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As a hotel manager being concerned with performance management is of utmost importance. Firstly, performance has a direct impact upon the overall performance of the unit, measured both by the proprietors and general manager in relation to profit and also by customers in way of quality and consistency of service. The foundations of good management rely heavily upon the responsibility to achieve results through the workforce - as a team. The specific goals from performance management systems are three -fold: to improve overall performance, to sustain good performance, and correct poor performance. There are many key objectives in the organisation that aim to delineate management structure and individual/team responsibilities whilst also meeting the overall needs and goals of the organisation. It is documented that within a hotel environment, structure is the best way to channel employees' efforts towards a productive means.
Hotel objectives are divided into two groups: administrative and organisational. The administrative; deals with the accountancy, marketing, sales and human resources. The operation covers food & beverage, rooms, reception, conference & banqueting. Both of these groups ultimately answer to the general manager who in turn, is accountable to the proprietor. The organisational objectives for the hotel micro-environment are as follows:
Operate a three star property, adhering to the standards set out by AA membership; ideally at a higher percentage rating than average (in line with competitors)
To comply with HR, fire and health & safety laws and procedures to operate a safe, legal hotel
Achieve levels of profit sufficient to provide adequate returns to stakeholders & investors
Maintain a prominent market position by constantly striving to improve quality & service
Adopting best practice by use of local suppliers (where appropriate) and upkeep ethical standards
Manage the hotel by use of HR policy in line with best practice, as documented by ACAS. Encouraging training and personal development, rewarding both personal & unified effort and achievement. Thus, creating a working environment in which staff can feel valued for their input
Providing an exemplary service to our clientele in terms of service and range of facilities
Marketing the hotel by use of ethical and recognisable systems which are accessible to all.
KPI's are an essential tool to measure business performance and benchmark it against the rest of the industry. They are proven as a quantifiable measure to gauge organisational performance. Specific KPI's have to be SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. A number of KPI's are set within a 'Job Description' and at a managerial level are frequently an influence in performance related pay structures for example, a saving on labour costs is rewarded by a yearly cash reward or pay rise. In order to set accurate KPI's that meet the SMART objectives, a SWOT analysis of the organisation needs to be taken. The SWOT analysis comprises of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that influence the direction of performance management and identify routes to develop specific needs and accountabilities. The SWOT analysis also presents a number of opportunities to which the organisation to seize to develop its market stance and decrease its weaknesses.
Staff are engaged into performance management procedures by several basic needs. These are covered by Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This theory stipulates that there are 5 levels of 'need' that people are driven to satisfy. These five levels are:
Self-actualisation needs - opportunities to become self-fulfilled
Esteem needs - personal sense of achievement and self-work, respect from others
Affiliation needs - friendship, love and feeling of belonging
Security needs - safety, stability and absence of pain or threat
Physiological needs - food and shelter
The main debate surrounding Maslow's Theory is that these levels of needs are sequential: only when the lower needs for food and shelter are satisfied, will the higher order of needs become important. This theory is more of an explanation human behaviour rather than a work-based theory. The implications for this theory are that jobs that present opportunities for teamwork, wide skill use and self-growth/fulfilment may allow people to satisfy the higher order needs such as affiliation/personal growth more readily than simplistic jobs.
Hertzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory is useful as a model to demonstrate the two types of motivational factors which Hertzberg called 'hygiene' and 'motivators'. Hygiene factors focus on salary, working conditions, level & quality of supervision, and interpersonal relations in the workplace. These 'hygiene' factors are considered 'extrinsic' as they are determined by the organisation and not the job itself. The second types of motivational factor are 'motivators' and are 'intrinsic'. They are factors which are directly related to the job and affect whether or not an employee feels satisfaction or no satisfaction from their job. Consequently, job enrichment would be a sufficient opportunity.
In contrast to Hertzberg's & Maslow's motivation theories, McClelland's theory of needs proposes that an individual's specific needs are acquired over time and are influenced by their life experience. These needs are classified as achievement, affiliation or power. This theory is often referred to as the 'learned need' theory. The implications are that people with different needs are motivated in a different way with a high need for achievement, power and affiliation.
The methods involved in the process of assessing employees' performance against the KPI's are:
Monthly H.O.D meetings
Weekly departmental meetings
Personal development training in the workplace through NVQ's and in-house training
Continuous assessment through team/department tasks/projects
Monitoring customer feedback
Quarterly 1-2-1 reviews
Appraisals - these are an effective tool in assessing past, present, and future performance. It is also used to highlight training needs and assist in ongoing career planning /development. The two way discussion method is proven as a forum to set future objectives and move forward in a constructive manner, promoting better business management.
Monthly H.O.D meetings - used to highlight any departmental issues and/or any individuals conduct which has led to an adverse effect on the team or/and its status in regards to the organisational objectives. Also used to praise staff and recognise achievement.
Weekly departmental meetings - trouble shoot/problem solve and address minor issues. These are also used as a training session. These can be referenced to 'Belbin's team roles' - in which teams members are analysed by developing strength and managing any weaknesses.
