The major assessment for this unit is a Reflective Portfolio. A portfolio is an organised collection of student work designed to represent students' efforts and academic achievements over a period of time, in this case over a period of one term. The main purpose of this portfolio is for you to reflect upon what you have achieved and learnt throughout the term in this unit. Reflecting on your experiences will in turn give you the ability to articulate the skills developed during your time.
Throughout this term, we learnt about the different elements of Rooms Management in both theory and practical application. Students are required to complete a 5000-word Reflective Portfolio based upon each week / topic presented in this unit. A Reflective Portfolio allows students to explore their own learning process. Whereas traditional academic projects expect students to be objective and impersonal, a Reflective Portfolio asks students to highlight their own personal perspectives, opinions and feelings. It provides an honest summary of the work undertaken and the skill sets that were developed. The Reflective Portfolio is a means to review what you have learnt on a weekly basis, how concepts have related to your past experiences, how concepts could be applied to enhance your performance as a hotel leader, challenges and areas of confusion and other thoughts / opinions relating to your weekly learning experience. It is also recommended the unit learning outcomes are reflected upon for each entry.
The Portfolio can be presented as a weekly / topic journal, for example:
- Introduction to Front Office
- Executive Housekeeping
- Effective Inter-departmental Communication
- Preparation and Review of Night Audit
- Safety and Security
- Labour Cost and Staffing
- Facilities Management
Reflective Portfolio and Its Purpose
The room division management is an integral part in the hotel industry. As it is a known fact that hotel industry is a very big industry being full of risks, there are no doubts that this industry has many responsibilities towards its customers. The customers are the main responsibilities for the hotel managers and the different sections of the operations management. Hotel room division management is also such an extension for the employees working in the hotel. I would focus on this aspect of the hotel industry extensively and this would be very helpful for the hotel managers to distribute the responsibilities of the room division managers properly. The hotel room managers should always be aware about their roles and responsibilities because they will be managing their jobs only when they have extensive knowledge about their duties. I have been chosen as the Room Division Manager of a five star hotel named Soho Hotel situated in London last month and I had been facing some difficulties on assessing my roles as the same. After a quite some time of practice, I have come to know that I am responsible for looking after the comfort and luxury of every guest who visit the hotel.
I also became aware of my responsibilities when I came to know that I have to select and hire the competent staff for the hotels. As the hotel is a five star one, many celebrity guests turn up every day and they have to be looked after and I have to guarantee that they are taken care of properly. I would have to make the arrangements for the proper training of the employees so that they can serve the hotel and take care of the patients in a good manner. I think it is my duty to serve my organization in the best way I can. I have to provide the best training to the employees who are my subordinates. I would have the need to generate a great initiative so that I can inspire the other employees in the hotel. I would have to be greatly dedicated to my organization as well as contribute to their organizational success.
I must have a good efficiency so that I would be able to lead the staff and motivate them in many ways. I have analyzed my duties that my duties would include to work closely with the executive housekeeping section as well as the front office. I would have to provide my service to the guests all day long and meet their requirements at my best interest. I also have come across that some customer complaints may arise in this aspect and I would have to resolve them as soon as I can. As the Room Division Managers, I would have to be able to take the responsibilities as 24/7 operations at the front desk, reservation for the guests, concierge, taking the phone calls, communicate with my hierarchy and the role of the night managers. I have learned from my experience in this hotel that I would be responsible for the spot checking of the rooms to verify that the needs of the guests are met. I have to authorize the schedules and rosters for the entire staff, keep an eye on the budgets and expenditures to maintain them properly and help the sales and marketing team of the hotel
Overview of the Course Work
I would like to generalize the roles and responsibilities of the Room Division Managers and then I would progress to be specific and highlight views on the different roles and the associated responsibilities of them. Now, I would like to list the responsibilities that I would have to play in Soho Hotel as the Room Division Manager.
- I would have to report directly to the Executive Assistant Manager (Rooms).
- I would make sure the timely, efficient and professional welcome to the guests who turn up every day and also ensure a proper check-in.
- I would have to provide the customer satisfaction by the assistance of my front desk colleagues.
- I should be able to maintain a high morale that should cater to better productivity.
- I would have to maintain a good communication standard between the Front office and other departments.
- I would always thrive to develop my colleagues. I would play the role of the Team leaders and Mangers by motivating them and allocating them the tasks and make sure that positive results are derived from this.
- I would see to the fact that the Opera System is configurated properly and well-maintained.
- The input standards of the profiles and reservations have to be put in correctly by me.
