The 2020 pandemic has affected the world in more than one way, especially in terms of communication within a business setting. The world saw a complete halt in effective collaborations, and people were more disconnected than ever. Teams that generally worked relatively harmoniously in person were left at the mercy of zoom and emails.
In fact, between 2019 and 2020, Professor Tiona W. Zuzul at the Harvard Business School, along with 11 other researchers, studied over 360 billion emails across 1.3 billion accounts of 4361 organizations. They discovered a significant increase in business silos in the year 2020.
Eventually, people found their way out of the rut to some extent. However, bottlenecks persist as more and more companies shut down their physical offices and go fully remote. After all, as technologically dependent as we are, some things are best done in person.
Nevertheless, there are ways to bridge the gap – especially in the hotel industry. Let’s dive in to understand how silos can affect us and how we can overcome the challenges attached to them.
Understanding silos in the past
Discussing the past is less than effective in an era that is rightly termed the digital revolution. After all, the earlier hotel chains rarely utilized any technology. However, it is crucial to observe the differences, especially the importance of the different stakeholders and how it has evolved. In fact, Silos existed in the past, too, even without a global pandemic to trigger their offshoot.
Most notably, the revenue manager role has seen a rather meek existence in the past. The earliest hotel chain systems had no concept of a revenue manager. Traditionally, data collection and processing took long hours and caused many issues for the team.
Later, even when the revenue manager role was introduced, the pertinent idea was that a revenue manager is a person who sits in the basement, away from the rest of the team members. They had little to do with day-to-day operations. Moreover, they only reported to higher-ups, such as the sales director.
These ideas do not exist anymore. Revenue managers are at the center of a lot of the commercial aspects of the business. Read along to know more about the evolution of the revenue manager’s role.
Role of the revenue manager
As discussed above, silos have existed for a long time, albeit in smaller numbers and at a more manageable level. With the pandemic coming into effect, these silos have increased in number, and things such as data transparency have taken a backseat.
At this juncture, revenue managers can step in and take over the discussions surrounding the commerciality of an organization.
Today, every stakeholder is on a more equal footing. Hence revenue managers don’t just report to the higher-ups anymore. Moreover, they have become the driving force behind any organization – whether they operate from a revenue management center or the hotel site.
Revenue managers are responsible for identifying opportunities that aid the hotels in receiving the most effective business. They also engage with the sales and marketing teams to adopt holistic approaches in terms of the commercial aspect of the company.
Commercial strategies to bridge silos
Despite the existence of silos previously, the pandemic has forced organizations to really evaluate where their organizational framework stands today. Owners and majority stakeholders have requested the implementation of things such as:
- Cost-cutting across departments
- A shift from focusing on revenue to commercialism
1. Using communication tools that encourage collaboration
Today, newer collaboration software molded especially for businesses is finding its way into the mainstream quicker than ever. Thus, companies can consider investing in one of these communication tools.
Using messaging platforms like Slack or Teams can also offer a space for employees to communicate with those not in their immediate vicinity. Internal social media networks like Yammer, Workplace, or Google Workspace can help foster a feeling of community.
Some software is especially beneficial for facilitating cross-functional collaboration by allowing staff to access data from outside their department. Therefore, whether personnel from various departments could work together on a new project is worth considering. This provides for a degree of openness that has the potential to tear down walls and bridge silos.
Moreover, using a tool especially fashioned to serve the hotel industry, such as RateGain, can be especially helpful in solving the problem of tracking KPIs that point towards:
- Customer acquisition and retention
- Revenue maximization
2. Encouraging collaboration training
There are numerous business training options, including those that encourage employees to learn new communication techniques. This promotes better team collaboration.
Training experts are typically interested in deciphering why groups communicate with one another in the manner that they do. They question employees’ assumptions about others as well as their views about the company’s culture.
Some organizations will attempt to “reprogram” employees’ interpersonal abilities. They will assist them in being more tolerant of their colleagues.
This encourages folks with a silo mindset to think about the sentiments of others who are not in their silo. While costly, if the siloing is severe, it may be the best option for developing overall empathy and removing divides.
3. Connecting people via a common goal
One of the issues with communication silos is the existence of competing interests. Employees are split into different groups when they would not otherwise be. And there is no issue with it. However, striving for an overarching purpose that promotes the company’s greater interests is critical.
The best strategy to promote cohesiveness among employees is to connect them to a company goal. Employees should be encouraged to communicate on something that characterizes the company as a whole.
Another option is for the marketing division to draft an internal manifesto. This fosters a shared understanding of what the organization represents and what it aspires to achieve. It can help keep staff engaged and help them visualize their contributions to the organization.
The road ahead
The inevitability of business evolution is apparent in the way business silos have transformed from the days before a revenue manager. Siloing was among the foreseeable changes that the hotel industry would witness. With the dawn of the pandemic, the process has only accelerated.
But today, we own the resources to fill this divide and create a stronger workplace. The revenue manager is the new commercial manager who leads the discussions on how hotels can maximize profits. And not just in terms of rooms and F&B, but also in terms of cost of acquisition.
They have gone from looking at segments to focusing on segment channels to drive and maximize the opportunities deciphered thanks to revenue managers. The other teams use these insights to develop goals that can help one central goal – driving profits for the organization.
Not only that, business communication tools, collaboration training staff, and even creating a manifesto can help remove firmer silos. This can encourage an environment of camaraderie and togetherness. However, the one foolproof way to find the right footing in such a scenario is by adopting a tool such as RateGain – a software specialized for bridging gaps in the hotel industry.