Management Problems in Tourism and Hospitality Industry

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Introduction

Nowadays, workforce management challenges mostly revolve around employee retention and commitment. The growing importance of liberalization paired with the increasing rate of globalization creates competition among organizations in terms of how successful they would be when searching for talents. Therefore, it may be stated that physical resources and hard assets are not as valued as their intellectual counterparts, and the hospitality industry is not an exception (Law, 2019). The need to be recognized drives more employees to unexpected behaviors when their interests and aspirations are not met by concerned companies. An essential topic of discussion that has to be covered by organizations is the acquisition of new talent in a way that would be beneficial for all parties involved. On the other hand, a business also has an opportunity to grow when it focuses on more than its own accomplishments and builds a positive workplace (Ulker-Demirel & Ciftci, 2020). In a sense, the increasing degree of globalization allows organizations to appeal to more employees and then retain them via personalized approaches.

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The hospitality industry gains a lot of attention from academics and in-house research and development units due to the significant damage that has been given to the field by COVID-19 and all the subsequent restrictions. The growing effects on the economy cannot go unnoticed because more employers and employees include their personal expectations in the process of resource management (Law, 2019). Given the dynamics of the hospitality industry, it may also be safe to say that employee retention is a crucial problem because of both domestic and global issues that produce a palpable effect on the community. Therefore, service delivery becomes dependent on employee attitudes toward their employer and the ability of the management to appeal to the personalized needs of workers. Also, the hospitality industry has a significant influence on the private sector and sets the ground for additional research on the topic of employee retention (Baum, 2019). From reduced profits to the ultimate cost of worker turnover, there are quite a few management issues that the hospitality industry has to cope with today.

Key Management Problems

Essential Problems

The first important feature of human resource management in the hospitality industry is the utilization of compensation as a form of employee retention. As it is stated by Dwesini (2019) and Immaneni et al. (2021), both intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of worker personality could be affected by monetary rewards, but the method itself quickly becomes outdated. Therefore, the problem of providing employees with rational compensation revolves around the ability to maintain a high level of commitment and actually retain the workforce.

Another management problem that has to be addressed is the growing competitiveness within the hospitality industry. It forces more employees to project their career growth and only partner with certain companies as long as they respond to their requirements and vice versa (Baharin & Hanafi, 2018; Chahal & Poonam, 2017). The dynamics of the industry and the systematic nature of career growth analysis suggest that individual workforce member needs cannot go unnoticed because they represent a strategic consideration for the company and its position in the market.

The biggest problem for modern employees is the lack of a decent work-life balance established by the organization that signed them. Not only a proper equilibrium could appeal to a larger sample of talented employees, but it might also enhance the image of the company in question and help the management expand its reach (Bouzari & Karatepe, 2020; Hofmann & Stokburger-Sauer, 2017). In the case where employees’ personal needs are not satisfied, they are much more likely to display less commitment and stay uninvolved in organizational operations.

The decisive challenge that management units in the hospitality industry have to cope with relates to employer branding. The latter means that an organization displays competitiveness when it is required to capture existing and potential employees’ attention and establishes a positive image for the organization through positive interactions with the community at the same time (Dabirian et al., 2017; Lin et al., 2018). Since there are quite a few rivaling organizations in the hospitality industry, employer branding serves as a means of distinguishing between sustainable, talent-acquiring organizations and their weaker counterparts.

Opportunities for Research

The basic opportunity for research in the field of hospitality that is addressed within the framework of the current paper is the possibility of incorporating existing insights into retention practices. The existence of diverse groups of employees makes it safe to suggest that HR managers across hotels and other hospitality facilities could benefit from learning how to retain the best employees and attract fresh talent (Martin-Rios et al., 2017). The researcher would not separate employees in terms of their gender or cultural affiliation so as to adhere to the management hierarchy and outline the key elements of labor turnover across the hospitality industry. As a result, the researcher would create an opportunity for future scholars to gain more insight into the value of monetary remuneration or career growth prospects as potential retention strategies. Work-life balance and employer branding are also going to play a certain role in the future because current retention practices require a reasonable update in order to remain in line with worker aspirations and demands.

