EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
Employee satisfaction is an important issue in the hospitality industry. Satisfying the employees in the hospitality sector contributes significantly to the growth of the industry (Kusluvan, 2003 Pg. 23). If the employees are satisfied, they give high-quality services to the customers, and the companies grow because of more visits by the customers. Satisfying the employees is not an easy task in the industry, and it requires a variety of actions such as good compensation, motivation through rewards, the creation of a good working environment and the enhancement of organizational culture that is centred on the employees and the customers. This research will evaluate the impact of employee satisfaction in the hospitality industry with much emphasis on the hotels, event planning, theme parks and transportation. The research will also examine the factors that motivate the employees and improve their loyalty.
Few studies that have been done on the topic of employee satisfaction in the hospitality industry in the country despite the fact that the industry is large (Kusluvan, 2003 Pg. 12). Most managers in large hospitality companies tend to forget that it is important to motivate and satisfy the employees because the desire to accomplish a task successfully comes from the employees (Walker, & miller, 2010 Pg. 21). The managers can create an environment that enhances motivation, but they cannot force it to occur (Chon & Maier, 2010 Pg. 18). The managers need to take the desires of the employees into account when making major decisions in the workplace (Lee-ross & Pryce, 2010 Pg. 10). In this way, the employees can ensure the quality delivery of services to the customers who need them.
Conducting a research on the employee satisfaction in the hospitality industry will help to uncover important information that can enhance the hospitality sector (O’fallon & Rutherford, 2011 Pg. 23). This research will help to increase the knowledge of employers and managers about the importance of satisfying the needs of the workers to enhance success.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to conduct a qualitative research about the satisfaction of employees in the hospitality industry. The study will add more knowledge about the level and importance of employee satisfaction in the hospitality industry. The research will be beneficial to the managers of hotels, Spas and theme parks among others. The findings of this study will also help the researcher by adding his knowledge about the level and importance of employee satisfaction in the hospitality sector.
According to the research done by the Hospitality Research Solution centre of AH&MA, there is a positive relationship between the employee satisfaction, training process and customer satisfaction (Hertel, 2014 Pg. 19). The satisfaction of employees in the workplace plays a significant role in the improvement of effectiveness and efficiency of operations of different hospitality organizations. The hospitality industry is experiencing increased competition throughout the world. The companies that have a good marketing strategy, effective operations and improved quality of services have not only survived the competition, but they have also increased their profitability significantly (Reichheld & Covey, 2006 Pg. 28). Research shows that the hotels and other service providers that give higher salaries, have additional benefits-in-kind and possess a strong reputation, retain highly skilled employees because they are satisfied. Employee satisfaction here refers to the employees who feel rewarded and enjoy their positions in the hospitality companies. The satisfied employees tend to be the most successful and benefit their companies significantly (Matzler & Renzl, 2006 Pg. 1266).
The employees’ satisfaction is a major contributor to their motivation, morale and goal achievement in the workplace (Bloemer & Odekerken-Schröder, 2006 Pg. 253). It is important to note that the longer the employee stays in an organization, the more valuable they become because of the experience they gain. Musa, Zahari, Rahman & Khalid (2011) noted that the process of training could help to increase the satisfaction and loyalty of the employees. The claim was affirmed by Mehta et al., (2010) who said that training is an important driver of the employee satisfaction. Other researchers have also proposed that the organizations that offer training for the employees increase their satisfaction significantly (Eskildsen & Nussler, 2000 Pg. 582).
The increased satisfaction of the employees in the hospitality industry increases their loyalty to the different companies or organizations. The loyalty of the employees is shown by their commitment to the roles assigned to them. Positive employee attitude gives rise to certain desirable behaviors. Loyalty is both internal and external. Basically, it is an emotional attachment. Satisfaction and loyalty results from the feelings of caring, commitment or affiliation that is experienced by the employees in an organization (Coughlan, 2005 Pg. 48).
The employers need to understand the feelings of their employees and should counsel them in times of problems or give them some time off. Mehta et al., (2010) noted that the employee satisfaction, trust, and loyalty have an important economic role to play. Mehta et al. (2010) also noted that the trust, loyalty, and satisfaction cannot be developed through the strict following of the established regulations. Yee Et al., (2010) stated that the interplay between leadership, culture, and structure is responsible for the creation of employee loyalty.
The use of focus groups will be applied in this research. The focus groups method is chosen for this research because of its reliability in giving reliable results (Reid & Bojanic, 2010 Pg. 11). The focus groups will enable the researcher to obtain much information and are relatively cheap to apply (Fowler, 2009 Pg. 21). The questions to be asked will focus on a total of four sections that include the opinion of the employees, benefits they receive, information about the job and workplace. The study will also use questionnaires to determine the demands of the employees and the level of job satisfaction they obtain from their employers (Tracy, 2013 Pg. 10). The questionnaires are easy to construct and are not expensive (Burns, 2000 Pg. 10). The other advantage of using questionnaires in this study is that they help the researcher to capture much information within a little amount of time (Dawson, 2002 Pg. 27). Questionnaires are not biased, and they can be retrieved for the confirmation of results by other interested researchers (Dwyer,Gill & Seetaram, 2012 Pg. 40). To show different degrees of employee satisfaction, the items in the questionnaire will be in the Likert-Type format. The scale is a representation of a bipolar continuum (Kara, 2015 Pg. 22). The low end will represent a negative response while the high end will show a positive response.
The other research method that will be used in this study is the interview method. The interview method was chosen in this study because of its capacity to retrieve critical information from the experts. The interview will involve asking questions regarding employee satisfaction factors such as increased pay, job security, and rewards among others. The interviews will be saved in audio tapes for the future reference. The managers of the hotels, Spas and theme parks will be interviewed by the researcher to determine what they do to increase employee satisfaction in the workplace. The employees of the different companies will also be interviewed to determine their level of satisfaction and the factors that should be considered to meet their needs satisfactorily.
Significance of the study
The study will add more value to the hospitality industry by helping the managers to make informed decisions regarding the satisfaction of their employees. The study will help the hotel and Spa operators to build a better environment that can boost the satisfaction of the employees. The study will not only be applicable to the hospitality industry, but it will also help governments to make better plans in the tourism industry by encouraging the hospitality companies to increase compensation for the employees and to give them other covers such as the retirement benefits and medical insurance covers. The governments can develop policies that help to improve the experiences of the employees.
In conclusion, this study will be beneficial to the managers of the hospitality companies because it will enlighten them about the need for improving employee satisfaction to increase the positive experiences of the customers. The study will also inform the policy makers on the need to develop policies that enhance employee satisfaction in the hospitality sector. The study will use the survey and interview methods to obtain relevant information.
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