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Research Paper on Hospitality Managers

Nowadays, most of the larger hotel chains offer extensive management training programs for recent graduates. Hyatt, Marriott, Sheraton. Hilton, and Westin each has prearranged train programs that last anywhere from six mouths to a year or more. Each new candidate will work in most or all of the hotel departments during this time to gain experience in all facets of operations. Upon completion of these programs, these new recruits are often assigned a junior management or supervisory role at a hotel. Some management training programs will conclude the large portion of training in the department of choice of the individual. They may not be a permanent position available in the preferred department of the hotel providing the training, but the trainee will eventually be placed at a hotel that does if that is his or her goal. (Ismail, 2001:126)

The manager learn the generic skill and many theory in their lessons, it is useful for them. However, another method of training in the hospitality industry is on-the-job training. The new employees are assigned to watch how the work should be done. Usually, a supervisor or senior employee would observe their performance and teach them how to perform the job better.

Actually, there are four “key skills” for training hospitality managers, which are suitable for the manager to work in all position within the hospitality industry. The four skills are administrative skills, conceptual skills, interpersonal skills and technical skills.

The key skills for training hospitality managers
Administrative skill: As a manager in hospitality industry, the administrative skill is important to their career. It include three mainly skills, Marketing, Personnel management and Financing management.

Marketing: Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customers requirements profitably. (Knowles, T. 1998:128) This skill allow the manager satisfy the customers needs. It not only retains the existing customers, but also attracts new customers. It is widely appreciated that objectives which are not only to satisfy customers needs, but also to make profit. Hence, to achieve their objectives, they seek a manager has marketing skill. It requires the various marketing functions, such as sales force, advertising, product management, marketing research, and so on. In addition, it need well co-ordinated with the other hotel departments.
Personnel Management: Personnel Management is that part of management concerned with people at work and with their relationship within an enterprise. It also concerned with the human and social implication of change in internal organization and methods of working, and of economic and social changes in the community. (Mullins, L. J. 1998:232)

Personnel management is important to all hospitality professionals, regardless of their career aspirations, because the hospitality industry is all about services. Service is something that is mainly dependent on the behaviour of employees. Therefore, an effective manager must understand how to manage his most important asset. In addition, all hospitality managers are involved in personnel management activities. The objectives of personnel management are to help the organization achieve its objectives by influencing employee attitudes and behaviour. The nature of the hospitality workforce offers special challenges to managers and requires good personnel management skill across a range of activities. (Baker, K., & Huyton, J. 2001:231-232).
The activities include:
1. Planning personnel needs
2. Recruitment and discipline
3. Training and development
4. Performance appraisal

Financing management: Financing management is a factor of critical importance to the successful operation and management of hospitality firm. Hospitality managers use financing diagnosis to make external and internal decisions concerning the operation of the organizations for which they are responsibility. In the hospitality industry, there are external retail activities — particularly with regard to sales and merchandising operation. There are also aspects of hospitality industry involving unique financing problems. Managers use financing statement to provide information for controlling expenditures in relation to available funds. (Baker & Huyton, 2001:209)

The hospitality firm as comprising a number of areas or constituencies, for example, food production, sales and marketing, accounting, finance, rooms, managers, employees, guests, customers, and so forth. Each of these areas or groups will have a certain perspective on how the firm can best to run. However, these viewpoints may often conflict. The managers of a hospitality firm must be able to formulate courses of action that find the best possible compromise across any of these conflict viewpoints. This range of operation means that hospitality managers require comprehensive financing skills.

Conceptual skill: The conceptual skill is the ability to view the organization as a whole and to recognise how various depend on one another and how changes in one part affect others. Conceptual skill also involves the ability to understand the organization within the environment context. It also includes understanding the environmental impact of political, social and economic forces on the organization. From this description, conceptual skill is obviously a systems approach to managing an organization. A manager needs conceptual skill to recognise how the various forces in a given situation are interrelated to assure decisions are made in the best interest of the overall organization. (Spears, 1991:59)

Problem Solving: A problem in the workplace can be defined as any impediment or difficulty that interferes with regular achievement of goals. Considering the unpredictability and immediacy of situation, the type of employees, and the pace of housekeeping operation, executive housekeepers must posses an extraordinary ability to solve problems swiftly and effectively without resorting to the ??shoot-from-the-hip?? approach. Once problems have been clearly identified, their solution can be attempted individually or collectively. When the solution seems clear and the manager does not see any need for the input of others, problems should be solved by the managers themselves. Such is the case when dealing with inanimate economic and technical aspects of operation the department. When the problem deals with human aspects, the task becomes more difficult and judgmental and usually needs the involvement of others. In collective problem solving, the manager’s role is to foster ideas, then guide the process to its conclusion. Brainstorming is an effective technique aimed at eliciting group input by discussion in order to find solution to problem.

