Sunday, December 1, 2013

Human Resources Management 01

1.      What factors influence labor turnover in the hospitality industry?
One common cause of high employee turnover rates is low pay and benefits packages. When a worker is employed in a low-wage position with limited benefits, there is little incentive to stay if a similar employer offers even a slightly higher rate of pay. Low entry positions are hardly ever adequately rewarded and may push employees to seek companies and or positions that will pay them what they're worth. The hospitality industry is a 24/7 business requiring long hours, open availability, and low pay.

Seasonality is another reason. Many hospitality positions are seasonal in nature. While lay-offs are a necessity for business survival, they are hard for workers who will receive minimal unemployment benefits. Many people might choose another industry to avoid long periods of unemployment during off - peak times.

Poor job matching is another common cause of high employee turnover rates. Workers who are employed in jobs for which they are over- or under-qualified, may feel frustrated and be inclined to look for other work. For many people postings in positions like reception or housekeeping is nothing more than a stepping stone, a temporary position, until they finish school/university so they can move on to their 'real jobs'

Hospitality industry workers experience jobs that are tightly controlled, routine and monotonous. Their role as service providers however demands that they present an appropriate emotional response regardless of the circumstance. Often their shifts include uneven hours, such as early followed by late shifts, working on Christmas and Easter etc creating a general emotional fatigue that most workers are unable to cope with and lead to general dissatisfaction about their roles.

Finally the problem is so vast that most companies prefer to focus on the results rather than the actual problem. Many hotels find replacing employees easier than forming retention strategies, therefore creating a vicious circle of employees leaving because they are easily replaced and positions being vacant because employees are leaving.

2.      What steps could you, as a manager, take to improve the stability of employment?
·         The first step would be to clarify what the hotel is about. For example is this a family friendly hotel or not, is the target group holiday makers or corporate customers? That will give employees a better idea about how they should approach their guests or patrons.

·         The next step would be figuring out exactly what employees need and want. Most hospitality industries hire people from all sorts of background and experience. It is unreasonable to assume that each and every one of the employees has all the tools, training, and support from supervisors they need to excel. It is necessary to check.

·         Another step would be open lines of communication. Training sessions, memos, newsletters, FAQs, and regular meetings can all be used to provide information necessary for the best possible customer satisfaction. I would make sure to ask questions, and if people are confused, redesign the way the information reaches them.

·         I would figure out a way to get all of the employees engaged in planning and decision-making. That hotel's success becomes theirs: something they’re willing to fight for. To do this, whenever possible, ask for input and use their ideas. That way, they feel appreciated and important. This can not only empower and motivate employees, it can also lead to new and more productive ways of working that normally would be overlooked during more stable times.

·         Feedback is another great motivator. Positive feedback should be given right away, to encourage more of the same performance. Negative feedback should also be given a.s.a.p., so that workers have the opportunity to self-correct. Also saying “Thank you!” for a job well done.  It’s a powerful motivator, and should be done often.

·         I would use my judgment, wisdom, and experience to create a supportive environment. When problems arise, examine the circumstances, understand the context, and only then pass judgment. A manager should when problems arise, examine the circumstances, understand the context, and only then pass judgment. Respect and trust your team and you will get the same in return.  If I make a mistake, I will apologize and admit I wrong.

·         I believe that making work fun really pays off, since people often get a lot more done when they enjoy themselves. It is important not to lose touch with the day to day activities (you cannot offer advice simply quoting books) and it builds trust among employees to see people with sunny disposition in charge.

·         People need to feel appreciated and useful. They need to feel that management sees them as valuable members of a team. So as a manager I would try to earn my teams trust that I am doing anything in my power to retain them and not treat them like tools that can easily be discarded.

·         Finally incentives such as monetary rewards when targets are achieved always help people to enhance people's performance and lead to higher levels of job satisfaction.

3.      Identify and as appropriate, explain the main areas involved in the management of Human Resources.
A human resources department is responsible for:

Selecting, assessing and terminating staff. One of the main functions of every human resource department is going through the process of finding personnel when it is necessary. Also assessing the individual workers’ performance and maybe handling their termination is the responsibility of HR.  

Training on the job and educating personnel. Another very important function of the HR department is training and generally educating personnel for the company. In any industry new trends are emerging all the times and staff must be constantly updated to keep up. That is especially true in hospitality as new markets are constantly emerging and competition is fierce.

Health and safety of employees. HR must ensure that the environment is safe and that health hazards are as limited as possible. Like in every industry hospitality has its dangers that is why there are specific regulations in place to keep both employees and the public safe. Human resources must make sure that the standards are kept.

Wages, bonuses etc. Another responsibility of the human resources has to do with the staff’s wages and compensations. A lot of companies have schemes that reward full attendance or bonuses when the hotel reaches an occupancy target etc. Human resources gather information and statistics about staff performance and disperse funds according to the company’s policy.

4.      Where might a manager most effectively target recruitment campaigns?
Hospitality today requires a very wide range of skilled professionals and therefore not everyone can be found in the same place. Supposing we are dealing with a large hospitality unit I can see the following choices:

Low entry personnel such as waiters and room attendants usually comes through agencies. Usually there is a very large turnover in these positions as a lot of people don’t consider them ‘real’ jobs and carry a heavy stigma. The company cannot waste resources and time trying to make the best possible selection so an agency can perform the preliminary interviews and background checks and then offer acceptable candidates to the HR department. Smaller scale companies might advertise vacancies through job centers.

Medium entry personnel and middle management such as duty managers, head receptionists etc are a different matter. Usually vacancies are advertised within the company itself just in case there are interested parties who can fill the position (example people might move from reception to the reservations department). In the same spirit colleagues might have possible candidates to suggest. Also trade journals and websites is a good way to attract candidates.

Finally there is the higher managerial personnel to consider. The process here is a little different especially for big hotels as the SEO usually has very little to do with the day to day operations of the hotel and more to do with major financial decisions and strategy. So sometimes it might not even have academic diplomas (Nassetta Christopher SEO of Hilton industries has a degree in finance) but must have plenty of experience in the field. Once again the company must look to its own for people before attracting outside talent.

5.      What is job analysis and how might it be used in an organization?
A job analysis is comprised of three things: the tasks that make up a job, the conditions under which they are performed, and what are the job requirements in terms of potential for achievement, attitude, knowledge, skills, and the physical condition of the employee.

The reasons companies use job analysis are to determine the most efficient methods of doing a job, to enhance the employee's job satisfaction, to improve training methods and to match the right people in the right position. The outcome of a job analysis would be an accurate job description. Employee job descriptions are written statements that describe the duties, responsibilities, required qualifications, and reporting relationships of a particular job. Poorly written employee job descriptions add to workplace confusion, hurt communication, and make people feel as if they don't know what is expected from them.

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