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The Challenge of Opening a Hotel

Discuss about the Hospitality Supervision And Training Skills.

The hotel industry is one of the best investment options that many businessmen venture in. Opening up a hotel can bring many challenging as well as opportunities. One of the critical phases of opening a hotel is a pre-opening phase. It is necessary to plan the opening of a hotel in an effective way so all the problems that may arise can be tackled easily. It is correctly said, that proper strategy will come handy when deciding on plans and budgets. Generally, creating a checklist proves beneficial. The hospitality industry is a combination of two worlds, domestic world, and commercial world, as they deliver the services that they promise.  It can be a challenge to maintain a balance between ‘stay that feels like home’ and ‘extraordinary experience’ with the services and ambiance. The word ‘hospitality’ is used to describe wide platform. It incorporates lodging, food services, front desk, leisure, convention, and security. It can also be used to describe how a person treats another person. One of the main aspects of the hospitality industry is behavior. It can be seen that kindness and proper conduct are very necessary qualities that are required of staff members. Employees are the one who creates a reputation for a hotel. In many countries ‘Employee first, customer second’ approach is followed. As described, we will be discussing how employees affect the reputation of the hotel that they are working for. We will also be discussing the issues that are faced by hotel employees and guests from different diversity, during their stay.

Cultural impact: Though there is no comparison between cultures around the world, they all have varied outlook towards everyday tasks. When you are working in hotel industry you come across tourist from multiple countries. The hotel industry is one of the trades that actually faces multiple cultures and hence it is required they behave in a proper way. Hotel Industry encounters tourist from different diversities and it is described as a mashup of cultures that they have to handle people from all the regions. When people of different cultures come together, they bring their way of living life, their way of dressing up and their way of speaking with them.  Let's consider an example of Germans (Burns, 2018).  Germans are said to have a very efficient system for the day to day life, moreover, their way of living is very different from that of Americans or to other people from across the globe. Due to globalization number of people from different countries will be visiting your own country and so one should be prepared to provide them with a home-like comfort. Not just for the holidays or vacations, people travel for different reasons like for the business, and due to this diversity, we need to embrace a structure that is suitable for all the employees as well as the guest. With reference to the case study as we know the Germans are going to be the guest for few days so we will be assessing German culture and behavior. In cross culture environment, it is required that the employees are efficiently trained and know how to handle people from different countries. There are certain routine tasks that the Germans do differently from that to citizens of other regions (Federal Ministry of Education and Research, 2018). It is said that Germans value time a lot and they are very punctual. This is one of the key points that Hotel staff should consider.  They rarely delay. In case they are going to be late, they will always inform beforehand so that no inconvenience is caused. If a meeting is scheduled for a particular time, they will expect the meeting to start according to the agenda and this is one of the issues that might be faced by people from other culture who are not very punctual. In Hotel industry this becomes the duty of the manager to make sure that everything is organized properly. It is required that he have managing skills so that he can easily arrange a meeting on time and everything goes according to the schedule. Apart from this, one of the main problem that cultures face is of the linguistic barriers. They both might be speak different languages which are not easily understood by each other. This can create a barrier between the guests and the employees and it can become hard for them to understand what the guests are actually expecting. They also have very different work ethics from rest of the world. They consider the shift timings very seriously and they do not work on weekends or on vacations. Even if it is very important, they will have someone to work in their place. According to them, the time that needs to spend with the family is very critical and so when they come on vacations, they do not like to get stuck in any kind of issues that might lead to delays.

