Learning outcomes: By the end of the module, students will be able to:-
Evaluate current practices in the management of human resource management and their impacts on line management practices.
Critically analyse the tools and techniques used to solve problems with the human resource element within the Hospitality, Tourism and Event Industries so as to create an effective and efficient workforce.
Formulate decisions concerning people at work, based on a theoretical understanding of contemporary Human Resource Management.
Case study: Conrad Centennial Singapore
The Conrad Centennial is a leading 5-star luxury hotel in Singapore. As the hotel industry is one which utilises foreign labour heavily and already faces a problem of high staff turnover, emerging Human Resources Management (HRM) Issues have created challenges for Conrad and other hotels alike. These challenges include Singapore’s tight labour market and the most recent White Paper 2013 which has meted out regulations to significantly slow down the growth of foreign labour in Singapore.
Conrad acknowledges the difficulties it faces in Recruitment, Training and Retention and the harsh reality of recent governmental regulations. To tackle the problem of recruitment, it gives out competitive salary packages and recruits a diverse workforce through student interns. It also believes in Employer Branding, a vital strategy in attracting and retaining employees. To tackle the problem of training, Conrad implements a mandatory Buddy System and encourages the use of an online university, the Hilton University, to deliver courses. It hence positions itself as a learning organization which focuses on training and development. To tackle the problem of retention, Conrad builds strong employee-employer relationships.
Conrad’s HRM strategies have served it well for a long time, but in the face of increasingly complex macro and micro-environment issues, there needs to be a greater concerted effort to develop HR as a core competency, a competitive advantage. The importance of employee retention is paramount and greater analysis is required in that aspect. Conrad can place a greater emphasis in managing its talent and developing the careers of its employees; it is through such employer branding that employees see a future with the organization. In so doing, they maximise their individual potential and the power of the collective Human Capital is realised.
Interview with Mr Andy Khor, Human Resources Director at Conrad Centennial Singapore.
Summary of Interview
The hotel industry is one which will be heavily affected by the recent White Paper policies. The government’s efforts to slow down the growth of foreign labour is pushing hotels to switch to Singaporean workers which is putting a lot of cost pressures on hotels on top of recruitment challenges due to Singaporean’s negative perception of working in a hotel. Conrad acknowledges that such challenges exist but maintain that with their effective Human Resource Management strategies, no tasks are insurmountable. Guided by the motto “People, Product, Profitability”, Conrad hence believes in the power of Employer and Employee Branding to tackle the biggest challenges of Recruitment and Retention in the local hotel industry.
As a strategy in retention of its staff, Conrad emphasizes on the importance of career progression. It believes if the staff sees a future with the organization, they will be more inclined to stay. In this respect, Conrad has very flexible policies in lateral and vertical movement of its staff – from promotions to department switches. It believes in also helping its staff achieve their dreams; they are not just cogs in a machine.
Conrad also aims to develop itself as a learning organization whereby its staff should develop a genuine interest in learning and improving. This is very relevant to the constant up-skilling necessary in the ever-changing and progressing hospitality industry. Being more qualified and certified would also justify a higher pay and position in the organization, this which Conrad agrees. “Simply increasing salary to retain them is not smart. But if you increase salaries through career progression, it’s very smart.” A desired consequence of a learning organization would thus be retention of the staff as they are happier and more motivated to work harder.
Employee Branding is a strategy which Conrad focuses on. It aims to create a favourable organization culture which its staff can identify with. This is because they acknowledge the fact that there is a limit to how much salary attracts people. In the long run, it is more than just the money. Hence efforts are made to create a very friendly culture. Employees then choose to stay even if other hotels like the Integrated Resorts offer significantly higher salaries.
Mr Khor gives his personal take on foreign labour – they are hardworking and natural when it comes to customer service. They are vital to the hotel because of their productivity and contribution to diversity which is desirable. However, with the implementation of fresh government restrictions, he acknowledges that hotels need to re-look at their human resource strategies. After all, Conrad is a hotel in Singapore and there is a tacit responsibility to look out for Singaporeans.
Using the case study above as a guidance only (further research is a must in order to complete this assignment), you are required to provide an analysis of fundamental general Human Resources Management theories and specific elements of Employee Resourcing. You are also required to provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of the implementation of above theories with reference to Conrad Centennial Singapore Context. In your discussion you are specifically required to critically analyse and evaluate the following:
Implications of implementing horizontally or vertically integrated Human Resources Management strategies within and provide specific examples and applications within Conrad Centennial Singapore context
Debate Employee Resourcing strategies such has recruitment and selection, retention and performance management are fundamental in the service sector
Analyse the key concepts employee motivation and empowerment and evaluate how successfully (or not) Conrad Centennial Singapore uses them in order to create a positive customer service culture and employee retention
Discuss the importance of Performance Development and evaluate how Conrad Centennial Singapore ensures the career and talent development of its senior managers
Debate how the role of service staff as “boundary spanners” can be a challenging one and evaluate how service organisations such as Conrad Centennial Singapore manage this delicate aspect
You are required to complete 2000 words (+/- 10%) essay including all of the above elements following a logical and coherent structure clearly highlighting your position and supporting your arguments with a minimum of 10 academic sources. You also must strictly follow the Harvard Referencing System. You also must submit your work via Turnitin by the due date, late submission will not be accepted unless you have written previous approval due to mitigating circumstance according to the Student Handbook
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