Introduction To Project Management - Case Study

By Samit Banerjee
20-02-2019
1189

Introduction

Human Resources is one of the most important capital for any organization. Being one of the most important capital, proper allotment, monitoring, and evaluation of performance on regular basis is very essential. One of the largest hotel chain groups of the United Kingdom – Star Hotel, manages the Imperial Hotel of London. It is one of the renowned hospitality services of the United Kingdom and has repute all over the globe. The problem discussed in this assignment is related to the discrepancies in the front of house services due to underperformance and poor teamwork of the employees and insufficient utility of IT Infrastructure. The front of house employees is responsible and accountable for all types of guest services related to Reception, Conference and Banqueting and Restaurant and Bar segments of the organization. It is very clear that these segments highlight the quality of services that a hotel can provide and underperformance in these segments is a matter of serious concern as this might result in loss of goodwill of the organization in the market and industry.

Most of the time, it is observed that students get associated with organizations of repute on a part-time basis and are unable to maintain professionalism as expected. Payment and incentives are also key role players behind the performance of employees. Many times it is observed that employees try to confine their performance within the limits of the payment, incentive, and bonus they receive from an organization (Jones and George, 2016). Whatsoever is the scenario, the management of Imperial Hotels has to work hard for the revival of the image and retain back customers and proper screening and scrutiny of the working environment must be done to assure the best quality service to the guests. Professionalism, behavior and etiquette are the core values required to serve clients and customers in the hospitality industry and Imperial Hotels have to work out on this segment for sustainment and continuance in the industry.

Analysis of the Individual Problem

Theoretical Analysis

The major issue, which is the root cause of this problem, is considerate fall in the levels of customer satisfaction due to poor standards of service deliverance by the Front of house staff and employees. This includes the reception section, conference and banqueting facilities, and restaurant and bar services.

In the hospitality industry, guests are customers and Kano’s Model of Customer Satisfaction can be treated ideally in the analysis and mitigation of the issue. Guest satisfaction is one of the greatest factors, which influence the competition factors, and the goodwill of the organization in the market and industry is directly linked with it. Satisfied guests can increase business volume by recommending the Imperial Hotel in their circle and the reverse is also possible in cases of bad service. An organization will certainly register a decrease in footfalls.

Kano’s Model comprises of different attributes which play important role in deciding the customer satisfaction indices by the judgment of the quality of service provided by the staff and methods of retention of customers. The major attributes which help in the process are –

Must-be Qualities: These are the features of the services that is expected by all customers and the service can never begin or end without these. As for the Imperial Hotel, proper greeting, warm welcome and reception, efficient billing facilities, punctual room services, basic room amenities, and comfortable ambiance are the basics and must-haves, which customers always take to be granted. These are the basic attributes and the organization must provide this voluntarily to the guests. For all these, professionalism and spirited teamwork are essential amongst employees and staffs.

One-dimensional Qualities: These are those attributes, which can either satisfy or simply dissatisfy the guests. The presence of these factors shall generate satisfaction or else it will lead to dissatisfaction of guests. As for the Imperial Hotel, these factors are the basic amenities and facilities provided at each segment of the services. Cleanliness, well-trained professionals, warm hospitality and professional etiquette are the most important of these qualities (Biswas et al., 2017).

Attractive Quality: These are the attributes, which provide guest satisfaction when provided completely, but, without the availability of these services, guests are not dissatisfied. These qualities are not expected by guests but if provided can certainly please them. These services can be a complimentary meal package, a natural view from the room or anything that is not mentioned in their package.

Indifferent Qualities: These are the attributes or features of the services, which is of least importance for guests. These can be the availability of extra linen in rooms or color of doormats or design of the key ring.

Reverse qualities: These are those attributes of the service, which in spite of being an attempt to please customers can lead to dissatisfaction. Too much modesty, excessive gratitude and an overwhelming tendency of pampering guests can be one of the behavioral attributes of such qualities.

