THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPLOYEE TRAINING IN DELIVERING SERVICE QUALITY THROUGH PROCESS DESIGNS IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
Tourism has by now become a global undertaking by consumers. As with other industries that operate in a globalised market, the hospitality industry is highly competitive with many companies vying for an extremely fickle and highly mobile customer base. Hospitality businesses are thus driven by a complex web of competitive strategy whereby marketing and operation is strongly customer focused (Olsen and Roper, 1998; Okumus et al., 2010). Consumers within the tourism and travel sector are well informed and experienced and know what they want. Therefore, customer expectations tend to be established in the various market segments and it is up to the hotels to deliver a service that meets and exceeds these expectations. This essay argues that to meet customer expectations the service delivery system must be efficient, effective and of high quality. This can only be achieved if the process design is supported by an effective employee training strategy. The essay will firstly explore some current literature to identify and critically analyse current issues and theories in the hospitality industry with particular reference to service delivery and quality, process design, employee training and competitive advantage. The paper will then relate these issues to the Indian hotel group Ginger Hotels to evaluate the applicability of theory to the practical world. The focus will be on the importance of staff training in front office and housekeeping processes.
Theory / Literature
To develop appropriate strategies in the complex hospitality market sector is of vital importance. Porter (1996) suggests that there are three key principle that underlie strategic positioning, i.e. (1) strategy is creating a unique and valuable position, (2) strategy requires trade-offs in competition, and (3) strategy must construct a fit among activities. The first principle is also divided into three facets, i.e. (a) serving a few needs of many customers, (b) serving many needs of a few customers, and (c) serving many needs of many customers in a narrow market. This suggests that companies have to choose what strategy to pursue. Porter’s Five Forces model gives a further guide as to what influences strategy. The five forces being (1) threat of new entrants, (2) bargaining power of suppliers, (3) bargaining power of buyers, (4) threat of substitute services or products, and (5) competition (Porter, 2008). In the hospitality industry competition and bargaining power are perhaps the most relevant forces but all these forces, in fact, work hand in hand, leaving a very complex environment (Olsen and Roper, 1998; Tavitiyaman et al., 2011). There are many other approaches to strategic management apart from Porter’s model but Managers tend to avoid too much complexity and opt for one approach that suits (Kim and Oh, 2004).
There is now a current trend of hotels becoming increasingly customer focused due to the high bargaining power of consumers in the hotel sector, particularly in view of massive competition globally. The quality of service delivered is at the forefront of most hoteliers to capture the ever illusive customer and his or her loyalty. Mohsin and Lockyer (2010) investigated customer perceptions of service quality in New Dheli hotels and found significant gaps between perception and actual delivery. Thus service quality is high on the agenda as argued by AbuKhalifeh and Som (2012) who put forward the Parasuraman SERVQUAL management framework model that aims at achieving customer satisfaction in food and beverage departments of Indian hotels based on service quality dimensions of tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy. This is consistent with Gupta et al. (2012) who also emphasise the importance of the service element in the Indian hospitality sector. However, although it is highlighted...
References: 1. AbuKhalifeh, A.N. and Som, A.P.M., 2012. Service Quality Management in Hotel Industry: A Conceptual Framework for Food and Beverage Departments. International Journal of Business and Management, 7(14), pp. 135-141.
3. Bharwani, S. and Butt, N., 2012. Challenges for the Global Hospitality Industry: an HR Perspective. Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, 4(2), pp. 150 – 162.
4. Bilgihan, A., Okumus, F., Nusair, K. and Kwun, D.J.-W., 2011. Information Technology Applications and Competitive Advantage in Hotel Companies. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 2(2), pp.139 – 153.
5. Biyan, W. and Chi, C.G.-Q., 2011. The Impact of Perceived Justice, Service Quality and Consumption Emotions on Customer Relationships. 29th EuroChrie Annual Cnference, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Conference Proceedings 19-22 October 2011.
7. Data Processing Inc., 2012. Housekeeping Management - Hotel Hospitality Software Solutions. Resort Data Processing.
9. Dawson, M. and Abbott, J., 2011. Hospitality Culture and Climate: A Proposed Model for Retaining Employees and Creating Competitive Advantage. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, 12(4), pp. 289-304.
10. De Lollis, B., 2006. Hotels Train Employees to Think Fast. USA Today. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/biztravel/2006-11-28-hipper-hotels-usat_x.htm (Accessed 9/11/2012)
12. Ginger Hotels, 2012. http://www.gingerhotels.com/delhi-railyatriniwas/hotel-profile.aspx (Accessed 9/11/2012)
16. Kim, T.G., Lee, J.H. and Law, R., 2008. An Empirical Examination of the Acceptance Behaviour of Hotel Front Office Systems: An Extended Technology Acceptance Model. Tourism Management, 29(3), pp. 500-513.
17. Kusluvan, S., Kusluvan, Z., Ilhan, I. and Buyruk, L., 2010. A Review of Human Resources Management Issues in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 51(2), pp. 171-214.
20. Martínez-Ros, E. and Orfila-Sintes, F., 2012. Training Plans, Manager 's Characteristics and Innovation in the Accommodation Industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 31(3), pp. 686-694.
21. Mohsin, A. and Lockyer, T., 2010. Customer Perceptions of Service Quality in Luxury Hotels in New Delhi, India: An Exploratory Study. Emerald 22, pp. XXX
23. Olsen, M.D. and Roper, A., 1998. Research in Strategic Management in the Hospitality Industry. International Journal of Hospital Management, 17(2), pp. 111-124.
24. Porter, ME., 2008. The Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy. Harvard Business Review, January, pp.23-41.
25. Porter, M.E., 1996. What is Strategy? Harvard Business Review, Nov.-Dec. 1996, pp.3-22.
28. Talreja, V., 2007. Hotels Address Talent Crunch in Lively Ways. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2007-07-20/news/27669292_1_sarovar-hotels-ginger-hotels-hotel-chain (Accessed 18/11/2012).
29. Tata, 2008. Redefining Hospitality. http://www.tata.com/media/interviews/inside.aspx?artid=inE2MDmZP8E= (Accessed 11/11/2012)
31. Tavitiyaman, P., Qu, H. and Zhang, H.Q., 2011. The Impact of Industry Force Factors on Resource Competitive Strategies and Hotel Performance. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(3), pp. 648-657.
32. Teixeira, J., Patrício, L., Nunes, N.J., Nóbrega, L., Fisk, R.P. and Constantine, L., 2012. Customer Experience Modeling: From Customer Experience to Service Design. Journal of Service Management, 23(3), pp.362 – 376.
35. Trip Advisor, 2010. User reviews. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g616028-d647216-r88151737-Ginger_Hotel_Haridwar-Haridwar_Uttarakhand.html (Accessed 12/11/2012)
Please join StudyMode to read the full document