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Essay Sample on Management: Management Problem at the Imperial Hotel

8 pages
1927 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
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Managers face numerous problems in their daily activities as they ensure excellent performance of their organizations. They are expected to conduct themselves in a positive attitude, be accountable for their respective departments, and have an affinity for people of various cultures and their ideas. Managing a big hotel in the hospitality industry is equally challenging. The Imperial Hotel in London faces multiple challenges in some of its departments that require the action of the overall manager, Peter Farnsworth, and other heads of departments. The hotel is part of a chain of 25 other hotels that operate in the UK and around the world. The Imperial Hotel was ranked the last of the Star chain because it failed to meet several of its customer standards. The manager has set up some of the key strategies he thinks will help the hotel improve performance in all its departments. The departments are guest service, front house and reception, housekeeping, food and beverage, and the human resource department.

The major issue under study is the poor guest satisfaction. In the latest hotel chain ranking, the hotel received a rating of 65% from its customers which was the lowest rating among all hotels in the chain. The manager was particularly concerned about the low ratings because the hotel had maintained an average of 74%. Moreover, the hotel acts as an accommodation hub for foreign businesspersons and tourists. It is renowned for the high quality of service delivery to its clients. The price chart for various services is correspondingly high, which makes it mandatory for the staff to uphold high standards of service delivery. Peter Farnsworth took the monthly Guest Satisfaction Survey seriously and did not just assume that the feedback was biased in any way. The target period to resolve the ongoing issues is 12 months, during which, a set of strategies can be implemented. The survey also consists of a catalogue of all services offered by the hotel and how the customers rated each of them. As a result, it becomes easy for the manager to identify which particular areas perform poorest.

One of the core reason for poor guest satisfaction is the low cleanliness and maintenance levels of the rooms in the hotels. The particular department in charge of this is the housekeeping unit. Visitors often complained of rooms and bathrooms that were not well cleaned, and in some instances, went ahead to request a change of rooms. Clients who pay high rates such as those charged by the hotel expect perfection in the room services. The bathrooms should be cleaned on a daily basis when customers are hosted in the rooms. Personal amenities such as towels should be replaced if at all not thoroughly cleaned. The problem arises as a result of lack of commitment to duties by the employees under the housekeeping department; this is because, upon the hiring of staff, they are subjected to rigorous training that equips them with the necessary skills required to perform a good job.

The particular problem can be linked to the guest service department as well. The guest service unit is responsible for the overall customer satisfaction monitoring from all other departments. To some extent, the human resource team is also responsible for the poor performance of the housekeeping because they are responsible for hiring capable employees and train them on the importance of providing quality services. The HR is also partially accountable because they are supposed to check the work done by all employees and guarantee quality services are delivered to the clients.

Another problem that affects the poor guest satisfaction is inconvenient checking in and out of the hotel. Most of the guests are senior managers, prominent businesspersons, investors, and celebrities who have busy schedules. The major complaint was that the process of checking in and checking out during departure from the hotel was slow and somewhat confused. Clients complained that there were few bellboys and valets, and they had to wait for the next available one to come back. Similarly, the process of checking in was slow because the person confirming the guest is the same one who goes to search for the room's key in the safe room.

The major department responsible for the poor services offered during checking in and out is the front of house and reception unit. They should ensure that the guests are attended to smoothly and conveniently. Clients visiting the hotel should not spend more than a minute at the reception. The front office and reception staff should anticipate guests at any time, and they should always be ready and presentable because they are the front face of the organization. Another department that is responsible for the understaffing of employees at the reception is the HR team. A hotel as big as the Imperial and has a capacity of 500 guests and conference facilities able to host a thousand visitors should have sufficient employees working round the clock and ready to host them. Additionally, they should ensure that they train them to work promptly and efficiently to satisfy the customer needs on time.

Another core problem that was observed which contributed to the poor guest satisfaction is little or no timely response to the raised complaints. Some customers claimed that the responses they received were rude and highly unprofessional. Many clients do not take rude treatment lightly, some of them go ahead to seek the top management to report such incidences. A highly trained hospitality employee should be able to accommodate all guests who visit the hotel regardless of the attitude they use to approach them.

