CUSA has been managing Hotels for over 30 years! Our staff has a tremendous amount of experience in the hospitality industry. Today, we want to share some of that experience with you! Here are 5 habits to run a successful property:
- Not communicating effectively or sharing with key team members the reasons for decisions made that also affect them. The hotel owner is the CEO of his/her property, and therefore must make hard decisions that often change how the hotel operates. Not explaining to your key associates the reasons behind decisions can result in less than ideal outcomes. You want associates to understand the bigger picture and be a part of achieving the goals of the hotel. They do well in feeling that they are part of a larger team. Involve team members in decision making, ask for their feedback-“How do you feel this will impact your department?” “ Can you give me your thoughts on this idea I want to implement?” “I’m looking to accomplish X – how would you go about this?” This does not mean you are going to change your decision, but you have involved your team, allowed them to buy in to your plans and help achieve them and let them know that their opinion and feedback is always valuable to you.
- Not giving credit for a positive action or result that is accomplished by an associate. Everyone benefits from good ideas and hard work. When associates are recognized they work harder and enjoy their working environment. When you witness an associate acting or providing service at a level that leads to your success, GIVE THEM CREDIT! Give them credit in front of your other employees, in front of your guests, in front of any brand representative visit. Help them to feel invested in the success of your hotel, the power of a Thank you or a Great Job can go a long way. Many owners will use additional resources to acknowledge and build up their associate base. They use cash incentives, small gifts, outward recognition of a job well done. Any way used to visibly recognize an associate and the action they took that led to the success will go a very long way and create an atmosphere where associates want to be part of making your hotel a great success.
- Not fully listening to associate needs or concerns. This is a big one and an issue many of us may struggle with. As an owner the ultimate focus is on total guest satisfaction and experience enjoyment. When guest’s speak we all listen. Good associates can be difficult to find and keep in the current employment environment. In a recent poll looking at why employees leave, three reasons were highlighted related to owner’s listening to the needs of associates. Feeling uninspired, wanting to feel valued, and seeking a better management relationship came in third, fourth, and fifth as reasons they would leave. Take a few moments when you are at your property and sit with some of your associates. Ask them about how they are doing, learn about their family and homelife. Do not be afraid to ask the question, WHAT COULD I BE DOING BETTER? Use this time wisely, not as agenda driven or manipulative – but a time to genuinely listen. If you hear of a need you are able to help them with and falls within your overall plan for your hotel, ACT ON IT. Money is a precious resource but so is your time, if you focus some of your time listening to your employees, you will reap great return on that investment.
- Setting too many strategic priorities for associates without proper time to accomplish or setting priorities/goals that are not attainable. Associates – are like all of us – they desire to have attainable goals and know that they are accomplishing them well. Hotels often face challenges and opportunities 24/7 – they are active entities that do not close or have any downtimes. Associates are performing through extremely busy check in/check out time, guest interactions where the guest could be expressing concern over something that was missing in his or her hotel experience – often beyond the associate’s specific control. Observing these difficult times and not also their productive times and only commenting on the negative – is extremely detrimental to the overall morale of all associates. Taking time to see the totality of performance is key to handling challenges and turning them in to good learning experiences of both compliments and constructive criticism. Setting attainable goals and rewarding associates for achieving them is the best way to keep and grow good team members. The opposite is also true – setting unattainable goals (thinking that if you don’t shoot high you will not achieve anything) is the worst way to keep and grow good team members. Set realistic goals and reward/acknowledge achievement. Create constructive environments for achieving collective results. Don’t ignore poor results – be intentional and strategic as to how you grow beyond them and correct them.
- Micromanaging. Understanding that the hotel may be your largest investment and is critical to your overall personal portfolio – it is therefore critical that you have good associates and management when you are present and when you are not. Micromanagement is the best way to insure that the hotel will not function well when you are not present. A successful hotel owner must develop the ability to step away from managing his or her way and allow their leadership team and their entire team to employ industry and brand systems and programs. An excellent owner has the ability to trust the team he has assembled or the professional management oversite that he may find in an established third-party hotel management firm. Attainable goals and accountability programs, guest scores and feedback are all ways designed to measure the effectiveness of the programs and systems being implemented. Most good associates are self driven and will not respond well to micro-management. You may find that the turnover of associates is extremely high and you never achieve the ultimate goal of growing your personal portfolio as you will be tied to this one operation 24/7.
Congratulations on experiencing one of life’s most rewarding accomplishments – property ownership. Hiring, keeping and growing strong associates that see your asset as if it were their own – will insure that you have many years of solid and long term sustainability and growth.
Does your property need assistance with hotel management? Contact us today to see how CUSA can help!