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Diploma in Business
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Unit 18 HRM for Service Industries
Businesses such as restaurants and hotels comprises the hospitality industry. These establishments are responsible for serving its visitor and quite often employ and recruit various staff members to efficiently accomplish various tasks related to hospitality industry. Human resource can be considered to be the most valuable asset of any hospitality business (Riley, 2014), Role of HR department is majorly focused on administration of employee-related activities that may be critical to smooth and successful functioning of the organisation. In other words it can be said that role of HR as a business function is to provide proper support to the organization by freeing up management to concentrate on other critical business functions in the hospitality industry.
Core purpose of the hospitality industry is to cater to people, and only those hospitality business can be considered to be successful which make it a priority to expertly serve their guests and provide complete customer satisfaction from their services. In this endeavour HR has a major role as it is responsible for recruitment of good employees and train them to become efficient and great employees who have flair to serve others and enjoy their job responsibility. Compensation and benefits administration is another important task which the HR department's role has to focus on. This aspect includes making sure that wages and benefits offered by the organisation to its employees are competitive enough with other similar restaurants or hotels (Werner, 2014, pp.127-129).
Another important observation regarding HR in hospitality industry is that it can be considered to be a champion of employee morale, creation of employee programs for focusing on continued development and growth of high level of morale. One major aspect related to the HR department is to promote fostering of employee development through various methods such as mentoring of management as well as line staff, and ensuring that they get proper guidance through the various steps to achieve their goals. In various hospitality business HR might also be involved in creation of specific plans for its staff members to follow, recognizing their success and providing timely feedback and proper direction for areas which might need attention.
Protection of employees from any possible adverse or negative employment practices or policies, and protecting the organization from any possible employee litigation is a highly weighted responsibility of the HR department. Due to high business levels, quite often it has been observed that hospitality organizations may employ too scarce or too many staff members on its payroll. Both conditions are not recommended for a hospitality business, as in such situations a manager might end up scheduling employees either to work too many hours per shift or too many consecutive days, engendering a situation outside the limits of compliance with current labour law of that particular country in which the business might be located. Intervention by the HR department in a situations such as harassment etc. due to large and diverse staff is also a critical function of the HR department (Manoharan et al,2014, pp.1-9).
Human resource planning is an important part of entire HR management function. As discussed in above section, hospitality business might employ either too less, or too many resources at time, which might impact the overall operational efficiency and business revenue. That is why human resource plan is considered to be important part of any hospitality business. Human resource planning initiates with a forecast of the various types of employees which are required to achieve the organization’s objectives.
Majority of the hospitality businesses especially hotels in tourist destinations are seasonal in nature. For example, there business depends on the inflow of tourists, hence in a peak season of the tourism there might be high requirement of the human resources to manage the visitors, whereas in offseason not too many resources might be required. Thus there has to be proper balance between the demand and supply, due to which human resource planning becomes even more important. Forecasting plays a major role in achieving a balance between demand and supply of the human resources required at various roles in a hospitality business.
In general the human resource planning function involves defining an organization’s goals, establishing a well-structured strategy through which these goals can be achieved successfully and ultimately focusing on development of a set of plans which his comprehensive in nature and can help in integration and coordination of the activities. It is important to understand that activities related to planning can be complex or simple in nature, implicit or explicit, impersonal or personal, hence based on the environment of the organisation and its business objective the HR Manager or the person who is responsible for the resourcing should take decision regarding the forecasting of the demand (Naidu & Chand, 2014, pp. 156-168).
It is a well-known fact that the hotels and restaurants industry are highly labour intensive industries which are relatively dominated by both small businesses as well large organisations in the hospitality industry and are often characterized by low levels of loyalty or affiliation to employers. Working conditions in hospitality industry can be very different from those in other service based industry such as travel and tourism etc. industries. Working condition of the hospitality based organisation plays a major role in boosting employee satisfaction and loyalty.
For example, hospitality industry is one such sector which is dominated by work force which is relatively young and is characterized by shorter?than?average periods of job stability. It has been observed that hospitality industry also witnesses human resources which has lower levels of formal education, for example role of a waiter or an attendant does not require much educational expertise. This is one trend which is not much prevalent in any other industry of the economy. Also, unlike various other sectors such as manufacturing etc. hospitality sector provides relatively much comfortable physical environment. Even though there are certain job roles where there might be high level of ergonomic risks, also job timings might be relatively erratic as compared to any other industry in the economy. Five key issues which needs to be addressed in order to ensure that hospitality business can get proper sustainability and competitiveness are: proper training, information, quality of services, sustainable development and adoption of new technologies. However, globally, jobs in hospitality industry are not given that much weightage as it is given in any other industry. In many countries it has been seen that people take up jobs in the hospitality business as more of a ‘side’ job. This is one major reason behind labour shortages in hospitality sector of countries such as Austria, the Netherlands, the UK and France. Overall it can be said, that hospitality industry is one such sector where HR plays a major role in boosting the employee relations.
Employment law can be defined as that ‘The body of laws, administrative rulings and precedents that addresses the legal rights of workers and their employers.” (Weber & Dennison, 2014). It is critical for Hospitality managers who are considered to be responsible for HR activities in the hospitality organisations to understand the importance of employment law to their daily activities and decision making. Employment law in various countries generally arises as a result of the worker’s demand for conducive working conditions and a right to organize themselves. Considering the fact that workers in the hospitality industry are still highly unorganized in nature, and are generally more ad-hoc rather than being regular. In such situation role of employment law becomes even more important. In majority of the cases whenever worker demands were deemed reasonable by a majority of society it has been made part of the legislation and has been accepted as proper employment law. In hospitality business, employment law play a major role in impacting several decisions related to human resource planning as well as other aspects. For example, gender equality or male to female ration at the workplace might change the way forecasting is done for the human resource in the hospitality business. For an HR Manager in a hospitality business it is highly important to have thorough knowledge of various employment laws otherwise lack of understanding about HR - related law, might produce serious legal problems not only for the manager but also for the organisation. Any issue with the employment also results in the negative publicity for the organisations, and considering the fact that to a large extent hospitality business is dependent on image factor, this is one aspect which no hospitality organisation would like to miss on. Hence HR department of the organisation should ensure that the laws related to employment must be understood in the context of hospitality business, and special attention should be given to employment laws related to sub-functions such as employee recruiting, compensation, performance appraisal and employee safety and security.
Luo, Y., & Milne, S. 2014. Current Human Resource Management Practices in the New Zealand Hotel Sector. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 13(1), 81-100.
Manoharan, A., Gross, M. J., & Sardeshmukh, S. R. 2014. Identity-conscious vs identity-blind: Hotel managers’ use of formal and informal diversity management practices. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 41, 1-9.
Naidu, S., & Chand, A. 2014. International human resource management practices adopted by multinational corporations in the hotel sector of Fiji. International Journal of Management and Network Economics, 3(2), 156-168.
Riley, M. 2014. Human resource management in the hospitality and tourism industry. Routledge.
Werner, J. M. 2014. Human Resource Development≠ Human Resource Management: So What Is It?Human Resource Development Quarterly, 25(2), 127-139.