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Employee Motivation Levels in Hospitality Industry

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The most important intangible product in service industry is the employee itself. Losses caused due to replacing them adds up to the economic s. One of the important tools of employee management ‘Motivation' has been missing out of ‘TO DO' list from the organisation directors. They seems to believe that since there are less jobs outside available due to recession in today's job market, employee would not leave and we are in favour to keep them. Fewer turnovers experienced from employee side but what about the productivity of employee. Can that be tackled by forcing the employee to do whatever as the contract always says, ‘duties could vary according to business requirements', or disciplinary follow?

Organizations become better places to work through improving leadership skills and corporate culture change. Businesses working on a network of hierarchies imagine a business like a triple-decker bus, the directors of the business are on the top deck, the managers are on the middle deck and the employees are on the lower deck. As the bus runs on its normal day to day business, down the normal streets picking up normal day to day people. What is happening is that the bus should be stopping at various bus stops in order to recruit new employees and managers, so that they can come on the bus and of course obviously let the team members off the bus if they decide to leave. The directors would begin to become conscious that the number of employees leaving the bus is increasing and they are not really quite sure why? So they decide what they should do is to commission an employee survey. Now the cost of the employee turnover is obviously something that is an issue or can be an issue for various businesses.

All organizations heavily invest in the human resource department. The cost of interviewing, hiring, training, developing, maintaining and retaining employees are very high. Therefore, managers at all costs must minimize employee's dissatisfaction and take every step possible to reduce it. Although, there is no standard framework for understanding the employees turnover process as whole, a wide range of factors have been found useful in interpreting employee turnover (Kevin, 2004). Therefore, there is need to develop a fuller understanding of the employee turnover, more especially, the sources. What determines employee turnover, affects and strategies that managers can put in place to minimize turnover. During this weakened economic condition and heightening competition, organizations must continue to develop tangible products and provide services which are based on strategies created by employees. These employees are extremely crucial to the organization since their value to the organization is essentially intangible and not easily replicated. Therefore, senior managers must recognize that employees are major contributors to the efficient achievement of the organization's success (Abbasi, 2000). Managers should control employee turnover for the benefit of the organization's success.


Critically analyse employee motivation level in hospitality industry with a particular focus on operations management.


1. To investigate the need of motivation in hospitality industry

2. To examine the damage caused with de-motivation

3. To critically access alternatives in reducing employee turnover

4. To provide strategic evaluation for motivating operations management whilst smooth running of the business


Several businesses now days are easily slipping into administration; it is not only several job loses but also a huge loss of efforts made by operating team to bring the business to a certain stage to employ that many employees. Truly speaking, businesses are not built solely to provide jobs and the best comfortable environment for people within the community. They are out there to make money and progress which could be any industry. The purpose of this dissertation is to focus on hospitality industry, where we need to find the root of employee turnover. It is easy for a staff at lower level to move in and out of an organisation in relation to the operating management team. What causes that to happen at first place? Do line managers not see the importance of increasing motivation during difficult times? Are management in need of motivation themselves? Are they much more worried about there own survival? So if the upper management team is satisfied, they would certainly be in a position to furnish their head of departments easily.

Global economic condition is struggling and has to face continues challenges with competitions growing. It cannot be right for a profit organisation to just vanish with small bumps of recession. Of course, both employee and business are affected with these downfalls. A need has aroused to look into this matter because as it's a fact that turnover has always been one of the high business expenses, thus at the time of recession as the economic conditions are not stable, businesses should do something to beat this cost in hand.

Motivation is the cure that spurns employees' eagerness to work without pressure. To say that nobody can motivate a team employee at work is like saying there are no influential leaders, there are no effective managers, there are no motivational speakers, the psychologists in sports management teams are useless and that motivation is not achievable. Motivation has been used by effective managers to prompt ordinary people to achieve uncommon results in all fields of endeavours.


Vast amount of literature is available in how to motivate your employee, and it would be applicable in the real world around. Simple definition of Motivation by Lindner, J. R. (1998) can be as “the inner force that drives individuals to accomplish personal and organizational goals.”

Understanding what motivated employees and how they were motivated was the focus of many researchers following the publication of the Hawthorne Study results (Terpstra, 1979). Five major approaches that have led to the understanding of motivation are Maslow's need-hierarchy theory, Herzberg's two- factor theory, Vroom's expectancy theory, Adams' equity theory, and Skinner's reinforcement theory.

According to Maslow, employees have five levels of needs (Maslow, 1943): physiological, safety, social, ego, and self- actualizing. Maslow argued that lower level needs had to be satisfied before the next higher level need would motivate employees. Herzberg's work categorized motivation into two factors: motivators and hygiene's (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959). Motivator or intrinsic factors, such as achievement and recognition, produce job satisfaction. Hygiene or extrinsic factors, such as pay and job security, produce job dissatisfaction. Vroom's theory is based on the belief that employee effort will lead to performance and performance will lead to rewards (Vroom, 1964). Rewards may be either positive or negative. The more positive the reward the more likely the employee will be highly motivated. Conversely, the more negative the reward the less likely the employee will be motivated. Adams' theory states that employees strive for equity between themselves and other workers. Equity is achieved when the ratio of employee outcomes over inputs is equal to other employee outcomes over inputs (Adams, 1965).

Skinner's theory simply states those employees' behaviours that lead to positive outcomes will be repeated and behaviours that lead to negative outcomes will not be repeated (Skinner, 1953). Managers should positively reinforce employee behaviours that lead to positive outcomes. Managers should negatively reinforce employee behaviour that leads to negative outcomes.

Motivation defined by some of the authors is the psychological process that gives behaviour purpose and direction (Kreitner, 1995); a predisposition to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific, unmet needs (Buford, Bedeian, & Lindner, 1995); an internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need (Higgins, 1994); and the will to achieve (Bedeian, 1993); and also more.