One department that was responsible for the ill-treatment of guests is the guest service and concierge. The visitors probably requested for a unique service from the concierge, and the negative responses they received led to the low rating of the hotel services. Hotel staff should ensure that they receive concerns and respond to the guests politely. Furthermore, it is of essence that they act towards the concerns promptly. For example, if a customer complains of a malfunctioned television in his or her room, the customer service should look to it as soon as possible to ensure that the customer is comfortable. Additionally, a prompt response is an indication to the client that offering quality services in the hotel is a paramount characteristic of the guest service.

Solutions According to Peter Farnsworth

According to the manager, one measure that he can implement as a solution to the problems affecting the company is to increase staff awareness of the customer expectations. The employees of the hotel should understand that the high reputation of the organization needs to be upheld. Majority of the clients prefer the Imperial Hotel to other options because they believe that the services they will receive are of high standards. Staff awareness is a process that should be undertaken by the human resource department. They need to hold regular forums that constantly educate the employees on the need to uphold quality services.

The proposed solution by the manager is relatively practical but does not fully resolve the problem. Issues such as understaffing cannot be solved through reminding employees of the benefits of providing quality work. The few who are available will do a good job, but the resultant effect will be that the employees are overworked, phenomena that leads to poor job quality. However, issues that deal with the overall cleanliness of rooms can be addressed using this method. The manager can instruct the head of the housekeeping to show the employees using examples of poorly and well-done rooms as examples of what they should do and what they should avoid.

Another solution to the problem that the manager suggested is to train the staff to promptly and courteously respond to the complaints raised by the customers. The suggested solution is convenient given the circumstances in which customers were unhappy with the responses they received. The manager should ensure that the Human Resource Department hires qualified staff who are aware and conversant with the activities of a busy hotel such as the Imperial. One reason why customers were unhappy with the rude responses is that some employees were unqualified, and they underestimated the importance of politeness in the industry. Additionally, the remaining employees should be given copies of the Guest Satisfaction Copy which gives feedback on how guests think their concerns were handled.

Another strategy that Peter Farnsworth suggests to help improve the hotel ratings is to give immediate feedback to the customers on how their issues are being addressed. In some cases, employees respond to certain concern, but the clients may not notice the changes. Therefore, the employee ends up rating the hotel poorly. Similarly, a staff member can attempt to resolve the guest's complaints, but he or she may address it in a way that is unsatisfactory to the client. The manager suggested that upon receiving customer complaints, an immediate feedback should be given to the customer for them to be aware of what exactly is being done. If the customer is still unhappy with the measures being taken, he or she can respond, and the employee can change the method to one that suits the guest's requirements. Finally, giving the client feedback on the steps being taken shows that the employees are concerned about his or her comfort.

Alternative Ways That the Problem Could Be Resolved

Apart from the strategies put forward by the manager, other techniques can be implemented to ensure an improvement in customer satisfaction in the Imperial Hotel. One major responsibility that Peter Farnsworth and the human resource department has is to ensure that the employees are constantly motivated. Multiple steps can be taken to ensure that staff is highly enthusiastic about their work. As the manager, Peter is required to lead his teams through a good example. Many employees look up to their leaders for motivation. An enthusiastic leader dissipates the same energy to the employees, and they end up performing well in their respective duties.

Additionally, the Human Resource unit can plan vacations and team buildings for different departments. For example, when business is not so high, one of the units can go out for bonding activities to increase teamwork and improve on inter-personal relationships. Another method through which the manager can ensure that the employees are motivated is to arrange for exchange programs where the Imperial Hotel staff visit other hotels in the Star chain. The benefit of such activities is that the staff get to see what other hotels are doing uniquely that they do not do, which challenges them to perform even better.

Another common strategy that the manager can implement is to introduce a system that rewards employees. Due to the diversity of operations of the different departments, every head can be tasked with the responsibility of identifying the best-performing employee. Those who get rewarded are motivated to perform even better in their respective fields, and they get to feel appreciated and recognized for the hard work that they did. Those who do not get chosen feel challenged to perform better and be the best in their departments. As a result, the hotel will record an overall increase in quality services provided which will correspond to high customer satisfaction rates.

The manager should also ensure that the employees take the Guest Satisfaction Survey seriously. He can direct the heads of departments to hold weekly meetings to assess upcoming concerns in their units. As a result, the staff will be updated on the areas where they need to improve on and the areas where more emphasis should be put. Additionally, Peter...

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