Free Research Proposal On Employee Behaviour
Type of paper: Research Proposal
Topic: Workplace, Employee, Employment, Education, Company, Human Resource Management, Study, Training
The following research questions will guide this study:
Can UK hotels increase customer satisfaction and profitability through averting employee turnover?
Employee retention in hospitality sector
The hospitality industry is among the most lucrative in the UK, generating over £4.25 billion annually to the economy (British Hospitality Association, 2015). Increased domestic spending, fuelled by the middle and higher income classes, coupled with international tourism, contribute to a vibrant food and service management business. Conference tourism also fuels profitability for those in this sector. Like other businesses, one of the main pillars of hospitality outlets is the human resource. Hiring and retaining qualified and experienced personnel is a crucial determinant of profitability.
Yang, Wan and Fu (2012) posit that the hospitality industry experiences high rates of employee turnover worldwide. This they say is unexpected considering the increased application of employee retention techniques in this industry. From their findings, over 80% of management level workers who left their jobs in the hospitality industry in Taiwan cited career advancement as the reason; while about 70% said they were leaving because they had received better offers from other firms. Respondents also indicated that they were leaving their jobs owing to stark disparities between their expectations and reality.
Mattox II and Jinkerson (2005) assert that business organizations thrive on competition and successful firms are those that utilize the best strategies of attracting and retaining skilled and knowledgeable workers. Further, they posit that premier firms excel and make huge profits because they manage to make their most experienced employees to remain in organizations for long. The authors also claim that losing or retaining an experienced employee is very costly for companies.
Phillips and Connell (2003) opine that departure of knowledgeable staff affects not only the firm but the operations of other staff. Often, morale goes down, rumours increase and some workers may leave the firm. The converse is also taxing for the firm since hiring experienced staff means paying highly to take them away from their current places of work. At any one time, an experienced and skilled worker may have several lucrative job offers from reputable firms. According to Yee, Yeung and Cheng (2008), employee satisfaction and quality of service meant to satisfy customers are closely related and both impact profitability positively. Consequently, operations managers must consider employee satisfaction as a strategy for offering better services that satisfy customers.
Yee, Yeung and Cheng (2010) assert that the loyalty of an employee affects the loyalty and satisfaction of a customer. A firm that meets the demands of customers is in turn profitable. In essence, when companies invest in employee satisfaction, the latter are retained in the organization for long and they repay the firm by offering quality services and products to clients, who in turn become loyal to the company, buy more and boost profitability. One of the most effective strategies of retaining employees is to pay them well.
Collins-Camargo, Ellett, and Lester (2012) carried out a study among public child welfare sector workers, where alarming employee turnover rates had been reported, thus implying a problem with strategies of employee retention. Among the findings was that strengthening the working environment for public child welfare workers helped the latter to make the decision to remain with the organization for long. This strategy would encompass paying workers reasonably, commensurate to their educational levels and experiences.
Robbins and Judge (2014) cited studies that indicated that in the last 30 years, American workers were reportedly more satisfied with their jobs than before. However, these writers faulted those studies as being too general in approach as more recent research indicates a gradual decline in job satisfaction since the economic downturn that began in 2007. Some of the parameters for measuring job satisfaction that were used include the job, itself, co-workers, pay, supervision and promotion. Incidentally, while workers were relatively more satisfied with the overall job and other aspects, there was a decline in respect to pay and promotion. In essence, the amount one was paid was a key reason why they chose to leave for better-paying jobs within the same sector.
Branham (2012) identifies remuneration as one of the seven principal reasons for employee turnover. The amount of money one is paid is perceived to be a measure of the value the organization places on that person. This explains the higher salaries paid by top-notch companies to highly-qualified staff. Conversely, people in jobs that do not involve a lot of cognitive skills or advanced education are usually paid lower salaries. However, the threshold is always the need for a salary to meet the budgeted needs of an employee in a manner that will guarantee a comfortable life. As a result, when an employee identifies a job he or she can perform in an organization that pays better, he or she is likely to leave the current employer, all other factors being constant.
Another key strategy for retaining employees is to train them. Yang et al. (2012) assert that managers need to fully appreciate the needs of junior employees when offering counsel on careers, and firms would retain more skilled employees if they instituted training programs for workers. Jun, Cai and Shin (2006) posit that employee satisfaction is significantly affected in a positive way by teamwork, employee compensation and employee empowerment. In addition, employee empowerment is greatly enhanced through training. Although their study was based on the application for Total Quality Management (TQM) principles in offshore companies, the results are largely applicable to any other business organization.