Employee turnover is the rotation of workers around the labour market; between firms, jobs and occupations; and between the states of employment and unemployment (Abassi et al. 2000). Whereas the term “turnover” defined by (Price (1977) as: the ratio of the number of organizational members who have left during the period being considered divided by the average number of people in that organization during the period. Frequently, managers refer to turnover as the entire process associated with filling a vacancy: Each time a position is vacated, either voluntarily or involuntarily, a new employee must be hired and trained. This replacement cycle is known as turnover (Woods, 1995). This term is also often utilized in efforts to measure relationships of employees in an organization as they leave, regardless of reason. “Unfolding model” of voluntary turnover represents a divergence from traditional thinking (Hom and (Griffeth, 1995) by focusing more on the decisional aspect of employee turnover, in other words, showing instances of voluntary turnover as decisions to quit. Indeed, the model is based on a theory of decision making, image theory (Beach, 1990). The image theory describes the process of how individuals process information during decision making. The underlying premise of the model is that people leave organizations after they have analyzed the reasons for quitting. (Beach, 1990) argues that individuals seldom have the cognitive resources to systematically evaluate all incoming information, so individuals instead, simply and quickly compare incoming information to more heuristic type of decision making alternatives or a more rule of thumb type of decision making.

Most researchers (Bluedorn, 1982; Kalliath and Beck, 2001; Kramer, 1995; Peters., 1981; Saks, 1996) have attempted to answer the question of what determines people's intention to quit by investigating possible antecedents of employees' intentions to quit. To date, there has been little consistency in findings, which is partly due to the diversity of employees included by the researchers and the lack of consistency in their findings. Therefore, there are several reasons why people quit from one organization to another or why people leave organization. The experience of job related stress (job stress), the range factors that lead to job related stress (Stressors), lack of commitment in the organization; and job dissatisfaction results in employees deciding to quit (Firth et al. 2004). This evidently indicates that these are individual decisions that cause employees to quit their jobs. They are other factors like personal agency refers to concepts such as a sense of powerlessness, locus of control and personal control. Locus control refers to the extent to which people believe that the external factors such as chance and other powerful people are in control of the events which influence their lives Firth et al. (2004). (Manu (2004) argue that employees quit from organization due economic reasons. Using economic model they showed that people quit from organization due to economic reasons and these can be used to predict the labour turnover in the market. Good local labour market conditions improve organizational stability (Schervish, 1983). Large organizations can provide employees with better chances for progression and higher wages and hence ensure loyalty towards the organization (Idson and Feaster 1990). Trevor (2001) argues that local unemployment rates interact with job satisfaction to predict turnover in the market. Role stressors also lead to employees' turnover. Role ambiguity refers to the difference between what people expect of us on the job and what we feel we should do. This uncertainty is usually caused due to inadequate and blurred communication, As a result, it causes uncertainty about what our role should be. It can be a result of misunderstanding what is expected, how to meet the expectations, or the employee thinking the job should be different (Kahn et al. Muchinsky, 1990). Insufficient information on how to perform the job adequately, unclear expectations of peers and supervisors, ambiguity of performance evaluation methods, extensive job pressures, and lack of consensus on job functions or duties may cause employees to feel less involved and less satisfied with their jobs and careers, less committed to their organizations, and eventually display a propensity to leave the organization. If roles of employees are not clearly spelled out by management and supervisors, it would accelerate the degree of employees quitting their jobs due to lack of role clarity. And that is what happens at the lower level of the Bus organisation.

Voluntarily vs. involuntary turnover

There are some factors that are, in part, beyond the control of management, such as the unforeseen event of death of an employee or incapacity of a member of staff. Other factors have been classed as involuntary turnover in the past such as the need to provide care for children or aged relatives. Today such factors should not be seen as involuntary turnover as both government regulation and company policies create the chance for such staff to come back to work, or to continue to work on a more flexible basis (Simon, 2007).

Organizational factors

Organizational instability is one of the leading factors of a high degree of employee turnover. Indications are that employees are more likely to stay when there is a predictable work environment and vice versa (Zuber, 2001). Moreover, In organizations where there was a high level of inefficiency there was also a high level of staff turnover (Alexander 1994). Therefore, in situations where organizations are not stable employees tend to quit and look for stable organizations because stable organizations enable the employees to predict their career advancement. The imposition of a quantitative approach to managing the employees led to disenchantment of staff and hence it leads to labour turnover. Therefore senior management should not use quantitative approach in managing its employees. Adopting a cost oriented approach to employment costs increases labour turnover (Simon, 2007).

All these approaches should be avoided if managers want to minimize employee turnover an increase organizational competitiveness in this environment of economic downturn. Employees have a strong need to be informed. Organization with strong communication systems enjoyed lower turnover of staff (Labov, 1997). Employees feel comfortable to stay longer, in positions where they are involved in some level of the decision-making process. That is employees should fully understand about issues that affect their working atmosphere (Magner, 1996). But in the absence of sharing information, employee empowerment the chances of continuity of employees are minimal. (Costly, 1987) points out that a high labour turnover may mean poor personnel policies, poor recruitment policies, poor supervisory practices, poor grievance procedures, or lack of motivation. All these factors contribute to high employee turnover in the sense that there is no proper management practices and policies on personnel matters hence employees are not recruited scientifically, promotions of employees are not based on spelled out policies, no grievance procedures are in place and thus employees decides to quit. (Griffeth, 2000) noted that pay and pay-related variables have a modest effect on turnover. Their analysis also included studies that examined the relationship between pay, a person's performance and turnover. They concluded that when high performers are insufficiently rewarded, they quit. If jobs provide adequate financial incentives the more likely employees remain with organization and vice versa. There are also other factors which make employees to quit from organizations and these are poor hiring practices, managerial style and lack of recognition, lack of competitive compensation system in the organization (Abassi, 2000).

