People have always become so sensitive and conscious with the fact that the competition edge of business organizations lies within the human capacities. Although, this might be true or just an exaggeration of situations but due to the rapid changes in the business arena mainly driven by the globalization, it is true that organizations need to turn their attention and devote their time in developing the human resources so as to manage the competition threats in the market. Hospitality industry is one of the sectors that contribute greatly to the economy of a country (Aswathappa 2010). Again, with the fact that it involves direct contact with the customers makes it more vulnerable to the human resource threats that mostly affect the customers. Therefore, hospitality industry needs to focus more on managing and improving the efficiency of the human resource departments so as to enhance their service quality; thus, overcoming the market threat caused by huge competition. This paper aims at establishing the role played by the HR department in hospitality industry and how it can be improved to ensure maximum profitability of the organization.
The role of HR in hospitality industry
Different researchers have carried out studies on the role or importance of HR management; however, with the drastic changes that we witness in the industry created by competition and emergence of diverse business organizations offering the hospitality services (Aswathappa 2010), we cannot neglect the need to revisit the area and examine the need for hotels to have a proper and adequate human resource management departments. There are various factors influencing the changes in the hospitality industry that calls for proper and adequate HRM department; however, the two main factors include the globalization and internalization of the businesses (Aswathappa 2010). Globalization and internalization of businesses have greatly influenced the way hospitality institutions like hotels are managed and controlled. Researchers have mainly focused on the need for eradication of cultural difference in the organization. Some scholars strongly believe that with the elimination of the organizational cultural difference, the threat of competition can be curbed or even eliminated for good (Browaeys 2008).
Understanding the cultural differences in the market
The performance of the organization mainly depends on the removal of cultural difference in the organization. Having a proper and well-equipped human resource management department in the organization can greatly help the organization to improve its performance by dealing with the critical issues affecting the organization. Browaeys (2008) believes that organizations need to understand the cross cultural management strategies so as to enhance their performance. According to Browaeys (2008) it is important for organizations to consider the difference in the local market before they think of venturing into the new market. Hellibrand (2008) also conquers with Browaeys idea that organizations need devote their attention on improving the human resource management departments so as to improve their performance. There are people moving every day from one place to another; therefore, this means that the hospitality industry especially the hotels that offer most of the hospitality services like accommodation and foods and beverage have a greater chance of securing the market. Basing argument on this idea might be wrong for various reasons. There are hotels that have been shut down due to their consistence loss making. When a hotel is shut down like that, in most cases the first blame is normally turned to the employees or the management. Indeed, everyone in the organization deserves to be blamed; however, it is important also to note that the problems that contribute to closure of organizations like that can be controlled. Edwards (2007) explains that having a stable and well-equipped HR management department that works with the right strategies that support the organizational objectives, the organization can be able to overcome the competition in the market. Luger (2009) further emphasizes that it is important to note the communication process in the HR department and in the organization as a whole so as to manage the channeling of information effectively within and outside the organization. Luger (2007) further explains that, it is as well important to focus on the skills of the employees. Sometimes we hire employees without critically evaluating their performance and effectiveness in the organization; after the organization has fallen is when we realize and start to point fingers at one another blaming other people for the mistakes that would have been managed and controlled if the correct measures were taken. I strongly believe that organizations need to focus on enacting and implementing the right strategies in the management.
Various companies experience challenges; and according to Aswathappa (2010), most of the challenges the organizations face in the hospitality industry are HR related issues. The training of employees and evaluating the employees to ensure whether they qualify for the position given is one of the right strategies that most hotels neglect; thus, it marks the beginning of their failures. Aswathappa (2010) believes that employees should not only be hired and left in the organization to work for long period without taking them to training. Aswathappa further claims that organizations change, and together the changes affect every department in the organization. An organization that is rigid to changes and finds it difficult to embrace changes in the environment equally finds it difficult to deal with the challenges in the market.