Kano’s Model had been greatly helpful in identifying the actual cause behind the dissatisfaction of the guests arriving at the Imperial Hotel. In most of the cases, it is seen that management has tried to provide all benefits to the guests but significant lag in the spirits of staff is one of the major reasons for dissatisfaction amongst guests.

 

Taylor Theory

Taylor theory is related to the work culture and ethics, which governs the employees of an organization. It is also a parameter of analysis of efficiency and standards of practices of a workplace. This theory deals with the level of genuine supervision of higher authorities over subordinate staffs and the standard of training provided to them. This method also ensures whether an employee is facing genuine difficulty in catering his or her services to the organization or the under-performance is a deliberate act (Chen and Zhao, 2014). In the case of the Imperial Hotel, a proper training regime and supervising authority is compulsory to keep a watch on the level of service delivered by the staff and employee. This will keep the staff motivated towards work and the level of performance shall also increase.

Trait Leadership Theory

No team can perform without the supervision of an individual having competent leadership and managerial attributes. Poor teamwork is one of the core reasons due to which the problem took place. An efficient and effective leader can handle situations leading to guest dissatisfaction by professional counseling and being answerable to them in a proper way and etiquette.

The problem, which is disturbing the operational parameters of the Imperial Hotel, is poor teamwork. A team can never perform to its best without the leadership. A qualified manager with competent expertise and experience in the hospitality industry can handle teamwork and keep guests satisfied by interacting with them directly in situations of grave crisis.

Situational Leadership Model: Hersey and Blanchard

An efficient and influential person is always required to lead a team by the implementation of a delegation, support, training and directing attributes. The absence of leadership attributes can never make a person capable to lead any team and motivate them to work for a common objective.


As shown in the above figure, a leader must be versatile enough to modify his role as mentioned. At times, he must show high supportive behavior whereas many times he must be highly directive. By this, he can always maintain equilibrium and subordinate staff can never afford to disobey his words. In this case, if a properly trained and professional person can handle the team of Front of house staff, he or she can directly interact with the guests and try to solve their issues. This can be effective in leading to a greater level of satisfaction amongst guests compared to the current situation.

Mintzberg’s Managerial role approach

It is very evident that managers are the leaders to tackle subordinate staffs in most of the industries including the hospitality industry. Managerial roles have three aspects according to Mintzberg’s approach. The interpersonal aspect of managerial roles is taken into account when he or she is one of the lead authorities in team handling and liaison. When the manager plays a significant role as a spokesperson or disseminator and is solely responsible for monitoring teamwork, it is the Informational aspect of managerial roles. Enterprising roles, which can be trouble handling or risk mitigation, negotiations and allocation of resources, are the Decisional aspects of managerial roles. At the Imperial Hotel, personnel with the qualities that can make him or her eligible for the aforesaid aspects of managerial roles can make a difference. Managers having speaking, dealing and negotiating qualities can easily resolve the issues and troubles of the guests and can make them happy by the allocation of any resource which is excess in the inventory but not mentioned in the plan of the guest. This shall be an attractive and indifferent quality of service which even if it is not able to please the guest, yet, it shall make him or her consider the complaint and shall not lead to the fall of goodwill or reputation of the organization (Biswas et al., 2017).

Lewin’s Theory of Change Management

This is a management change model where the existing model of the management and corporate governance is changed or modified following three steps, which are unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. The leading authorities of the organization must know about rejection and replacement techniques.

A Dynamic balance of forces, which works in opposite direction, is the sole characteristic of the model (Boddy, 2014). The current scenario at the Imperial Hotel must surpass the “unfreeze” stage of the theory and after assessment of faults and failures it must be altered and the system should be frozen again.

All individuals have unique abilities and attributes. They also possess a unique thought process. The change in the organizational hierarchy or employee status can influence employees to take up their tasks seriously and explore new areas of opportunity within the organisation.mselves. A structured system for supporting the staff to do their duties accepting the changes is provided by the change management (Cameron and Green, 2015). The employees should be accustomed to the transition, as they have to move from their current state to the future states. There are three levels of change management, which are Individual change management, organizational change management, and enterprise change management respectively. In the case of the hotel Imperial London, if the changes are required in the management, the employees should be guided on how to accept the changes and how to act accordingly. This theory of change management should be adopted by the Imperial Hotel to come out of the current scenario and enable employees to get a chance to work more carefully with the perfect professional approach.