Effects of employee turnover

Employee turnover could be very expensive from the organizations point of view, and affects could be more during the hard-hitting period of recession. There are mainly two factors that effect employee turnover. Voluntary quits which represents a mass departure of human capital investment from organizations and the following replacement process entails manifold costs to the organizations (Fair, 1992). The replacement costs would include, search of the external labour market for a possible substitute, selection between competing substitutes, induction of the chosen substitute, and formal and informal training of the substitute until he or she attains performance levels equivalent to the individual who quit (John, 2000). In addition to these replacement costs, output would be affected to some extend or output would be maintained at the cost of overtime payment. The reason so much attention has been paid to the issue of turnover is because turnover has very significant effects on organizations (DeMicco and Giridharan, 1987; Dyke and Strick, 1990; Cantrell and Saranakhsh, 1991; Denvir and Mcmahon, 1992).Many researchers argue that high turnover rates might have negative effects on the profitability of organizations if not managed properly. Moreover, turnover can play a key role in de-motivating employees, resulting in low productivity, inefficient output and therefore loss.

Turnover has many hidden or invisible costs (Philips, 1990) and these invisible costs are result of incoming employees, co-workers closely associated with incoming employees, co-workers closely associated with departing employees and position being filled while vacant. And all these affect the profitability of the organization. On the other hand turnover also affects customer service and satisfaction (Kemal, 2002).Catherine (2002) argue that turnover include other costs, such as lost productivity, lost sales, and management's time, estimate the turnover costs of an hourly employee to be US $3,000 to $10,000 each. This clearly demonstrates that turnover affects the profitability of the organization and if it's not managed properly it would have the negative effect on the profit. Research estimates indicate that hiring and training a replacement worker for a lost employee costs approximately 50 percent of the worker's annual salary (Johnson, 2000) but the costs do not break off there. Each time an employee leaves the firm, we presume that productivity drops due to the learning curve involved in understanding the job and the organization. Furthermore, the loss of intellectual capital adds to this cost, since not only do organizations lose the human capital and relational capital of the departing employee, but also competitors are potentially gaining these assets (Meaghan, 2002). Therefore, if employee turnover is not managed properly it would affect the organization adversely in terms of personnel costs and in the long run it would affect its liquidity position. However, voluntary turnover incurs significant cost, both in terms of direct costs (replacement, recruitment and selection, temporary staff, management time), and also and perhaps more significantly in terms of indirect costs (morale, pressure on remaining staff, costs of learning, product/service quality, and the loss of social capital (Dess, 2001).

Cost of turnover

One simple method to calculate the turnover rate of any business is to divide the number of employees who have left the organization within a year, by the total number of employees who work for that company in the same year.

Let's say there were 100 employees at the beginning of the year, and 100 employees at the end of the year, and at the end of the year, 84 of those employees were the same ones as were there the previous year. You might say that the turnover rate was 16%.

= 16%

But suppose one of those 16 who left was actually replaced three times. The employee quit in January, the replacement quit in April, and another person was hired who lasted only until November. Then you might want to count every time an employee left the company and another one was hired - in this case you'd get 18%. Another complication: suppose the work force is 100 at the beginning and 90 at the end of the year. Perhaps 16 people have left, but only 6 have been hired during the year, while 2 more were hired and retired within the same year. You might define turnover as 18/100 or as 18/90, or as 18/95, since 95 is the average of 90 and 100. Instead of 95, you might want to do a fancier average, where you actually add up the number of employees on each day of the year, and divide the total by 365.

Strategies to minimize employee turnover

Strategies on how to minimize employee turnover, confronted with problems of employee turnover, management has several policy options like changing (or improving existing) policies towards recruitment, selection, induction, training, job design and wage payment. Policy choice, however, must be appropriate to the precise diagnosis of the problem. Employee turnover attributable to poor selection procedures, for example, is unlikely to improve were the policy modification to focus exclusively on the induction process. Equally, employee turnover attributable to wage rates which produce earnings that are not competitive with other firms in the local labour market is unlikely to decrease were the policy adjustment merely to enhance the organization's provision of on-the job training opportunities. Given that there is increase in direct and indirect costs of labour turnover, therefore, management are frequently exhorted to identify the reasons why people leave organization's so that appropriate action is taken by the management. Hence, accurate analysis of the cause of turnover is vital to implement the necessary strategy.