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Appropriate Methodological Approaches

When addressing the hospitality industry and the possibility of retaining employees, researchers could rely on three essential methodological approaches:

  • To link the management hierarchy and additional employee-related variables (age, gender) to see how HR managers could implement retention practices without damaging the workforce or certain organizational aspects;
  • To investigate the differences in how employees could react to a variety of retention practices proposed by the management, depending on their gender, age, or position in the company;
  • To evaluate the impact of retention practices on the hospitality industry in general and then project those generalized instruments on discrete hotels to see how specific employers would cope with retaining employees (Tuan, 2018).

Data Collection Process

Design

Useful data for resolving a hospitality management issue could be collected with the help of a structured questionnaire. All items will be non-disguised and checked by HRM experts for validity and appropriateness. After the preparatory activities, the questionnaire would be administered to hospitality employees and managers in order to find out more about their stance on the notion of retention. The researcher would utilize a self-administered method but provide enough assistance to respondents in the case where they do not realize what is expected of them. When collecting the questionnaires, the author would also conduct a follow-up session to make sure that all study participants were able to complete the questionnaire and answer all of the questions. After collecting the data, the author of the research would be responsible for establishing the success rate and test the grade of non-response bias.

Philosophy and Data Collection

The research philosophy that the author of the investigation would like to apply to the current project is positivism. The main reason for picking this particular philosophy is the fact that the problem of employee retention in the hospitality industry is closely related to human perception and its influence on decision-making (Primecz, 2020). The paradigm of positivism might easily become one of the most secure means of separating subjective and objective data and reaching valuable verdicts regarding preliminary claims and research questions. The researcher expects to apprehend reality and achieve certain generalizations that could be effective in terms of either confirming or falsifying some of the existing hypotheses regarding employee retention in the hospitality industry. The key objective of the current research project is to provide a foundation for further empirical research projects that would remove the existing restrictions and appeal to human rationality.

Methodology

The following study features a descriptive, cross-sectional design. The researcher was not able to observe the employee retention phenomenon in a direct manner, so the best means of collecting data was to administer a descriptive survey among a large population of individuals working in the hospitality industry. Convenience sampling was utilized to select the respondents, and stratified random sampling was utilized to include the most appropriate facilities in the sample. Overall, the researcher gained access to qualitative data from data respondents and also utilized existing evidence from the literature to either support or refute the new findings.

Data Interpretation and Analysis

Employee Compensation

An important conclusion that has to be made when analyzing information on the topic of compensation that receive employees in the hospitality industry is that remuneration represents a poor motivating factor. Regardless, many organizations are still benefiting from this tactic since employee commitment tends to be somewhat dependent on monetary incentives (Immaneni et al., 2021). This study also shows that financial rewards have to be varied in order to appeal to as many types of workers as possible. More to say, job satisfaction could be associated with employee retention, with commitment being the underlying factor. The public sector has to be perceived as dynamic since new compensation strategies appear often and require employees to maintain high standards of communication and performance (Dwesini, 2019). Accordingly, workers suitable for the hospitality industry may not be believed to be attracted solely by compensation and monetary rewards.

Career Growth

Speaking of career growth, an organization should pay enough attention to this concept as well in order to develop a program for employees who require a fully mapped career path or at least a long-term plan. In order to retain employees, the organization should visualize all organizational levels and help potential workers see the hierarchy and probable successes (Chahal & Poonam, 2017). Both the employer and employees are going to benefit from this approach, as the concept of career growth is also linked to retention via encouragement and acknowledgment of the value of human capital. When getting a chance to attain self-actualization, employees are going to pay more attention to how they are seen by the organization and what they could do to complement it. In a sense, training and recruitment costs can be reduced with the help of eliciting loyalty in employees and enhancing their job satisfaction (Baharin & Hanafi, 2018). Career growth is one of the many possibilities to reduce the rate of employee turnover and assess employee willingness to develop a long-term partnership with the given organization.

