8AM: GMs are required to be at the hotel before 8am in order to examine previous day’s work and reports. Post that, they plan their day ahead and assist in executing the operations well.

10AM: They walk around the property to inspect the tasks are completed without any hassles and look into the staff requirements, if any.

11AM: Return to the desk to handle communications, mails and other administrative tasks.

2PM: Monitor staff activities and complete other administrative tasks.

4PM: Hold regular staff or communication meetings and monitor the changes in shifts.

6PM: Walk around the property to ensure smooth transition before the shift ends.

The manager’s duty just doesn’t end here as he is required to be available on calls throughout in case of any inquiries or issues. The manager is even required to be available to the guests as and when the need arises. Therefore, the manager must be able to adapt and equip himself to all the above duties in order to take the hotel business to great heights.

What is expected from a General Manager?

Managing Department Heads: The General Manager has to keep all the department heads in sync like the housekeeping managers, front desk manager, security manager and marketing manager. The department heads report into the General Manager so he is expected to know what’s going on and who’s doing what in their respective departments. The GM is responsible for coordinating the services between the departments and properties.

Overseeing the Operations: A General Manager is required to set room rates and authorize special promotions. While technology such as property management system handles the accounts, book-keeping, night audit reports, reservations and all the other features, the General Manager is expected to keep a track of the hotel’s report, progress and revenues every year. Hotel revenues and sales are two critical elements that have to be regularly monitored by the GM.

Handle Guests: A General Manager is like the captain of a ship who has to resolve any kind of conflicts that arise in the hotel’s premises, ensure the operations run smoothly and make sure the guests’ complaints and feed-backs are dealt with in a professional manner. The GM is expected to attend to every guest that arrives in the hotel and personally assist the VIP guests.

Thus, a General Manager should be a people person and must exhibit great interpersonal and communication skills, while keeping a pleasant and patient attitude towards guests and employees. The General Manager must have leadership qualities and knack for understanding and resolving problems.

What to look for when recruiting a General Manager?

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(Like the popular Monsieur Gustave from the movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, a hotel’s General Manager is expected to do it all and charm everyone.)

Interpersonal Skills: The candidate should be able to read, write and speak fluently in order to understand various jobs of the hotel like safety rules, maintenance instructions, training manuals and so on. General Managers are required to write hotel reports and mails so their communication skills should be great.

Multi-Taskers: The candidate should be able to multi-task as they are required to oversee various operations like front desk, housekeeping, security, maintenance, guest relations, finances and staff development. The person has to fix appointments, keep a track of schedules and monitor various departments.

Multi-Talented: General Managers are required to work on computers, maintain record on spreadsheets, compose mails, be responsible for online reviews and create marketing collaterals. They need to understand how the hotel technology like the property management system, guest feedback system work in order to monitor the payroll, reservations and reports.

Financial Skills: Managing hotel finances is a complex task that requires a lot of skills in order to avoid petty mistakes. Good management of the finances should be the bottom line of a General Manager’s responsibility. He must be able to set room rates, keep a track of the hotel’s earnings, plan hotel’s budget, handle the expenses and analyze funding for the various departments.

So while hiring a candidate for the post of a General Manger, make sure that the candidate possesses the above qualities. Along with that, ensure the candidate has a bachelor’s degree in hotel management so that you can let him/her handle the hotel, even if you’re placed at a different location.

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