A frequently used model to demonstrate improving understanding between individuals in a group setting is 'The Johari Window'. This concept observes that trust can be built between team members by disclosing information about themselves. With feedback from the team, they can learn about themselves and come to terms with any personal issues.
Personal development and training - in house training and promoting career development through use of NVQ's. These help to encourage employees to develop their potential and stay with the company to progress further.
Continuous assessment - improves morale and strengthens departmental manager - employee bond.
Monitoring customer feedback - customer feedback is important due to its ties with marketing the business. Customer relations need to be maintained in order to ensure repeat business and deter negative connotations/bad reputation. Also used to deal/record customer complaints/issues and use them as a learning tool.
Quarterly 1-2-1 reviews - used as an informal session to ensure that employees feel valued in the work place and have an opportunity to offer any ideas for improvement/ and point of view - feedback on their job role.
Praise - used to convey appreciation in the work place - strengthening morale.
Coaching - when people succeed they can contribute their success and identify areas to improve their performance. It also shows commitment from a manager - that they have the skills to mentor employees and provide guidance, emphasising added value that can be obtained from coaching. This benefits both employee and organisation. The 'OSCAR Coaching Model' represents the stages of Coaching within the organisation: Outcome, Situation, Choices & Consequences, Actions, Review.
Using the confines of the afore-mentioned management methods used in a hotel environment, providing accurate and unbiased feedback is pivotal in leading a constructive and developmental workplace conducive to the 'needs' and 'wants' that drive an individual. When evaluating performance, feedback essentially has to be effective on a number of levels. Giving feedback is not always easy and many managers feel uneasy doing so because the feedback they are giving is negative. Feedback is an important resource which helps an organisation to become more aware of what they do and how they do it. When giving feedback, it is always important to focus on the behaviour rather than the person. The purpose of feedback is to improve performance and influence/assist the employee in fully comprehending their job role and responsibilities/accountabilities. Feedback directs behaviour and motivates performance. Without feedback employees cannot progress or analyse their own performance. This may lead to a high staff turnover and a further detrimental effect on the organisation overall.
Within the constraints of the hotel environment, feedback is ultimately a powerful resource for improving performance. On a day-to-day basis, customer feedback is essential in providing a firsthand analysis of personal and also team service/performance. On a personal level, providing feedback has played a major part in influencing future development of hotel services and resources both increasing turnover and by diversification.
Feedback should adhere to the following:
Current - backed up by evidence and specific.
All feedback needs to relate to specific behaviours, without gauging personal feelings/attitudes
Select key issues in a constructive, forward stance where feedback can be improves, rather than focusing on negativity
Provide positive feedback. Focus on what can be done - not by criticising the employee
Build feedback into the job role
Ask questions rather than general statements. The questions should be open enough to engage a response from the employee
Ensure that feedback leads to action on both parts. It can be used to develop an employee's performance and also by the manager to engage action if required.
The positive process of performance management involves building on strengths and helping improve them. However, there times when an employee is seen to be under-performing and in these cases action is required sooner, rather than later. Feedback from an on-going basis is essential in taking the first step in deciding whether or not an employee is under-performing. By addressing the problem as soon as it arises, appropriate action can be taken. The standard approach for dealing with under-performing staff is usually to: Identify the problem and mutually agree what the issue actually is and establish the specific reason for the shortfall, without trying to attach blame to either party. The manager should ascertain whether there are any personal circumstances which may have contributed to the under-performer's actions or whether it is down to lack of skill, lack of support/guidance, or personal attitude. After these factors have been ascertained, it is important to agree on an action plan. Whatever is agreed in the action plan needs to comply to the aforementioned SMART objectives (specific, measurable, attainable, timely).
When committing to a an action plan a method of feedback during the process, the individual also needs to be encouraged to monitor their own performance and be responsible for taking any further action if required. The manager's responsibility lies within offering resources to facilitate the action plan through guidance, training, support and coaching. Every opportunity should be made to deal with performance issues as they arise, rather than letting them build up, or dismissing them as irrelevant.
There are times however, that despite further action being taken, it is not enough to delay formal disciplinary proceedings. For example; in dealing with an employee who is consistently late the action plan would firstly, have identified the primary issue - lateness, and then ascertained the reasons behind this. Finally, an action plan would be commenced to remedy/improve the situation. The problem with this example could include the attitude from the employee, which could be due to personal reasons or job dissatisfaction. Despite agreeing on an action plan, further lateness and/or insufficient improvement would result in disciplinary proceedings to review and explain the shortfall in maintaining the required standard. In this formal hearing, immediate remedial proceedings will be discussed and monitoring of the situation agreed upon. Consequences from the agreed action will be made clear and acknowledged by the employee and subject to a period of further review. If by further contravening this agreement and failing to comply with the required standard, the employee may be dismissed. The employee can appeal against their dismissal if they feel they were not dealt with adequately.
The role of general manager is of primary decision maker in dealing with disciplinary proceedings. These formal proceedings are always the last resort in dealing with under performance. Every step possible is taken to remedy an underperforming situation and if required, adapt the job role or surroundings if necessary to aid the employee. Each level in the disciplinary process is structured from the guidance of ACAS, thus guaranteeing a thorough legal process.