Principles of Housekeeping Management

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Executive housekeepers today recognize the need for a clear understanding and successful application of management principles. They may, however, feel overwhelmed by the many terms in the field of scientific management, both from the past and in the present. It is important for executive housekeepers to be familiar and comfortable with these terms and principles, since there is no department within the hospitality industry in general, and hotels in particular, that will provide a greater opportunity for applying management skills.          
To help you understand the concept of management, we present an ordering of the management process as developed by R. Alec Mackenzie.20 Building on the works of Fayol, he created a three-dimensional illustration relating the elements, continuous and sequential functions, and activities of managers. Refer to Figure 1.1, Mackenzie’s diagram, when reading the following material.         

According toMackenzie, the elements with which today’s managers work are ideas, things, and people. These are the main components of an organization and are in the center of the figure. The manager’s task that is related to ideas is to think conceptually about matters that need to be resolved. The task related to things is to administer or manage the details of executive affairs. The task related to people is to exercise leadership and influence people so that they accomplish desired goals.         

The functions of a manager can be thought of as continuous functions and sequential functions. Many times a question may be asked: ‘‘But what does the manager do?’’ The manager should be seen to do several continuous functions, as well as several sequential functions.           
The continuous functions relating to ideas and conceptual thinking are to analyze problems.
Those related to things and administration are to make decisions, and those related to people and leadership are to communicate successfully. Problems are analyzed, facts gathered, causes learned, alternative solutions developed, decisions made, conclusions drawn, communications generated, and understanding ensured.           
The sequential functions of management are more recognizable as a part of the classical definition of management. They involve the planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling of ideas, things, and people. Mackenzie sets forth various activities in each of these sequential functions that should be studied and recalled whenever necessary.        

According to Mackenzie, a manager’s sequential functions are divided into five areas—planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.            

The management plan involves seven basic activities:         
1. Forecasting : Establishing where present courses will lead         
2. Setting objectives: Determining desired results          
3. Developing strategies: Deciding how and when to achieve goals         
4. Programming: Establishing priorities, sequence, and timing of steps         



5. Budgeting : Allocating resources         6. Setting procedures: Standardizing methods          7. Developing policies: Making standing decisions on important recurring matters           Organizing            Getting organized involves arranging and relating work for the effective accomplishment of an objective. Managers organize by making administrative or operational decisions. The four activities involved in getting organized are as follows:          1. Establishing an organizational structure: Drawing up an organizational chart           2. Delineating relationships: Defining liaison lines to facilitate coordination           3. Creating position descriptions: Defining the scope, relationship, responsibilities, and authority of each member of the organization           4. Establishing position qualifications: Defining the qualifications for people in each position            Staffing             The third sequential function, staffing, involves people. Leadership now comes into play, and communication is established to ensure that understanding takes place.          There are four activities:          1. Selecting employees: Recruiting qualified people for each position           2. Orienting employees: Familiarizing new people with their environment          3. Training : Making people proficient by instruction and practice          4. Developing : Improving knowledge, attitude, and skills        Directing         The first three sequential functions of management—planning, organizing, and staffing—might be performed before an operation gets under way. The last two sequential functions—directing and controlling—are carried out after the operation has begun or is in process.As with other managerial relationships involving people, leadership is accomplished through communication.In the directing of operations, there are five basic activities:         1. Delegating : Assigning responsibility and exacting accountability for results            2. Motivating : Persuading and inspiring people to take a desired action           3. Coordinating : Relating efforts in the most efficient combination            4. Managing differences: Encouraging independent thought and resolving conflict        5. Managing change: Stimulating creativity and innovation in achieving goals            Controlling            The final sequential function of management is to control organizations and activities to ensure the desired progress toward objectives. There are five basic activities in the controlling of operations:           1. Establishing a reporting system: Determining what critical data are needed            2. Developing performance standards: Setting conditions that will exist when key duties are well done         3. Measuring results: Ascertaining the extent of deviation from goals and standards        4. Taking corrective action: Adjusting plans, counseling to attain standards, replanning, and repeating the several sequential functions as necessary     5. Rewarding: Praising, remunerating, or administering discipline

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