A hotel organizational structure is a comprehensive plan by a hotel owner to define departmental activities and responsibilities. This structure brings order to every aspect of hotel operation from the front desk and room service to the human resources department. Hotel organizational structures are necessary to ensure maximum profitability from each room, restaurant and bar on a daily basis. Your hotel can run efficiently if it creates an organizational structure that is easy to understand.
A hotel's organizational structure is useless without an initial listing of organizational objectives. These objectives address internal and external affairs for the hotel so that the goals it sets forth can be achieved by appropriate personnel. An internal objective for a hotel may be weekly meetings between department heads to communicate operational problems. External objectives within a hotel organizational structure may include recruitment goals for seasonal staff and variable pricing for weekdays and weekends. You can work with a hotel consulting firm such as HVS Hotel Management to establish short- and long-term objectives from the start.
Span of Control
The term "span of control" is used to describe the chain of authority in a hotel organizational structure. A hotel using a wide span of control requires every department to report to the general manager directly. Hotels using narrow spans of control delegate management authority to assistant managers, department heads and supervisors for day-to-day problems. A small hotel is likely to use a wide span of control because the general manager may be on site every day. National and international chains use narrow spans of control to address hotel issues immediately as owners or general managers are not able to cover each hotel.
Defining Department Responsibilities
The five departments that are listed in a hotel organizational structure are Rooms; Food and Beverage; Human Resources; Marketing; and Accounting. The Rooms department handles customer service including laundry, housekeeping and reservations. F&B is responsible for running room service, bar and restaurant operations. The Human Resources department is asked to handle employee recruitment, training and benefits, and Accounting oversees the hotel ledger. The Marketing department is given the responsibility of selling ad space in hotels and running promotions.
Organizational Flow Chart
The size of your hotel will determine the size and nature of your organizational flow chart. A small hotel with a handful of employees may feature a two-level chart with the owner at the top and lines connecting to maintenance, reservations and housekeeping. A chain hotel must insert additional layers of management including an executive board and regional managers, which expands the flow chart to at least four layers. An organizational flow chart can be as general as a simple departmental overview or focused on position-by-position relationships throughout the hotel.
Job Definition and Responsibilities
Your hotel should define each job title carefully after completing its organizational flow chart. Each job should be listed alphabetically within each department and include a brief summary of job responsibilities. A comprehensive list of job responsibilities for each position title should be included in an organization structure. This list is used by human resource managers for recruitment ads and employee evaluations within your hotel. Your hotel's employees understand what they need to get done each day if they have access to narrowly defined job responsibilities.
- HVS Hotel Management: Hotel Asset Management
- "Hotel Management and Operations"; Michael J. O'Fallon and Denney G. Rutherford; 2010
Nicholas Katers has been a freelance writer since 2006. He teaches American history at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis. His past works include articles for "CCN Magazine," "The History Teacher" and "The Internationalist" magazine. Katers holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in American history from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, respectively.