- The level of service that is provided by the hotel has to be monitored by me and see if any improvements can be done on this aspect.
The Front Office department is the most important department in the hotel and is responsible for the most important responsibilities in the hotel industry. I have identified the responsibilities that I have to take as the room division Manager to take care of the front office. Ass most of the information regarding the hotel begins from here, I would have to provide the information about the porters, switchboard operators, GSAs and concierge. As these employees are the most valuable in the hotel, I would have to provide the relevant information to the guests about this. I will have to develop a good relationship with the other departments and the concerned employees. I will have to know whom I can approach for the further assistance. I must be able to process and develop the procedures for the front office so that I can pass on the information. The Front office is the one department that has to interact with all the departments of the hotel
The front office works as the central point for communication with all the departments. Communication is a very integral part in the hotel industry and the front office must act as the pioneer to communicate with all. The General Manager of the hotel will set the mission and vision of the hotel organization and pass on the relative information to the Front office Manager about the budget and other matters. He will be responsible for achieving those goals within the specified time. It is a basic fact if the front office does not communicate the important information with the other departments, the entire process will be hampered. The PMS system is another part of the hotel industry that has a direct connection with the Housekeeping, Food and Beverage, Marketing and Sales, Gift Shop, finance, engineering and several other departments. The staff of the front office will have to coordinate with the important works like communicating, accounting, safety and security of the guests and benefit from the PMS systems.
I have gone through the roles and responsibilities of the front office managers. I suppose that the front office managers are responsible for the entire things that are going on within the organization and they have to keep a balance in the procedures of all the organizations. They have to keep all the updates about the things that are happening in the organization. This should be kept in mind by the front office managers and they should be able to coordinate with the other departments effectively.
Roles and Responsibilities of Room Division Managers
In this segment of discussion, I would highlight the roles of the housekeeping department in the hotel industry. The housekeeping is an important part of the hotel industry since the hotels are considered to be the second home away from the actual home. The loyalty to the guests is the ultimate factor that matters. The employees who belong to the housekeeping department does not interact directly with the guests yet they play a vital role in maintaining the reputation of the hotels. Comfort for the guests is very important for the hotels and it can be provided to them by the sincerity of the housekeeping staff. The guest comfort can be achieved by keeping the public places like terraces, lawns, staircases, lifts and lounges clean as well as the rooms for the guests. The housekeeping staff should be performing their jobs in such a way that the guests should remember the memories of that particular place and cherish it.
I would also mention that the performance of the house keeping staff should be able to impress the guests at their best interest. The house keeping staff should also make sure that the hotel operations are properly done and it is successful. They should perform their roles in such a way that the hotel always runs in profit. I would suggest the hotel authority to keep an eye on the behaviors of the housekeeping staff as well as ensuring their well-being. The housekeeping staff should always keep the bathroom clean and tidy and be able to respond in quickness by supplying the extra towels and toiletries. An executive housekeeper has many employees working under them. The ranks under the executive housekeeper are Attendant Supervisor, Floor Supervisor, Laundry Supervisor, Room Attendant in the morning and night shifts, Public Area Attendant, Laundry Attendants for morning and night shifts. The executive housekeeper is the head of the housekeeping department and he develops the systems and overlooks if everything is good. He has the responsibility to plan effectively and communicate them to the other departments to organize the procedures. The executive housekeeper must be able to understand how the other departments are intertwined and how they act. This will help them to understand what kind of schedules they have to make for the employees working under them and what kind of tasks they must be assigned with. They should keep track of the placed orders and see to if all the orders are properly maintained. The executive housekeeper has the responsibility to preoare the budget of the department and then forecast the costs for it. I suppose it is also up to him on how to improve the services of the hotel and recommend it to the concerned managers.
Front Office Department and Its Responsibilities
The executive housekeeper should be able to control and maintain the staffing levels within the hotel. Another important role that the executive housekeeper has to perform is about the recruitment of the eligible candidates. They should take the interviews, select and recruit the employees into the department. Then they should also arrange for the induction of those new employees. The executive housekeeper is also in charge of the various things like the room assignment to the guests, controlling the cleaning of the rooms, preparing the data sheets for the material safety. They should make sure the occupational safety and health administration be maintained by the concerned persons. They should make arrangements for the frequent room inspections by his subordinate employees. I also think that the executive housekeepers should look after the outsourcing of the housekeeping activities. I must mention that the hotel executive housekeepers should make partnerships with the professional associations to make sure a better service.
The executive housekeeping is one of the most vital departments because they see to the comforts and discomforts of the guests. The executive housekeeping staff is the lead in the housekeeping department and he is responsible for all the mistakes being done by the department. I think the housekeeping staff should perform their jobs properly and efficiently that will help to keep up the reputation of the hotels.
