Employee Performance Appraisal in Hospitality Industry

Abstract

A systematic employee-performance appraisal system needs to be in place for the successful achievement of stakeholders’ goals and approaches in the hospitality industry. This study will have a spotlight on the highly spirited high-quality hotel market category. International hotel chains such as Four Seasons, Hilton Hotels, and Marriott have adopted various ways of appraising and evaluating their employees. In most cases, human resource experts will question the applicability of the various appraisal methods and their benefits to the hotel industry. Through the working time of an employee, the entity management needs managers to be familiar with the employees’ performance in relation to the achievement of the company’s goals.

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Introduction

The hospitality industry comprises entities within the food services, recreation, accommodations, and entertainment sector. This industry mainly works on the availability of disposable income and leisure time. This paper will majorly focus on the human resource aspect of the hospitality industry. The department of human resources is responsible for carrying out performance appraisal for employees of the organization (Storbacka, Strandvik & Gronroos, 2009).

Just like any other organization, performance appraisal of employees is a fundamental aspect and calls for all managers to carry out the activity at least once a year. In this study paper, we focus on the various subjects under the issue of employee performance appraisal. These will include benefits of appraisal, ways of measuring performance together with their pros and cons. Finally, the paper will explore the different ways of assessing employee performance in the hospitality industry.

Discussion

Most entities in the hospitality industry have a formal performance appraisal system, which rates the employee work performance on a regular basis. This rating comes on an annual basis for most companies and a satisfactory performance appraisal benefits the users (Luis, Balkin & Cardy, 2006). The major challenge in performance appraisal is coming up with an effective system that will meet the different needs of the organization. Most employees in the hospitality industry find the appraisal programs ineffective and, therefore, hampering the managers’ obligation under the system. In every organization, there are three crucial steps followed in the coming up of an appraisal program that will be effective. The steps comprise identification, measurement, and management.

Creation of an Effective Appraisal Program

The identification stage of setting up an appraisal system should establish the required expertise and behavior for every job sector that will assist in realizing effective presentation. These dimensions should be broad enough to allow for effective appraisal. For instance, the chefs at a leading hotel should be gauged in regards to their ability to cook and deliver meals according to the customer demands and needs. The identification stage allows the relevant authorities to decide on who will make the ratings of different departments in the company.

In most instances, work appraisals are the obligation of the immediate managers of a given employee because they are familiar with the staff member’s work. The next step of consideration is the measurement of work performance. The appraisal system needs to provide levels, which the supervisors and managers will use to measure the employee’s work. The system must have pertinent and efficient rating standards, which the directors can use while carrying out the act of appraisal. The significance of the ratings indicates the degrees of a staff’s work presentation. In addition, the system must be relevant in the sense of rating the employees in relation to pertinent areas of their profession or work (Hubbartt, 2007).

The omission of relevant rating standards in the appraisal system culminates in the unfair evaluation of employees, which may have a negative impact on the work performance of the staff members. To avoid such occurrences, the rating standards should be clear to the users and in line with relevant work ethics and areas. Most Human Resources experts have come up with varied elements and tools applicable in the appraisal of performance. The various employee comparison systems include a graphic rating scale, behaviorally anchored rating scale, and behavior observation scales.

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The last substantial step in developing appraisal performance is managed, and this is where the employees get their feedback concerning their performance. In this step, the mode of feedback will have a significant effect on the employee and his or her work. The manager should provide feedback to the employee in such a way that the information would be heard and acknowledged. Giving feedback whether constructive or positive can be instrumental if carried out at the right time and in the correct mode. Positive feedback can be through rewards, which will in turn inspire employees to work towards the objectives of the organization (Schneider, Ashworth & Carr, 2006).

An appraisal system that has the above steps will be helpful, as it will allow staff to channel their apprehension and promote more rating that is accurate. Performance appraisal can be an effective instrument if both parties- employee and manager take the system seriously. When developing an appraisal performance, the creator needs to be sure to meet with the employees and review the performance goals, values, and expectations. There must be annual meetings to establish the timeline for the appraisal (Snow, 2010). The concerned office should keep records of the staff’s performance so that there can be future comparisons by the two parties. In order to avoid pretense and misconceptions, the manager should eliminate employee anxiety during the process.

Benefits of Appraisal in the Hospitality Industry

Appraisal of employees in any working environment especially the hospitality industry has several advantages and in this part of the paper we analyze this subject. In the overall aspect, performance appraisal is significant in entities because they provide direction to staff members concerning the work behavior and objectives of the organization (Sharma and Christie, 2010). The most notable benefit of appraisal is that it creates an opportunity for a supervisor and subordinate to have one on one time out of the crazy schedules in the industry.