Extensive research has shown that the following categories of human capital management factors provides a core set of measures that senior management can use to increase the effectiveness of their investment in people and improve overall corporate performance of business: Employee engagement, the organization's capacity to engage, retain, and optimize the value of its employees hinges on how well jobs are designed, how employees' time is used, and the commitment and support that is shown to employees by the management would motivate employees to stay in organizations. Knowledge accessibility, the extent of the organization's collaboration and its capacity for making knowledge and ideas widely available to employees, would motivate employees to stay in the organization. Sharing of information should be made at all levels of management. This accessibility of information would lead to strong performance from the employees and creating strong corporate culture (Meaghan, 2002). Therefore; information accessibility would make employees feel that they are appreciated for their effort and chances of leaving the organization are minimal. Workforce optimization, the organization's success in optimizing the performance of the employees by establishing essential processes for getting work done, providing good working conditions, establishing accountability and making good hiring choices would retain employees in their organization. The importance of gaining better understanding of the factors related to recruitment, motivation and retention of employees is further underscored by rising personnel costs and high rates of employee turnover (Badawy, 1988; Basta and Johnson, 1989; Garden, 1989; Parden, 1981; Sherman, 1986). With increased competitiveness during recession, managers in many organizations are experiencing greater pressure from top management to improve recruitment, selection, training, and retention of good employees and in the long run would encourage employees to stay in organizations. Job involvement describes an individual's ego involvement with work and indicates the extent to which an individual identifies psychologically with his/her job (Kanungo, 1982). Involvement in terms of internalizing values about the goodness or the importance of work motivated employees not to quit their jobs and these involvements are related to task characteristics. Workers who have a greater variety of tasks tend to stay with the job. Task characteristics have been found to be potential determinants of turnover among employees (Couger, 1988; Couger and Kawasaki, 1980; Garden, 1989; Goldstein and Rockart, 1984). These include the five core job characteristics identified by (Hackman and Oldham (1975, 1980): skill variety, which refers to the opportunity to utilize a variety of valued skills and talents on the job; task identity, or the extent to which a job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work - that is, doing a job from beginning to end, with visible results; task significance, which reflects the extent to which the job has a substantial impact on the lives or work of other people, whether within or outside the organization; job autonomy, or the extent to which the job provides freedom, independence, and discretion in scheduling work and determining procedures that the job provides; and job feedback, which refers to the extent to which the job provides information about the effectiveness of one's performance (Tor, 1997). Involvement would influence job satisfaction and increase organizational commitment of the employees.

Employees who are more involved in their jobs are more satisfied with their jobs and more committed to their organization (Blau and Boal, 1989; Brooke and Price, 1989; Brooke et al., 1988; Kanungo, 1982). Job involvement has also been found to be negatively related to turnover intentions (Blat and Boal, 1989). Job satisfaction, career satisfaction, and organizational commitment reflect a positive attitude towards the organization, thus having a direct influence on employee turnover intentions. Job satisfaction, job involvement and organizational commitment are considered to be related but distinguishable attitudes (Brooke and Price, 1989). Satisfaction represents an effective response to specific aspects of the job or career and denotes the pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from an appraisal of one's job or career (Locke, 1976; Porter, 1974; Williams and Hazer, 1986).Organizational commitment is an effective response to the whole organization and the degree of attachment or loyalty employees feel towards the organization. Job involvement represents the extent to which employees are absorbed in or preoccupied with their jobs and the extent to which an individual identifies with his/her job (Brooke, 1988).The degree of commitment and loyalty can be achieved if management they enrich the jobs, empower and compensate employees properly. Empowerment of employees could help to enhance the continuity of employees in organizations. Empowered employees where managers supervise more people than in a traditional hierarchy and delegate more decisions to their subordinates (Malone, 1997). Managers act like coaches and help employees solve problems. Employees, he concludes, have increased responsibility. Superiors empowering subordinates by delegating responsibilities to them leads to subordinates who are more satisfied with their leaders and consider them to be fair and in turn to perform up to the superior's expectations (Keller and Dansereau, 1995). All these factors ensure employees commitment towards the organization and chances of quitting are minimal.

Strategic guidelines for motivating staff whilst smooth running of the business

When the economy is on a slippery slope and when spirits are down, how do managers pick themselves and others up, so that they can meet the ongoing challenges? Hotels still have to operate, and services still need to be provided by employees who are working harder than ever before just so that their organization can survive. Therefore companies need to have some strategic policies to deal with employee motivation during hard times.

Lend a listening ear

Now, more than ever before, the manager needs to listen to what employees are saying, not only to what may seem to be the surface issues, but also to the underlying issues. Roxanne Emmerich, President of The Emmerich Group, stated in an article for the Indiana Bankers Association that, “Guilt, fear, paranoia—as well as a few other destructive emotions—can freeze people's performance during tough times. The natural response is for a leader to click his or her heels with the hopes of ending up in Kansas. Denial is the natural response when things get tough, but many leaders never move beyond that. The thought of talking about feelings openly sends shivers down the spines of many managers, and ignoring these emotions only causes greater challenges.” In the November 7, 2008, issue of The Wall Street Journal, Jim Harter co-author of “72; The Elements of Great Managing” and a researcher with Gallup, stated in an interview about motivation that, “Organizations have to put more attention into it. They have to communicate more.” Hence if we wish to motivate the staff during tough times, managers need to communicate more, not less.

Be an advocate rather than an adversary

Brian Mclvor, author of “Career Detection: Funding and Managing Your Career” stated in an interview published in the The Irish Times, on February 9, 2009, “You need to be honest and realistic with people... organizations are changing... all bets are off.” However, while discussions with employees may have to be framed against that background, news doesn't have to be all gloom and doom. Managers need to be advocates for their organizations and realistic about opportunities within the organization. The manager should be an advocate for the future rather than an adversary against the future, which can be an un-stabilizing influence in the organization. Emmerich states, “Lead your people to the understanding that even during the darkest of times, many do well, and you intend to be one of those. Your team needs to shift out of their doomsday story and into one of possibilities. When people say 'We can't because,' the broken record response needs to be, 'Well, how CAN we?'“ Therefore, be an advocate for the vision rather than an adversary against the vision.

Look for the silver lining

In the February 27, 2009 issue of Business Week, there is an interesting article by Patricia O'Connell. The article discusses a first look at a recent Accenture survey that reveals that women and men feel they have more to offer their employers. O'Connell states, “Managers looking for an edge amid a dismal economy, likely hiring freezes, and even staff cuts may have a hidden resource—their own underutilized staff. According to a winter 2008 Accenture survey, 46 percent of women and 49 percent of men worldwide believe they are insufficiently challenged in their jobs.”