The front office has many other important responsibilities and I would have an important role to play in this communication system. I would have to make sure that the front office staff should be able to communicate with the housekeeping staff to deliver the best hospitality services. There is a position called the Rooms Controller in our hotel that bridges the communication between the front office and the housekeeping. The front office should note if the housekeeping staff have completed their job properly. The room status should be communicated between the front office and room attendants that would be helpful for the guest occupancy. The front office staff should communicate effectively with the floor supervisor or the room attendants about the room status. The front desk depends on the housekeeping staff because it helps them to tackle the unexpected and unusual circumstances properly. The house statistics, security concerns and other aspects should be communicated with the front desk office for a better solution. If the guest security is hampered, the Front Office managers can take any steps that they find useful in this case. The front desk managers play an important role in the timely distribution of the sales projects and it helps the executive housekeeper in approving the employees’ personal leaves and vacations. The room sales projections have to be distributed by the Front Office Manager that he prepares for the scheduling of the employees. The interdepartmental cooperation between the marketing and sales team, Front office and maintenance team is very essential. The cleaning of the rooms and the associated things are very important aspects of the mutual cooperation between the Front Office and other departments.
Housekeeping Department and Its Roles
The fact of the food provision on certain intervals is very essential for the hotels to deliver. I will definitely make sure that this is well executed for the satisfaction of the guests. The daily availability of the restaurants for the guests should also be ensured by me. The front office department has to convey the guests about the scheduled events and the matters of bill payments to the guests since it is very important the banquet department. It is also the duty of the front office to deliver the relevant information to the new guests who do not have any idea about the hotel’s property. The front office should communicate with the guests about the entire banquet. It is the duty of the Front Office Manager to set up some standard some regulatory processes that every front office staff should communicate with the employees. The Front office should also work effectively for the safety and security of the guests. The Security department can make sure the safety of the guests through room safety checks. They can back the management up about the poor behavior of the guests. The maintenance department has some responsibilities in ensuring the best services being provided to the guests. The maintenance department has some important roles to play like they have to listen to any complaint that comes from the side of the guests about anything in their service. The complaints about the in-room furnishings and the relative fixtures and furniture in the room have to be passed on to the Front Desk manager. The FO manager will then investigate about the complaints being done and then come to a conclusion. If he finds faults with employees regarding those complaints, he has the right to take some immediate steps. The front desk managers and the staffs should require keeping an update on the repairing of the equipments in their rooms. They should make sure that the repairing is done on the right time. The guests have to be followed up by the Front Office to have a good impression on the minds of the guests.
The Security department and the Front Office should have a definite and strong connection between themselves. This is to ensure that the safety of the guests is maintained properly. The staff has to made the security personnel alert about all the people who are present in the hotel lobby but actually do not belong there. The suspicions about any single person in the lobby about the unfamiliar people must be reported to the persons employed for the security of the place. Various kinds of the safety measures and the required equipments have to be kept in the hotel compound. I will personally make sure that all these things are present there. In case any serious situation arises or fire breaks out, the fire extinguishers have to be used in those places. The routine check up for the guests of the security has done in the hotel very frequently. The emergency communication systems have to be maintained by the security department so that any unwanted situations could be avoided.
Executive Housekeeper's Responsibilities
The next department that the Front Office Manager has to keep a good rapport with is the Financial Controller. The front office employees provide the day to day financial transactions to the financial controller that helps them to have a record of the daily profits for the organization. I would recommend that my employees should always keep an updated record of the daily transactions and use them for the audits. The night audit will help to keep the records of it. It ios the Night Manager who has the best contact with the financial team and he conveys the most important and relevant information to the Front Office managers. Generally, the entire communication takes place through emails as their shift timings are not on the same time. The relevant information is required for the factual guest accounting process and assembling the data for the financial use by the controller only. This financial information is also used in the purpose of measuring the capability of the management to meet the budget targets. These departments have to take the payments and charges through payment machines. The data that the front office employees enter daily are used by the night auditor to provide the figures that help to develop reports for the general manager, supervisors and owners of the hotel itself.
The human resource management is another body that the Front Office should have a definite strong connection with. The HR department has to depend on the front office employees to be the first initial contact for the potential employees to be recruited in their hotel organization. The human resource manager may ask the front office employees for the screening of the job candidates into their organization. This would allow the better candidates into the organization. The potential candidates for the job leave their job applications at the fronty office. The front office employees email these job application forms to the HR department who arrange interviews for those candidates. The HR department has to depend on the Front Office for the time management by expressing the fact they need appointment at that time rather than walk-in interviews.
