Regardless of the size, quality, or culture of your Hotel, if you want to succeed as a Hotel Operations Manager, you should strive to avoid the following “management don’ts” (read on or watch the video):

Don’t ask Hoteliers to do anything unethical. Don’t put your employees into situations where it’s hard for them to do the right thing. Never ask them to do poor work, ignore a defect, lie on a report, or mislead others. Stand by your employees. Be principled and committed to the Hotel.

Don’t lie. Don’t distort the truth, withhold information, or make things up—even if it’s for a good reason. Aim for transparency: if you keep employees in the dark they won’t trust you. When something isn’t working out, say so. When things are going well, let people know.

Don’t write a policy every time somebody makes a mistake People make mistakes. Sometimes people make big mistakes. It’s usually a one-time error. Get over it. Have a productive conversation about what went wrong and what problems it caused. Make it a learning moment.

Don’t make people choose between their families and the Hotel. When you refuse to be flexible, people violate policies. Instead, put humanity into decisions – if an employee has a close relative die let them attend the funeral – let them be at the hospital when their baby is born without having to worry about losing their job?

Don’t spy on your employees. Don’t follow your staff using cameras, computer equipment, or by following them around to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing and not violating any policies. Instead teach and nurture the principles of commitment and trust. But deal with violations.

Don’t be a pest. Don’t delegate tasks and then micromanage the person by constantly checking up on them, and don’t be in a rush to take away responsibilities as soon as there’s a problem.  Instead, empower people to succeed. Delegate responsibilities while explaining training on the “how?,” “what?,” and “why?”

Don’t hide behind the Hotel Policy when you have to be tough. If a Hotel policy makes sense, stand by it and explain why. If you believe something is unreasonable – say so. If you feel an employee’s request for an exception is reasonable, take a stand, provide the reasons behind your decision, then stick by it.

Don’t threaten people. Using threats and intimidation in any form is a sign of a weak Hotel Manager. An effective Operations Manager knows how to build their teams and develop individual commitment. You can discuss accountabilities and consequences, both positive and negative, without making threats.

And, finally Don’t demand the impossible. Don’t force your Hotel Workers and Managers to do a physically, mentally or psychologically impossible task just because your unreasonable General Manager pushed it onto you. Find ways to manage the demand – then provide the resources and support your staff needs to meet and even exceed commitments.

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