This affords unique opportunities to organizations that will reap possible benefits for employees as well as employers. This may be a time to review the opportunities and challenges of an organization and how the skill sets of individual employees may be used to enrich jobs and the workplace. Armelle Carminati, Managing Director of Human Capital and Diversity at Accenture, stated, “Companies should shy away from the 'one size- fits-all approach' with workers... The art of tailoring a career offering is the new space where employers have to go and will be the key to both employees' and employers' success.” As time gets tighter and the work force slimmer, this presents a unique opportunity for employers and employees to sit down as a team and evaluate the possibilities for the future. It is amazing the skill sets and aptitudes that may be uncovered when people are challenged to rise to the occasion.

When things go downhill, up-skill

“Up-skill” is a term used in The Irish Times article cited earlier that basically encourages coordinated training during tight economic times. For companies to survive and for employees to retain their jobs, it may be necessary to have an aggressive cross-training program. Regrettably, when times get tight, the training budget is often one of the first to be cut; however, it is probably an understatement to say that when times get tight, training becomes more essential, as managers and employees seek to hone skills to survive. In an article, Michael McDonnell stated, “helping employees to up-skill is the most motivating thing that an organization can do for their people now.” For example, during tight economic times, the maintenance department of a hotel may be downsized. If work rules permit, it may be possible to cross-train or up-skill a custodian to be a plumber or electrician's helper, since the trades are often the first to be downsized in many organizations.

Appreciate the little things

Emmerich states, “Appreciate the little steps along the way during challenging times.” People will be expected to do more, and in many cases, with less. Employers and employees will be stretched to maximize resources while maintaining, or even increasing, productivity to stay competitive. Take more than a few moments to thank people for jobs well done. These “thank you's” do not need to be monetary gifts or anything large —a kind word of praise, recognition in front of peers, a time of celebration with donuts and fruit for the team to thank them for a job well done—will go a long way. Get out of the office more to interact with the crews on the job and lead by example. If it is a person's job to pick up trash and you see some on the ground, pick it up and don't walk by it. If a fixture is broken, take a few minutes to report it, rather than leaving it for others to do. Ask the team what excites them and see if there is a way to provide that excitement in the workplace. In one restaurant chain that I visited, there is a bell and satisfied customers are asked to ring it as they leave. I have noticed that whenever the bell rings, the restaurant staff takes a moment to call out “Thank you!” to the customer. It seems like the employees and the customers enjoy this interaction.

Therefore, if the above strategies are taken into account the business would be able to survive in a dynamic environment by treating their employees as one of their assets which needs a lot of attention. Employees are the backbone of any business success and therefore, they need to be motivated and maintained in organization at all cost to aid the organization to be globally competitive in terms of providing quality products and services to the society. And in the long-run the returns on investments on the employees would be achieved. Management should encourage job redesign-task autonomy, task significance and task identity, open book management, empowerment of employees, recruitment and selection must be done scientifically with the objective of retaining employees. Managers should examine the sources of employee turnover and recommend the best approach to fill the gap of the source, so that they can be in a position to retain employees in their organization to enhance their competitiveness

during this era of economic downturn. Managers must understand that employees in their organizations must be treated as the most liquid assets of the organization which would make the organization to withstand the waves of recession and globalization. This asset needs to be monitored with due care, otherwise their organizations would cease to exist. Employees should be given challenging work and all managers should be hired on the basis of proficiency by following laid down procedures of the organization and this would enable organization to have competent managers at all levels of management and hence good supervision. (Griffeth, 2000) noted pay and pay-related variables have a great effect on employee turnover. Management must compensate employees adequately. They should pay employees based on their performance and in addition employees should be given incentives like individual bonus, lump sum bonus, sharing of profits and other benefits. Hence, if these are set in place they would minimize employee turnover.

The Charted Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) released its current survey for 2009 and they found out that an average employee turnover in the UK is about 15.7% in another words for every hundred employees you have got about fifteen of those employees are likely to leave the business in one year. Private sector with the highest labour turnover rate of 16.8%. Service industry contributing ever at the highest on 34%. The cost of this is of the order of £8,200 per employee. If we talk about senior managers or directors of the business we are talking about a that is closer to £12000 per employee. These costs can be quite substantial; it's something organizations wanted to try minimize.

In 1938, Murray proposed a vocabulary of human motives. Subsequent research, such as Cattell (1957) and McClelland (1961), has focused primarily on four of the needs defined by Murray: power, affiliation, autonomy, and achievement. Previous studies have demonstrated that one or more of these motives, defined as an expectation of an affective change (McClelland, 1987) or a general disposition toward finding a certain set of stimuli attractive (Veroff, Rueman, and Feld, 1984), are associated with success at higher levels of nontechnical management (McClelland and Boyatzis, 1982). Motivating needs are of interest to hospitality professionals because of their usefulness in such organizational processes as selection, coaching, appraisal, training, and succession planning (Dickinson and Ineson, 1993). However, little research has been conducted in the hospitality industry, despite its growth and its difficulty in meeting constantly increasing human-resource needs. The research that has targeted the service sector suggests that needs can be used as one indicator of an individual's future workplace behavior and of his or her fit likely within a particular organizational culture (Swanljuns, 1981). Using a modification of a survey instrument developed by Steers and Braunstein (1976) called the Manifest Needs Questionnaire, this study explores whether needs vary among managers at different hierarchical levels of an organization. The researchers also explore whether these needs are significantly different for various demographic groups of managers. For example, do men's and women's need for power or affiliation differ? Does level of education or marital status affect motivating needs? Answers to such questions will provide useful information to practicing managers as they select, appraise, and coach their employees with the goal of increasing individual and organizational effectiveness. Results of this research also further our understanding of how differences such as gender, age, level of education, marital status, and number of children relate to managers' motivating needs.

