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A case study of human resource allocation for effective hotel management

Chapter 12

This case study is based on events that actually happened several years ago. The hotel in question was part of a chain that allowed individual general managers to develop their own HR policies and practices as long as these could be justified. He believed in the principle of incentivisation and wanted to introduce it in parts of the hotel where he believed it would stimulate employees to improve their performance, and in so doing, the overall performance of the hotel.

  • A new supervisor should work with his or her supervisor to evaluate current knowledge, skills and abilities against those required in the position;
  • While supervisors cannot delegate ultimate accountability for their functions, they can delegate prime responsibility for many of the activities within their functions;
  • The answer to this is usually found in one or more of the following explanations — the work that employees do cannot easily be measured, and as a consequence changes in outputs - whether these are expressed in volume or value terms - are difficult to establish;
  • Effective delegation also contributes to the growth and development of employees;
  • Find a mentor or coach New supervisors can benefit greatly from a mentor or coach to act as a sounding board and support person.

The answer to this is usually found in one or more of the following explanations — the work that employees do cannot easily be measured, and as a consequence changes in outputs - whether these are expressed in volume or value terms - are difficult to establish.

A variant of this is that schemes often measure the wrong expression of performance. People need to have the ability to be different in response to the chance of achieving an additional reward linked to their job.

Role of a supervisor

If they are too tightly controlled this cannot happen. The schemes pitch the level of reward at either too high a level or too low a level.

The first results in a very costly scheme that has the potential of creating unintended consequences, whilst the latter will not motivate employees to change. It is important here to consider concepts such as fairness and the work-wage bargain.

Schemes are over-complicated and require significant resources to administer them; they are context-unrealistic. In the case study situation, schemes were designed for the hotel receptionists, cleaners, conference and banqueting staff, and management team. Whole organisation schemes based on profit or gain-sharing principles were not considered, largely because the incentive effect of such schemes can be difficult to relate to.

By this we mean that annual bonus payments can be difficult to relate to day-to-day behaviour and results, and that such schemes do not differentiate between individual contributions. If we take as an example of one of the schemes that was developed, the one for the receptionists is probably the best example.

Keeping the Right People

First of all, it was a group scheme — all five receptionists participated and shared an equal monthly bonus. Secondly, the measure of performance used to reward them was average yield per room. The problem with this is that it only encourages the staff to sell more rooms, which they may do at a discounted rate. Such a scheme would calculate the additional gross revenue from a baseline figure or in relation to a monthly target, and allocate a proportion of this as a bonus pool. Finally, consideration should be given to the use of non-monetary rewards.

In the case of the Star Hotel, these were not considered as powerful as monetary payments, but they can be effective, depending on the situation.