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A more inventive way to organize the commercial team in hotels

09 November 2021
Hotels need to enable productive conversations between departments to minimize the harmful effects of working in silos. Instead, take a new approach drawing the organization chart, setting goals, and giving team members access to information and insights.

Before the pandemic, there was a discussion about commercial roles working in silos. As a result, hotel companies experienced a loss of productivity. Often, marketing and revenue made decisions that were only based on their view and not considering the best of the company. The way forward was to think of breaking down the silos and working as a team.

Organize to focus

Hotel companies should organize themselves in a way that supports their strategy. The purpose is to create focus on the most critical things to become successful. There are some significant advantages. One is that focus elevates skill enhancement. The team member will follow the learning curve faster and farther if concentrated on one area of responsibility. Higher skill means higher productivity - more things get done quicker and more accurately. Another advantage is that it focuses resources/investments in a particular area to solve a task or reach a goal. In conclusion, a structure brings focus, elevates skills, concentrates resources, and thereby enhances productivity. It sounds too good to be true, so there are some drawbacks. 

Avoid high walls

Organizational structure also brings walls or silos, we and them, and therefore suboptimization. The importance of a seamless guest experience is lost. Instead, the work becomes focused and chopped up in departments with walls on all sides. Managers and employees thought they did what they were supposed to do and blamed the other department for not getting it right.

Organize for success

No matter how the hotel company organizes itself, there will always be walls somewhere in the organization. The solution is to encourage productive conversations across barriers for people to form the best joint decision for the company and not only for the department. Here are some ideas to enable constructive discussions.

Organize by overlapping circles

A traditional organization chart consists of boxes and strict relationships between the rectangles. There is no overlap between roles, which tends to build even higher walls between departments. Instead, draw the organization chart with overlapping circles. This way, the hotel will acknowledge the areas where there needs to be a productive discussion to reach a better flow and higher results. Circles tend to overlap more than one circle, which resembles the real world more than a traditional chart. There is still a wall somewhere, but departments invite people to parts of their domains and show much more openness to the ideas of others.

Set and align objectives

Even circles have walls, so top management needs to align all team members towards the same vision. Every hotel needs a long-term vision and clear goals on the way for the hotel and each department. Different departments in the hotel will focus on reaching their objectives, so top management needs to secure that all goals are aligned. With aligned goals, every department and team member strives in the same direction. Common and aligned goals will encourage conversations, between departments, on how to improve productivity to reach the goals faster.

Build one system for the team

A conversation based on the same information and insights will be more productive and lead to the best joint decisions for the company. In addition, having easy access to the same data in one system will open communication between departments. Traditionally, many systems used in the hotel industry are specialist systems and, due to high complexity and sophistication, only accessible by well-trained specialists. As a result, stand-alone systems have cemented the silos and made a productive conversation between silos more difficult. Hotels still need specialist systems, but they can feed data and information into a system that is accessible for all team members. With one system, it is possible to track progress towards the overall goals for the hotel and the aligned goals in all departments. As a result, productivity will improve, and profitability will increase.