Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hospitality Operations 01

1.      What is the purpose of management?
The definition of management is the process of dealing with or controlling things or people. In terms of a hotel management is to serve guests or patrons of the establishment. The true purpose of management can be understood better by examining the functions that constitute management.

Planning: Deciding what the goals and objectives are for a specific period. (For example increasing the hotel's occupancy by 10% for the months of January, February and March) Then it is necessary to set a course of actions that need to take place to achieve that end, like advertising or special offers etc.

Organizing: Plans made on paper are the 'general idea' of what needs to be done especially if the organization is massive. After the plans responsibilities for the various tasks must be assigned so that the project can move forward. For example if the goal is to renovate the hotel's restaurant so as to increase profits, then it is necessary to find builders, electricians decorators etc and then assign which employee/manager is responsible for overseeing them etc.

Leading & Controlling: Once everything is in place then management must 'lead' i.e. actually start realizing the above objectives. That is not as simple as it sounds. People of all levels must be encouraged corrected or influenced so that the standards and objectives of the company are followed.

To summarize the true purpose of management is to plan, organize, lead and control a company so as its goals and objectives are realized.

2.      Draw an organization chart of 150 bed hotel showing the various levels of management

General Manager

Front Office



Food & Beverage

Back Office

Reception Manager

Concierge Manager


Head Housekeepers


Sales Manager
Head Receptionist



Room attendants

Head barman

Financial Controller


Sous Chef
Bar staff

Waiting staff

3.      In what way or ways does the management of a hospitality operation have a social responsibility?
The management of any company must monitor and ensure the company's active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international norms. The law already has some rules and regulations in place to protect consumers and employees but management feels that it is necessary to do more.

One of the ethical rules that management follows is to offer good value for the money the guests are spending. That is good practice not only because there are laws against profiteering but because competition among hotels is great and management cannot afford not to. For example a hotel might have a set time of check out at 12:00 and check in at 14:00 but might make exceptions for special circumstances. If a guest is feeling unwell he might be allowed to stay in the room longer without paying anything extra. Also if guests arrive earlier and the rooms are available some hotels check the guests in way ahead of the check in time without extra charge as a gesture of goodwill that weary travellers appreciate greatly.

Many hotel offer their employees welfare facilities (such as child care) and pension schemes to provide some sort of satisfaction for its employees. It is also a usual practice to increase safety standards beyond what the law prescribes for the benefit of the employees. For example although pregnant ladies are allowed and permitted by their doctors to work full time the company itself might assign them to position less physically demanding.

Finally the responsibilities towards the community might involve taking measures to minimise noise that might annoy the neighbours. Also the hospitality industry is very wasteful because by its nature requires a lot more resources such as water and electricity to operate. Lately a lot of steps have been taken to turn the industry a little more green. Some hotels have even organised events such as the cleaning of a beach or reforesting areas who are doubly advantageous because on one hand they create bonds with the community and on the other hand they enhance the environment and protect the natural resource that the company itself draws upon. Other attempts might include every day activities of the hotel. For example a lot of hotels place notes in the rooms asking guests to consider whether they want their towels cleaned every day. Less washes means that the hotel consumes less energy and water. Hotels might also prove they are environmentally conscious by recycling more.

4.      According to Henri Fayol, what are considered to be essential functions of management? Briefly explain each of the functions you identify.
According to Fayol the essential functions of management are:
·         Forecast and Plan. To set objectives and then evaluate and choice actions to reach objectives.
·         Organize. Divide the work to tasks and projects and appoint subordinates to each. Ensure the staff has the skills and tools they need.
·         Command or direct. Give instructions to subordinates to carry out tasks. Delegate authority to subordinates so they can direct others.
·         Coordinate. Ensure all members of staff are working towards common goals.
·         Control. Set targets and then measure the outcome compared to these targets. If the results are not favorable, take action to rectify the situation.

