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Some issues Thai hotel owners have with their managers!
Home Business Management
By: Klaus Rauter Email Article
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Our previous articles did focus on hotel owners and investor’s shortcomings, their habits and mistakes. This article I like to focus on the shortcomings of some general managers. A general manager is a leading position that can lead to either failure or success.

The below are some of the comments we get from hotel owners and investors when they are talking to us about their hotel manager or general manager here in Thailand.

We trust that you see our articles as a benefit for hoteliers, owners and investors at all times. However, knowing the industry well, I foresee that this article might well trigger lots of comments.

However, we all have to be open-minded and accept that there are also managers, not only owners and investors, who are in-capable and who take advantage of others and abuse their authorities. We also have to accept that some managers have even shortcomings in ethics and personal values.

The below did actually happen!

• The Manager and Suppliers One manager I got to know of one general manager who never stopped recommending certain suppliers and it was found that he did receive commission on the sale of utensils, equipments and other goods from at least two of the supplier he recommended. Commission and leader is like "water and oil" in term of ethical practices! Leadership style has a problem if this subject is rumored, raised, discussed.

• Sales and Marketing At least twice -as I know, the appointed opening general manager who has also been in charge for sales and marketing of two small scale resorts did cheat the owners with room revenues from travel agents. As the resorts were in the pre-opening stage, the resort owners have not yet set up the proper company accounts. The un-ethical managers did give their own bank account numbers to agents for payments. In one case, the damage was over 5 Million Thai Baht!!

• Entertainment and Complimentary All too often the manager entertains people who don’t bring any benefit for the business. Complimentary room nights for friends, lots of dinners and drinks for buddies are given! Some managers did argue about that and say the privilege to entertain friends and others come with the position. I do not agree! If this benefit is not written in a contract or on a approved benefit list, the manager should be a sample to other managers and show most ethical behavior. In my opinion it is not acceptable to have 2000-3000 us$ entertainment bill for friends who don’t bring any benefit to the business.

• The Manager only sits in the office. Yes, this disturbs many owners. I do not disagree that some ‘office based’ managers in certain operations are very effective indeed. However, for smaller boutique resorts and hotels, no system beat an ‘on the floor’ manager with ongoing staff and guest contact.

• The Manager doesn’t understand the culture! Several times I hear the owners telling me that their manager don’t understand Thai culture. Some owners just want their manager to ‘blend in’ a little more, but the manager don’t want. What owners most comment to me is that their manager never "Wai" (Thai greeting gesture); never smile (important in Thailand); never participate in certain staff activities, never respect certain things like a spirit house.

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©Klaus R. Rauter Managing Director

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