Motivation, as viewed from a needs-behavioral perspective, has been used extensively to understand individual behavior in the workplace (Steers, Porter, and Bigley, 1996). Research on the need for power, need for autonomy, need for affiliation, and need for achievement and the relationship of these needs to an individual's work behavior, is well-established. Dating back to Murray (1938), researchers have targeted these needs as a significant measure of human-motive disposition. Hall and Lindzey (1957) first applied workable definitions to Murray's needs. More recently, McClelland (1975, 1987) and others have extended the application of behavioral outcomes based on needs (Salancik and Pfeffer, 1977; McClelland et al., 1976; McClelland and Burnham, 1995; McClelland and Winter, 1969). Litwin and Stringer (1968) define need for power as a source of satisfaction derived from controlling the means of influence over others. In other words, someone with a high need for power will attempt to influence others directly. High need for affiliation is defined as a strong desire to make connections with other people or as a propensity to seek opportunities for friendly interpersonal relationships in which the individual can be attentive to the feelings of others. McClelland (1987) illustrated those individuals with high need for affiliation has a greater need to be liked. Individuals with high need for autonomy seek to defy convention (Hall and Lindzey, 1957) or to place emphasis on independence, even at the expense of promotional opportunities (Steers and Braunstein, 1976). Jackson (1967) defines an individual with need for achievement as one who “aspires to accomplish difficult goals, maintains high standards and is willing to work toward distant goals, responds positively to competition, [and is] willing to put forth effort to attain excellence.” McClelland et al. (1976) more concisely define need for achievement as behavior toward competition with a standard for excellence.

Studying motivating needs and hierarchical levels of the organization in a service organization, Cornelius and Lane (1984) found individuals with high need for power migrate toward more prestigious jobs and occupations, which supports earlier findings by McClelland (1975). Cornelius and Lane found need for achievement was not related to any critical outcome variable. Similarly, Chusmir (1986) suggested that need for power is satisfied by occupying higher management positions, whereas need for affiliation and need for achievement are satisfied by working in lower management or supervisory positions. Stahl and Harrell (1982) found executives exhibited a higher need for power than did most others in their sample. Moreover, they found executives displayed a higher need for power than need for affiliation, although both of these needs were higher than the need for achievement. McClelland and Boyatzis (1982) sought to substantiate a leadership-motive pattern—defined as being at least moderately high in need for power, lower in need for affiliation, and high in self-control—in a sample of AT&T managers. They provided evidence that this pattern was associated with managerial success for managers with several years of experience. The need for achievement, however, was associated with success only at lower levels of management where individual contributions are more important than the ability to influence others. Steers and Braunstein (1976) found that individuals with high need for achievement were more involved in their work and were committed to organizational goals regardless of position. This supports earlier findings by Litwin and Stringer (1968) and Steers (1975). They also found evidence that individuals with high need for autonomy satisfied their needs by remaining detached from the organization. Their respondents' need for power was significantly related to hierarchical rank. Equating the needs framework to levels of success, Farmer and Rittenberg (1992) studied accounting auditors. They found only need for achievement varied systematically with position in the organization, although they acknowledged that the specialized, technical nature of the work made the study unique compared to past research. McClelland and Burnham (1995) concluded that successful managers have a strong need for power, which is greater than their need to be liked.

The results also indicate that a manager in a large company does not require a high need for achievement to be successful. Using motivating needs in the workplace as a conceptual framework, Knotts (1975) investigated differences among women on the basis of their needs and demographic variables. She found that age, education, and marital status were correlated with these needs for different groups of women, and concluded that professional women have similar need patterns. In a longitudinal study of career maturation and progression, Smits, McLean, and Tanner (1993) examined respondents' gender and need for achievement. The results suggest that while high achievers enter the workplace with distinguishing work-related profiles, the commonalities between high-achieving females and males outweigh their differences. In a similar study, Elizur and Beck (1994) examined gender differences and achievement motive, but found no significant differences between men and women. Stahl and Harrell (1982) also found no apparent differences in motivating needs between genders of their diverse sample. Watson and Barone (1976) examined African-American and Caucasian managers and concluded that the motivating needs of the two groups were very similar. Furthermore, they concluded that the differences that did exist between the groups would likely disappear after the sampled African-American managers had gained more experience in managerial positions. The relationship between motivating needs and various factors associated with life success (e.g., family) was studied by (Parker and Chusmir, 1991). The researcher found that for non-managerial, service-industry workers, need for power was negatively related to family relationships. Of greater importance, they found the type of work (managerial versus non-managerial) was a significant predictor of both achievement and power needs, although they failed to explain the causal relationship between the independent and dependent variables.

Murray's Model

The theory underlying Murray's model (1938) needs suggests that distinct behavioral outcomes will be associated with each need. Murray sought to clarify the link between motives and the presumably connected workplace behaviors. He created methods for measuring a variety of motives and then attempted to integrate the data using interpretive and diagnostic tools. While he was not completely successful in providing conceptually clear measures of all motivating needs, his efforts did create a much better understanding of the problems involved and made future advances possible. Steers and Braunstein (1976) refined these needs and developed a survey instrument, the Manifest Needs Questionnaire (MNQ). Their intent was to measure those needs most important to individuals in the workplace. In developing the instrument, statements were worded to include measures of the various needs with particular relevance to a work environment. Attempts were made to control for acquiescence and social desirability. After pre-testing, statements that were unclear or lacking in content validity were removed. Tests of the MNQ by its originators suggest it exhibits reasonable levels of convergent and discriminated validity. Initial results of the MNQ were consistent with the original theory underlying the four needs relevant to a managerial setting. The MNQ has become popular in organizational research to assess the strengths of psychological, behaviorally based needs. It has also been adapted to different fields and for changes in mainstream business language since 1976. Most notably, (Farmer and Rittenberg(1992) adapted the MNQ for application in the public accounting field. These researchers, as well as the several others who have used the MNQ either in its original or in an adapted form, found the instrument to be valid and useful. (Pfeffer (1980) found the instrument to be valid although he suggested that a social information processing approach to analyzing attitudes and need constructs in work organizations might be more precise. Dreher and Mai-Dalton (1983) tested the MNQ in its original form and found that estimates of internal consistency were unsatisfactory on several dimensions, although the estimates did offer limited internal consistency for need for power. Joiner (1982) recommended increasing the number of questions for each of the four needs but did not specify what statements should be added.

