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How does one become a general manager?
Prior to becoming a general manager (GM), one has to receive education in the sphere of hospitality management. Potential GM must have an experience in administration and hospitality management. GM has to be passionate about a client-based approach to serving clients. Potential GM candidate has to anticipate clients wishes and strive to meet their needs in the best way possible. GM has to think in terms of solutions and be creative in offering a variety of high-standard choices. The candidate has to possess leadership and communication skills. GM derives professional and personal satisfaction from working in the hospitality segment. Future GM should be able to successfully overcome unique challenges of his profession and develop the ability to make innovative decisions in response to customers needs. One can become a GM if he/she is an expert in Strategic Management in Hospitality Management, and Culture and Cuisine. One can become a GM when he/she realizes that hospitality management has to create a constant high standard of care for customers on every level of responsibility. Additionally, a GM has to be able to create a well-functioning chain of commands in delivering services by every department. Potential manager has to be able to evaluate the scope and potential of available hotel facilities as a strategic resource in the hospitality sector. Manager has to foresee the impact of new technologies, changing marketing and customers demands (ONeill n.pag.).
Critical skills of being a general manager
GMs named various skills that they consider critical to being an effective GM. However, there are five skills that were mentioned the most frequently.
1. Learning culture and mentality of the local population. Although the majority of hotels have international customer base, understanding local culture proved to be an essential asset in knowing how to address certain nationalities without feeling frustrated or irritated (Howard n.pag.).
2. The ability to effectively manage the available data concerning new or returning customers, available personnel, or room availability is critical to a GM. The ability to manage, analyze and process data, a well as interpret and present it in an appealing and understandable manner is crucial to the GMs success in communicating with customers and personnel (Averbook n.pag.).
3. Since all the interviewed general managers work in Asia, nearly everyone mentioned that speaking Mandarin is a necessary requirement for a manager, or anyone who would like to become manager (Howard n.pag.).
4. Another critical quality is being proud of ones workplace. Competition in the hospitality industry is so intense that one must believe in his companys mission, vision, methods, and services and take pride in the hotels ability to satisfy customers needs in a way that motivates a customer to return (Howard n.pag.).
5. A must have skill for a general manager is the ability to take good care of personnel as a way of ensuring the high standard of services (ONeill n.pag.).
Performance and concerns
General managers at different market levels have both similar and different concerns about performance of their hotels. Similarities are related to hospitality management and Asian location. Differences are related to standards, target audiences, types of services, and executive managements vision. Similar concerns are:
the need to adjust and adapt to the clientele of emerging markets (China, Russia, India, Middle East and Korea) (Howard n.pag.);
maximizing the customers satisfaction and number of issues that a hotel can take care of for the customer, so that the latter could focus on his own work or leisure (Howard n.pag.);
adding more value to the services and creating the experience that will motivate the customer to return (Howard n.pag.).
Concerns are different in that luxury hotels focus on leisure, exclusive designs, uniqueness of view from the windows, and making stay in a hotel an experience on its own. When the guest is in the hotel, the actual stay there becomes a key experience, without having to go elsewhere for entertainment or attractions. However, in the medium range hotels, the general managers believe that their focus is on simplicity, affordability, functionality, and providing an environment that is efficient and nice for doing business, assessing historical sites and leisure. In the top hotels, corporate and leisure clients comprise two halves of clientele while medium range hotels have 65(%) of corporate and 35 (%) of leisure clients (Howard n.pag.).
Where is hotel/resort industry going?
Currently, hotel and resort industry explores several directions. Each direction is responsible for facilitation of the growth of each particular hotel and hospitality industry as a whole. The first direction is adjusting and accommodating available services to the significantly increasing segment of guests from the so called emerging economies (China, Russia, India, Middle East, and Korea). Language learning, translating menus and many other relevant resources, including website, marketing and advertising materials refer to this direction (Howard n.pag.). The second one is an increase of online or mobile booking/checking (Howard n.pag.). The third direction is the development of new products: lounge bars, spas, on-the-roof gardens, and wellness facilities (Howard n.pag.). The fourth is aimed at making the customer believe that a particular hotel is the easiest company to do business with. The fifth direction in the hotel industry is experiencing a high rate of growth, invests into building of new modern facilities and establishing a long-tern relationship with customers. Market of leisure services is expected to grow, and fierce competition leads to the increase of the quality of services that hotels offer to their clients (ONeill n.pag.). Additionally, hotels try to be efficient in their use of energy and recourses and offer products that promote a healthy lifestyle.