A day in the life of A Director Of Rooms focuses on people, both guests and employees. One of the first things I do in the morning is walk around the departments that are my responsibility: front desk, concierge, communications, valet parking, door attendants, bell desk, health spa, housekeeping, laundry, and valet. It is important to be visible with the staff we depend on to provide a superior level of service to all of our guests. Knowing who they are and what they are facing each day makes a big difference in how they carry out their job.
Every morning, we have an operational meeting to review how we are going to take care of our guests, the other key component in hospitality. This meeting is attended by a wide range of managers: the general manager, hotel manager, all of the planning committee (including the director of human resources), housekeeping, conferences services, sales managers, and catering managers. The entire day is laid out, reviewing the expected arrivals for the day from the VIPs to return guests, guests with pets, guests with special dietary requirements or mattress firmness.We discuss these to ensure the requirements are met in advance.We also include in the discussion all catering functions and any other movement of individuals en masse.
In our effort to provide a high-quality experience, we also discuss any glitch or poor experience any of our guests may have experienced. Our concern is not whose fault the glitch was but rather how can we make the stay better for our guest and prevent it from happening to any of our other guests. If the city decides to jack hammer at 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday, it may not be directly our fault, but it is certainly our guests who have been inconvenienced.We will do a followup with the guest to explain what we know, offer a new room if appropriate, and ascertain their overall happiness with their visit.
We have a number of other meetings to keep the communication going. Our weekly meetings include planning committee, group resume, and rooms division. Every other week we hold a department head meeting. As mentioned, we hold the care of our employees to be as important as taking care of our guests. One of the ways we do this is by being prepared to work alongside them when business levels suddenly peak.We do our best to staff at appropriate levels, but sometimes everything hits at once.We call these crunches and respond with an all-page for assistance to the area in need.The management response is incredible; from our general manager on down, we get the assistance we need to help in valet parking, bell desk, front desk, room service, and so on. This is an excellent example of the teamwork at our hotel making an impact on the morale of the staff.
Walking around the hotel and checking in with staff is an important communication tool. Employees develop a comfort level for raising concerns about their jobs. It is equivalent to bringing the open-door policy to employees in their work area. Issues have been brought to my attention in this format such as conflicts with coworkers, questions about paychecks, suggestions to improve a work procedure, and requests for assistance in following up with maintenance concerns.
Hiring new staff is another crucial role in day-to-day activities. Our interviewing process involves a screening by HR, an interview with the department head, an interview with the division head, and final approval from a meeting with the hotel manager or general manager. We attempt to be as flexible as possible when it comes to making time to interview these candidates. If the right candidate comes through the door, we make every effort to free our schedule so we can keep the interview process moving.
Balancing the needs of our guests and employees requires flexibility.There is no typical day in our business, which is one of the reasons I enjoy my job. I face a new challenge every day.