The Importance of Pre-Opening Planning

Germans are said to be very punctual. They value time a lot and everything that they do is according to the schedule. There is hardly any delay in the work schedule. So in reference to the case study manager needs to make sure that his front of house staff is ready to welcome the guest at the arrival hours. All the preparation should be completed on time. Decoration should be done, pamphlets should be printed, information cards should be stocked and staff should be ready for the upcoming event according to the schedule (Rothfelder, Ottenbacher, & Harrington, 2013). This is considered just a start of the journey in refurbishing the hotel. When entertaining Germans one of the serious issues that the manager will face is of linguistic barriers. As Geert Hofstede, the famous writer of Culture’s Consequence, an influential book published since 1980, said in an interview, “I would say that understanding of other languages is almost a necessary, albeit insufficient, condition for the understanding of the phenomenon of culture”. Language differences often result in miscommunication.  It is said that every next door in Germany speaks a different language. It is very important that there is proper communication between the guests and the employees to make sure that everything goes smoothly to avoid any distractions. It is necessary to make sure that the staff is given proper training on how to handle the delegates in proper official manner. It could be possible that they speak English, or they may not speak English, so he needs to make sure that employees can easily communicate with them. Front of the house team is the first team that they will meet and interact with and hence their impression should be the best. When it comes to the presentation, the entrance should be properly maintained, furniture should be properly organized (Crick & Spencer, 2011). Moreover, it is very important that the staff available at the front desk are fluent in languages that will be spoken by the delegates. It is necessary that the staff understands what guests are trying to communicate so that they can provide them with better services. Another factor that needs to be considered is the way of providing your views. In some cultures, giving the feedback directly to the manager when asked is considered polite whereas in certain culture it is considered rude and feedback should be provided in one to one discussion or by an email or in a personal meeting. The manager needs to make sure that employees are aware of the work culture and work ethics of the German delegates so as to make sure that they do not an offend or create scenarios that are not favorable for the image of the hotel (Billikopf, 2009). Phonetics is also one of the key points that should be kept in consideration. Certain words that have considered normal in one language can be considered rude or abusive and offensive in other persons’ language, so employees should be aware of all the words that are not acceptable in German language, including slangs that they might hear, which will help them be more aware of the expressions that the guests will try to communicate in. It is also important to pronounce the words in correct way to look more presentable. Having a background idea of the German culture will be really helpful for the employees (Research, 2017).

Understanding the Hospitality Industry

When working in the hotel industry, employees will face people from different cultures and different diversities. It is not uncommon for the guest to expect certain facilities that might be common in their own country but are not common in place they are visiting, and so the supervisor should be prepared for these kinds of situations. He should have analytical skills so that he can tackle all the issues and problems that were not highlighted by the manager. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to make sure that his team works efficiently and without any glitch. Having a sharp mind and having problem-solving skills will come handy in certain conditions (Kwok, 2012). As stated in the case study, during the visit of the German politicians there will be a high amount of security. Apart from the security from the hotel, outside security might hamper the day to day activities of the hotel employees. This can lead to a rise of a new problem. It will be beneficial for the hotel staff and supervisor if they plan all these things prior to the visit of the customer. The team should be trained properly on how to handle the official security in such cases. In case if the press conference is scheduled, staff should get guidelines on how to act in presence of media as every person will be under surveillance. There should be proper agenda, describing the limitations of the employees on the scope of the work. It is mandatory that employees of the hotel are aware of the certain areas or situations that they should stay away from (Baum, 2002). Generally, in these scenarios, everything can run smoothly if teamwork is shown. It is important that the supervisor promotes teamwork and determines that the spirit of his team members is boosted. Even when hiring a staff, it is important to make sure that their problem-solving skills are good. Since the employees are the face of the hotel, it is important that they are humble, polite and helpful towards the guest. Only when the staff is properly trained and a proper plan or agenda is made, it will ensure that everything runs smoothly throughout the stay of guests (Yusuf & Anuar, 2014).

In hospitality organization, it is important that employees are satisfied with their job because they are the ones who will be facing the guest and if they are satisfied and happy then they will project it on the guests. Hotel staff are the only ones interacting with the guest, so the reputation of a hotel can be made or destroyed by the employee's actions. Hence it has become one of the practices to make sure that the employees or the staff are happy with their jobs so that they perform better. Consequently, to enhance the performance, human resource group has always been keen on motivating the employees (Nabi, Islam, & Hossain, 2017). Employee motivation is not a new term for the employers. Generally, policies like employees first customers second are followed in many sectors to motivate the team. According to this policy, the satisfaction of the employees and staff working with the organization are given more importance than the customer. The preference is always given to the happiness and safer work environment for the staff which in turn will provide the best services to the customer and this will lead to better service delivery. This is one of the approaches that the supervisors can follow during the Germans visit. The supervisor should make sure that all the requirements of the staff are taken care and the staff is happy to work in safe environment. They should not have any issues or it can be said that they do not face any difficulties to ensure that everything runs effortlessly. Moreover, to motivate their employees they can provide them with positive feedback or rewards that will again enhance their experience, which in turn will help them in providing better service to the guest since they are the ones that the guest will be cooperating with (Ahmed, 2015).

