The management team is literally flying in the dark with no compass, altimeter, or method of navigating just how they are doing, which strategies are working or not, and what corrective action to take to improve. This lack of measurement is exacerbated by the cultural differences between guests, who may be from international locations. With no method in place for capturing the variation in expectations vs. experiences, the management team running the Rocks Resort Hotel is completely oblivious to how they are also being perceived by foreign guests as well.
From an International HRM standpoint, the lack of measurement with regard to service efficiency, customer satisfaction by nationality visiting the resort, and areas needing the most improvement all underscore the need for a new governance model to unify all the changes necessary to ensure the success of the Thailand venture. The PCH management team needs to consider implementing a Lean Six Sigma-based approach that is consistently applied across all customer- and service-based process areas to begin to develop a baseline of performance to improve from (Mehrjerdi, Yahia, 2011). This is the most critical area of the entire audit from an International HRM standpoint. Having this baseline of performance will provide insights into how best to improve with customer-facing process first, by how much and through specific strategies, while also ensuring the most glaring areas of weakness are dealt with first. This audit needs to deliver a Balanced Scorecard that gives the incoming management team at the Rocks Resort Hotel a very clear focus on what to address first and improve over time (Winston, Patterson, 2006). Only be doing this will the resort improve. The prioritization of which areas to first address will also be critically important in defining the expansion strategy for the Thailand location too, as the new acquisition will require a Balanced Scorecard to manage and continually refine its customer facing processes as well (Mehrjerdi, Yahia, 2011). As an additional step, the management team needs to consider using SERVQUAL (Service quality index) to further isolate the most critical factors to increasing customer satisfaction. The audit found that the customer satisfaction surveys were not used for evaluating how effective personnel performance had been; they were used for selling additional services. The link between employee effort and customer satisfaction must be measured and continually reported to management and leadership for improvement to occur. It is the recommendation of this audit for PCH to get a very thorough definition of metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) in place for the Rock Resort Hotel first before acquiring the property in Thailand.
The staffing of the Rocks Resort Hotel reflects a lack of governance and consistency of HRM strategies to the broader objective of increasing occupancy by 20% in the next twelve months. The Audit shows that are no standardized processes, procedures or workflows defined for hiring the best possible candidates to fill the unique roles in each of the departments audited. The front-desk staff needs to be recruited more for the employee's ability to be cross-trained for answering telephone calls on the switchboard, assisting with concierge duties, and helping to coordinate major events at the resort for guests. The audit of hiring the front desk clear alone shows how deficient the standards are for defining how this role will contribute to customer satisfaction and lead to the 20% increase in occupancy being achieved over the long-term. Having consistent staffing requirements will also minimize turnover as the positions will be re-designed after the audit to allow for greater levels of autonomy, mastery and purpose in each role. The intent of having these attributes in each job definition and hiring criteria is that the culture is drastically in need of change. One of the best methods for accelerating the change in any culture is to concentrate on modifying job responsibilities and goals, making them measurable while at the same time based on the concept of giving employees the freedom to pursue their methods of solving complex problems (John, McGuire, Rhodes, 2008). From an international standpoint, having more effective job descriptions that underscore accountability and measurable results, and also are designed to provide each employee with as updated and recent feedback as possible about their performance is critically important.
The audit shows that the role of each job or position must be re-evaluated in the current Rocks Resort Hotel to first define internal process workflows to ensure they are more customer-driven, and second, to associate desired, measurable outcomes with each position as well. As the job descriptions are created today, there is first no definition of responsibilities from a cross-functional or interdepartmental standpoint, and no mention of metrics or KPIs which will be used to re-evaluate performance. The completing of a policy manual will not resolve this issue either; there is a much more systemic effort required to redefine which position interacts with and is integrated to which. The measures of performance from both an individual contributor and cross-functional performance standpoint must also be addressed so that each employee understands their role clearly. As the audit clearly shows, job descriptions lack the clarity of just how one relates to another, and how success is measured from one position to another as well. From an internal staffing standpoint will must be defined first so expectations with employees and managers at Rocks Resort Hotel share a common set of expectations about performance. This must be done before the Thailand acquisition, as the framework of job descriptions needs to be validated through actual performance in the Rocks Resort Hotel first.
Another factor from an international staffing standpoint that the audit uncovered was the need for ensuring cultural consistency across each of the job description and structure of the hotel organization itself. Today the structure is Australian, yet for Thailand, the cultural requirements will vary considerably. What PCH management must do is concentrate on defining how these job descriptions interconnect with one another to form a unified organization, how they plan on measuring performance as well, and then revamping them to be Thailand-specific. An excellent framework for accomplishing this is the Hofstede Cultural Dimensions Model. The five dimensions that comprise this model can be found on Dr. Geert Hofstede's site at http://www.geert-hofstede.com / . As there are significant cultural differences between Australia and Thailand, using the Cultural Dimensions Model to take into account differences on the five dimensions and plan accordingly will ensure a high probability of success with professional staffing in Thailand. The Hofstede Cultural Dimensions Model was originally developed when Dr. Hofstede worked at IBM, where executives wanted to gain insights into how best to manage culture shock amongst their teams moving from one country to another.
International Training and Development
Just as glaring as the lack of consistent job descriptions integrated across the resort is the complete lack of training and development. The audit shows that this is so severe that the potential exists for the resort to potentially be held liable for harassment or discriminatory hiring practices in its food and beverage operations. The hiring managers in food and beverage need training on how to hire for the skills necessary to run their operation, not resorting to discriminating on age, gender, or looks. A thorough sexual harassment training and development program is needed first at the Rocks Resort Hotel and second, structured to scale to international acquisitions including the Thailand property. Of the many areas of international training and development, the legal implications of making hiring decisions based on factors that could be easily seen as discriminatory needs to be addressed immediately. This is a legal and brand reputation liability to the resort and PCH that must be addressed.
Second, there is no training for any of the front office staff on how to support multiple roles at the same time, including checking guests in, assisting with questions on excursions and also managing the switchboard if the hotel is short-handed. This cross-training aspect of hotel operations today is non-existent which is why there is a lack of mastery and purpose in the jobs at the resort today. By working to create training programs that infuse autonomy, mastery and purpose into the organizations' culture the senior management of PCH can accelerate a more customer-driven mindset and a higher probability of retaining employees (John, McGuire, Rhodes, 2008). Training programs are often about the unique skills sets, knowledge and expertise to complete a job, yet they can also be about creating a unique customer-driven culture, which is what the Rocks Resort Hotel needs badly now.
The lack of international training and development is most acute in the context of preparing managers for the complexities and many challenges of running a resort. This is a key lesson learned from the audit, and underscores the need for an international training program…