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Strategies for Solving Management Problem - Essay on Management Example

7 pages
1734 words
Middlebury College
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Imperial hotel is a strategically positioned hotel, which is part of a well-known international branded chain of the hotel, which operates 25 other chain hotel in the UK. It is rated as a 4-star hotel with a bed occupancy capacity of 500 bedrooms, 12 conference rooms, a swimming pool, a bar and four restaurants. Despite this wealth of amenities, and its strategic location, the hotel has been experiencing low sales coupled with a rising number of guest complaints. Also, other operational constrain which have continued to cripple the hotel's operation, for example, the cost of employee turnover and the ongoing refurbishment, which is costing the hotel a fortune with the accrued costs and regarding lost revenue for rooms, which are under refurbishment. Such constraints have not only seen the hotel lose revenue, but also graded lowest regarding overall guest satisfaction in the company's benchmark grading system. The new general manager who is a well experienced Hotelier have identified these problems and has put forward suggestion of how to remedy these problems, and he is determined to uplift the hotel operating standards within six months. As an independent consultant, I have been tasked with the responsibility of analyzing the problem, commenting on the general manager's suggestion and putting forward solutions for the listed problem. The report will explore the vast performance and productivity problem in light of informant management literature and theories to propose tangible solutions. I have chosen to tackle and give a recommendation on the problem of back house staff, which includes the housekeeping, kitchen, and maintenance staff. These departments have been characterized by poor operating and control procedures, pilferage and high cost in these departments due to uncontrolled standard operating procedures.

It is evident from the management point of view that employee motivation and morale is crucial to the success of the organization. An organization would prefer employees with a positive attitude and who are happy about their jobs. From the job, they engage in; they derive a challenge, job security, better remuneration and exercise a level of autonomy. Ostroff (1992) in this study acknowledge that organizations with more satisfied employees tend to be more effective. An even more specific research in context to this study was by Ryan et al. (1996) which related certain business performance indicators, turnover ratios, and customer satisfaction to overall employee satisfaction. In addition to the suggestion to solutions and strategies put forth by the general manager on this problem, the report will include other perspectives to remedy the imperial hotel's problem. The rationale of the approach is based on the relationship between satisfaction and motivation of an employee and job performance when the management provides certain job characteristics.

Connection of the Problem with other Problems Identified

The major problem that is openly felt is the decrease in sales, which affects profit margins. However, the underlying problem, which is certainly the causal factor, is employee satisfaction. It is so severe to be connected to every problem the hotel administration is currently experiencing. For example, guest complaints on check in and check out the delay in the hotel processes is an indication of non-cooperation between the housekeeping and the reservation desk since updating the room occupancy sheet the housekeeping must approve of the room cleanliness before a guests check in. Many guests find themselves delayed in the reception lobby during check-in to wait for their room to be hurriedly cleaned for them to check in. Such acts of delay been the root source of guest complains since housekeeping duties are done haphazardly. The high rate of employee turnover also signals demoralizing factors within the working environment. The hotel has lost experienced, professional and dedicated staff who ensured repeat business. Such turnover causes the hotel to rely on inexperience, the untrained and unindicted workforce that has given emergence on customers negative complains about employee supportiveness and consequently being rude especially the housekeeping staff who have been accused of being rude and abrupt. Also, the high number of sick leaves and poor attendance is also an indication of employee demotivation exposing departmental incompetence on the part of not only the employees but also heads of departments. All these conditions play together to deny imperial hotel of its much-needed revenue for the rising operational and development costs.

Management Strategies for Combating the Problem

The initial suggestions by the general manager Mr. Peter Farnsworth which are to consider using staffs recommended by specialist agencies, employing students on zero hour contracts and offering a range of incentives and bonus schemes to encourage staff performance and high standards are revolutionary and will go a step further to manage these problems. The bulk lies on the third suggestion with the constantly asked question" how to motivate employees." According to Amabile (1993), employees can be intrinsically and extrinsically motivated. Intrinsic factors are all internal benefits, which include skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. Extrinsic motivating factors can include on job performance reviews conducted after an agreed period usually annually. This will form a basis for promotion ending the constant lack of managerial staff to fill positions. Herzberg (1959) on his theory wrote that only intrinsic factors could lead to an increase in motivation with extrinsic factors causing motivation but causes de-motivation when not present on the job. A good employee performance is necessary for organization's success, which is dependent on employees creativity, innovation, and commitment (Ramlall, 2008). According to Vroom (2008) that an employees performance is based on individual factors, namely: skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities.

