Is that really what you pay your hotel staff to do?

This morning my husband was complaining that his boss had emailed him to ask to look up some information that was readily available to him. It was just easier to ask someone else, rather than go and look it up for himself.

Are you ever guilty of this?

  • You pay your head chef a head chef’s salary, and then have them making you tea
  • You pay your head housekeeper a head housekeeper’s salary, then have them moving furniture
  • You employ a maintenance man and then ask your duty manager to check the boiler when it starts playing up
  • You’ve paid good money to have a computer system installed but then ask someone to run the numbers manually

Quite apart from being frustrating to those you ask to do the task, how do those people feel who are responsible for maintenance or moving furniture. Do they want others interfering with their job? And why waste money on computer software and then not use it?

So why does this happen?

  • In the case of my husband’s boss, it was lack of confidence on his part to use the IT system
  • Sometimes it’s a question of the person being in the wrong place and the right time (or vice versa), so you ask whoever is nearest
  • Or maybe you don’t trust your junior staff to carry out the tasks. And if this is the case, why not? Wrong person in the job, lack of training, lack of confidence?

But are your managers and supervisors also guilty of doing tasks themselves that should be done by someone paid less, or someone or something (e.g. computer) who can do the job more efficiently?

  • Is it because your supervisors, managers and heads of department don’t have enough to do? I doubt it; more likely they don’t know what else they should be doing, so get involved in others jobs
  • Is it because nobody’s role is clearly defined with job descriptions so there are no clear boundaries of who is responsible for what?
  • Is it due to an inability to delegate, believing it’s quicker to do tasks themselves?
  • Is it because they’ve never been trained in the IT systems, or don’t understand what the information tells them
  • Is it that they simply don’t have the right people in place to delegate to?

Yes, I’m all for multi skilling and helping out when fellow team members need it, but just think what they are not doing when they are doing other people’s jobs. And when you take them off these other tasks who picks these up? They either: end up being covered by someone less skilled, don’t get done at all, or you end up doing them yourself…..

 I’ll be talking more about getting the best from your team to Give Your Hotel a Competitive Edge in my tele seminar series starting on Monday 5th July. You can register here.

Caroline Cooper

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2 thoughts on “Is that really what you pay your hotel staff to do?

  1. Paul White

    On the flip side we all have to multi-task at times and a good manager uses everyone’s skills when necessary to get the job done.

    In a small business everyone helps out to move furniture and it works as a good team bonding exercise. I believe that no one is above making tea and a happy work force is one where people do things that aren’t 100% in their remit and they gain respect from other staff members for being flexible and helpful.


  2. Caroline Cooper Post author

    Hi Paul

    Yes, I quite agree, no one should be above helping out and mucking in when needed, whether that’s moving furniture, making the tea, or any other task.
    Just struck me though this morning how irritating it is for anyone to be asked to do something that is so clearly not their job, and stopping them getting on with what they are paid to do, specially when the information could easily have been sourced first hand. (Sadly in this case it happens all too often…!)

    Thanks for commenting.

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