General, Operations or Hotel Manager?

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by Joanna Psomopoulou, Business Development Manager | Workathlon

In any organization in general, despite the sector, good leadership encourages growth and success, fosters cooperation, and helps the team move forward. Effective leadership makes the process easier and produces results. For this reason, the positions of General Manager, Operations Manager and Hotel Manager are considered to be important keys to a hotel’s performance. But what is the nature of the job of these 3 positions that make them so crucial for the business?

Before starting to explain each position separately, let’s clarify that it is rare, or better, impossible for all three positions to be met in a single hotel as their tasks will be overlapped. Depending on the hotel’s size, ownership and type of management, a hotel company has either a Hotel Manager or an Operations Manager. In the case of a large hotel, there will be a combination of a General Manager with an Operations or Hotel Manager. 

So, let’s first find out more about the position of the General Manager!

What does a General Manager do?

General managers are responsible for taking care of the financial needs and finding ways to improve the performance of an organization. Some of their main tasks are to review financial statements, sales and activity reports along with other performance data to measure productivity and goal achievement, to direct and coordinate organization’s budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments and increase efficiency, as well as to determine areas needing cost reduction and program improvement.

They also supervise all the operations of the business. Administrative services, human resources, operations, sales & marketing, accounting,  policies & procedures are just some areas which General Managers oversee. Their role is to establish and implement departmental policies, goals, objectives, and procedures, conferring with board members, organization officials, and staff members as necessary. They must have exceptional communication and leadership skills to motivate employees and create a successful business. 

Job responsibilities of a General include:

  • Hiring managers
  • Business planning for the organization
  • Budgeting Activities
  • Leading various departments
  • Direct and oversee Sales & Marketing Activities
  • Implementing procedures and policies

General Managers are also the point of contact with the owners, since the need for a General Manager occurs when hotel ownership is not actively involved in the management while the size of the hotel is considerably big. 

What does an Operations Manager do?

Operations Managers are in charge of other managers to ensure that the daily operations of an organization run efficiently. They help to develop different strategies so the hotel increases its performance while proving  great leadership skills to supervise the managers of different operational departments. They ensure that all departments meet deadlines – that’s why they must have good time – management skills.

With the help of human resources, an Operations Manager has the responsibility of recruiting, training and selecting candidates. When human resource department is in charge of recruiting, Operations Manager ensures that the quality of organizational training is at a certain (high) level. An Operations Manager may also participate in the evaluation of employees performance and their feedback review.

Another important role of this position is that of the communication link between the General Manager and the staff. Reviewing and monitoring the staff performance while directing them to the company goals is the mission of an Operations Manager. As a result, they need strong decision – making skills in their management procedures.

Job responsibilities of an Operations Manager include:

  • Supervising daily operations in their assigned area
  • Managing staff, preparing work schedules & assigning specific duties
  • Ensuring staff is following company policies
  • Checking that projects are completed on time
  • Providing customer service
  • Creating a safe working environment

Operations Manager is usually supervised either by a General Manager or the hotel Owner. An Operations Manager is not  involved with the financials of the Hotel. The General Manager or the ownership communicates to the Operations Manager the goals that need to be achieved for a specific period of time. Then, Operations Manager is responsible to lead and supervise managers in the day-to-day operations in order to increase the efficiency of the business and bring the desired results. Operations Manager is also the person responsible for the hotel while the General Manager is away. 

What does a Hotel Manager do?

The roles and responsibilities of a Hotel Manager are similar to these of a General Manager in many ways, but there is an important difference. The position of a Hotel Manager is always accompanied with a member or a committee board that is actively involved in the hotel management, creating budgeting plans, and directing him/her. This is not the case when it comes to a General Manager.

At the same time, while the roles of a Hotel and an Operations Manager are kind of similar, their responsibilities differ. A Hotel Manager is responsible for all aspects of the company, while an Operations Manager is responsible for the aspects of operations within the hotel. Hotel managers’ main task is to achieve efficient strategies for the profit and financial growth of the company. Hotel Managers are not only supervising the day-to-day operations but also monitor and review financial statements, sales and activity reports to ensure that they effectively and efficiently provide needed services while staying within budgetary limits. 

A Hotel Manager works closely not only with the Operating departments but also with the finance, human resources, sales & marketing departments. Moreover, Hotel Managers likewise to the Operations Managers, maintain discipline among the employees and motivate them to improve their output,while dealing with the queries and grievances of hotel guests related to the services offered.

Job responsibilities of a Hotel Manager include:

  • Reviewing financial statements, sales and activity reports, and other performance data
  • Supervising the daily operations in their assigned area
  • Leading & cooperating all hotel departments
  • Manage staff, preparing work schedules & assigning specific duties
  • Chalk out efficient strategies to improve performance
  • Ensuring staff is following company policies
  • Checking that projects are completed on time
  • Providing customer service
  • Creating a safe working environment

In conclusion, it is important to mention that each hotel company may have its own structure and contextualization. In this way, each company interprets the tasks and responsibilities of the above-mentioned positions differently. This article was just a generalized idea of how the positions of the General Manager, Operations Manager and Hotel Manager can be distinguished. We hope we helped clarify not only their similarities but also their differences!

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