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What are the skills, competencies and knowledge that a hotel manager or department head should have in a post-Covid-19 scenario? What are hotel companies looking for? These and other questions were solved in the webinar “The new profiles of hotel managers in a post-Covid-19 scenario” organized by EUHT StPOL and in which Ferran Hernández, Human Resources Director at Mandarin Oriental Ritz Madrid; Jordi Sala, Human Resources Director at Hotel Arts Barcelona (The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC. Marriott International) and Regina Santamaría, Associate Manager at Michael Page; together with Lluís Serra, General Manager at EUHT StPOL and Eva Canaleta, Academic Director of the institution participated.
The 4 pillars that define a hotel manager
According to Regina Santamaría, Associate Manager at Michael Page, the four pillars that define a managerial profile in the hospitality sector will remain the same, although there will be factors that gain importance such as adaptability and technological knowledge. Which are these four pillars?
- Training and technical knowledge: in addition to languages, that are essential, and a certain amount of experience in the sector, Santamaría points out that “more knowledge of the digital and technological areas will be required”.
- Soft skills: skills and abilities such as the capacity to manage teams, work under pressure, autonomy, leadership… How will it change? The leader or manager will have to be closer to the team in order to motivate them.
- Emotional intelligence: in a post Covid-19 scenario, you will need to be more empathetic with the staff and the client; know how to manage feelings and emotions in a broader level.
- Adaptive capacity: according to Santamaría, this will be a fundamental pillar.
Competences and skills for a future hotel manager
In the webinar, Ferran Hernandez, director of Human Resources at Mandarin Oriental Ritz Madrid, pointed out the new competencies that will be fundamental from now on for directors or department heads in the hospitality sector. In fact, all these competencies relate to people skills and especially:
- Being a good communicator.
- “We will look for leaders that lead teams more closely,” he said. Therefore, in the new scenario, empathy and emotional intelligence will be much more important.
- Have agility in decision making to react in unforeseen cases.
- Having the capacity to adapt to new realities, needs and standards.
Along with the ability to adapt, Jordi Sala, Human Resources Director at the Hotel Arts Barcelona, adds flexibility in teams as a necessary competence for all hotel managers in the new post-Covid-19 scenario.
And Regina Santamaria, highlights creativity and innovation as a key factor to differentiate from the competition. “Creative profiles that provide new ways of doing things and reaching the client will be the most successful,” she predicts.
New positions in the organization charts of hotel companies
“We are entering a new era of leadership,” says Jordi Sala, director of Human Resources at the Hotel Arts Barcelona. The new scenario derived from the Covid-19 will bring, he says, a need for training for the leaders of the hospitality sector, which will allow them to face the change. At the same time, he stresses the importance of “putting people first”, that is, empowering employees to “gain their loyalty, reduce staff turnover and retain them in companies” so that they are the driving force behind change.
According to Sala, some of the new positions that will be created in the organization charts of hotel companies will be linked to
- Reinforcing the prevention of occupational risks: if this does not exist, it will be necessary to create a new position that is dedicated only to this.
- Reinforcing levels of control and supervision of cleaning, both in the housekeeping departments and in all areas of the hotels.
- A new department that its reason of existence will be to have robots that do very determined functions.
Retrieve the WEBINAR “The new profiles of hotel managers in a post Covid-19 scenario” (in Spanish) here: