Hospitality and tourism share common attributes and are associated with similar activities and sometimes overlap. As suggested by People 1st (2006), 14 sub-sector that made up hospitality and tourism industries are
- pubs, bars and night clubs;
- contracts food service providers;
- membership clubs;
- travel services;
- tourist services;
- visitor attractions;
- youth hostels;
- holiday parks
- self-catering accommodation
And within this broad classification of hospitality and tourism sector, there is substantial diversity in the natures of jobs generated and type of person that seems to be attracted to employment in this sector and they are critical to success of this sort of business in the sector. The issues needs to be addressed here is the challenges that hospitality and tourism face in terms of managing the so-called human resource in the organization as they crucial for organizational effectiveness, success, competitiveness and profitability. The aim of this assignment is to understand the challenges faced by the hospital and tourism sector and how hospitality and tourism motivate the staff and make them efficient to deliver a high quality service to the customers. This assignment will cover several areas as following the importance of frontline staff, the role of leadership on overall employee performance, strategies to empower the employees, employee retention benefits and team development.
Importance of frontline employees in high contact hospitality and tourism service encounters
Frontline employees play an important role in hospitality and tourism industry. Claude (2004) explains why such industry is one sector that human element is fundamental to deliver the experience the customers expect. Frontline employees are the persons who usually handle the initial contact between customers and the organization as they can make first impression on visitors and mirror the image of the organization. According to Fitzgerald (2004) if measured by revenue per available room and average daily rate, a hotel's performance relies significantly on the ability to make the frontline staff brand ambassadors. This belief is shared by Hulling (2001), the author claims that according to the Service Research Bureau, 59% of lost business is the result of poor customer service experience. The common scenario is that service personnel are giving visitors a negative experience and driving business away. The point of Hulling's article is that front-line employees have a hard job. They need to be cheerful in order to perform their job to meet clients or visitors satisfied with the service. There seems to be consensus on this explaining how important of Frontline-staff in organizationin terms of they are the keys to making and delivering positive experience to customers or visitors.
Role of Leadership on overall employee performance
Overview of Leadership
There have been a number of theories literatures about leadership and they have been proposed overtime. The common leadership theories are Great Man theory, Trait theory, Behavioral theory, Participative leadership theory, Situational leadership theory, Contingency theory etc. However there seem to be consensus on the concept of leadership. Here I am following the point of McNamara (nd) that leadership in organizations is not only being the most powerful but it has a deeper meaning as a leader is a person who can set, direct and influence employees to follow the direction. The way to direct and influence people can vary and depends on factors as there are various major theories and styles of leadership. Mcnamara (nd) explains the variety styles of leadership that can be identified as following
The Autocrat: the autocratic leader dominates the staffs by using unilateralism to achieve a singular goal. This approach normally leads to passive resistance from the staffs which then require continual pressure and reassure to complete the tasks. Generally this approach may not be considered an appropriate or the good method to acquire the best performance from the staffs. However in some situations whereas the urgent action is needed, the autocratic styles might be the good solution, moreover since most of the people are familiar with this sort of style and some staff might prefer this style as it is straight forward direction, therefore it could generate fewer problem in adopting this approach to use in the organization.
The Laissez-Faire style
The Laissez-Faire leader is somewhat contrary to the Autocratic style as mentioned before as this approach allow leader to have less control over the staffs by letting them sort out their roles and deal with their work by not taking part in the process but leave the staff dealing with hardly any direction. The advantages that can be drawn from this approach is that in some cases, for example it can be effective and useful when the staffs are highly skilled and greatly motivated people and have been doing excellent work therefore stepping back and letting staffs dealing with the job is the best in this situation because the staffs feel they are given trust and this can empower the team-members to achieve the goals.
The leader in democratic style generally makes decision by consulting the subordinate employees, and allow the members to give opinion how the tasks would be handled and decide who will carry out which task. The good point of this style is that the leader can motivate the staffs by allowing them to direct themselves. Besides this approach is needed the most when team agreement matters in some situations such as work that requires quality than productivity. But it seems that there are drawbacks of this approach as the leader can be seen as uncertain and this approach may be difficult to manage when the member have different thoughts and perspectives
Define empowerment, identify and analyse 3 strategies to empower employees
Definition of empowerment abounds and has various definition. There are similarities among those definitions given by many authors. Rappaport (1984) gives definition about empowerment that it is a construct that links individual strengths and competencies, natural helping systems, and proactive behaviours to social policy and social change. While Perkins and Zimmerman (1995) explain that empowerment involves participation with others to achieve goals, efforts to gain access to resources, and some critical understandings of socio-political environment are basic components of the construct. They also mention the empowerment framework includes organizational processes and structures that enhance member participation and improve goal achievement for the organization. While other authors made their definition around theories of empowerment. The following point can be brought out from Heathfield's work is that there are important principles for managing people which enable them to be empowered, productive and contributing to an organization. A number of different approaches are mentioned in heathfiled's article.
Demonstrate that you value them:
As the manager, your expression, your body language or what you say to sub-ordinates can have an impact on them in terms of building motivation and morale. Demonstrate that the company value the employee as a human being should always be able to be seen. Heathfield's point of view is that feeling valued by their employer in the organization is important as it results in high employee motivation and morale and this leads most people to liking the work. Building high employee motivation and morale is both challenging and yet supremely simple. In order to do it, the employee should get attention every day to profoundly meaningful aspects of the impact on life at work. For example the arrival of the manager can have impact on sub-ordinates staff as it can build positive motivation for the day. On the other hand, the staff could be left with negative feeling all day if the manager they meet in the morning is stressed-out and treats other staff abruptly.
Share Leadership vision with employees:
The organization should make the staff feel that they are part of organization or part of something more important than themselves by sharing mission, vision and ensure that they can access to the organization's strategic plans. The company needs to establish the framework that consists of value statement, mission statement, value statement, and goals with action plans for employees. Heathfield (nd) states that "vision statement is s a statement about what your organization wants to become. It should resonate with all members of the organization and help them feel proud, excited, and part of something much bigger than themselves. A vision should stretch the organization's capabilities and image of itself. It gives shape and direction to the organization's future. Visions range in length from a couple of words to several pages. While Mission as defined by Heathfield (nd) is a precise description of what an organization does. It should describe the business the organization is in. It is a definition of "why" the organization exists currently. Each member of an organization should be able to verbally express this mission. For example, the well known logistics service company Fedex's mission statement is "FedEx is committed to our People-Service-Profit Philosophy. We will produce outstanding financial returns by providing totally reliable, competitively superior, global, air-ground transportation of high-priority goods and documents that require rapid, time-certain delivery." Value statements are statements that involved values and define how employees interact with other people in the organization. And they also include statements about how the organization will value customers, suppliers as a whole. In discharging our responsibilities, we do not take professional or ethical shortcuts. Our interactions with all segments of society must reflect the high standards we profess."( Heathfield, nd).
This approach is more likely an action that from the executives or manager can take to the subordinate employees. Delegating authority help employees grow and develop new skills, this includes employee involvement in decision making as well. The employee involvement can enhance ownership and commitment from employees which in return it can result in excellent employee retention.
Employee Involvement Model.
Heathfield (nd) use the work by Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1958) and Sadler (1970) to explain the Employee Involvement Model that could be used and applied for organization. The author mentioned that the model provides a continuum for leadership and involvement that includes an increasing role for employees and a decreasing role for supervisors in the decision process. The upshot of what Heathfield discovered and developed in this model is that the continuum in this progression are
- Tell: the supervisor makes the decision and announces it to staff. The supervisor provides complete direction.
- Sell: the supervisor makes the decision and then attempts to gain commitment from staff by "selling" the positive aspects of the decision.
- Consult: the supervisor invites input into a decision while retaining authority to make the final decision herself.
- Join: the supervisor invites employees to make the decision with the supervisor. The supervisor considers her voice equal in the decision process.
- Delegate: the supervisor turns the decision over to another party.
Benefits of employee retention,
How company reduce turn-over
According to Dessler (2005), today employees have view towards career as the gradual mountain climb to learn and develop to make them marketable, they switch from job to another job because the psychological contract between employers and employees has changed. The company can reduce turn-over by encouraging the employee to grow and realize their full potential and serve employees' long run interest. One of the plans that company could use to retain the employees is Career development program.
