It is 2:00PM on a Monday. Sarah, the sales person, has decided she needs some caffeine so has stepped away from her desk. Her phone rings but nobody is there to answer it. Her co-workers don’t answer it either. They’re not in Sales. The phone rings again a few minutes later. Sarah isn’t back yet so it doesn’t get answered. Then, the phone rings in the GM’s office. It’s the same customer who has an emergency and is now angry because nobody would answer his call.
I found a great definition for functional silos.
“A functional silo exists when the business processes of a functional unit…focus inwardly on their functional objectives. This becomes problematic when the direction of focus creates barriers that do not serve a reasonable business purpose and negatively impacts the unit’s ability to serve their role in the broader mission of the organization.” 1
What exactly does that mean? Employees work for the goals of their department-only. You cannot blame them. This is how they’ve been instructed. Many do not even know the goals of the organization. Many times they’re not passed down through the ranks.
How can you make your hotel a customer focused organization?
- Align the goals of the departments with the goals of the hotel and then communicate this overall vision to the organization. For example, if a goal of the hotel is to increase scores by 10% then it is important that each department collaborate on how they can strive toward this same result. It is equally as important that the same department learn how their new goals affect the other units. Two departments may be required to join forces in order to be successful.
- Allow staff to experience how other departments work. Now, don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not suggesting that the maintenance person take over as CFO for a day. However, if Sales experienced a day in the life of the Food and Beverage department she might have a better understanding on how they work and can set better expectations with a potential new customer who wants to serve food at his group function.
- Reward staff based on the success of the hotel. The wisdom in this is everybody has the same end result in mind. They’ll also require a united front in order to reach their collective goal. The departments will need to work together to ensure success is attained for all. Additionally, give every person in every department the opportunity to reap the benefit. The accountants work as hard as the sales people-just in a different capacity. If you exclude them, resentment will ensue.
- Assign staff to entire processes. For example, make one individual responsible for group reservations. Once a party is on the calendar hand that event off to an individual who will be responsible for the entire experience. This staff person will coordinate with F&B, housekeeping and operations to ensure the customer’s needs are met and their event exceeds their expectations.
Taking action on these 4 steps will increase staff morale and retention which reduces expenses. They will also bring your hotel closer to its goals which will increase revenue. The enhanced customer experience will improve your scores. Good luck and now you’re in the know!
For more information and to receive a FREE copy of my special report “5 Massive Mistakes Hotels Make that Cost Money” go to my website www.bpenow.com.