The Marketing and Sales team is the next department that the Front Office department should have a better communication with in many terms. The marketing and sales department relies on the front office heavily because they provide the data of the guest histories to the marketing and sales team who use it for the better marketing of the hotel to attract more guests. The details of their visit and the important data about the frequency of their visits, demographics, corporate affiliation, special needs and the social media behaviors are recorded by the marketing and sales team. The marketing and sales team uses the data collected from the front office for their target market campaigning and other purposes. They prepare the mailing labels, develop the promotional campaigns and choose the appropriate media for the advertisement for the marketing purpose. The front office must make a proper first impression on the minds of the guests that would help the marketing team to use their strategies effectively. The switchboard operator is the first person who helps to form a good impression on the guests. I will definitely recruit a good and experienced switchboard operator who will ensure a good impression on the guests’ minds. The front office manager has to assess the behaviors and attitudes. I think that the front office employees must be trained properly with the organizational objectives in mind. This will be really helpful for the F.O. managers to coordinate their works.
Staffing Levels and Recruitment Process
The interdepartmental communication between the several departments is probably the most important and crucial aspect in the hotels. I think all the departments in the hotels have to put up a good communication with the other departments. I suppose it is of utmost priority for the front office managers to keep up a good rapport with the leads of other departments and put up a smooth communication.
A night auditor is one of the most crucial persons in the hotel industry as he is responsible for many works and tasks within the organization. I have detected the responsibilities of the night auditor. Some of the responsibilities that the night auditor has to perform are:
- He has to assemble the daily financial transactions in the hotel. He also has to find out if there are nay discrepancies in the account. He has to balance these transactions as well.
- He has to sit at the front desk for the night shifts and perform his duties proactively.
- He has to maintain a register for the check-ins and check-outs.
- He is responsible for making the reservations.
- He must see to the security arrangements.
- He has to look after the fact if the emergency systems are working properly.
- The night auditor is responsible for the room posting and tax charges for it.
- He has to prepare and maintain the list for the hotels and make sure that everything has been balanced.
- He also has to check the in house activities of the guests.
The night audit is a very interesting process and it is a mandatory thing for the hotels to maintain. In this process, all the financial activities are done regarding the guests’ profile and accounts. All these activities have to be maintained and balanced properly. I have assessed the responsibilities of the night auditors and I have found that the night auditor must be able to process the tax charges and payments of the various departments. I suppose that the charges and receipts of the payments have to ber maintained on a daily basis.
A night audit has some importance that has to be valued with utmost priority. Through the preparation of the night audit, the hotel maintains all the financial operations that happen in the hotel. The management of the hotel verifies the guest accounts, make a review for the financial earnings of the hotel and develop effective marketing strategies for them. The night auditors manage to determine the level of room occupancy, the average daily rate and the revenues available per room. My opinion is that they can suggest some ways to improve the slow sales period. There are some steps by which the night audit takes place. These steps are:-
- Checking if all the guests have checked in
- Reconciliation of the financial activities of the department
- Assembling the payments and charges from the guests
- Room posting to be done along with the tax charges
- The trial balance has to be done
In the process of preparing a night audit report the daily financial report of sales has to be reported to the front office. The night auditor must make sure that the payments are made on time and it is properly settled. The payments can be done by cash, credit card and other methods. I must mention that there are several components of a night audit report. These are banquet sales, conference room charges, tips given to the food and beverage employees, room services, room and tax, total food and beverage sales, credit limit report, Manager’s report, telephone charges, gift shop sales, health and recreational activities and many more.
The night audit review report is also very important because they keep the records of the financial records. These financial records are very important since they have a huge impact on assessing the profit and loss ranges in the hotels. The audit has to be done properly by the concerned people to maintain the transparency in the process.
It is important to develop the proper idea about the safety and security in the hotel industry. The hostels have to provide safety towards their guests. The hotel authorities must learn from their previous losses and arrange for the safety. I think it is of utmost importance to manage the safety and security of the guests to improve the brand reputation. The security of the guests must be looked after and regarding the property. The risk management should be working perfectly as the managers should identify the risks and mitigate them immediately. I think that the Rooms Division manager or the on duty front Office officer should respond to the complaints of the guests regarding thefts, fire break outs and illnesses. There are some ways in which these situations can be avoided. These situations can be avoided in many ways. The hotel authorities can arrange for setting some effective security policies, keep good relationship with the police department, organize programs on security and safety and deliver training programs for self-defense.