Identification of the Problem

After the analysis, it was found that the major reason for dissatisfaction of guests arriving at the Imperial Hotel is the unprofessional and unwanted behavior of employees. According to the surveys conducted over the issue, it was revealed that most of the customers have shown dissatisfaction over the cleanliness of conference and banquet halls, unpunctuality in room services and low standard of hygiene in restaurants and bars.

According to Kano’s Model, these are the Must-be and One-dimensional qualities of services.  For this reason, the guests were dissatisfied as they were unable to access the basic features of services in all the segments, which were handled, by the Front of house staff. In the hospitality industry, basic amenities and services are the most important parameters of judging the overall quality of the services provided by the organization (Biswas et al., 2017).

The current scenario demands direct involvement of higher authorities of the Imperial Hotel and Peter Farnsworth into the matter. A well-planned and properly guided method is very much necessary to improve the performance of the staff. A major part of the disturbance is due to the non-accountability of staff in their respective work roles, the implementation of an improvised HR plan is mandatory under such circumstances. Dissatisfied guests due to the unprofessional attitude of staff towards their work role affect the productivity and popularity of a hotel (Grant, 2016). Farnsworth can follow a few steps which can take Imperial Hotels out of the ongoing problem which are –

Critical analysis of the issues: This can be done by interacting with guests directly and taking written feedbacks and suggestions from them.

Responding to the complaints of guests on a serious note: A team must be created to accept, analyze and take appropriate action on the complaints of the guests.

Train employees to a professional standard: All the employees must receive professional training to maintain quality and integrity in providing their services to guests. The training plan must be designed keeping in mind all the verticals related to guest satisfaction.

According to the Taylor plan, there must be a proper hierarchical structure at the time of allotment of job roles and responsibilities. Positions must be allotted to persons who are eligible for that with a more competent person leading them. There must be one correct method of workflow that must be created for productivity and it is essential that there should be necessary steps that must be taken like the monitoring and training processes for the employees (Challagalla et al., 2014).

The Trait theory of leadership demands modifications in the operational and management level of work monitoring and supervision. Some strict and genuine individuals having all competencies in team management and managerial attributes must lead the team, which is accused by guests to lack professionalism.

The situational leadership model and Mintzberg’s managerial role approach can help the organization to select potential individuals to handle the prevailing scenario and the change management strategy of Lewin shall support the above two theories by supporting them in making the employees and the organization accept the need of change and alterations of the current management framework.

Action Plan

Initiatives

Actions

Timeline

Critical analysis of Customer Feedback and complaints

 

Interacting directly with the guests and keeping a note of their feedbacks with a check on the development against relevant issues.

2-3 months

Staff Interaction

Interacting with staff frequently and informing them about the expectations of guests.

Guiding them by providing tips to increase the quality of their services.

3 months

Professional training to employees

Setting up efficient and effective Human Resource policies making training compulsory for all staff and apprentices.

3-4 months

IT Management and Training

Employees must be trained to handle IT infrastructure so that they can promptly use them in catering services to guests.

2-3 months

 

 

 

 

Recommendation

After inspection, survey, monitoring and analyzing the issue of lack of guest satisfaction from the services provided by the Front of house staffs of Imperial Hotel, London, the following recommended steps can bring about a change:

Regular scrutiny of guest feedback: One senior-most administrative personnel of the organization must make it a point to visit the workplace frequently to take feedback about the services from the guests by interacting with them directly. The presence of a high ranked official shall prevent staff in making any foul display in their service and the level of guest satisfaction will certainly witness a positive change.

