Know Your Hotel's Operation like the Back of Your Hand, and Become a Great Leader

April 26, 2019

Knowledge is power. Yes, we’ve all heard that one before but in the world of hospitality it will always remain to be true.

Across all industries, a new type of leadership style has emerged – one that is built on knowledge and how this is then utilized.

A great leader is a subject matter expert in their area, and this comes as a result of persistence, motivation, and hard work.

Knowledge is important because it forms your ability to make well-informed decisions. As a leader that is one of your most vital responsibilities. It is what makes or breaks you as a good or bad leader in hospitality.

Beyond the Organizational Chart

The first logical step when acquiring knowledge from your hotel is to look at its organizational chart. Now at first glance, you might mistake this for a big family tree and you’re not too far off.

An organizational chart enables hotels to map out their various departments and roles. Moreover, it defines tasks, specifies roles for each department, and delegates authority within and among departments.

The chart shows how everyone correlates within the structure of a fully operational hotel. However, things are never that simple in hospitality.

The problem is that organizational charts don’t show the full picture because there are so many areas which aren’t covered.

Knowing Your Hotel

The environment in a hotel is one of constant change, where you need to know what’s going on around you. The problem is that knowing what’s going on at any time or place is time consuming and often confusing.

Within hotels there are many different departments and often it is incredibly difficult for them to all work together. This comes down to many things, ranging from a lack of interaction between departments, to a lack of technology that can help with communication and transparency.

It means that any departments work alone in silos, not sharing valuable knowledge with those around them because they’re focused on their own team. Knowledge is key and what it’s not shared can impact operations.

As a leader it is your responsibility to start breaking down the barriers and find this knowledge. Information comes from the people around you and it’s your job to find it. Know the ins and outs of your hotel – the structures and processes that make everything tick but aren’t covered on an organizational chart; learn how to ask the right questions and most importantly, what to do with the answers.

Understanding How a Hotel Works

Think of a hotel as a giant machine made up of individual cogs that all need to work in harmony together. If one cog is missing or not working effectively, then operations become inefficient and costly.

The structure of a hotel is complex because there’s so much going on at any time. There are silos and interdependencies existing at the very same time. That’s why you need to know what’s going on in your hotel to find them.

Discovering Informal Relationships

By knowing your hotel and observing what’s going on you start to pick up on these intricacies that show how a hotel really works. These are the structures and processes that show you what’s working and what’s not.

To do this you have to invest time and effort, but once you understand your hotel you will start to break down the silos and build on the interdependencies. This will foster a culture of collaboration which as a leader is one of your responsibilities in being a catalyst of transformation.