I also think that the manager should also arrange for training of the hotel employees. They should separate some sub-departments and employ the employees to take charge of the. These sub-departments can be gust and employees safety, emergency communication planning, fire safety, employee safety training, room key security and emergency evacuation. The suthorities should manage for providing the facilities for the welfare of the employees, provide instructions and training to the employees, disposing off the rubbish and arrange for pest control. All the health risks should be identified for the employees and proper actions may be taken to prevent any serious illnesses. My opinion is that the hotels must follow the regulations and legal frameworks to ensure the employees safety. The authority should arrange for the space limitations, installing of the sprinkler systems, smoke alarm installation and maintaining them properly, fire drill testing, fire alarm operation and maintaining and provide other important specifications. The breaking out of fire is a common thing in hotels and the hotel authorities must arrange for proper measures for smoke detectors, heat detectors, duct smoke detectors and others.
The safety and security of the hotels is a very important aspect of the hotel industry. The guests are of the utmost priority for the hotels and the managers must make sure that they are saved from every aspect. The threats of the terrorist attacks from outside and the threat of fire breakouts and others are always there. The hotel authorities must make sure that the guests are rescued even if they are harmed by any cost.
It is of utmost importance to have a good planning for the labor cost and staffing in the hotels. It is because there are a lot of financial transactions in the hotel all day long. There is a strong need to keep all the records and maintain them all through. The operating costs have to be measured on a daily basis to match with the anticipated revenue. This operating cost includes the labor costs and controllable expenses. The profit levels of a hotel include revenue, sales costs, operating departments’ payroll, gross operating income, gross operating profit, fixed expenses and net profit before tax.
The departmental profit for the hotels are affected by labor costs, sales average rates, marketing mix of the guests, star rating from the visitors and control systems of the controllable expenses. The hotels in Australia must abide by the Fair work act 2009. I strongly believe that the regulations are manipulated by politics in different states. The Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) should be maintained and the legislative framework mentioned in the fair Work Commission should be mentioned with aligning to the National Employment Standards. Individual flexibility arrangements should be abided by in this scenario. I think it is of utmost importance that the employers should consult with the employees regarding any workplace changes. If I am the employer, I would very enthusiastically consult with my employees and ask for their opinion about further improvements.
The labor costs represent almost 40% of the organization’s costs. Labor is generally regulated by the state or the federal law. The labor costs will vary according to the shift timings and business demands. These employment laws have a deep impact on the labor costs. The employment laws like the Work Health and Safety (WHS), antic-discriminatory regulations and immigration or VISA employment conditions will be implemented properly. I also think that the staffs should be motivated and they should be rewarded with incentives if they perform better.
It can be concluded that the labor costs are very crucial because it is a part of the hotels’ budget and I think the hotel authorities should be fixing their budgets according to the labor costs in the hotels. The staffing arrangements and their roster schedules should be arranged properly as well. The safety of the staffs and their health problems should be looked after properly. The legal frameworks should be maintained.
In this part of the paper, I come to the point of discussing the role of the facilities management and the facilities managers in the hotel industry and how they can communicate with the room division department. The facility managers are very important assets of the hotel and hospitality industry. The facility management in the hotels have many sub-departments. These sub-departments can be divided into horticulture department, asset management, maintenance department and the information technology. The planning team of the hotels has to coordinate with the other departments so that the works can get on smoothly. The facility management has to plan the strategies with the housekeeping personnel to give the room the previous shape as it was before the boarding of the guests. There are some risks that re involved in the maintenance of the rooms that have to be mitigated by the facilities management. The risks that can be identified in this course are fire breakouts, power cuts and some more.
The facility managers have to look at the various aspects of the hotel and I think they have great responsibilities to look after these things and solve the problems in the hotels. I believe that the assets and the location of the hotel give a complete guest satisfaction. I must mention that the assets management is one of the most important things in the hotel industry that is connected with the location of the hotels. The facilities management of the hotels also deals with the waste management, recycling, conservation of energy and maintenance. These things have to be aligned with the operational strategies in the hotels.
The facilities management has to take care of the various things in the hotel industry because they have to control, plan and execute the strategies for more effectiveness in the hotel operations. The various aspects of the facilities management have been discussed in this part and their roles and responsibilities have been described as well.
As an overall conclusion on this topic of the rooms division management, it can be said that the all the divisions like the front office, executive housekeeper, labor cost and staffing, night audit reviewer, safety and security and the other divisions are very important. There is always a scope for the betterment of the operational strategies and all these divisions look to work on the same page for it.
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