Hotel Miramare needs to expand and renovate its restaurant. After careful consideration only one target is feasible so managements decides to prioritize renovations. The funds needed for the work are to be drawn partly by a loan and partly by the revenue generated by the hotel. (Forecast and Plan). Management then has to divide the major task to many little ones and decide who will be responsible for what. The hotel will use its own maintenance team but will need to hire outside contractors as well so coordination is going to be essential (Organize). Once the work starts it will need to be supervised by the appointed personnel and reports of the progress must be submitted to management for review and further instructions (Command or Direct). As mentioned before different departments will have to work together to complete the project. Maintenance, housekeeping and the accounting department is of course a given but reception and reservations will have to do their part by informing the guests and handling  complains – a disturbance of this size will affect sales and peoples attitude towards the company so a fair amount of coordination is necessary (Coordinate). Finally management will have to be the ultimate judge and make the final decisions/adjustments to the original plans (Control)   

5.      What are the advantages to management of having a formal policy? List all the areas of a business in which policies are established. Outline some of the policies which could be formulated in any two of these areas.
Formal policies help consistency and predictability within the company. That is particularly important in human resources (employment policies) so that workers understand and can predict outcomes in certain situations, like pregnancy, illness, parenting, etc. If managements responses are unpredictable it lowers moral among the work force who feel that important decisions are made on a whim depending upon how the manager feels that day.

Policies are established in every department of a hotel and are implemented in every transaction the hotel has, whether it is with suppliers, customers or employees. There are:
·         Policies about staff
·         Policies about customers
·         Policies about suppliers.

A hotel policy with regards to health and safety is whether the hotel accepts or not pets. Usually most hotels do not accept animals unless they are assistance animals. Also again on the grounds of health and safety the hotel might have smoking or non-smoking rooms. Guests are aware of the difference and are expected to act accordingly.

Hotels have policies regarding cancellation and cancellation fees that vary from establishment to establishment. For example the hotel states when it accepts a booking that if the reservation is cancelled 48 hours prior to the arrival date then the hotel will not charge anything but if the cancellation happens 24 hours before arrival the hotel will charge for one night cancellation fees and in the case of non-show then the hotel will charge the full amount. Customers/guests are aware of these terms before committing so there are no misunderstandings.

Other policies might involve employees. For example the hotel might have a policy where employees may use guest gym but only on certain hours and at certain days. Apart from what the law dictates the hotel might have special policies regarding pregnant members of staff and preferential treatment might be established to ensure their health and safety.

6.      Explain what you understand by communication in an organization, and discuss what means are available for overcoming poor communications.
Communication in an organization is the process by which activities of a society are collected and coordinated to reach the goals of both individuals and the collective group. It is a subfield of general communications studies and is often a component to effective management in a workplace environment.

The best way to improve communications is to identify and remove the barriers that block it:

Perceptual Barriers: The most common problem faced these days is that of the difference in opinion between two people. A proper induction and clear understanding of the hotel's rules and policies should clarify the situation.

Language Barriers: Language that describes what we would want to express and communicate to others, may at times, serve as a barrier to them. Especially in the hospitality industry, the greatest compliment we can pay to another person is by speaking and effectively communicating to them in their local language. We need to understand that the native language of employees can be different from anyone else’s.

Cultural Barriers: The world is made up of diverse cultures. Hotels cater to a large and diverse number of people and therefore staff must be diverse to interact with them however cultural barrier arises when two individuals in an organization belong to different religions, states or countries.

7.      Discuss the meaning of motivation making reference to at least two known theories.
Motivation is the word derived from the word ’motive’ which means needs, desires, wants or drives within the individuals. It is the process of stimulating people to actions to accomplish the goals. In the work goal context the psychological factors stimulating the people’s behavior can be (1) desire for money, (2) success, (3) recognition, (4) job-satisfaction (5) team work, etc

There are lots of theories about motivation apart from the well-known Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory and Herzberg's Motivation - Hygiene Theory we have:

Alderfer’s ERG Theory. The three components identified by Alderfer (1972) drew upon Maslow’s theory, but also suggested that individuals were motivated to move forward and backward through the levels in terms of motivators. He reduced Maslow’s levels from five to the following three: (1) Existence which related to Maslow’s first two needs, thus combining the physiological and safety needs into one level; (2) Relatedness—which addressed the belonging needs, and (3) Growth which pertains to the last two needs, thereby combining esteem and self-actualization.

McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory. The idea here is that needs are acquired throughout life. That is, needs are not innate, but are learned or developed as a result of one’s life experiences (McClelland, 1985). This theory focuses on three types of needs: (1) Need for achievement—which emphasizes the desires for success, for mastering tasks, and for attaining goals; (2) Need for affiliation which focuses on the desire for relationships and associations with others; and, (3) Need for power which relates to the desires for responsibility for, control of, and authority over others.

To recap motivation is an employee's intrinsic enthusiasm about and drive to accomplish activities related to work. Motivation is that internal drive that causes an individual to decide to take action.

An individual's motivation is influenced by biological, intellectual, social and emotional factors. As such, motivation is a complex, not easily defined, intrinsic driving force that can also be influenced by external factors.

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