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SMART Performance Criteria for Room Division Manager

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  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1684
  • Category: Goals

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Goal setting is a critical component of planning whether for an assigned work or for a personal endeavor. While goals provide the direction or objective in one’s venture, proper goal setting allows people to be consistently motivated for the realization of such objective. Improper goal setting on the other hand, would render one not achieving anything at all in the long run. In project management, experts have come up with device for assessing and establishing goals for planning and managing projects called SMART.  Smart stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Such device had also been applied for performance management in which goals and targets are set for workers to achieve.  (Capon, 2009)

This paper will attempt to draw a SMART criterion for a Room Division Manager in a Boutique Hotel located in Dubai.  Room Division Managers play a critical role in the hospitality industry because they are responsible for the principal services of a hotel including front office, reservations, housekeeping, concierge and guest services, security and communications.  (Ismail, 2002) Unlike the typical room division manager moreover, this position works in a boutique hotel, which provide highly personalized accommodation and services to an exclusive high end segment of the market that puts high premium on lifestyle and stylishness. (Wöber, 2002) Using the SMART framework, this paper will describe the performance management standards that such position must meet to ensure a high degree of efficiency, integrity, inventiveness, aptitude, sociability, good etiquette and dedication that is par beyond typical hotel requirements for the profession.


Specific means that the objective is definite, comprehensive, focused and well defined. Following the different functions under the command of the room division manager, specific objectives are provided under each general area of his jurisdiction as follows:

Front Office operations:

  • Increase the number of sold guestrooms
  • Improve response time to customer services and requests
  • Create system for providing information (e.g. website) for guests (Wind and Mahajan, 2001)
  • Adopt a computerized information system that will provide data on room statistics, key inventories, customer accounts and financial statements.

Reservation Operations

  • Expedite the process of receiving and processing reservation requests
  • Create and operate a system the provides critical data for processing reservations such as the quantity and types of available rooms, room rates, and other hotel facilities
  • Improve interrelations and coordination of Reservations Department with Sales and Marketing department

Housekeeping Operations

  • Minimize inspection of room cleanliness for availability
  • Speed up cleaning procedures of occupied and vacant rooms
  • Ensure all rooms are spotless and facilities (e.g. linens, towels, soap, etc) are properly replaced.
  • Adopt a proper waste disposal system that adheres to sustainability standards (i.e. recycled, reuse, and reduce)

Uniformed and Concierge Services

  • Ensure consistent availability and quick services for baggage, valet parking, transportation
  • Ensure traffic control in hotel lobby and all passageways by maintaining them free from any obstructions including people
  • Create a network of pertinent services in the area for proper referral and advance arrangements including: restaurant and transportation arrangements, ticketing for shows or airlines, money changer services, escort service, shopping, sporting, or any other related services that guests may require.

Communication Services

  • Improve prompt response to calls especially emergency communications
  • Ensure that all personnel should individual guests by “name”, to reflect a highly personalized service.
  • Ensure that all communications personnel knows how to communicate in Arabic and English with specialization in at least one other dialect from among the target market of the hotel (Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman)

Security Services

  • Ensure safety of customers and their possessions
  • Prevent, and minimize or eliminate occurrences of property losses
  • Implement proper safety and identification procedures while maintaining strict confidentiality


Measurability is the means by which objectives can be gauged through comparison through which progress can be tracked.  Front office operations for instance can be measured by comparing the occupancy statistics or the ratio of rooms occupied and the total rooms available as well as RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room) (Reid and Bojanic, 2009)  In the hospitality industry however, more rooms occupied does not necessarily translate to more revenue.  Especially in the boutique hotel industry, selling rooms at the “right place, at the right time and to the right people” is crucial for improving revenues.  (Wood and Brotherton, 2008)

In which case, aside from the financial measure of revenue increase per available room (RevPAR), a qualitative measure for improved front office operations is the increase in the number of known clientele (wealthy people and known personalities) in the roster of the hotel’s customer account.  In terms of reservations, a decrease in the percentage of no shows and under stays will reflect improvement in reservations.  Finally for the rest of the operations, an improve customer service satisfaction ratings as reflected in satisfaction surveys and reduced number of complaints (of dirty room, lack of parking, etc) are measures of a satisfactory service.  This can also be framed individually in terms of time.  For instance, the time for cleaning and preparing a room should be 15 minutes. Another example of measurability is to reduce the time for responding to a client request to 5 minutes or 10 minutes.