For the employees, it is to provide the employees with the career planning tools that would make the employees have perspectives of their career option, the skills they need for the career move which help them more likely to succeed in the future. For the employers, career development program may serve several functions as Greene and Knudsen (2001) put it "employers provide tools, environment, and skill development opportunities for employees and then employees are better equipped to serve company and built it to its potential." The same authors also add that it may cultivate employee commitment. Here I am following Desslers'(2005) point of view that The company's responsibilities in career development program vary and depend somewhat on how long the employee has been with the company and that before hiring, realistic job previews may help employees more accurately determine whether the job is right for them. A while after employees have been on the job, the company can contribute to employee's career by engaging the career-oriented appraisals not only to appraise the employees but also to match their strengths and weaknesses with career path. Dessler adds that company can also provide mentoring opportunities which would benefit employees by giving career advice. The employer's career planning and development process can and should play a central role in this process as the employer supports the employee's efforts to test and develop viable career goals, and to develop the skills needed to accomplish the goals. If managed effectively, the employer's career development process should indicate that the employees concern about career's success and should promote employee's commitment.
How to develop effective teams, theory of team development and different team role
Team building plays an important role in every organization for the world we live in today since typically the work involves a group people that consist of individual person to work together in order to complete their work. An effective team can contribute to organization in terms of effectively produced tasks, increasing effective communication among team-members, healthy maintained relationship of staff.
An effective team as characterised by McGregor (1960) cited in Brenner (2005) are
- Informal, relaxed atmosphere
- Full participation/lots of discussion
- Clear and accepted goals
- Active listening and fearless sharing of ideas
- Disagreement is common and comfortable
- Most decisions are made be consensus
- Free expression of ideas/high trust
- Frequent, honest, constructive feedback
- Cooperation and caring/ little personal attack
- Action taken on clear/ accepted assignments/tasks
- Shared leadership/ boss does not dominate
- Self conscious/examines and improves its own operation/process
Bruce Tuckman, an educational psychologist developed a simple model which consist of stages to explain team development and analyse the related behaviours of teams. The origin of the model can be traced back in 1965 when Tuckman published the article "Developmental Sequence in Small Groups". In 1977, Tuckman added the fifth stage to the original model. From Brenner's point of view (2006) the model is based on the premise that all groups go through predictable, developmental stages and the leader or project manager's role is to assist the team members working though the tasks of each stage. A group may cycle and go back these stages if there are changes occur to the purpose, goal or operations.
The stages of Tuckman's Team development Model (adapted from Tuckman (1965), Brenner's article and 12 manage)
Groups firstly concern themselves with orientation which is accomplished primarily through testing. The testing is to identify the boundaries of the behaviors between group members and task behaviors. Coincident with testing in the interpersonal is the establishment of dependency relationships with leaders, other group members, or pre-existing standards. Therefore orientation, testing and dependence together compose the group process of forming.
This stage is characterized with conflict and polarization concerning the interpersonal issues as members are showing their real personalities, confronting each other in terms of idea and perception, disagreements as well as concomitant emotional responding. The role leader is to guide the team member and through this phase.
The Resistance occurring in Norming stage is resolved in this stage. The team establish develop in-group feeling, cohesiveness in-group feeling, adjust their behaviors and then establish new agreement, standards rules, behaviors, roles, methods for the team. This results in increasing of effectiveness of the team as they work in harmony.
The point of this stage is that the interpersonal structure is being used as the tool of task activities. Roles become flexible and functional and group energy is channeled into the task which helps the team to work as a single unit, get the tasks done more smoothly and effectively without disagreement and unnecessary conflict. The team does not need the supervision from the project manager since they have an understanding is needed and required in order to get the job done.
This additional stage was added in 1977 as Tuckman collaborating with Mary Ann Jensen wanted to update the model. Once the tasks are being completed, the team would be disassembled. This stage has been commented as Deforming and Mourning. It involves the termination of roles and reduction of dependency. This process can be make the team members feel stressed and sense of loss as well as the motivation can decrease because of unplanned dissolution or the member feel about the uncertainty of the future. However it is a good timing to introduce the new project and resume the Forming stage for the next project.
Human resource management is one of the most important departments of organizations in hospitality and tourism industry. Within the an industry that characterised by diversity and heterogeneity whether it is the size, ownership or demands of the enterprises, the only crucial point that they share in common is to deliver the service to customers and to manage the employees in a way to offer quality service to meet customers expectation. It is important that the organization realise how to employ strategies to that could develop and retain the quality of the staff. Therefore the theories of leadership, empowerment, team development which are being evaluated before, could benefit in this matter. While leadership theory could benefit an organization about how to direct people, the empowerment theory is simply about how the employees are empowered and motivated to make them feel that they are part of organization and the team development is important as it helps staff to work as effective team. And lastly recognizing and rewarding the employees need to be managed since it sustains the high performance level of employees.
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