Hospitality unlike other businesses in the market is very unique and bears unique features. Unlike any other business, hospitality industry is where the customers are normally driven towards the product and not the way it happens in many other businesses where the product is driven towards the customers (Chon & Mair 2009). With this unique feature, it is important to consider the necessary means or way to deal with the customers when they come to the business. This however, does not mean that once the business is established then it is fine to go; there are one or two things that the business has to take to ensure that the business earns the trust and attracts as many customers as it can. One may think that since customers are driven towards the product, therefore, there is no need to market the products or services. If one believes in that aspect, it would be very surprising when the business begin to deteriorate and lose more of its market shares to other businesses. Therefore, as Browaeys (2008) explains, realizing the cultural differences in both local market and external market gives the business the perfect opportunity to understand its threats and opportunities and also discover how to deal with them appropriately. Globalization has greatly influenced the performance of hospitality businesses across the world (Keegan 2002). People travel for various reasons and they are forced to go to different places at different times; thus creating the constant movement in people that we see. Hospitality industry is one of the sectors that rip huge benefits from the travels and the movements (Ernst & Young 2012).
Employees serve as the core part of the hospitality industry (Bedeian 1994). As much as the customers also matters, but the employees play a huge role in ensuring that the customers are attracted to the business and the business continue to record constant growth in revenue. Just like any other business sector, employees are important and can greatly influence the performance of the hospitality institution (MacLeod & Clarke 2010). Although, some people may not agree with this but it is important to note that employees are the most important assets in the hospitality institutions like hotels. Organizations that continue to record great performance records may have realized it as well. As Chon and Mair (2009) explain, it important to realize and recognize the importance of employees. Chon and Mair (2009) believe that in order to provide quality service to the customers that can make them come back again, the business must devote its attention in creating a well-equipped and skilled workforce that can give the quality services needed by customers. The authors believe that the organization needs to focus on the workforce first before looking at the customers. Systems theory of management also advocates for the recognition of employees in the organization (Freemont et al., 1985). Proponents of this theory claim that managers need to understand their workers and the factors that affect them (East et al., 1985). Indeed, organizations need to focus more on developing the skills of the employees if it needs to earn the customers trust. Customers will always be attracted to a place where they get their desired quality service; however, this can only be realized with appropriate and adequately trained workforce. Again, since hospitality sector deals with the customers directly unlike other businesses, it is important to note that employees serve a great value in the management and successful daily operations of the organizations (Olsen & Zhao 2008). The competition that is created by emergence of various business organizations might also pose a great challenge to the organization. However, the threat of competition can only be eliminated at the beginning stage which involves the employees.
The recruitment strategies in the organization matter a lot when it comes to employing qualified personnel in the organization (McManus 2006). Business organizations can only differ based on the type and quality service they offer. Customers will be attracted to the organization that gives them the best. Attaining the quality standards of the customers demand more than just hiring qualified employees; however, it goes to the extent of understanding the needs of customers and their food habits. As systems theory of management explains, employees determine whether the organization will achieve its goals or not (East et al., 1985); therefore, I believe that it is the responsibility of the HR manager to ensure that the right recruitment and retention strategies are implemented in the organization.
Employee turnover management
Hospitality industry has experienced various challenges over the past decades especially when it comes to employee management. Employee turnover in the hospitality industry has been a major threat that has even led to the failure of some businesses (MacLeod & Clarke 2010). Getting the right employees for the right job has been a major challenge in many organizations worldwide. Hospitality sector is a customer service business (MacLeod & Clarke 2010); therefore, there is need to focus and great reliance on the capabilities of the workforce to overcome the competition. The effective utilization of the HRM department can greatly influence the performance of the business. Many people continue to move away from the sector with different reasons. Some of the main issues facilitating the movement of people include poor working condition, low wages and undesirability of the job sector by many people (MacLeod & Clarke 2010). This contributes to the consistent turnover of employees that is witnessed in various organizations. However, as Chon and Mair (2009) explain, adopting the right HRM strategies in the management of employees can help eliminate this threat. Some employers mistreat their employees with low dignity and little respect. Just like the customers who bring profits to the business, employees are also importa...
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