Work-Life Balance

The third crucial topic of discussion is the presence of a definite work-life balance since employees might be willing to leave the organization under conditions where they do not have enough time to pay closer attention to their personal life. The positive relationship between employee retention and the work-life balance shows that career development in the hospitality industry also depends on how flexible working conditions are (Bouzari & Karatepe, 2020). In the case where the organization pays enough attention to its own attractiveness, the management’s chances to retain employees increase drastically since work and family life is much more important for younger generations of workers, who currently take over the job market. The problem that many companies in the hospitality industry would have to resolve relates to how work-life balance could be preserved without stripping employees of all their benefits and aspirations. Accordingly, work-life balance and career growth can be discussed as intertwined as well (Hofmann & Stokburger-Sauer, 2017). The lack of organizational flexibility is most likely to create a negative image for the employer and affect employees to an extent where they will choose to leave and seek better opportunities in the job market.

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Employer Branding

Finally, a more thorough discussion on employer branding is required since the current literature suggests that effective marketing and a strong stance represent two competitive advantages for organizations in the hospitality industry. When employees internalize values promoted by the company, they are much more likely to be retained by the organization and achieve greater levels of corporate performance (Lin et al., 2018). The current diversity of the market shows that effective employers might utilize branding to reduce business costs and improve employee relations without putting a strain on the company’s budget. The main reason why branding should be approached as an effective strategy is the increasing strength of coordination of human resources where the administration would remain in control of the situation. Employee recruitment activities rely on the authority of the brand when there has to be an emotional way to connect employees to the corporate objectives and retain them (Dabirian et al., 2017). This is why the hospitality industry has to examine the significance of employer branding and remain vigilant when it comes to retaining workers through organization-based incentives.

Research Implications

Business Implications

The key business implication of the current findings relates to the fact that employee turnover is going to affect the company’s budget and, in most cases, put a strain on HR managers since they would have to come up with appropriate practices instantaneously. Without understanding an employee’s career path, the company will not be able to provide them with enough compensation or personalized benefits to create a win-win scenario. Another specific business implication of employee turnover prevention is the development of moderating strategies that can affect corporate hierarchy and bring additional determinants to the table when it comes down to the hospitality industry. Also, decisions would have to be facilitated in the field of retention strategies that are founded on gender, age, and management hierarchy. Future studies for business purposes could be focused on in-depth explanations of studied effects of employee retention and its costs for the organization.

Academic Implications

An essential academic implication of the current findings is that many employees have to endure severer conditions while not receiving enough remuneration for their efforts. This is a topic that has to be researched in more detail in order to provide hospitality industry employees with an opportunity to voice their aspirations and expectations at any given moment. The researcher could also investigate the high cost of living as one of the reasons for employee turnover, where workers are forced to find new jobs in order to pay their bills and live in line with their interests. Many organizations do not recognize the significance of employee retention, but the hit that the Covid-19 pandemic landed on the hospitality industry shows that even the smallest variables have to be considered. These palpable obstacles will only be alleviated in the case where more researchers choose to shed light on employee expectations instead of focusing solely on businesses. Also, additional research on the topic of employees’ long-term goals could be beneficial due to the dynamic nature of the hospitality industry.

Conclusion

Based on the information that was collected within the framework of the current paper, it may be concluded that potential work challenges in the hospitality industry have to be outlined from early discussions with employees. At the end of the day, it would strengthen the organization’s chances to curb most of the personalized concerns and appeal to workers instead of giving them additional motives to leave. More attention has to be paid to leadership and on-the-fly course corrections that could be essentially helpful during earlier stages of employment. The positive impact of such an approach to employee retention may also be reflected in high-quality team efforts and cultural fit. Therefore, more insight into working relationships could be required to help employees access expected benefits and perform at the level expected by the organization.