Study of food service managers' motivating needs

The purpose of this study is to examine the motivating needs of food service managers and determine whether these needs are significantly different for organizationally and demographically distinct groups. Specifically, we are interested in (1) whether motivating needs are different for managers at different levels of the organization and (2) whether these needs vary according to such variables as gender, level of education, number of children, and culture/ethnicity. The on-site segment of the hospitality industry was targeted. This segment is defined as food outlets in business and industry, schools, universities and colleges, hospitals, skilled nursing centers, elder care centers, correctional facilities, recreation facilities such as stadiums, and child care centers (Reynolds, 1997). While there has been little research to understand managers' motivating needs in the hospitality industry, no work has been done in the on-site segment despite its stature in the global business market. Sales in the on-site food service segment exceeded $76 billion in 1996 (Puzo, 1997). This segment was also selected because of its unique organizational structure; for managed-services companies that dominate the market, operations are largely decentralized. As a result, managers with hospitality experience but also with unique experiential backgrounds are required for each position. In addition, the organizational hierarchy of these companies is clearly stratified. Thus, distinct levels of management can be identified without concern for organizational overlap.

A large, international managed-services company based in the United States was selected for three reasons. First, using a single organization limited external factors such as divergent corporate cultures that might confound the results of the study. Second, the size of the organization provided a solid respondent base from which to draw. Third, complete access to the names and addresses of managers working in the U.S. division of this organization could be secured. Since past research has shown that lower levels of management are relatively similar in terms of motivating needs (Chusmir, 1986; McClelland and Boyatzis, 1982; Stahl and Harrell, 1982), this study targeted three levels of management that ranged from unit-level managers to managers with regional responsibility. The titles and descriptions of these individuals, from highest to lowest organizational rank, are: district managers (managers with multi-unit responsibility); general managers (managers who oversee multiple services or multiple units within a single client-based organization); and food service directors (managers with overall responsibility for a single unit). The entire population was surveyed. The limited number of managers at the district manager and general manager levels underscored the need for this approach.


“Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.” [Werner von Braun]

As literature suggests alternative methodological approaches, an extensive review was conducted in order to decide on the most applicable one for this report. This preparation in particular, facilitated the process of the empirical data collection. However, we share the viewpoint of Czarniawska (1998, vi) that “… there is no method, strictly speaking, in social sciences. All there is are other words as sources of inspiration, an array of various techniques, and a systematic reflection on the work that is being done.” Not to be limited with certain hotels only, secondary method of research has been chosen to proceed with where I would be able to analyse the best options available for dealing with the impacts of management motivational level in the hospitality industry. An alternate method considered for the research was not suitable as due to the current time of recession in employment would considerably divert the whole objective of employee opinion towards their expectancy. I also feel that the senior management and executives are not very easily available to answer such questions in their realistic approach of treatment towards their employees. With the literature on file I would be able proceed with higher quality date than if I attempted to proceed with my own primary research. There has already been vast amount of data available by questioners done with employees.

Towards the construction of my methodology design, I would initially be looking into the key desires of different managers, and how they wish to be valued in their employment. Their motivational expectancies and the level of desire. Further more from the revenue side of the service industry, the cost incurred towards the loss of each staff member replaced. Considering the level of employee interchange within the hierarchy level.

Using the data collected by previous researchers where the study began with individual and group interviews at three levels of management, which were conducted with industry professionals, academics knowledgeable in this field, and managers from the target organization. These discussions led to the development of a list of needs salient to the potential respondents. The need for power, the need for affiliation and, to a lesser extent, the need for autonomy and achievement were cited. Based on these findings, a customized version of Steers and Braunstein's (1976) MNQ was confirmed to be appropriate for the purpose of assessing motivating needs. Using previous theory and research related to Murray's model, the MNQ was modified to fit the target group and statements were added to ensure a desired level of reliability. As with the original MNQ, some items were negatively phrased and reverse-scored. A self-report survey was used due to the cost and other logistical concerns. This instrument was pre-tested during a non-related meeting of industry professionals; from the results of the pretest, minor modifications were made and a series of demographic questions were then added to the survey. The instrument was then tested again on industry executives and faculty from the university. Factor analysis following the pretests demonstrated that the instrument produced a useful and reliable measure of the four needs. After the sample study population was determined, a letter of introduction was sent to the home address of each manager. The survey instrument was then sent within two weeks, accompanied by a letter from the corporation endorsing the study and confirming the confidentiality of respondents' answers. Completed, usable surveys were received from 517 respondents for an overall response rate of 66.1 percent. Response-rate percentages by management group were 84.61 for district managers, 83.93 for general managers and 61.33 for food service directors. Due to the relatively high response rate, it was determined that a follow-up survey was unnecessary. The internal validity of the motivating needs survey instrument was confirmed. Using factor analysis, statements were measured using the respective factor loading values. Only three of the needs were found to be statistically represented: need for power, need for autonomy, and need for affiliation. Scores were assigned to each respondent for each need variable by taking the sum of each set of responses for each need. Using these motive values, analysis of variance was used to analyze the differences in needs among various demographic and organizational groups. Data were also analyzed to ensure a normal distribution of the error terms; no indications of substantial departures from normality were indicated. Analysis also confirmed that there was no lack of fit. Standardized residuals were plotted to detect gaps or outlying observations. Finally, the residuals were examined for nonsystematic departures from zero.

