As a hospitality manager you only have so many minutes in a day to accomplish all the tasks that come with running a successful hotel. Don’t forget that it’s not just up to you to do it all…you have an entire team behind you! But any team can be inefficient if they’re not working together as effectively as possible. And it’s up to you to manage and guide your team so they’re productive and motivated.
Managing your hotel staff can take up a lot of your day. Everyone is looking for you to tell them what to do and how to do it. How can you better manage your hospitality team so it doesn’t take up a huge chunk of your day? These 6 tips can save you valuable time.
1. Provide clarity to your team
A team requires clarity about what you need them to do. Your employees won’t be able to do their jobs effectively if they’re uncertain what tasks they’re responsible for. Make sure everyone on your team knows what’s expected of them.
Don’t just give your employees vague instructions. This will just result in misinterpretation. Some of your employees may understand right away what your expectations are. But if the other half of your team are confused it’s going to take more of your precious time to explain again what needs to be done.
Schedule regular weekly meetings with an open forum for you and your staff to ask questions and talk about any current problems. This keeps your team on track and you’ll spend less time dealing with problems that you weren’t aware of.
2. Use technology effectively
Take advantage of technology to save time. There’s a lot of software available that’s specifically designed for the hospitality industry:
• Fast front desk check-in
• Hotel reservation system (Read this guide about hotel reservation systems. It covers many important topics and really worth the reading)
• Guest history (Read this article about using technology for guest loyalty)
• Housekeeping management
• Support for global currencies
• Billing management
Spend the time and money teaching your team how to use software tools that can make their jobs easier. Streamlining some of the tasks in your hotel means your employees are able to prioritize their time management and you spend less time managing employees.
3. Avoid micro-managing
You can use up a lot of time when you micro-manage. Even though you’re in charge of hotel business operations, it’s not productive to micro-manage your staff. You’ll spend far too much time adding unnecessary challenges to your already busy day.
One way to avoid the micro-managing trap is to make sure that your employees are trained correctly when they start their job. They should know exactly what their duties and responsibilities are from the start of their shift to the end. And you won’t have to find time in your day to deal with employees who don’t know exactly what’s required of them.
4. Delegate tasks
As a hotel manager you have a vested interest in everything running smoothly. But spreading yourself too thin is unproductive…and exhausting. There are some tasks that you’ll need to delegate so you have enough time to take care of your own. Delegation will save you time and at the same time it improves efficiency throughout the hotel. Delegate jobs to employees whose skills fit the work you need done.
And it’s not just tasks you should be delegating. Delegate responsibility to key lead members of your team. People are more productive and perform better when you give them ownership of their job. Another benefit when you delegate authority and responsibility to employees is that they feel empowered to make some decisions on their own. They’re also more accountable for their actions. This motivates the entire team to come up with solutions, freeing up more of your time.
5. Make the most of meetings
You can save time managing your team if you tell them all something once, rather than speaking to employees individually. Regardless of how large or small your hotel is, meetings are part of any team’s success. Here are some guidelines for successful, time-saving meetings:
- Prepare your agenda ahead of time and stick to it! Otherwise meetings that go over the scheduled time cut into everyone’s day.
- Encourage team collaboration. Remember, everyone should have a voice and a chance to speak.
- Keep meetings short and sweet. Everyone’s time is valuable, including your own, with jobs waiting for them to get to. So, get to the point quickly and concisely.
- Make the most of meetings with your employees by thinking of it as time to talk about current matters and concerns, as well as any upcoming issues they should know about.
- Be transparent about anything in the hotel that might affect your staff. Transparency with employees benefits everyone and saves time.
6. Encourage open communication
When you’re running a hotel, each employee needs to be included in team communication. And the communication needs to be as open as possible. Encourage all your employees to have the opportunity to have a voice. At the same time, emphasize the importance of listening. You’ll save a lot of time second-guessing your team if everyone communicates, especially during meetings.
The more your team talks about the jobs they’re responsible for and the concerns they have, the more likely everyone is to stay focused. Communication encourages cooperation not only in their individual jobs, but as a hotel team as well. Open communication can prevent conflict and mistakes before they happen. And this saves you time! When a problem you might have had to deal with is averted, you open up time in your day to run your hotel more effectively.
Final words on time-saving tactics
It can be extremely time consuming when your hotel doesn’t run smoothly and efficiently. The above tips will save you time managing your hotel team. Consider applying these time-saving tips to your own personal work load:
• Hire an assistant. There’s nothing wrong with delegating some of your personal tasks to someone.
• Set aside time in your day for no interruptions. Make this your time to focus entirely on tasks you need to get done.
• Trust your team to do their job. Spend less time checking up on your employees.
• Identity leaders on your team…and use their skills.