A big decision needs to be made around the Hotel. Everybody is looking to you to make that decision; you are anxious that it will impact significantly upon your Hotel and maybe even your career if it goes wrong? … But the Hotel General Manager went on holiday with a clear “do not disturb” notice. What do you do? (read on or watch the video)
How Urgent Really Is the Decision? Is the General Manager’s unavailability really a problem? Or are you worrying about nothing?
Consider the scale of the problem. If it’s a relatively small decision, you’re probably OK to go ahead with what you think is right. But if it’s a big one, start by assessing the urgency of the situation. As my old GM, once recommended, “Don’t make any difficult decisions until action is required. Circumstances might change and you might not have to do what you dreaded.” But, if it cannot wait, prepare yourself to make the decision, but don’t do it just yet.
Are you Experienced Enough? Your ability to make the decision depends on your experience. Perhaps you’ve been at your Hotel a long time and are familiar with how your General Manager thinks. If so, you’ll likely to feel comfortable and confident making decisions while he or she is away.
Alternatively, you might be new to the Hotel and feel completely unready to make the decision. (Although you might find that your “newness” protects you from any consequences of a bad decision?)
What would normally happen in your Hotel? Don’t forget to take your Hotel’s culture into consideration, too. Your Hotel may have a culture that aims to empower its staff? If this is the case, you’ll likely feel more positive about making high-level decisions on your own.
What are the Costs and Benefits? Whilst money may not be the biggest issue in many decisions, it’s an important factor to consider in most. How does your decision affect your Hotel’s finances? What resources will you need to make your decision? What would this decision cost in terms of time?
Think about the risks linked with your options. What’s the safest decision? What’s the riskiest one? Are there any steps you could take to minimize the risk of that option? And then, on the other side, what are the potential rewards of each option? Sometimes the extra risk is worth the reward.
Who can Help You? Whoever said you must decide on your own? Why not ask your senior colleagues? An Accountant or a Human Resources specialist? Or contact a Manager in another Hotel if you are part of a larger business? Getting their advice will help you to weigh up those costs and benefits of the situation and earn support for your final decision. It could also help if a decision “goes bad”.
If you discuss your thoughts with your colleagues (particularly those with a lot of experience) you may even learn something that will have a significant impact on your choice.
Do Not Fear Making the Decision Above all, don’t let fear of decision making hold you back. Showing your Manager that you can think through decisions clearly and objectively could improve your reputation. It will also demonstrate to your General Manager that you’re strategically focused and capable of taking on extra responsibilities.