Another important conclusion that has to be made is that the current state of the hospitality industry forces many businesses to improve their internal operations prior to trying to retain and attract employees. This issue becomes a reality due to the risks associated with the pandemic and the shrinking pool of talent that is not replenished as quickly as before the restrictions caused by Covid-19. Therefore, if a company becomes the employer of choice, it will have the opportunity to elicit a stronger influence on both existing and potential employees. Without competitive working conditions and pay, no hospitality business will be able to slow down the rate of employee turnover while also not having the opportunity to retain customers as well. Without proper engagement from team members, hospitality industry representatives are not going to achieve any significant results since they would not follow community investment and social responsibility principles. Even performance-related bonuses could become a questionable incentive because employees nowadays expect more benefits than increased pay.

Ultimately, researchers have to invest more effort into how career development occurs for hospitality industry employees, as further retention could be based on attracting workers who value interpersonal engagement and personalized assets. The presence of competitive offers might respond to the most exquisite employee inquiries and contribute to the development of an industry where retention procedures go beyond remunerations and actually motivate the workforce to become champions for their organization. Also, the team could invest in community relationships to attract potential talent while also contributing to improved quality of life in the region. The sense of culture is extremely important for the hospitality industry, and a robust economy will be achieved based on the efforts of the management unit and all workers entitled to providing services of the highest quality.

References

Baharin, N. L., & Hanafi, W. N. W. (2018). Effects of talent management on employee retention: A case study of the hospitality industry. Global Business & Management Research, 10(3). Web.

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Baum, T. (2019). Hospitality employment 2033: A backcasting perspective (invited paper for ‘luminaries’ special issue of the international journal of hospitality management). International Journal of Hospitality Management, 76, 45-52. Web.

Bouzari, M., & Karatepe, O. M. (2020). Does optimism mediate the influence of work-life balance on hotel salespeople’s life satisfaction and creative performance? Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 19(1), 82-101. Web.

Chahal, H. S., & Poonam. (2017). Study of organizational culture, employee turnover and employees’ retention in the hospitality sector. Pacific Business Review International, 9(11), 119-125. Web.

Dabirian, A., Kietzmann, J., & Diba, H. (2017). A great place to work!? Understanding crowdsourced employer branding. Business Horizons, 60(2), 197-205. Web.

Dwesini, N. F. (2019). Causes and prevention of high employee turnover within the hospitality industry: A literature review. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 8(3), 1-15. Web.

Hofmann, V., & Stokburger-Sauer, N. E. (2017). The impact of emotional labor on employees’ work-life balance perception and commitment: A study in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 65, 47-58. Web.

Immaneni, K. M., Sailaja, D., & Naga, V. (2021). A review of HR practices and employee retention in the hospitality industry. European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, 7(7), 6698-6704. Web.

Law, R. (2019). Evaluation of hotel websites: Progress and future developments (invited paper for ‘luminaries’ special issue of International Journal of Hospitality Management). International Journal of Hospitality Management, 76, 2-9. Web.

Lin, M. Y., Chiang, C. F., & Wu, K. P. (2018). How hospitality and tourism students choose careers: Influences of employer branding and applicants’ customer orientation. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education, 30(4), 229-240. Web.

Martin-Rios, C., Pougnet, S., & Nogareda, A. M. (2017). Teaching HRM in contemporary hospitality management: A case study drawing on HR analytics and big data analysis. Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, 17(1), 34-54. Web.

Primecz, H. (2020). Positivist, constructivist and critical approaches to international human resource management and some future directions. German Journal of Human Resource Management, 34(2), 124-147. Web.

Tuan, L. T. (2018). Driving employees to serve customers beyond their roles in the Vietnamese hospitality industry: The roles of paternalistic leadership and discretionary HR practices. Tourism Management, 69, 132-144. Web.

Ulker-Demirel, E., & Ciftci, G. (2020). A systematic literature review of the theory of planned behavior in tourism, leisure and hospitality management research. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 43, 209-219. Web.

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