The eHotelier poll was designed to elicitÊviews on the continuing relevance of the role of the ÒhostÓ in modern hotel keeping.
This has traditionally been seen as the role of the general manager, but with the involvement and changes in the management and operations of hotels including groupings of properties under one general manager, the role must inevitably change. This survey considered views on the importance of the role of a ÒhostÓ especially in providing the essential public face of service to the guest.
The survey, closed on April 18,Ê2017, was active for over one month and elicited 1,062 responses. Of those responses 815 replied to pop-up invitations, 239 via website link with the remainingÊeight via social media posts.
Respondents by sector:
71.3 per centÊof the respondents were from the hotel sector. The next highest number response was education representing 6.2 per centÊof the total. The remaining respondents included professional services, facilities management, cruise liners, golf courses, restaurants catering and bars and recruitment specialists.
Respondents by role:
The respondents own classifications of job roles, indicated that 24Êper centÊof the total respondents were general managers with a further 42.6 per centÊdescribing themselves as holding senior managerial roles.
The most statistically significant representative group in the survey were General Managers within the Hotel Sector and their views have been directly compared with total views of all respondents to see if there is any significant variation.
Respondents by geographic area:
The respondents were predominantly from Europe, Asia and North America and this reflects the current membership of eHotelier. This therefore could be considered to be a representative sample of hotelier’s views worldwide. The number of respondents is also in direct relation to the number of hotels and hospitality businesses found within those regions compared to the rest of the world.
The relevance of the role of the host:
79 per centÊof the respondents consider the role of the ÒhostÓ as being essential or important within hotels. Only 6 per centÊconsider that the role is not relevant today or not important.
GM/total who should be the host:
When comparing the views of general managers with the total number of respondents, GM’s have a stronger view on the essential role of the host.
Comparing GM functions, GM/total:
When considering who should be the host there is significant variation between the views of GM’s and the total respondent’s. GM’s consider their most important function is motivating staff followed by operational efficiency, dealing with guests, financial management and then developing new business.
A word analysis of the 189 additional comments from the respondents provides a simple graphical display of the frequency of words used in those comments. As would be expected GM is the most commonly word used but clearly the role importance of the host and the staff in dealing with guests also comes to the fore.
In reviewing the comments a number of themes emerge. Firstly there is a strongly held view from a significant number of respondents that all staff have a role in acting as the host. There should not be one identified role within the hotel but it should be the responsibility of all of the staff.Ê This can only be achieved through creating a sense of ownership and empowerment with the staff and creating a culture within the organisation that focuses on delivering the service promised to the guest.
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By Professor Peter A. JonesÊ
Professor Peter Jones is the Dean of the eHotelier Academy. With aÊdistinguishedÊcareer in hospitality, education and training, Peter has been involved with national and international projects with clients involved in hospitality education.ÊPeter is a Director ofÊ the Edge Hotel School and of Hotel Future, a new education and training initiative in Greater Manchester and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Derby. He was also awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to the hospitality industry.
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