Maintaining a Work Force Within the Tourism & Hospitality Industry

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1. Introduction

When focusing on maintaining a workforce within the tourism and hospitality industry, it is essential to identify the key concepts that motivate workers. Division of labour is part of every organisation; therefore the formation of groups is important in increasing work performance. It is not always easy to manage the creative and innovative aspects of team work, where individuals ideally need to share the values, characteristic and interests of the other team members, to work with them in harmony and yet have something different to offer (Adair and Thomas, 2002 p.101). Every group needs a leader to direct and encourage their creativity, through the use of different leadership styles, since there is no “one best way” of leading.

2. Groups and Teams at Work

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Figure 1 Group and Individual performance

Groups and teams can be defined as, any number of individuals that interact together. When a group is maturing, the number of individuals decreases, when it gets to a stage where there is a high level of group cohesiveness due to commitment and trust among members, it then becomes a team. Cherrington (1994, p.356) identified that “the collective action of a group of individuals is much greater than the sum of individuals acting alone”. This is because workload is eased of individuals when working in a group, in addition an effective performance is achieved. However, some individuals find it difficult working in groups because of the inconveniences attached. Studies show that, most individuals in the UK would rather work alone than work in a group, this is as a result of the cultural diversity (see figure 1). It could be said that the reaction of such individuals could be as a result of them not recognizing the essential roles that groups play in every organisation. Since an organisation is a group of people with shared goals, it is important to ensure that the individuals within the workforce work hand in hand in attaining the organisation’s objectives. The main purposes why individuals are set into groups are; firstly, division of labour, secondly, to achieve a higher standard of job performance and thirdly it helps workers to interact with each other, since individuals influence each other in a positive or negative manner. Furthermore it has been noted that, the structure of management also influences the group cohesiveness. A badly designed structure threatens the existence of an organisation; in addition it frustrates the employees and customers. In the much acclaimed work on the subject, Mullins (2001) identified the behaviours of individuals within a group; he called this the “Values and Norms of behaviour”. In his book he emphasised and advised individuals within a group not to inhabit the following behaviour outlined below.

• Do not be a “rate buster” which means not to produce more output than the other group or team members.

• Do not be a “chiseller”, this means that an individual within a group should not slow the group’s performance and productivity, by producing a low rate of output.

• Do not be a “squealer”, a group member should not jeopardize another.

• Do not be officious, this means that an individual should not be bossy or too formal toward the group.

There are two types of groups, formal groups and informal groups. A formal group is a group that is designated and controlled by an organisation, whereas an informal group is a group that emerged out of friendship. It is arguable that, when these two types of groups are found in an organisation, an informal group tend to have a higher level of cohesiveness due to friendship values. This could be an advantage to the organisation, because of the effective performance that will be displayed. However informal groups tend to prevent organisational changes and growth, for instance a hospitality organisation might implement a new policy...
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