Framing performance goals: All employees must be allotted some goals and objective by achieving which they shall be entitled for some bonus, perk or incentive. This will motivate them in their tasks and they shall not deviate from the professional parameters of service. In the same context, the managers must supervise team objectives, aims and goals that must be met efficiently. This will give the necessary motivation for the employees to work hard (Biswas et al., 2017).

Proper Hierarchy and work pattern: The team of staff whose inefficiency has landed the Imperial Hotel in the said problem must be evaluated properly. Unwanted staffs must be removed and new recruits must be trained. The work culture must follow a hierarchical structure so that there must be a more experienced person leading the subordinate ones. This brings the courage and dependency of junior staff over senior ones and they shall never try to show unprofessionalism at work. Provisions of recruitment of staffs having qualifications, certification or experience in IT Management are also required. To implement this, job adverts must display this requirement in the eligibility criteria segment of the required candidates.

Conclusion

To mitigate the issues and challenges arising in the segments of guest satisfaction at Imperial Hotels, London, the required steps and methodologies are explained vividly. Unethical and unprofessional attitude of employees and staffs towards their job roles and responsibilities directly hampers the operations and goodwill of the organisation. The higher authority of the organisation must frame a nice module of surveillance and monitoring in order to keep a track on the performance and behaviour of staffs. Job roles and objectives with achievable targets must be allotted to the employees. This will keep them engaged in their task and they will gain more interest to work if some incentive or payment oriented objective is assigned to them. The organisation must have employees dedicated to the IT systems with competencies over Customer Relationship Management or CRM software and ability to handle databases. This will help to distribute the task easily and workload shall overwhelm no employee or staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

Biswas, U.N., Allard, K., Pousette, A. and Härenstam, A., 2017. Multicultural Perspectives on Attractive Work. In Understanding Attractive Work in a Globalized World (pp. 73-84). Springer, Singapore.

Challagalla, G., Murtha, B.R. and Jaworski, B., 2014. Marketing doctrine: a principles-based approach to guiding marketing decision making in firms. Journal of Marketing78(4), pp.4-20.

Chen, S. and Zhao, J., 2014. The requirements, challenges, and technologies for 5G of terrestrial mobile telecommunication. IEEE Communications Magazine52(5), pp.36-43.

Grant, R.M., 2016. Contemporary strategy analysis: Text and cases edition. John Wiley & Sons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix

Student Name/No:

Group/Seminar Tutor:

Date of submission:

Problem No: 4

Front of house staff (Reception, Conference & Banqueting, and Restaurant & Bars)

– poor team working and inefficient use of IT systems including the reservation and property management systems

·         What do you consider the core reasons for this specific problem at the hotel?

The core reasons for this specific problem at the hotel are –

Dependency on part-time employees as Front of house staff.

Inadequate induction and training.

Lack of understanding and professional approach amongst employees.

Employees think that their performance is at par with the incentives and payment received by them.

 

·         Briefly identify how your specific problem may be linked to any other of the 4 remaining problems identified in the hotel case (Confer with your team members who investigating the other listed problems)

The problem dealt by me is linked with the first problem, which is poor guest satisfaction. Due to under performance of Front of house staff, there is lack in customer satisfaction. With the downsizing of the ability of providing appropriate services, poor guest satisfaction also leads to the harm of goodwill of the organisation.

·         How useful do you consider the suggested actions are proposed by Peter Farnsworth to resolve your specific problem?

The suggested actions proposed by Peter Farnsworth are helpful to resolve the specific problem I am dealing with as the method holds all the attributes of human resource management and risk management.

Kano’s Model and Taylor’s theory enables the organisation to keep a vigil watch over the employees and the Trait Leadership theory enables proper handling of customers with negative feedback along with professional team management methods.

·         Consider an alternative way that this specific problem could be resolved which have not as yet been considered.

The Expectancy Theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs could be the theories which if had been compounded with the methods implied would have provided better solution to the problem. The methods used are mostly organisation oriented, but employee oriented methods are also necessary for complete mitigation of the problem and can stand contingent to risk factors.

 


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Samit Banerjee

Introduction To Project Management - Case Study

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