HR Practices at the Hotel Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Note that Marriott inculcates teamwork into everything that it does. For that reason, Marriott was rated by JD Power, a rating agency, as the top hotel for guest satisfaction in 2007. Bill Marriott, the hotel company's chairman, cites the reason as the staff's focus on customer satisfaction:

You may be interested in learning what I look for when I visit a hotel. Number one, and of great importance, is the people. Are they friendly? Are they helpful? Are they courteous? Are they anticipating my needs? (Marriott 2007)

Setting a motivation plan

Mayfield and Mayfield measured the effect of positive leader communication on worker performance and job satisfaction. They measured the impact of motivating language on full- and part-time employees. Their motivating language focused on three elements: direction-giving ("what should I do?"), empathetic ("speaking with understanding") and meaning-making ("transmitting the rules within the institution"). Thus, motivating language was interpreted in a more structured and job-related way than it is sometimes interpreted. As expected, both full- and part-time employees responded well in measurable performance and satisfaction elements.

Underlying assumption: Theory Y employees

Theory Y, the other half of McGregor's postulate, assumes that employees are naturally inclined to want to perform well. The underlying assumptions include:

Work is a natural element for employees

People want to perform well, given a chance.

Rewards should motivate key goals, such as self-fulfillment and a feeling of accomplishment.

Most people are creative and ingenious, and are willing to employ these qualities on the job.

Bernhardt and Bailey outlined research of the hotel industry in the U.S. In which unions and employers work together to improve employee motivation (Bernhardt 1998). The ultimate goal of the programs was to improve turnover and motivation. The primary motivators for employees were to give them several functions, and to give them positive feedback.


Judy Siguaw and Cathy Enz of Cornell studied the best practices in hotel operations across the industry in the United States. They were particularly impressed by the ongoing training program for staff at Marriott's new York Marriott Financial Center Hotel. In addition to its formal employee training program, they instituted a program whereby each department gave monthly updates on the performance of their department, and how that department was helping to achieve the hotel's two main goals: improving guest satisfaction and employee morale.

Cross-training is particularly important. In the previously-noted study (Bernhardt 1998), an additional finding for motivation is that cross-training not only improved employee satisfaction, but it also increased teamwork. At the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn, Michigan, cross-training is central to their success. Everyone from the PBX central exchange to the room service department is trained to greet the customer by name by referring to a specific customer document known as OSCAR.

Specific recommendations for Hotel Paradiso


At present, the diagnosis indicates that Hotel Paradiso employees work in "silos," which means that each function may have minimal interaction with others. Since the guests' expectations are to have a seamless experience (as with the OSCAR system at the Ritz-Carlton), it is important that the employees present a 'team face' to the customer.

For that reason, the hotel management needs to convey its overall goals -- customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction -- in a unified way. Rather than setting individual punishments for team goals not met, Hotel Paradiso should set team goals across functions. Towards that end, HR proposes a three-point program:

Establish teams across functions (for example, oriented towards shifts rather than functions).

Have the teams meet with management to discuss general goals. Management should then give the team the freedom to set specific tactics and measures to meet overall goals.

Have the teams meet on a weekly basis to assess performance to goals, and monthly with management (including HR) to present their progress.


The keys to motivation are a fundamental assumption that employees want to do well, and receive positive feedback that enhances their feelings of self-worth. Part-time employees are particularly difficult to motivate. Given the findings of the Bernhardt study, it makes sense to give part-time and service employees the opportunity to cross-train, and to set their own objectives. In that way, the relatively small full-time staff of 45 employees can fill in for absent employees, and relieve some of the overwork complaints that have been generated. This is primarily a motivation tool, but also accomplishes the goal of improving employee motivation.

The second recommendation is related to the Teamwork recommendations: once the employee teams have created measurements of guest satisfaction, the team should be rewarded in an appropriate way for its actions. Customer surveys, sales and other measures can be employed to insure that the team's goals are being met.

On the negative side, if one or more team members is not pulling his/her own weight, other members of the cross-functional team can speak to them privately about the team's norms and standards.


This is primarily the responsibility of the HR director. In a smallish resort with relatively few full-time employees, HR must assure that it and key employees have the appropriate amount of time to help employees understand what is expected, and how to perform their jobs.

Related to the above, HR will use the outline developed by Hotel & Motel Management (Kennedy 2007) and Hotel Management to develop specific training goals manuals for each of the major functions in the hotel. Given the relatively large number of part-time employees, it is necessary to use a detailed orientation and training plan. Two key objectives for part-time employees will be:

To assure that the part-time employee has been properly orientated with the practices, ethics and "do's and don'ts" of the hotel.

To ensure that, after orientation, the employee has the knowledge and skills to perform his/her job.

The primary method for training is JIT, or job-instruction training, by one of the full-time staff-managers. It will be their primary responsibility to ensure that the part-time employee has been given the proper, detailed instruction. It is the HR manager's responsibility, therefore, to ensure that the staff-manager has taken the appropriate time, and to monitor the part-time employee's knowledge in order to assure that that training has taken place.


This short paper cannot cover all the needs of the Hotel Paradiso. Given rapid growth, high competitive needs and cost pressures, management require a complete HR plan. As Bill Marriott points out, the attitude of the staff is primary to ensure guest satisfaction. By focusing first on training, motivation and team-building, the Hotel Paradiso can help to construct a positive, guest-friendly staff.


Bernhardt, a. "Improving Worker Welfare in the Age of Flexibility." Challenge, 1998: 16-34.

Chemers, MM. An Integrative Theory of Leadership. Boston: Lawrence Erbaum, 1997.

Doyle, M.E. And Smith, M.K. "Classical Models of Management Leadership." Infed. 2001. (Accessed October 3, 2007).

Kanampully, J, Mok, C. And Sparks, B. Service Quality Management in Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure. New York: Haworth Press, 2001.

Kennedy, D. "It's all about the people." Hotel & Motel Management, 2007: n.p.

Marriott, B. "Power of Quality." Marriott on the move. July 30, 2007. (Accessed October 17, 2007).

Mayfield, J and Mayfield, M. " the Benefits of Leader Communication on Part-Time Worker Outcomes: A Comparison between Part-Time and Full-Time Employees Using Motivating Language." Journal of Business Strategies, 2006: 131-142.

Mo, PLL. "An empirical study on the impact of culture on audit-detected accounting errors." Auditing, a Journal of Practice & Theory, 2003: n.p.

Siguaw, JA and Enz, CA. "Best Practices in Hotel Operations." Cornell Hotel & Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 1999: n.p.

Wood, K. "RENAISSANCE CLEVELAND HOTEL WELCOMES PUSH AMERICA." Push America. 2007. (Accessed October 17, 2007).

This is not explicitly mentioned in the case, but the industry is typified by high turnover, particularly where there are morale problems, as at Hotel Paradiso

As this paper will limit its recommendations to only three major changes, the question of employee representation is not dealt with in greater detail. In the author's opinion, addressing the other issues outlined here may obviate the representation question. (Mayfield 2006)

Source: (Siguaw 1999)

HR Practices at the Hotel Paradiso: Recommendations

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