The hotel industry is one of the most competitive ventures because many people like touring many parts of the world, and expect excellent services. For a company to enter this industry and survive the competition, adopting a practical management approach is vital. Among the best-ranked hotel and lodging companies is Marriot Hotels. The business’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has led the business to many successes by adopting the total quality management (TQM) approach. The practice has streamlined the operations and encouraged employees to improve their ability to provide the best service to their clients. Some of the benefits this organization has reaped by using TQM include customer satisfaction, improved productivity, cost reduction, and boosted employee morale. These are a handful of reasons the company has reached the heights it is today.
Total Quality Management (TQM) Approach
Business practices keep evolving; new approaches are gradually replacing the older ones. One of them is total quality management, which has shaped many business operations. The main focus of this management practice is on the client. Luthra, Garg, Agarwal, and Mangla (2020) define total quality management (TQM) as a management approach that focuses on customer satisfaction to ensure the business’s long-term success. In this model, all organization employees pull their efforts together to improve their processes, services, and products. This approach is of particular significance in the hospitality industry. Thus, Marriot Hotel has adopted this model, ensuring its clients are satisfied with their services, which has enabled the business to extend its services to many parts of the world. This organization has installed a corporate culture that encourages employees to provide customers with a valuable service through a continuous quality improvement culture, guided by the focus on the client. However, Luthra et al. (2020) argue that this company culture requires total cooperation from all organization members, including the board of management. Therefore, since nothing comes easily, it is crucial to stick to this management approach’s requirements to get the best out of it.
Main Issues Influencing the Involvement of People in Process Improvement
Process improvement has been an effective practice by many organizations to ensure continuous improvement. However, it does not always work as expected because of the many issues that come into play along the route. According to Van Assen (2020), many organizations have shifted their attention to off-the-shelf improvement methods as a way of involving people in this process. An organization’s ability to survive the market competition and thrive in the industry depends on how they handle the issue of process improvement. Involving people in process improvement is affected by several issues, some of which are discussed below.
Overestimation of the Impact of Workshops
Some organizations expose their teams to various workshops with the aim of training and retraining their employees. However, as Hussain and Khan (2020) note, workshops could be the least practical process improvement approach. The approach of involving people gathered from various departments does not meet the threshold for addressing the real underlying process issues. Additionally, with workshops being held far apart from each other, it is possible to either forget or omit process improvement ideas that people come up with each day (Fullin & Sunil, 2019). In such a case, as well, when so many people are involved in these workshops, it is not easy to dive into fine details. Therefore, workshops are one of the issues that influence people’s involvement in process improvement, and Marriot should consider avoiding this approach.
Consensus Decision-Making Approach
Popular opinion is another issue influencing the involvement of people in process improvement. According to Fullin and Sunil (2019), arriving at conclusions through a popularity vote will always work against the TQM approach. Processes in any organization should follow anything else but never a consensus. This problem occurs when some people have selfish interests or hidden agendas regarding a specific process. In that case, a group of employees can rally the rest of the organization to vote against a particular idea, which would have propelled the hotel to greater heights. Van Assen (2020) adds that the end improvement should be grounded on fact and not popular opinion if any significant positive impact is to be realized. Marriot is in a service industry that needs careful selection and implementation of decisions. For this reason, consensus decision-making should be highly discouraged as it works against process improvement in most cases, as Ribeiro, Vasconcelos, and Rocha (2019) suggest. Further, instead of this approach, it is better to make choices based on data if there are competing best alternatives.
Zero Problem Solving
People are gifted differently, and it is possible that one can be a problem solver, and the other one cannot. When a heterogeneous group of employees is involved in process improvement, it is possible to end up not solving the process issue at all (Ribeiro et al., 2019). In the case of Marriot, there are many workers with different abilities and expertise. As such, it is essential to group them in terms of their experience and problem-solving ability to tackle process issues. A failure to follow this route is likely to have an adverse influence on process improvement.
When a process issue occurs within an organization, many people from various departments take the initiative either as a group or individually to suggest solutions. The same happens to Marriot, which has employed a diverse team. There is a possibility of management slip-up when handling an operational problem (Yassine, Fadel & Diab, 2019). It is the manager’s role to ensure a team taking the initiative or undertaking a problem-solving process own their efforts. Involving people in process involvement requires ownership so that there is continuity with the endeavor. Therefore, in its process improvement, Marriot needs to create ownership among teams to ensure success.
Helping the Management Team to Embrace the TQM Approach
One basic checkpoint for the success of the TQM approach is the company-wide involvement of members. When employees are brought into play and understand the need for quality improvement, it becomes easier for them to embrace total quality management. Through communication and talent connectedness, Marriot workers can get the freedom to innovate and strive to improve the quality of the service they offer their clients. Therefore, I would recommend that the organization’s management involves employees to ensure the success of TQM.
Mainly Focusing on the Customer
Customers always have expectations of the service they would like to receive or the product’s quality that will solve their problem. As Luthra et al. (2020) argue, a company that listens to and responds to their clients’ needs always achieves its organizational goals more easily. I would recommend that Marriot’s management devises a channel through which they will monitor customers’ sentiments and feedback. Some of the ways to achieve this are through surveys, suggestion boxes, and call tracking (Hussain & Khan, 2020). This approach will enable the management to identify specific client needs and respond to them individually.
Fullin, N., G., & Sunil, M. P. (2019). The Impact of Total Quality Management Practices on Key Performance Indicators of Star Hotels. International Journal of Advanced Scientific Research and Management, 4(4), 98-109.
Hussain, M., & Khan, J. (2020). Key success factors of total quality management (TQM) for the hospitality sector. A critical review of the literature. European Journal of Hotel and Tourism Research, 8(2), 1-17.
Luthra, S., Garg, D., Agarwal, A., & Mangla, S. K. (2020). Total quality management (TQM). Total Quality Management (TQM), 6(2), 19-38.
Ribeiro, M., Vasconcelos, M., & Rocha, F. (2019). Monitoring performance indicators in the Portuguese hospitality sector. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 31(2), 790-811.
Van Assen, M. F. (2020). Training, employee involvement and continuous improvement – the moderating effect of a common improvement method. Production Planning & Control, 31(14), 1-13.
Yassine, M., Fadel F., & Diab, M. (2019). Impact of total quality management (TQM) on productivity in the hospitality sector: the case of Lebanon. Management, 9(3), 63-72.