Account of a Service Experience in the Hotel Industry

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I worked in a metropolitan hotel as my second internship. It located in Harbin, which is my hometown. The owner of this hotel is my uncle and he has run almost ten years with an excellent reputation. I did my first internship in a sushi restaurant in Canada, so I won't get some different experience from my second internship. The position I did is fount desk, which is a great opportunity for me this time. I work seven days per week but I got a 2-day vacation monthly. The hotel provides a free meal and room for me although the wage is quite low (600 per month). I found some problems with this hotel, which is also the problem that most Chinese hotels have.

The Problem with Chinese Hotels

The hotel belongs to a special industry, the basic position mobility is strong and Hotel staff generally low quality. Most people do not have access to training and lack of professional knowledge. This has led to a number of hotel staff unprofessional, guest satisfaction decreased, Lack of mature management mechanisms. Hotel to a large extent to learn from the management mechanism of foreign countries, to a certain extent, with the actual development of the local situation is not in line with, there are certain differences, easy to cause loose management, low efficiency, coordination between departments and departments and other issues, which to a large extent limited the development and operation of the hotel. I have worked in there 2 and half months, first-week training program for new employee but different people come to train me almost everyday. This phenomenon indicates employee instability in hotel.

There is no reasonable standard for hiring staff; so many people with poor quality enter the hotel, affecting the service level of the hotel. The hotel does not have enough understanding of the recruited staff and randomly assigns them to work, which puts them in an inappropriate working environment and affects their ability to play. Enterprises do not pay attention to the training of employees. In order to get a quick return, they directly involve employees in the work. The low working efficiency of employees hinders the development of the hotel. The hotel does not have enough supervision over employees, and employees' negative attitude and wrong work cognition will affect the quality of employees' work. The hotel turns a blind eye to these problems, which further aggravates employees' laziness. The hotel does not give enough evaluation to the staff. It does not see their progress and the leaders do not encourage them. As a result, the staff will gradually become resistant, unwilling to study and unable to gain a sense of achievement from their work.

The hotel industry is much more stressful than other industries, and the long hours and heavy labor are too much for many people. As a service industry, hotels often have some temporary business, which causes employees to work overtime frequently, increasing their workload. In order to improve customer satisfaction with the hotel service, the hotel requires the staff not to quarrel with the customer, which depresses the staff's psychology. Employees are physically and mentally oppressed, which naturally leads to the phenomenon of staff turnover. Hotel employees generally have low salary, insufficient rest time, and less welfare treatment, which is seriously inconsistent with the high-intensity work of employees. Employees are not loyal enough to the hotel. When they encounter a job with higher salary and better welfare treatment, they will often change jobs. Hotels do not pay enough attention to employees, believing that employees are just labor resources. They do not take the demission of employees seriously, believing that there will always be someone to take over the work, which aggravates the loss of employees.

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There are big problems with the management mechanism of the hotel. First Managers have too little power, and most of them are in the hands of the owners, so many small things managers can't make decisions, leading to inefficiency throughout the hotel. This is a very big problem not only in the hotel industry in China, owners have made most decisions but are not involved in the operation of the hotel, all many decisions are not only not timely but also wrong. One day a customer bought a breakfast voucher when he check in. but the front desk gave a breakfast voucher with wrong date, which led to the next day the customer could not eat breakfast in time to claim compensation, but the manager did not have the right to make a decision to pay compensation, 6 hours later owner to give the customer compensation. This makes the customer very dissatisfied and gives the poor rating on the booking. It is not only making customer dissatisfaction but also lost reputation. Second, manager does not really take responsible. Many managers don't play a supervisory role, and many penalties aren't used. Disposable items have become a necessity in China's hotel industry. The waste is particularly evident in the hotel, where the first hotel uses a large number of disposable items, including toothbrushes, soap, and slippers. One-off products can make people easy. This is not environmentally friendly and is a great expense and waste for the hotel itself.

“The rapid development of the hotel industry at the same time produced a lot of waste, more resources quickly into waste. More than 70 percent of soap used in Chinese hotels is thrown away after a single use, and 440,000 hotels in China throw away more than 400,000 tons of soap every year, worth 8 billion Yuan.”(nan 2019) Disposable items can be found everywhere in the hotel. Hotel provides free room and we use disposable everyday here.

