Human Resource Management In Hospitality Industries


The purpose of this assignment is enable readers to develop a stronger understanding of the issues faced in the Human Resource Management in hospitality industries. The hospitality industry and tourism industry is proven to be a good career opportunity for many, as the requirement and demand for  labors of different skills, helps to achieve the ultimate goal; ensuring guests satisfaction to build-up customer loyalty and return of visit. I have chosen to explain on labor turnovers, diversity and flexibility because it is among the most common problems faced by many organizations, whereby I have encountered similar situations before during my supervised work experience.

What is Labor Turnover in hospitality industry?

Labor turnover refers to the number of employees hired within 6 months to replace those who leave or are dropped out by the organization. Voluntary turnover happens when an employee decides to leave for a better opportunity in another workplace, which could be due to salary and promotions, or, to further their studies. Involuntary turnover means that employee doesn’t have a choice but to leave, such as immediate firing by the organization. The hospitality industry is all about service within the employee and customer, whereby one of the major issues faced is the labor turnover rate. Hiring and training new employees every month, and possibilities of losing high skilled employee, would result in high costs, and time consuming.

Chef Turnovers in Malaysia Hotels

A chef’s job requirements require a very broad knowledge of food, both internationally and local, and excels in practical skills.  Work experience can be an ideal way to obtain these knowledge and skills, however, by having education, it imposes a strong influence to the staff to stay in the organization as higher educated staff receives higher pay compared to a lower educated staff.

In other words, the higher the staff’s education level is, the longer they will stay in the organization, which is supported by Bluedorn (1982), whereby it’s mentioned that education affects the job expectation and environmental opportunities, and that this influences the turnover rate and job satisfaction.

Having to receive disrespect within the department among the staff is most likely to increase turnover. As hospitality industry talks about service, getting the job done right will also require the managers to play the role of motivating and supporting their staff, as mentioned by Buckingham and Coffman (1999).

Hotel Manager’s Turnover Intentions in the Hospitality Industry

Dissatisfaction in pay levels and benefits is the common issue faced in many working industry. Distributive Justice is defined as the employee’s response to the fairness of the treatment by the organization, which could be in terms of the pay level and promotion, as mentioned by Greenberg (2001). Example, a chambermaid who has worked for 5 years is not given a promotion, as compared to a newly hired and educated chambermaid who worked for only 2 years, and is given a promotion to supervisor.

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Interactional Justice, mentioned by (Hubell and Chory-Assad, 2005), talk about the dishonesty and disrespect in their job, which is due to unfair treatment within the organization. Example, the human resource manager may listen to the food and beverage manager’s ideas but ignore the steward staff, due to their work behaviors and pay level.

Employee Theft in South CarolinaHospitality Industry

The Hospitality industry is compromised of many unskilled and low-paying jobs, which could result in thefts that will lead to high turnover due to the organizations policy and penalty, which is either a warning letter or immediate firing. National Restaurant Associations has reported that thefts contribute to 75% of inventory shortages, which leads to 7%-10% loss in gross sales annually (Drinkard, 1996).

Employees working part-time and nightshifts tend to misuse alcohol and drugs on job, based on the survey done reported by Withian (1996), who also stated that the other possibilities of theft could be due to unfair treatment by the company, and that coworkers agreed to theft as well.

Importance of retaining labors

Retaining labors require active involvement from the Human Resource department to develop future career ladder, commitment from employees to ensure they perform well through motivations and appreciations from colleagues, and most importantly, the knowledge of retention strategies (Chalkiti & Sigala, 2010). I partly disagree regarding the impact of education level on turnover rate. Becoming more educated would mean that one will be more aware of the surroundings, and would seek better opportunities and benefits as they know their salary, partly, will also be based on their education. An organization that can provide education for those who can’t afford, guarantee a job position, and providing flexible time for working, can help to retain good employees.

Diversity issues in hospitality industries.

Diversity is categorized based on age, gender, education level, religion, nationality or even by physical difference. Organizations that hires employee based on these differences, are called bias, and causes unfair treatment to others.