The Role of Behavior in the Hospitality Industry

One of the main aspects of hospitality is meeting the demands of the customers. When entertaining guests, they might have some different perspective on what they are expecting and what they are going to get. But as a host it is necessary to provide the services that were promised to the customer or as it can say, to maintain the trust of the customer in your own organization. Initially, requirements of the customer or guest staying at the hotel could be planned and make sure the services that are expected of them are easily available. If in case hotel does not provide required service, they need to make sure that the customer is aware of it, so that later on no one is in compromising place (Crick & Spencer, 2011). It is better to define the agenda and services in the agreement that will be approved by both the parties. But in some scenarios, it might happen that the host is having a hard time delivering the services promise to the customer. However, in these kinds of situations, it is best if the hotel staff go out of their way to help the guest and make their stay peaceful. One of the issues that the staff might face is miscommunication. Due to which they might be unable to deliver the services to the guests. This can happen because they do not understand what the guest is expecting or asking them. In many cases, it is seen that even though the facility is available at the hotel, but due to the lack of understanding staff fails to communicate it to the guest. In such scenarios, the supervisor should be aware of all the terms and words that will be used by the guests during their stay. He should make sure that is staff is aware of all the common words that they will be using. Tour of property can be proven helpful in such case. Another important point that supervisor should keep in mind is that his staff is always ready to help the guests and they are not demotivated if a certain unexpected issue arises (Lee & Raschke, 2016).

It is mandatory for the managers and supervisors to form solution for the matters beforehand, for the issues that might be faced by the staff when they will interact with various cultured people. They can be provided with special pieces of training for spoken language and the way they need to behave. This can prove very helpful in many situations. These are some of the approaches that the supervisor should follow at the start. Staff should be aware of all the difficulties that they might face. Since employees in front of the house are the ones to deal with guests on most of the occasions, they should have good analytical skills so that they can take quick decisions in case a situation arises (Lee & Raschke, 2016). But in case any unconventional issue is faced, the supervisor should be humble enough to acknowledge the situation. If required, he can hire professional help on the spot and make sure that problem is resolved.  As in the end, the primary goal is to provide the guests with the best services.

Conclusion

In the end, we can say that when engaging with people from multiple cultures, certain points need to be kept in mind. As it is said "you can take a man out of the village but you cannot take the village out of a man", which explains that even if the guest is at the foreign land they expect certain services that might be very common in their own country. All the teams must be prepared to tackle a situation that arises due to cultural difference. It is very important to remain humble and understanding during problematic situations. Moreover, employees should be given proper training on how to handle cultural diversities as it is one of the leading issues that is being faced by the hospitality industry.

References

Ahmed, S. (2015, June). Employee motivation total project. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/ShaikAhmed16/employee-motivation-total-project

Baum, T. (2002). Skills and training for the hospitality sector: a review of issues. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 54(3), 343-364. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13636820200200204?data-src=recsys

Billikopf, G. (2009, June 01). Cultural Differences? Or, are we really that different? Retrieved from https://rategain.com/blog/7-quick-tips-for-your-hotel-pre-opening-in-2017/

Burns, R. (2018). German Cultural Studies: An Introduction. Retrieved from https://www.questia.com/library/3677406/german-cultural-studies-an-introduction

Crick, A., & Spencer, A. (2011). Hospitality quality: new directions and new challenges. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 23(4), 463-478. Retrieved from https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/09596111111129986

Federal Ministry of Education and Research. (2018). Germany's Culture and the Arts. Retrieved from www.research-in-germany.org: https://www.research-in-germany.org/en/discover-germany/culture-and-the-arts.html

Kwok, L. (2012, November). Distinguish Ourselves with Exceptional Analytical Skills. Retrieved from https://hospitality.blognotions.com/2012/11/12/distinguish-ourselves-with-exceptional-analytical-skills/

Lee, M., & Raschke, R. (2016). Understanding employee motivation and organizational performance: Arguments for a set-theoretic approach. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 1(3), 162-169. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2444569X16000068

Nabi, M., Islam, M., & Hossain, M. (2017). Impact of Motivation on Employee Performances: A Case Study of Karmasangsthan Bank Limited, Bangladesh. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review. Retrieved from https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/impact-of-motivation-on-employee-performances-a-case-study-of-karmasangsthan-bank-limited-bangladesh-.php?aid=86681

Research, R. (2017). 7 Quick Tips for your Hotel Pre-Opening in 2017. Retrieved from https://rategain.com/blog/7-quick-tips-for-your-hotel-pre-opening-in-2017/

Rothfelder, K., Ottenbacher, M., & Harrington, R. (2013). The impact of transformational, transactional and non-leadership styles on employee job satisfaction in the German hospitality industry. pp. 1–14. Retrieved from https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.900.9093&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Yusuf, B., & Anuar, S. (2014). The effects of conflicts handling in teamwork of hotel industry located in northern region of malaysia. Journal of Asian Scientific Research, 4(11), 603-617. Retrieved from https://www.aessweb.com/pdf-files/JASR-13-2014-4(11)-603-617.pdf

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