Service Quality and Employee Engagement
Service quality as a concept has gained attraction from scholars over the years. This has partly been influenced by the dynamic nature of the business environment. Organizations are increasingly shifting their attention to adopting customer-focused strategies in order to remain competitive. Additionally, perceived service quality has become a guiding principle for organizations in implementing a customer-oriented strategy (Sampaio et al., 2019). Employee engagement remains to be a major factor in achieving high service quality. When employees are engaged, they remain positively committed to their work and willing to make the necessary changes for growth and development (Sampaio et al., 2019). The results of engagement, according to Cooke et al. (2019, p. 239) include “improved productivity, a reduction in turnover, and amplified customer focus”. These benefits are important particularly to the luxury hospitality industry. Therefore, this paper strives to discuss why service quality is important for the hospitality industry and how this is related to Employee Engagement and personal growth.
Service quality in the hospitality industry is considered the most important factor in attaining a competitive advantage. According to Yeng et al. (2018), service quality offers luxury resorts a great opportunity to create competitive differentiation and improve customer confidence in the dynamic business environment. Similarly, competitive advantage allows the luxury resort to building a barrier to entry that makes it difficult for others to access the market. As Ahmed et al. (2017) observed in their study, the industry should strive to provide services to the consumer’s desires. This is because the consumers are central to the industry’s survival and success.
The Relationship Between Service Quality and Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is viewed as workers being completely immersed and committed to work. Engaged employees tend to be emotionally attached to their work and are willing to perform beyond what is expected of them. It, therefore, follows that employees’ engagement level has a direct impact on the quality of service offered. The findings by Hulshof et al. (2020, p. 90) show that “once employees are engaged within the workplace, they influence the quality of service offered”. They further argued that such employees are more resourceful when it comes to promoting engagement in the workplace. It is important to note that quality is affected when employees delay or perform their work poorly due to a lack of proper task alignment. The same views were echoed in Wake and Green’s (2019, p. 300) research where the authors observed that employees are “always resourceful due to their mindset of genuinely caring and putting their best effort into getting things done”. Therefore, once employees feel they possess the right kind of physical, cognitive, and emotional resources, they will do their work at the optimum level.
Personal Growth for Employees
Managers in the hospitality industry, specifically those in luxury resorts, are shifting their focus to cultivating a culture that supports employees’ personal growth. This is because such growth promotes employee engagement which in turn influences the quality of service offered. van Woerkom and Meyers (2019) explicated in their study that a business that encourages the personal growth of its employees tends to have a highly engaged workforce, which is directly connects performance to quality over time. Similarly, workers who are satisfied in their personal lives will improve the organization’s bottom line. As van Woerkom and Meyers (2019, p. 98) observed, “happiness has been proven to play a big role in improving workplace productivity and creativity”. In essence, personal growth motivates employees to produce quality outcomes and meet their goals.
The Relationship Between Personal Growth and Employee Engagement
Personal growth and employee engagement play a critical role when it comes to enhancing the service quality of luxury hotels. Allowing employees to take part in personal growth activities such as leading a new project is a clear demonstration that the organization values and cares about them (Johnson et al., 2018). Thus, personal growth can be seen as a way in which both the employer and employee engage in social exchange. In this regard, the latter acquires valuable resources in form of knowledge and skills. According to social exchange theory, “an employee and their employer participate in an ongoing exchange of resources that occurs within a framework of rules and norms of reciprocity” (Memon et al., 2018, p. 87). Once the workers receive the necessary resources from their employers through practices such as personal growth, they will develop the need to repay their employers by being more engaged in their work.
The level of service quality depends largely on employees’ personal growth and engagement. This is because quality is about skills and knowledge that give luxury resorts a competitive advantage. More specifically, personal growth occurs when employees acquire knew experiences, skills and knowledge that helps them recognize how significant their jobs are. In addition to this, the workers develop a clear understanding of what is the job about, how to do them, and the kind of roles they are required to fill (Srivastava and Singh, 2020). Ideally, luxury resorts must focus more on providing opportunities for personal growth and keep them more engaged in order to achieve high levels of service quality.
Overall, luxury resorts should focus more on supporting opportunities for personal growth. For instance, if workers are interested in learning their job skills, the management should create flexible schedules to allow them to attend the educational classes. Similarly, the organization can offer to pay for such classes besides making them count as billable hours. Alternatively, the management should create company-wide support or match up employees’ skills with accountability partners within the industry. By creating more opportunities for personal growth, the organization should expect an improvement in the quality of services, productivity as well as ensuring the current workforce is motivated and confident.
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