I recently read an article that evaluated the job requirements for positions in various industries and to my surprise the hospitality industry is still considered to be in its infancy.
Much has changed since the 70s and 80s when it was commonplace to move from a dishwasher to a General Manager and if you were lucky, on to a corporate role. Times are certainly different now and today’s Hospitality Manager needs to do more than just shake hands in the lobby or conduct staff meetings.
I have much respect for General Managers, always have had, even when I was on the career track. I never envied them for their benefits or salary then, and even less so today.
The Hotel General Manager is so often the ‘soft filling’ in a sandwich, squeezed between management company and owners.
Earning respect as a manager is the quintessential ingredient to reaching the top. Respect is elusive for many managers though, especially those who lack leadership skills or try and rule by fear or intimidation.
Some managers don’t get the respect they deserve because they’re often faced with difficult challenges that their employees don’t understand or fully appreciate. These employees are probably blissfully unaware of the reasons for the decisions made by the manager – who walk that fine line between the needs, wants and desires of the owner and the management company.
During a recent candidate search I spoke with a very frustrated individual. It seems that he had great difficulty getting his salary & relocation expenses paid. The owner refused to pay for whatever reason, and so did the management company, who said it was the owners’ responsibility. The owning company had developed a reputation for the late payment of salaries, and when the candidate questioned his employer (the management company) he was told be patient, we do not want to upset the owners, so the GM was on the receiving end and is still waiting to be paid!
How many people can afford to live on their savings, supporting the bank account of stubborn and intractable owners? Where is the respect for the individual that is entitled to his pay?
I believe that situations like this would probably not happen in other industries, but perhaps I am being naïve. It is more disturbing, that these stories are commonplace; a blight on the professionalism of our industry that offers opportunities to so many hard-working people.
A General Manager sets the tone for his team, he is the guiding light for hundreds of people under his direction. He watches over the financial and human assets and deserves some respect from all stakeholders.
Should it really need to be explained to an owner that the GM is the person that manages their hotel, makes their profit and establishes the reputation & image of their property, so helping the GM succeed should be a priority for any smart owner.
“There are numerous research studies that demonstrate that good people most often leave good jobs because of bad managers, and not because of the pay or work tasks. Good, consistent management starts with the respect paid to our people and that should certainly start with the owner and management company.
Today’s professional GM’s are highly educated and are trained to manage all aspects of a business and establish a reputation that can last for many years.
The time is now to hire and respect General Managers. Show them that they are the key to your success and respect them for their dignity, their skills and their desire to do a great job,”
So, I call for 2018 to be designated the ‘Respect your General Manager Year’!
About the author
Karl Faux is a veteran Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm.
For more information about Karl and Elite Search visit http://www.elitesearch.com.au and The Elite Hotelier http://www.elitehotelier.net