I learn a lot from the fount desk. Such as customer service, cooperation with different departments. I found most of the facilities are too old, and poor maintenance. The computer we use at the front desk was in 2002. It is slow and inconvenient. The problem is not only in the fount desk. Other departments also have the same situation. “As technology is improving day by day, there are lots of options available for the hotels in capturing their market space online. But according to a recent survey in the year 2016, almost 70% of the hotels across the world still follow the old marketing practices. Due to poor marketing efforts, sales and brand recognition gets affected to high extent. The current trend denotes that hotels are slowly moving towards OTA marketing and hotel management software to ease the workload and increase ROI.”(Top 10 Problems & Challenges in the Hotel Management Industry 2016)

Hotel industry is a team spirit industry, any guest needs the service cannot be completed by a person to help him. From the moment the guest booked, we began to serve him; from booking to reception to check-in to catering and recreation to checkout which one can not be separated from the department's communication and cooperation. I believe English is one of useful language in the world. But no one can speak English in fount desk. There is no one can communicate with people who do not speak Chinese. How important English in hotel industry? “English is importance for a hotel management, this is because you can easily to get the information or the message from the tourist or the traveler. We also can easily using English to communicate with and can satisfy the demand, need and want from the different kinds of the customers. This is because you understand what is the people said to you so you can clearly to confirm the demand, need and the wants. In the hotel most time is using the English to communication because the English is a international or the official language in the world, sometime some guest want to use the facilities in the hotel such as the spa, the gym, swimming pool, or other facilities in a hotel.” (Importance of English in Tourism Industry 2017)

One day there is a customer wants to check in who come from other country. But I am only one can speak English in fount desk. I was so curious why the hotel front desk doesn't speak English at that time. After that I found that is the problem most Chinese hotel have. Hotel is part of tourism globally. The hotel is developing towards the trend of globalization. Nor are customers just from home. So speaking English is a very basic language to communicate.

How to Solve the Problems

  1. Strengthen personnel training and improve service quality. Talents are the most valuable resources of enterprises. The competition of hotels is the competition of talents, and talents are the root of survival and development of hotels. People-oriented, hotel enterprises in the premise of customer satisfaction needs to be employee-centered, because the quality of service, customer satisfaction and enterprise performance are dependent on the staff, all services are dependent on the staff to deliver.
  2. Management system innovation. Institutional innovation is the necessity of deepening enterprise reform; organizational system innovation is the guarantee of the vitality of enterprise organization. The innovation of enterprise leadership system is the core of enterprise system innovation. The innovation of management system constitutes the main content of enterprise system innovation. Of hotel industry in our country, we must meet the requirements for internal and external environment changes, and their own development needs, the hotel's operation mode, principle, regulation and so on carries on the adjustment and change, develop the hotel operation must post responsibility, rules, regulations and rules, more should establish a set of enterprise long-term development strategic planning, internal management mechanism, strengthen management, and constantly improve, forming stereotypes: strengthen innovation efforts, through the original management mode. Service pattern adjustment, continuously improve the management environment, improve management quality and service quality.
  3. Improve employees' work initiative and appropriately expand employees' rights. Hotel people-oriented corporate culture emphasizes people-centered management, personalized service to employees has brought a lot of challenges.it requires staff carefully, patience, reaction speed, can discover the psychological needs of the customers, which requires employees have high initiative and sense of service.
  4. In order to solve the problem of hotel staff turnover, the first thing to do is to solve the salary problem of the staff, to ensure that the salary and staff efforts are in direct proportion, so that the staff get a reasonable salary. The hotel should first work out the standard salary of the hotel according to the local economic development level and the average salary level of the industry, and then allocate the salary according to the principle of 'more work, more gain', and retain the staff with higher salary to ensure the normal operation of the hotel. For example, there should be a difference between day and night pay, night pay should be higher, and overtime pay should be paid for temporary services. Since the busiest days of the hotel are weekends and holidays, employees have to adjust their salaries when they go to work. Employees should be paid three times of their salaries when they go to work on statutory holidays and double their salaries when they go to work on weekends. In addition, employees' rest can be adjusted to ensure that they get enough rest. The hotel should offer generous benefits to employees, buy insurance for employees, organize employees to travel regularly, hold birthday parties for employees, etc., so that employees can get enough care and volunteer to work in the hotel.

It is very good experience I got from this internship. It makes me feel a lot. Independence is the biggest thing I learned from there. Learning to do one's job without relying on others requires confidence and solid professional skills, so I need to keep learning. Secondly, the internship does not experience life, it also take 3 months. But it's different with summer job. I do not simply work and get paid. It is about being part of the hotel and working closely with colleagues from all departments to maintain the hotel's image and create maximum benefits.

During the internship, we will not be treated with special courtesy because we are still undergraduate students. Just like other employees, we will start from the basic knowledge of the hotel and our own work, and we will not be biased when we do wrong things occasionally. We must finish the things we are responsible for independently. Thirdly, internship is a process to get touch with society. I have a comprehensive understanding of the hotel's organizational structure and business through this internship. I contacted with many different kinds of customer. At the same time I know many friends and co-workers. They let me have a deeper understanding of the society and taught me how to adapt society.

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