Hospitality can be a dynamic, exciting industry to work in, and as the world becomes more globally integrated, hotels will need skilled, talented managers who can cope with a vast array of challenges. Many of these challenges are related to the changing nature of the hospitality industry, while others are those that leaders in many fields have to deal with. Here are five of the biggest challenges facing a hotel manager of the 21st century.
Legal Compliance Legal compliance is one of the biggest challenges facing hotel managers. A single high-profile lawsuit can take down a location and badly damage the reputation of a chain. Laws governing hotel management are many and varied, covering everything from labor practices and guest worker standards to ADA compliance and liability coverage statutes. Therefore, it’s a wise idea for hotel management to consult with attorneys familiar with the relevant legal requirements.
The Changing Nature of the Workforce Another major challenge facing hotel managers, and therefore a consideration for those pursuing a hotel management degree, is the changing nature of the workforce. According to Ivey Business Journal, the next generation of workers, the Millennials, are very different from their Baby Boomer predecessors. The upcoming workforce values social connection, giving back to the community, freedom to pursue their ideas, and feedback from management. Unless hotel managers incorporate these values, they will struggle with worker dissatisfaction and high turnover.
Technological Innovation A third potential challenge facing hotel managers is the rapid pace of technological innovation. In an age of laptops, tablet computers and smartphones that can do just about anything, customers of the hospitality industry expect readily-available, affordable WiFi. They also expect to be able to book online and do other hotel-related tasks on whatever device they happen to own. Management must therefore provide the expected amenities and keep pace with innovation in order to ensure web-based features work on a wide range of devices.
Emerging Markets Another challenge concerns the changing nature of the hospitality market. Historically, the largest markets for hospitality, especially with regard to international travelers, has been North America and western Europe. That is changing. East Asia and the Middle East are expected to experience unprecedented growth over the next few decades, and successful managers will have to be prepared to meet the needs of a new base of customers. Economic Pressures
A final consideration for hotel managers is the challenge of economic pressure. For many potential customers, travel is a luxury item. This often leads to lowered profits during economic downturns. Successful managers will have to resist the pressure to skimp on brand management and employee loyalty. In-service training is crucial to a hotel’s ability to weather storms and should have a prominent place on the budget.
Bio: Mike writes on a number of topics but his main focus is on search, social and content marketing. Mike is an accomplished public speaker and presents frequently on advertising and internet marketing topics.When not at work, you’ll find Mike out hiking or fly fishing.