The hospitality industry comprises of busy schedules throughout the working time of an employee, and this may lead to a lack of time between the employees and their supervisors (Kusluvan, 2008). For this reason, it is necessary for every employer or manager to create time for an appraisal, which will provide time for the two parties to discuss influential work issues that may slip because of time. In cases where proper ways have been employed in employee appraisal, the industry has reported notable positives and benefits of the appraisal.

The significance of this intense and purposeful meeting between managers and junior staff should never be underrated as most employees long for this chance. Major hotels and restaurants have linked appraisal with valuable opportunities to focus on work activities and objectives. In addition, there is the aspect of spotting and correcting existing issues together with the focus on encouraging better future performance from the employees. Such opportunities lead to better performance of the entire organization.

Appraisal has a significant influence on the motivation and satisfaction of the staff members. Most appraisals in the hospitality industry entail recognition of the employees’ work efforts. In this regard, social acknowledgment is a motivation for other recruits in the same working area (George, 2010). Studies in this area indicate that people will opt for the pessimistic acknowledgment to none; therefore, an appraisal is a fundamental task for all managers to undertake.

In recent years, the hospitality industry has reported on the positives of appraisal programs in various hotels and restaurants. From a psychological point of view, showing interest in someone’s work will have a constructive impact on his or her sense of value, belonging, and dedication. Most human if not all have the need for individual recognition and performance appraisal fulfills this aspect in employees. Lack of appraisal in hospitality organizations has led to several employee absenteeism and turnover rates. Managers use regular performance appraisal as a way of motivating and retaining employees (Dittmer, 2007).

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Notable is the opportunity of training and development that performance appraisal offers employees in the hospitality industry. The appraisal meetings ensure that the manager and junior staff reach a consensus on individual training and development needs (Enz, 2010). The discussion time on the employee’s work performance offers the manager time to identify the presence or absence of work skills and, therefore, recommend training. The outcome of performance appraisal makes the manager identify the need for training amongst the staff members.

Through the data gathered after performance appraisal, the managers can tell which areas require training and development hence benefit the whole organization. On the other hand, performance appraisal is instrumental in the field of induction and recruitment. The appraisal information can show the performance of various staff members hired in a given period. In the event of changes in the recruitment strategies, appraisal data can elaborate on the effectiveness of the changes. There is the benefit of employee evaluation through performance appraisal. Through evaluation, managers can rate their employees and even use the information to reward them.

On the other hand, the appraisal of employees’ performance can have negative impacts on the different hospitality industries. The most notable shortcoming of employee evaluation and appraisal is the rebellious reaction of employees to the system. Most employees consider performance appraisal systems as a way in which managers grill them for their mistakes at work. In most cases, employees feel that appraisals are meant to fix them for their underperformance at work. More so, there have been cases of favoritism of employees when it comes to performance appraisal. Employees take the process to be a personal move that is applicable in firing them or even demoting them from their positions (Noe, Hollenbeck, & Wright, 2006).

Ways to measure employee performance

Determining the presence of appraisal is an ongoing activity for all executives and supervisors together with their juniors. The various ways in which managers can assess the employee work performance are as follows and in this part, we explore the different used methods. The main notable indicator of employee performance is the quantity, and this can be in the number of units produced, processed or sold. In the case of the hospitality industry, the quantity indicators include the number of customers served food or meals cooked, utensils cleaned, and many other areas (Saulan, 2009).

The consequence shortcoming of this model is that many employees who concentrate on quantity overlook the quality aspect. The quality of work performed is an indicator of the performance of an employee. Managers can gauge this through the overall work products that must be discarded by customers. The higher the number of such works the poor the performance of employees (Sharma, & Christie, 2010). In the event, customers demand or require the service of a certain employee this will be an indication of high work performance by the staff member.

Quality and quantity go hand in hand with time aspect. An effective employee is the one who will be able to deliver quality assigned work at the right time. It is irrelevant for an employee to complete the assigned work within the shortest time possible and deliver poor services to customers. Time is a key indicator of employee work performance as it means that the staff members are efficient in their duties. The three above elements are paramount in the hospitality industry because of the sensitiveness of the services and goods offered to customers.

Cost-effectiveness is another measure of employee performance. This is more relevant when the employee works in areas, which have some degree of control over the costs of the organization. In performance appraisal, the manager can measure the employee’s performance through tardiness or absenteeism. It is almost certain that an employee is not performing when most of the time he or she is not at work. For instance, a hotel employee cannot deliver when he or she regularly skips work because of personal issues. During performance appraisal, the manager should have records of the job attendance of all employees in order to measure their effectiveness and devotion to work. In the case of the hospitality industry, absenteeism of one or two employees will have a positive impact on the performance of other employees because they need to work together (Saulan, 2009).

