This study focuses on my personal workplace experience in the hospitality industry back in India and addresses the problems faced by the employees in various areas of the hotel and the impact it makes towards the organization in general focusing on the general and psychological behaviour of the staff. The case study highlights and emphasises the true nature of these problems with context to the hotel industry. The hospitality sector in India is one of the fastest growing and developing sector gradually growing at a constant rate of about 5-7% per annum (Kashyap, 2014). Occupancy rates are at a constant downfall and are getting even lower.
I did my six-month internship from Le-Meridien New Delhi, a 5-star property belonging to Starwood hotels, which now belongs to JW Marriot for 6 months. By the end of this 6-month period I was aware of the working of each and every department and the difficulties faced by the employees.
One of the main problems is growth, there is no recognition nor appreciation from the managers towards the employees and inadequate training from the HR department which affects the overall productivity. The duties and work an employee performs and the conditions they are supposed to perform it under also effects the organisational effectiveness, for example, hotel workers are always prone to health hazards especially in the kitchen. Despite the dangerous nature of these jobs, there is a lack of safety training and personal protective equipment. Moreover, hotel employees mostly complain about not getting paid on time, and never getting paid for doing overtime. This results in a less dedicated work environment, as there is no time left for the employees for their personal lives either.
A study by (De Castro, A. B., Fujishiro, K., Sweitzer, E., & Oliva, J. 2006) also highlights these issues and proves that employers manipulate the workers to avoid paying for their overtime and highlights the problems faced by the immigrant workers.
The long hours in the hotel industry are brutal, offering only a 1-hour break in an 8-hour shift and split-shifts which results in the staff losing all the focus required for the work especially in the front office department where putting down the correct guest details and payment methods are crucial and the front office clerks are expected to stay focused throughout. The food & beverage department of Le-Meridien which is supposed to be one of the major departments of the hotel gives zero recognition or incentive to the employees, regardless of the fact that the employee is loyal to the organisation from more than 8 years and work long excruciating hours. Moreover, there is no extra pay for overtime in any department.
Many of the interns were also subject to workplace bullying as the superiors had more authority over us. Job insecurity, organisational values and beliefs, lack of professionally trained managers are some of the reasons which lead to workplace bullying (Lewis, D. 1999).
In my opinion the upper level management should focus more on the well-being of the employees rather than only guest satisfaction, if employees are satisfied with the workplace environment it will have a ripple effect towards guest satisfaction as well. This can be achieved through developing training programmes, benefit packages, performance appraisals which aim at developing employee loyalty (Abdullah, R., et al). This will also increase the value of the employee to the organisation.
Tranter, M. (2002) highlights health and workplace safety, especially in the hospitality and tourism industry as one of the most important and ethical obligation to minimise harm to the workers. If workers are regularly monitored and trained at least once a month regarding their health, safety & security, it will create a sense of belongingness in the worker’s minds and would promote efficient and effective working of the organisation.
There is a need in the hotel industry to understand the usefulness of technology and need to start integrating it to their everyday tasks and operations. Not only will it help in the smoother running of operations but also help in reducing physical labour, therefore, reducing the possibility of health and safety hazards.
Lastly, “employees’ intention to leave” must be taken more seriously and coped up with immediately. Workforce turnover is one of the most critical issues in the service industry (Guchait, P., & Cho, S. 2010) but the HRM department needs to pay additional attention in order to increase the workforce turnover. (Carmeli
and Weisberg 2006) suggested an effective way to increase the turnover rate is to identify the motivational factors that would lower the employee’s intention to leave.
Bhatnagar, J., & Sharma, A. (2005) argued that since liberalization, Indian managers are constantly dealing with the issues of growth and transformation. Keeping behind the differences, employees and managers should work hand in hand keeping organizational commitment in mind towards the benefit of the organization. Internal communication should also be encouraged in all departments of the industry making the employee feel a part of the decision- making process because employee satisfaction always lead towards employee loyalty. Moreover, implementing HR practices is crucial to prevent workplace bullying and promoting growth. Thus, stimulating the employee to a greater commitment towards the organization.
- Abdullah, R., et al. "The study of employee satisfaction and its effects towards loyalty in hotel industry in Klang Valley, Malaysia." International Journal of Business and Social Science 2.3 (2011): 147-155.
- De Castro, A. B., Fujishiro, K., Sweitzer, E., & Oliva, J. (2006). How Immigrant Workers Experience Workplace Problems: A Qualitative Study. Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, 61(6), 249-258. doi:10.3200/aeoh.61.6.249-258
- Kashyap, G. (2014). Challenges faced by the Hotel Industry: a review of Indian Scenario. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 16(9), 69-73. doi:10.9790/487x-16916973
- Lewis, D. (1999). Workplace bullying–interim findings of a study in further and higher education in Wales. International Journal of Manpower, 20(1/2), 106-119.
- Tranter, M. (2002). Occupational health and safety risks and management issues in the hotel and fast-food sectors. Human Resource Management: International Perspectives in Hospitality and Tourism, 174-185.
- Guchait, P., & Cho, S. (2010). The impact of human resource management practices on intention to leave of employees in the service industry in India: the mediating role of organizational commitment. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(8), 1228-1247.
- Carmeli, A., & Weisberg, J. (2006). Exploring turnover intentions among three professional groups of employees. Human Resource Development International, 9(2), 191-206.
- Bhatnagar, J., & Sharma, A. (2005). The Indian perspective of strategic HR roles and organizational learning capability. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16(9), 1711-1739.
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