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Hotel Director of Operations: Top Tips to Run the Show

by | CAREER TIPS

After you become a hotel director of operations, there can be a lot to learn. From managing relationships with vendors to delegating tasks, you will be faced with new responsibilities constantly. You will pick up a lot on the job, but there are definitely some things you can keep in mind to make it easier for yourself.

So, to help you succeed in your new director of operations job, we’ve put together some tips for you to take with you into the role.   

Be active and involved

As you climb further up the career ladder, you will inevitably be faced with more administrative duties. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all of this new paper work. You should implement a system that allows you to handle the new admin work in a timely manner so you have plenty of time to do your most important task: being present in your hotel.

As a director of operations, you have to know your hotel like the back of your hand. You need to understand all protocol and procedures, the way departments collaborate, and what the guest experience is like. A hands-on approach will help you identify potential problems an employee or guest could encounter and solve them before they become an issue. 

The number one concern of any hotel is the customer service. If you are present in the hotel you can interact with guests face-to-face. This allows you to get feedback from them directly that you can use to improve their current stay and that of future guests.

Your constant presence also allows you to set an example for your staff and ensure they are meeting your standards. You will be able to see things that department heads might be missing and suggest ways to improve.

Be a leader not a manager

Your job as a hotel director of operations is to focus on the big picture. While you should definitely be present at the hotel, that doesn’t mean you should be there to micro-manage. If you choose the right people during the hiring process, don’t get in the way of them doing their job.

Hiring a team of managers and departments you can trust is crucial for your success and stress levels. You’ll have the freedom to concentrate on making sure the hotel is running smoothly as a whole if you don’t spend so much time focusing on improving one department or process.  

Any great director of operations knows that their true super power is delegation. Trying to be everywhere all the time is impossible, burns you out and will hurt the hotel. To succeed in this role, you must delegate responsibilities to your department heads and trust that they will deliver.

With responsibilities wisely delegated you’ll be able to look at ways of improving the overall performance of the hotel. This will give you a birds eye view that lets you identify and anticipate issues or opportunities. If you spend all your time micro-managing your staff, you’ll fail them as a leader. 

Become a expert communicator

As a newly hired director of operations, you might find the amount of names in your daily contact list overwhelming. Having previous experience as head of a big hotel department will help but it won’t fully prepare you for all the people you need to check in with.

It’s important to establish open lines of communication with all department heads. Managers should feel comfortable enough to come to you with any problem they need your help with. This also creates a positive rapport where managers will be more likely to suggest improvements.

A good director of operations always keeps their staff in the loop and updated about what’s going on at the hotel. If you make changes to a policy or process, it’s important to communicate those changes in a clear and timely fashion. An internal newsletter is a good way to keep your hotel staff engaged and up-to-date with new developments.

Beyond your staff, you must also communicate with a number of third parties. Vendors, suppliers, contractors, event coordinators–the list goes on. Being an effective communicator will allow you to create genuine connections that lead to fruitful and satisfying business partnerships.

Being a top-level director of operations is hard work but if you’re a steady presence at your property, communicate effectively, and know how to lead a big team, you will find success in the role. If you’re looking for a director of operations job, check out the open opportunities we have available on Hosco today!

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