Training increases job satisfaction and the latter and employee turnover are positively correlated. When an organization trains its workers, it enables them to improve performance. Moreover, employees who undergo training feel valued and self-confident thus boosting their chances of remaining in an organization. In addition, training decreases employee turnover because workers value acquisition of new skills and feel indebted to an organization that provides such opportunities. Further, training lower level employees and then promoting them results in job satisfaction and the likelihood that such staff will remain with the organization that has trained them (Saks and Haccoun, 2010).
Black (2011) also asserts that training is a powerful weapon for averting employee turnover. Although training is also utilized for other purposes like process improvement, quality and certification, companies that use this method to avert employee turnover report high degrees of success in this endeavour. He opines that a well-trained employee is a satisfied one and will hesitate to leave the organization that has offered the training.
Robbins and Judge (2014) use the exit-voice-loyalty-neglect framework to explain what happens when workers are dissatisfied. Exit implies that the disgruntled worker devices a way out and may resign or search for a better job. Voice indicates practical and constructive attempts, through dialogue and trade unionism, to improve working conditions. Under loyalty, a worker is optimistic that the management will take action to improve conditions and the worker even defends the employer from pertinent criticism. Finally, neglect describes the actions of a worker allows the situation to worsen by eschewing assigned duties, coming to work late, deliberate absenteeism or reducing the rate of performance. In most cases, workers prefer to exit the organization in search of better working conditions. Understanding this model is important for managers and firm owners who desire to retain employees.
In addition to the approach outlined above, his study will utilize the Herzberg Theory to explain employee retention and how it is influenced by worker compensation and training. This approach to motivation was developed by Fredrick Herzberg and is also called the two factor theory of motivation (DuBrin, 2008). Herzberg identified two sets of factors that influenced motivational levels for employees. The study that led to this theory posed two questions to respondents, with the expected answers being what workers felt was exceptionally good or bad with their jobs. Motivators are job-content factors that indicate why employees love their jobs. They include responsibility, the job itself, achievement and advancement. Hygiene factor are job-content related and include working conditions, technical supervision, salaries, and company policies and administration.
This study assumes that employee retention in the hospitality industry is influenced by both motivators and hygiene factors; training and remuneration respectively. Consequently, hotel owners and managers must device appropriate and attractive payment packages as well as invest in the career advancement of their workers. If this is done, turnover will significantly reduce because the employees will have high levels of satisfaction. The ripple effect will be quality service delivery to customers and a concomitant increase in profitability for firms.
Methodology / Methods / Sample
This study will collect data from respondents through a scientific process. Since the study is empirical, it will adopt a positivist approach. According to Willis (2008), empiricism and adherence to scientific methodology are the distinguishing characteristics of positivist research. Despite this, it is almost impossible to have a purely positivist social research. This is because when studying human beings, opinions and attitudes must be understood and interpreted and this is in the purview of interpretivist research. This study will therefore have aspects of intepretivism.
This research will be both inductive and deductive. Since it is qualitative in nature, it will be predominantly inductive. Wilson (2010) posits that inductive research examines findings and observations to derive theories from the sample. On the other hand, deductive methods begin by applying a theory to a population and then deriving findings or observations. However, inductive and deductive approaches often overlap. In this study, the current status of employee retention will be studied with a view of developing pertinent conclusions. On the other hand, this study will utilize existing motivation theories in studying the behaviour of the population sample to come up with findings. In essence both inductive and deductive research approaches will play crucial roles in gathering and interpreting data and arriving at findings.
The population for this study will comprise workers in hospitality companies. Data will be collected by use of questionnaires. This method of collecting data is the most appropriate in this case because it will help to gather both qualitative and quantitative data from respondents. In addition, respondents can answer the questions in their own time and submit filled questionnaires to the researcher through agreed channels. Finally, questionnaires have the characteristic of anonymity, which implies that respondents will not fear to be victimized for providing ideas that are critical of their bosses, for example (Mitchell & Jolley, 2010).
This study will utilize the stratified random sampling method to arrive at the sample. According to Black (2012), this strategy is appropriate in cases where the population has smaller sub-sets which do not overlap. Using this method helps to reduce sampling error. In this study, an equal percentage of workers will be derived from each of the hotels operating in the research area and simple random sampling will be used to pick the individuals who will comprise the sample from each stratum (hotel).
In research, all processes, especially data collection, interpretation and publishing of findings must be done within ethical standards (Kimmel, 2007). In this study, prospective respondents will be informed that the data to be gathered from them will only be used for research purposes; that they should not indicate their names on the questionnaire, and that the information they provide with be treated with confidentiality.
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