One of the ways to reduce this employee turnover is to help employees feel engaged and when employees feel engaged the job performance will increase and the employee turnover will reduce. One of the best ways to get employee engagement is to help employees feel highly valued. What the bus survey company found was that most of their employees did not feel highly valued and this was the main reason that they were leaving this particular bus. Question stands, how to make employees feel highly valuable? Don't think the answer is particularly obvious apart from telling people they are highly valued. What else have to be done to make sure that is the perception of the employees? Another survey conducted by the group of students from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, USA asking a total of 400 general mix of employees from 20 different hotels from a broad section of different star ratings. The question asked was about the culture of their organisation, how the employees felt or employee opinion in other words, they also asked them about the employee development and the final thing asked about was the key issue, the things that are holding back the performance of the business. What that survey included was the vital statement “I feel highly valued” and all the questionnaires that people could answer “yes I strongly agree” or “strongly disagree” or somewhere in the middle.


The aggregated scores for each of the three motivating needs produced significantly different values. As shown in Table 8.1 below, the scores of the respondents demonstrated that as a collective, need for power is by far the greatest, followed by need for affiliation; need for autonomy was comparatively small (small value equates to stronger measure of need). In analyzing the needs by position, need for power was the only variable that was significantly different among hierarchical groups, with need for power increasing with rank in the organization. Across the ranks, need for autonomy and need for affiliation did not vary. Using a series of tests, the difference in need for power was found between food service directors and the other two higher-ranking groups, although the mean need for power was greatest for district managers (see Table 8.2). This finding of increasing need for power with rank is supported by the literature (Steers and Braunstein, 1976; Stahl and Harrell, 1982; Cornelius and Lane, 1984). However, it was surprising that need for power was the leading motivator across the board, particularly in the case of food service directors, since Chusmir's (1986) research suggested this to be true only in upper managerial ranks.

TABLE 8.1. Motivating Needs: Entire Sample





need for





need for autonomy




need for affiliation




* Lower value equates to stronger measure of need.

TABLE 8.2. Motivating Needs by Management Level

need for


need for autonomy

need for affiliation









Food service director








General manager








District manager








* Lower value equates to stronger measure of need.

The prevalence of need for power and need for affiliation being greater than need for autonomy was also not surprising given McClelland and Boyatzis' (1982) work on leadership; although again it was surprising that the pattern remained the same for the three ranks. We might infer that this leadership profile (strong need for power balanced with a lower but still prevalent need for affiliation) is required for managers, at least for the three levels studied, in this segment of the industry due to the unique nature of the business. That is, jobs in this arena may, by their very nature, require managers who have the ability (and the need) to influence others directly. Furthermore, it is likely that the leadership and management of people, rather than systems or machines, is a critical success factor in the on-site segment, which may not be true in other industries. Finally, the prevalent need for affiliation and the minimal need for autonomy throughout the three ranks suggest that both the managers and the organization value teamwork. In exploring differences in motivating needs between genders, both the need for power and the need for affiliation differed (p = .06 and p < .01, respectively). As illustrated in Table 8.3, men reported a greater need for both power and affiliation. This is contrary to earlier findings, such as those reported by Smits, McLean, and Tanner (1993). It is possible that the male respondents' higher need for power is linked with the once-typical hierarchical nature of food service; where males managed dictatorially and women were absent from the management ranks. The inequality in need for affiliation, with men exhibiting far more than their female counterparts, is not as easily explained. Perhaps the male respondents have developed a greater need for affiliation to offset their need for power. Another demographic variable, years with the organization, also appears to be a differentiating factor for the respondents. Individuals with more time with the company exhibited a lower need for power (p < .001). Significance increased further when we used position as a controlling factor. This relationship was a unique finding not explored in previous studies. It may simply be that individuals acquire other needs as their time with the organization increases; having achieved a relatively high level of power, they seek other sources of satisfaction. No difference in needs using ethnicity/culture as a variable was found, although the group was largely homogenous in this respect. This finding is supported by Watson and Barone's (1976) research. Managers with no children exhibited a higher need for autonomy whencompared to those with children (p < .01). Parker and Chusmir's (1991) study supports this, although their findings in this area were more broadly stated and were framed in terms of family relationships.

Managers with more advanced education reported an increased need for power and need for affiliation (p < .01 and p < .05); there also appears to be a linear relationship with these needs and the number of years of college education. Drawing on the work of Knotts (1975), this is not surprising. Furthermore, the education for the respondents is most likely in the field of management, thereby preparing the individuals for positions with varying degrees of leadership. Thus, the relationship between education and need for power and need for affiliation for these respondents is more likely tied to the leadership pattern described by McClelland and Boyatzis (1982).

The need for achievement was not one of the motivating needs reported by the managers. That is, the factor analysis of the data disclosed no indication that the instrument measured this. This was not true during the pretests. We therefore conclude that need for achievement is not salient to this management group, which is supported by the findings of Cornelius and Lane (1984), among others. However, further retest of the instrument is necessary to substantiate this finding.

The second set of survey came up with seven different actions from employees. With correlation coefficient greater than 0.8 which is indeed a strong correlation. To say that they strongly correlate with “I feel highly valued” below are these seven actions categorised.

1. From a cultural point of view. The culture of the organization should say that team work horizontally and vertically throughout the organisation is excellent. That makes them feel highly valued as an employee because they feel they are a valued member of a team and also because the team is integral with the company as a whole. It makes them feel a valued member of the company.

2. Does the manager demonstrate that he/she cares about employee's family needs as well as those of the business? This makes them feel highly valued because the personal needs are respected and valued by the boss. The boss in this instance is the best representative that is available for the company as a whole.

3. They get initial feed

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