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September 29, 2014 / BSP Marketing

10 Ways to Help an Effective Hotel General Manager

General Manager in LobbyWhen you hire a general manager to run your hotel, you expect them to do everything within their power to make your operation successful. In their role as supervisor, they are responsible for everything that goes on in your hotel. While they may not be the one who failed to fix the air-conditioner in room 201, they need to be aware that there is a problem and resolve it expeditiously. Ultimately, the general manager is held responsible for making sure that every problem, no matter how small or large, is resolved. Here are 10 constructive coaching tips for your new general manager:

1. Be Prepared  GMs should regularly prepare for meetings and be familiar with their clientele, employees and property.

2. Communicate Effectively with Employees – It is imperative that every employee clearly understands what they should be doing. A GM should not hide behind a desk, but instead be visible and available to all employees. It is a good idea to publicly praise an employee for doing a good job and a GM should never criticize an employee in front of others or on a group email thread.

3. Listen to Employees – There is no better feedback about what is really going on in your hotel than what can be heard from the women and men who do the hard work that keeps a hotel running. If a GM discourages employees from bringing up complaints from guests, or from making suggestions on how the hotel can do things better, it makes it harder for a hotel to shine. Employees are a hotel’s greatest asset. Encourage GMs to listen carefully to employees and hotel guests so that every hotel stay is optimized for greatest satisfaction.

4. Management Through Encouragement – Stressing out employees by placing unrealistic demands on them is a sure way to decrease morale and can lead to a high employee turnover rate. When training general managers, be sure to recommend a management style that includes regular positive reinforcement for all employees. Compliments may be delivered in person, on the phone or in a supportive email.

5. Delegate Work – No one can do it all and there are always people who can do a job as well or better than you. Make sure that the GM empowers the entire hospitality team by letting each member shine according to their professional talents.

6. Blaming Weak Top-Line Revenues for Not Making a Profit – A GM who does not take some responsibility for improving sales (top-line revenue), and instead blames the marketing or other departments for not attracting more paying customers, is shirking responsibility.  A well-trained GM should regularly consult with the sales team and the sales team should coordinate efforts with the marketing team. Revenue generation cannot be separated from the role of the GM. When RevPAR and occupancy go up, your GM will take credit. The GM should also accept responsibility when revenues are down and take prompt professional steps to improve sales.

7. Be Decisive – Work with a GM who has no trouble running a team whose principles are transparent, whose operations are consistent, whose communications are positive and prompt, and whose motives are the good of the company where the customer comes first.

8. Always Have the Best Interest of the Hotel in Mind – Work with GMs who believe in the company they work for and who take pride in being a team player for that company at all times.

9. Motivate Employees – Employees can be motivated by kind and supportive words, an increase in pay, a company picnic, emplyee-of-the-month recognition or numerous other rewards that make them feel valued and an important asset to the team.

10. Projecting the Right Image for the Hotel – A friendly and personable GM who regularly walks through the lobby and talks to guests can do wonders for business. In the hospitality industry, friendly smiles and fabulous customer service are everything.

If your GM is excelling at their job and responsibly handles the work that comes with hotel management, then reward them generously with praise and let them know that they are leading by example, making your hotel a success. A confident GM will in turn encourage their own employees and create a hospitality culture of kindness that is contagious and rewarding for all.

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