Exploring How Employee Empowerment Impacts on Hotel Front Desk Operations

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UNLV Theses/Dissertations/Professional Papers/Capstones

4-1-2011

Exploring how Employee Empowerment Impacts on Hotel Front Desk Operations Janggon Kim
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Repository Citation
Kim, Janggon, "Exploring how Employee Empowerment Impacts on Hotel Front Desk Operations" (2011). UNLV Theses/ Dissertations/Professional Papers/Capstones. Paper 1058. http://digitalcommons.library.unlv.edu/thesesdissertations/1058

This Professional Paper is brought to you for free and open access by University Libraries. It has been accepted for inclusion in UNLV Theses/ Dissertations/Professional Papers/Capstones by an authorized administrator of University Libraries. For more information, please contact marianne.buehler@unlv.edu.

EXPLORING HOW EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT IMPACTS ON HOTEL FRONT DESK OPERATIONS

by

Janggon Kim Bachelor of Arts in Economics Kyunghee University 2003

A professional paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the

Master of Science in Hotel Administration William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration

Graduate College University of Nevada, Las Vegas May, 2011

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Part One Introduction Helen has been working at a big resort hotel for over three years. She is quite competent at her job and knows what all of her responsibilities are and uses her knowledge and experience to handle her job in an efficient manner. Each and every day she experiences numerous problems as well as complaints from hotel guests which might include such things as incorrect billing from the use of the automated mini bars, problems with housekeeping services, malfunctions due to worn out room facilities, service delays and a hotel outlets' service shortfalls. For each of these examples, Helen must make a decision as to how to handle the specific problem or complaint. She is aware that there are long lines of guests in the lobby seeking front desk assistance and that her managers are busy with other tasks. As she resolves each one of these problems or complaints using her own judgement, she feels confident that the front desk managers will trust her decisions since they have empowered her with the knowledge to handle the job with confidence without having to seek their assistance for each and every problem. As this example shows, empowering employees can increase their job satisfaction as well as boosting the efficiency and productivity of front desk operations. According to Zeithaml, Bitner and Gremler (2009), it is a company’s responsibility to give employees the tool needed to make decisions using their own common sense. In this way employees are able to use empowerment responsibly so that in most cases they will not have to involve their managers when dealing with everyday problems.

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to show why empowerment is important to hotel front desk operations. This research will be accomplished through an examination of existing methods of empowerment which are practiced in hotels as compared to the best practices presented in research. Statement of Objective This paper will not try to solve a specific problem, but will serve to provide a more exploratory look at how employee empowerment impacts on front desk operations. First, this paper will examine the existing empowerment practices used in hotels and how it works in the real business world. Secondly, the paper will discuss the impacts of empowerment in terms of increased productivity, employee retention (satisfaction), and service recovery. Justification Examples of empowering employees can easily be viewed at hotel front desks in the hospitality industry since the front desk is the first and last contact of a guests’ stay at a hotel. It is especially critical in the case of Mega-resort properties such as the Venetian/Palazzo and Wynn/Encore in Las Vegas that front desk services must be efficient and fast paced since they have almost 7000rooms and almost always have long lines...
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