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The hospitality industry is a field that requires constant creativity and innovation because of the major competition. Creativity in this case can be in line with the services offered to customers and customer service. It can be a little complex to quantify creativity as a measure of performance, but, in this case, managers can use it. It is indispensable for both managers and employees to monitor their inventive work examples and try to quantify them in relation to employment duties. Adherence to company rules and guidelines can be a strong tool for performance measurement.

Most employees view adherence to policy, as a contradicting idea to creativity, but this is a workable indicator (Dittmer, 2002). There exists a boundary between non-compliance to company policy and creativity. Deviations from the rules and guidelines of the company can be a pointer to employees whose performance objectives differ from those of the organization. In as much as gossip and personal habits may not be clear indicators of performance, they are a genuine reflection of the personality of the employee. In the hospitality industry, certain personal behaviors should be explained, and measures put in place to minimize their occurrence.

If there is an industry that is stricter with personal grooming and appearance, it is the hospitality industry. For this reason, personal appearance and grooming is a key element in the measurement of performance in the industry. Employees must be familiar with the dress code and other requirements in line with personal appearance. For instance, employees with smelly feet or unkempt hair will be asked to go back home. Such measures will be instrumental in improving the employees’ performance and effectiveness at work.

Assessment of Employees’ Performance

Several ways in which one can assess employees’ performance concerning the above work indicators exist in the hospitality industry. In most cases, manager appraisal serves this purpose as he or she has the responsibility of appraising the subordinate staff. This mode of assessment is top-down and Human Resource experts indicate that this mode discourages employees’ active performance. Most organizations minimize the use of manager appraisal because of resistance from the employees. This form of an appraisal does not encourage employee investment in the development.

Unfortunately, this mode of assessment is widespread in all hospitality entities. Self-appraisal is the most encouraging mode of assessment by most Human Resource experts. In this case, the employee judges his or her job performance by comparing it to the management’s analysis (Phillips &Louvieris, 2006). The main cause of conflict in the mode of assessment is the necessary performance factors between managers and employees. The management may have varied elements to assess performance at work while the employee may have his or her own measure. These conflicts in the tools for assessment by the two parties lead to this mode being less workable in most entities.

Another notable mode of assessment is peer appraisal, which involves employees in the same positions appraising each other’s work performance. This method of assessment is often effective in relation to emphasizing on an employee’s attention on disagreeable characters and motivating change. Peer appraisal works hand in hand with team appraisal. Here, employees in the same department appraise each other because of the similar department aspect.

The assumption of this mode of assessment is that the department or sector has similar goals, and it is up to every individual to help in attaining the goals. Assessment of employees can also be through assessment centers, which makes use of professional assessors. These professional assessors may be in charge of similar or actual work activities. In the case of the hospitality industry, the assessors may come and check out the services the employees offer without identifying themselves as assessors (Dittmer, 2002).

Conclusion/Summary

It is almost certain that employee performance appraisal is a crucial element in the management of the hospitality industry. The paper has explored the various ways in which hospitality organizations can create an effective appraisal system. An effective system should consist of the steps of naming, measuring, and managing. Performance appraisal has varied benefits including the chance of employees to air the grievances regarding work and other matters (Kumar, 2010). Appraisals are instrumental in motivating employees and offering some sense of satisfaction.

Through appraisals, employees feel needed by the organization because the managers showing interest in their work. Performance appraisal also has varied ways in which the managers can measure the employees’ performance. The paper equally explored the various ways in which managers can make a work assessment of the employees. From the above discussion, it is clear that performance appraisals in hospitality organizations play a significant role in ensuring the entities remain at the top of their game. With the increased competition in the field, it is essential for organizations to ensure that their employees can deliver the best services.

References

Dittmer, P. (2007). Dimensions of the hospitality industry (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley.

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Hubbartt, W. S. (2007). Performance appraisal manual for managers and supervisors: a guide to effective performance appraisal. Chicago, Ill: Commerce Clearing House.

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Kusluvan, S. (2008). Managing employee attitudes and behaviors in the tourism and hospitality industry. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

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Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J. R., & Wright, P. (2006). Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

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Sharma, A. & Christie, I. (2010). Performance Assessment using Value-Chain Analysis in Mozambique, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol.22, No.3, pp.1-34, 2010.

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Storbacka, J., Strandvik, T., & Gronroos, C. (2009). Managing customer relationship quality. International Journal of Service Industry Management, 5, 21–28.

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