The solution of problem can be facilitated by empowering employees to do whatever is necessary, within reason, to resolve problems for the guest rather than to shift the problems for fear of making mistakes or assuming too much authority. In these cases, employees need to be invested with some leeway to make their own decision in uncomplicated cases. (Casado, 2000:44)

Interpersonal skill: The interpersonal skill is the manager’s ability to work effectively as a group member and to build cooperative efforts as a leader within the group he or she leads. Interpersonal skill thus primarily concerns working with the people and understanding human behaviour. Effective communication is an important aspect of this skill. Interpersonal skill is vital to all the manager’s activities and must be consistently demonstrated in actions. Katz mentioned that interpersonal skills could not be a “sometime thing”. Skilfulness in working with others must be a natural, continuous activity that involves being sensitive to the needs and motivation of others in the organization. A manager is important to work effectively with staff within the organizational unit and with people outside the unit. (Spears, 1991:58)

Communication: The ideal communication is a two-way communication. It allows both manager and employees to express their point of views. It makes the employees feel more involved in the organization. And it would motivate their work performance. The managers should not only have the communication skill, it should also have the good listening skill. There are two types of listening are appropriate for different circumstances. Active listening, for instance, is necessary when an employee requests information leading to the resolution of a problem. In passive listening, on the other hand, the listener expects a non-judgmental answer or acknowledgment. (Casado, 2000:40)

Leadership: There are three leadership styles generally used by leaders in human situation. In the authoritarian style, the manager who dictates the tasks to be performed and the ways to accomplish them assumes the determination of policies: input from subordinates is not sought.
The democratic style of management takes place when all policies are reached after group discussion and decision, encouraged and facilitated by the manager.

In the laissez-faire style subordinates have complete freedom for group or individual decisions where the manager does not take part in matters related to work. (Casado, 2000:37)

Technical skill: Technical skill involves an understanding of, and proficiency in, a specific kind of activities, particularly one involving methods or techniques. Such skill requires specialized knowledge, analytical ability, and expertise in the use of tools and procedures. Managers need sufficient technical skill to understand and supervise activities in their areas of responsibilities. For example, the foodservice manager must understand quantity food production and operation of equipment. Managers must have technical expertise to develop the right questions to ask subordinates and the ability to evaluate operations, train employees, and respond in crisis situations. (Spears, 1991:58)

Room Division: The room division is a functional area within the hotel that includes the front office, housekeeping, reservations, night audit, and loss prevention/security department. The size and scope of these areas may differ from one hotel to another depending on the hotel size and product type. The management philosophy of the hotel may also affect the organizational structure of the room division. (Ismail, 2001:98)

Food and Beverage: In the burgeoning food service industry, the role of the food and beverage manager is to confront these challenges, seize these opportunities, and achieve financial success for the company. In order to fully realize this role, the manager must establish and maintain communication with all food and beverage division. To be effective, this communication must be orderly, regular, and dependable. The configuration or position may differ from one company to another, but the job functions remain the same. In many independent restaurants, these departmental positions may be comprised of just the chef and the manager. (Ojuso, 1999:4)

In conclusion, a effective and successful hospitality manager should have all four basis skills, technical skills, conceptual skills, interpersonal skills and administrative skills. Although all four skills are important at every managerial level, the technical, conceptual, interpersonal and administrative skills used by managers vary at different levels of responsibility.

Technical skills are most important at the lower levels of management and become less important in the higher levels. These technical skills are important in evaluating products, in training employees, and in problem solving. Interpersonal skills are the ability to work effectively with others, is essential at every level of management.

The first line manager, who is responsible for daily supervision of operating employees, must be effective in guiding and leading these individuals to accomplish the activities for which they are responsible. These employees must be motivated to product quality products, to serve customers or patients cheerfully, and to wash dishes properly. Morale and satisfaction are important to the employee’s effective performance. Middle managers, because of their pivotal role in the organization, must be especially accomplished in interpersonal skills. These managers must effectively lead their own groups and appropriately relate to other parts of the organization.

At the top level of the organization, the manager must be equally effective in dealing with people outside the organization. The important of conceptual skills increase with movement up the ranks of the organization. The higher a manager is in the hierarchy, the greater the involvement in broad, long-range decisions affect large parts of the organization. At this level, conceptual skills become the most important one for successful performance. (Spears, 1991:60)

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