Gender bias in Turkish hospitality industry

Women in Turkish are often compared with men in the working society, whereby women are seen mostly as housewives, which is a stereotype of genders.  Turkish society dislikes seeing their women working for long hours and drinking alcohol, which is the reason why most women are not able to grasp experiences for career development, as compared to men. Similarly to United Kingdom, these factors have caused the Turkish hospitality industry to become male-dominated, as mentioned by Purcell (1996).

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Not only those Turkish women are finding it difficult to get a job, even for those who are in a management position of the same rank, women are still getting paid less compared to men. A study by Menguc (1998) mentioned that although now the earning gap between men and women has reduced, the Turkish society still preferred men.

Generation Y and problems in workplace

Generation Y are those born within 1978 to 2000, born with technology for communication, family oriented, independent and goal oriented.  As Gen Y are familiar with technologies, it may seem that they are more impatient when it comes to using traditional methods, as technology is the mean of flexibility for them. Example, Gen Y have the tendency to demand for the usage of POS system instead of writing a captain order to send food orders to the kitchen quickly, without considering the previous generation lack of skills in technology, as supported by Casben (2007).

In addition, as Gen Y prefer to work in organizations that provide good pay and position, and would view the brand of the organization in making decisions to work (Hays Research, 2007). This could be an issue whereby if a lot of Malaysians move out to work in the UK for high pay, Malaysia hotels will then have to source out foreign labor. Although this statement shows that Gen Y are demanding, however, Spiro (2006) mentioned that Gen Y are more keen to accommodate their work with their families and personal lifes, not only for the purpose of getting higher pay.

Preparing Hospitality Students to lead a diverse workforce

Employees in the hospitality industry are diversified, whereby you’ll meet people who differ in religion, nationality, education level, values and beliefs. Language barriers are one of the common issues faced in cultural diversity, typically with the English Language especially when the organizations hires more immigrants, compared to locals. Lee & Chon (2000) discovered that a majority number of managers often struggle with non-English speakers.

Importance of Understanding Diversity

Compared to previous years, when organizations or even applicants take gender, religion, race, physical appearance

Flexibility in Work Places

Workplace flexibility allows employee to make decisions such as arranging their own work schedule, determining when to take their breaks. Organizations now use this as a tool for improving recruitment and retention of employees. Research has shown that flexibility increases job satisfaction, allowing them to engage in their job more effectively, thus, reducing stress as well.

Work-Family Conflicts

The hospitality industry is known for its long working hours, which may seem to be inconvenient for many workers who have families to take care of, and leads to family conflicts. Work flexibility talks about the possibilities of the employee to arrange their own work schedule, whereby they are able to meet the requirement of the work in the company, and the needs of their family. Hence, we can say that a decrease in work flexibility will result in higher work-family conflicts, as supported by Swanberg (2008).

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Another factor to work-family conflict is the lack of the organizational support. Meaning, the organization doesn’t care about their employee’s family needs and wants; instead, they throw in the entire burden and work load to them, ensuring that if they don’t get the job done, it will affect their performance appraisal and pay. This would also mean that employees have very minimal control over their work hours, and less power in making decision. Thomas and Ganster (1995) mentions that lack in organizational support could influence the rate of labor turnover.

Part-Time Employment

Hospitality industries are often looking students for part-timers; as they are opt to working for long hours, with low pays. Lamont & Lucas (1999) found that students were perceived as determined, intelligent and willing to listen to instructions, and that their qualities might be lacking by other employees. This could be an issue whereby managers may tend to favor students instead of their permanent staffs.

Although the working hours are more flexible, whereby they can choose morning, evening or night shift, students may still find it difficult to cope with exams and assignments. In addition, students who work for longer hours to earn extra money may find their study initiative reduced, as they may tend to miss classes and could result in gaining lower grades in their exams, as supported by Curtis and Shani (2002).

Lower-Wage Workers

Generally, those of higher income level in the hospitality industry are given better opportunities in terms of flexi-hours. Meaning, the empowerment of their job position and salary allows them to have control over their break-time or even scheduling work time to meet their family responsibilities. Higher income employees (57%) have control over their break-times, unlike the 33% of the lower income employees. (Bond and Galinsky 2006).

The National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW, 2000), supported by Bond and Galinsky (2006), found that those of lower-income are less likely than higher-income to have:

Some paid time-off for illness (39% vs 79%).

Time off for a sick child without losing pay or use vacation days (24% vs 54%).

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