Align Departmental Goals with the Hotel's Goals to Increase Revenue and Employee Satisfaction

By Amy Bair Career Services Analyst, Florida International University's Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management | March 16, 2014

It is 2:00PM on a Monday. Beth, the salesperson, has decided she needs some caffeine so has stepped away from her desk. Her phone rings but nobody is there to answer it. Her co-workers don't answer it either. They're not in Sales. The phone rings again a few minutes later. Sarah isn't back yet so it doesn't get answered. Then, the phone rings in the GM's office. It's the same guest who has an emergency and is now angry because nobody would answer his call.

I have a great definition for functional silos:  "A functional silo exists when the business processes of a functional unit...focus inwardly on their functional objectives. This becomes problematic when the direction of focus creates barriers that do not serve a reasonable business purpose and negatively impacts the unit's ability to serve their role in the broader mission of the organization."

What exactly does that mean? Employees focus solely on the goals of their department. You cannot blame them. It is how they have been instructed. Many do not even know the goals of the organization as these are not always passed down through the ranks.

How can you make your hotel a guest and employee focused organization? Align the goals of each department with the goals of the hotel and then communicate this overall vision to the organization. For example, if a goal of the hotel is to increase scores by 10% then it is important that each department collaborate on how they can strive toward this same result. It is equally as important that the same department learn how their new goals affect the other units. Two departments may be required to join forces in order to be successful.

"Failure to plan is planning to fail." We all know the saying and we get it but we do not necessarily do anything about it. The first management function of a hotel General Manager is to plan. Unfortunately, due to the nature of their position, GM's are usually stuck in perpetual "hair caught on fire" mode and are unable to sit down long enough to project out goals for the hotel. However, making the time to plan can reduce the insanity as then the GM and her staff has a goal and direction to head.

It is tough to know where to begin when deciding goals for your property. Begin with a simple vision. I live in Miami now. Out of the estimated 89 million tourists that visit every year, international visitors consisted of almost 7 million of this number. Interestingly enough, Brazilians were at the top of the market. The Brazilians are coming into their own, have money to spend and want to travel. Let's say you want to target this market. Your vision might then be "our hotel is the preferred destination for Brazilian leisure travelers and their families."

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.