Attainability is the aspect that determines if the goal is doable or reachable.  This is necessary for keeping motivation and the drive to strive high and unswerving among all employees.  Considering the global economic crisis in 2008 and double dip recession that hit Dubai in late 2009, the pressure in the hospitality industry has taken its toll with the rapid decline of tourism and business activities. (Everden, 2010)   An improvement in average occupancy statistics is therefore a rather impracticable goal at this stage.  What is therefore achievable at this point is to generate a statistics that simply reflects recovery from the decline in room occupancy across the hospitality industry during the climax of the crisis.

Moreover, the boutique hotel does not necessary endeavor to generate high room sales. The lesser the customers, the more the hotel can better provide customized or personalized service to the guests.  The general decline of customers makes the improvements in other functions more attainable.  With fewer customers to serve, the goals for improving housekeeping, security, concierge and communications operations are more likely achievable.  For instance, housekeeping can clean more rooms at less time because fewer rooms are occupied and subject for cleaning.  It is afforded more time to attend to cleaning details and other preparations.  Security also becomes more capable to strictly monitor the possessions of customers and it would be easier for more hotel staff to memorize the guest’s name.


Realistic is far deeper than achievable.  Being realistic means having the resources to achieve the goals.  In which case, this pertains to the qualifications and skills to implement the plans and reach target objectives.   For instance considering the target market of the hotel which is comprised by international guests, the rooms division manager must exhibit a geocentric (world oriented) culture. He must be flexible to adapt to the local environment yet maintaining international principles.  A geocentric attitude combines local responsiveness with global integration that fits the ideas of transnational corporation. (Lane, 2004) Because the hotel also targets the GCC market, it would also be ideal that the manager is Arabic so that he is familiar with the culture and appropriate etiquette in dealing with GCC customers.  He should also have the proper schooling, articulateness and finesse to deal with a high end market. In order to seamlessly implement a computerized information system, he must have a background on information systems and revenue management. For purposes of concierges, he must be well familiar or knowledgeable of the in and outs of Dubai.  On the other hand, all other personnel under his command must have the necessary training, skills and equipment to execute their respective duties.

Time Table

The time table refers to the deadline in achieving the set goal. In as much as goals should be realistic and achievable, so too are the deadlines. The time table creates the essential exigency that brings about action. The best schedule for timing improvement in occupancy rates and revenue generation (of front office operations and reservations) is two years which corresponds to two fiscal years of hotel operations.  A monthly and annual report however must be generated to monitor progress and infer and analyze any trending patterns. Two years would be a sufficient time to assess overall performance while the monitoring is needed to evaluate progressive performance

For other service operations like housekeeping, concierge, security and communications, the individual objectives must be fulfilled within six months.  Target for each month increases until goals are successfully fulfilled.  For instance, the target for security and house keeping is to reduce incidence of complaints to nil.  For the first month, complaints should be reduced to 5, for 2nd month to 4 and so and so forth until it reaches zero.  Data of complaints will be used to indentify weak points.  More importantly, data about each customer (needs, requirements, uses, preferences) will be collated in a customer data base so that the hotel can anticipate the needs of returning guests and better customize and personalized its services, which is the essence of the boutique hotel.


Capon, N (2009). Capon’s marketing framework. London: Wessex Publishing

Everden, K (2010). Counting the cost of recession. Arabian Business. ITP Digital Ltd. Retrieved from: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/587450-counting-the-cost-of-recession

Ismail, A. (2002). Front office operations and management. Cengage Learning

Lane, H.W. (2004).  The Blackwell Handbook of Global Management: A Guide to Managing Complexity. Blackwell Publishing, p 175-180

Reid, R. D. and Bojanic, D.C. (2009). Hospitality Marketing Management. 5th edition. John Wiley and Sons

Wind, Y and Mahajan, J. 2001, Digital Marketing: Global Strategies from the World’s Leading Experts, John Wiley and Sons, River St., Ste. 2000. Hoboken, NJ

Wood, R.C. and Brotherton, B. (2008). The SAGE Handbook of Hospitality Management. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Wöber, K.W. (2002). City tourism 2002: proceedings of European Cities Tourism’s international conference in Vienna, Austria. Springer Publications

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