Specific Operational Management Targets and their Remedy

Having a background foundation on management theories especially those focusing on employee motivation and productivity will help the management become proactive by pre-identifying problems and help the organization overcome its management constrains. For example, it is evident from the literature reviewed that employees become dissatisfied with an organization eventually develop negative behaviors that impede productivity and realization of revenue targets. Maslow hierarchy of needs provides a framework to assess these needs. In summary of the whole theory, engaged workers are less stressed, take less sick leaves, less absenteeism, stay longer in the organization are positive and influence positive customer feedback as well as encouraging repeat business. However, specific measures to be taken by the management should be centered on;


Staffing and recruitment

Improving work environment, better employment packages, staff incentive schemes and career development

Such tasks are not to be carried out in departmental isolation but throughout the Imperial hotel. Training should be highly emphasized since it is the only tool that has an immediate impact on job performance and productivity.


For example the housekeeping dismal performance on employee performance with high employee turnover which has given rise to employees not staying with the organization for no more than six months. Guest also have been complaining about the general level of cleanliness in the hotel bedroom especially the bathroom and reported cases where the employee is rude and abrupt to guests. Training on specific job standard operating procedure (SOPs) will remedy such problems. For example, the housekeeping tasks should be defined from such standards as regular updates of reports on house occupancy in liaison with the reservation department and training on professionalism and guest relations. The hotel also must improve its computer information system to ensure smooth flow of information among department sharing reports, for example, the reservation room occupancy report sheet to be immediately available to the housekeeping department, which produces a report on rooms that are ready and clean for sale. In return, the reservation should avail a billing report to the accounting department, which will prepare bills in time for guest check out. The accounts department billing system will also heavily rely on reports from other departments the guest have utilized amenities room service, kitchen or the bar. Training on the importance on such high standards and interdepartmental collaboration characterized by information sharing coupled with the hotel's effort to invest in its information systems will remedy the hotel challenges by uplifting high standards which will significantly reduce guest complains. The hotel will also retain repeat guest.

Standards operating procedures should also be applied to another department especially the kitchen that is significant to in-house guests. Back of the house, departments are characterized by high costs largely due to the nature of unsupervised work environments. This has lent to mismanagement of resources allocated to these departments and lots of wastage and pilferage. Training on the Hotel policies and rules, organizational values and mission, professionalism and ethical conduct will tackle such problems. The kitchen staff should also be specifically trained to use standard recipes to minimize wastage due to the high cost of food purchases. Cost saves of these departments should be achieved through inventory and effective controls from stores department for the hotel to cut cost and prioritize revenue to such projects as the ongoing refurbishment.

Staffing and recruitment

The previous management reliance on one staff recruitment company ABC international which specifically supplied workforce from Spain have denied the Imperial Hotel from participating in competitive labor markets to acquire skilled labor force. The cultural diversity of an organizational workforce is a great motivator and a determinant factor in production. The new management team specifically the human resource department should focus restructuring job descriptions and job profiles. Besides, the hotel should consider contacting other recruitment agencies especially based on highly recommended referrals and conducting personal interviews when staffing to achieve this diversity in its workforce.

Improving Work Environment, Better Employment Packages, Staff Incentive Schemes and Career Development

The work environment can be seen in light with the administration improving the physical environment by providing up to date working tools, for example, improving computer information system, providing trolleys for room service staff to deliver food fast and easy to guest rooms and providing the kitchen with modern cooking ovens, salamanders, storage facilities and grills. This will ensure efficient and speedy food order processing to reach the guest in time with no delays, fresh and at the right temperature. This will raise the hotel standards and ensure a minimal guest complaints as well as response.

Current incentive schemes to encourage staff to meet excellent standards of work and improve productivity include employee of the month award, end of year party fully funded by the hotel. The human resource should prioritize diversifying these rewards both in monetary and non-monetary dimensions, e.g., to cover health insurance to permanent employees, annual leaves, competitive salaries, employee exercise of autonomy in their job, overtime and reasonable working hours. However, when res...

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