Monday, August 5, 2019

Evaluating The Front Office Practices Of Kurrajong Hotel Tourism Essay

Evaluating The Front Office Practices Of Kurrajong Hotel Tourism Essay The term hospitality can be specified as the friendly response and handling of strangers. The hospitality industry comprises of businesses and institutions that allow for lodging, food and other services to travellers. The friendly response and handling of guests is the duty of the people who work in the hospitality industry (Foster, 2009). In present hospitality industry is growing at an immense rate and increasing occupancy rates and revenue by ameliorating customer experience is the aim of modern organizations. To achieve these results, management of hotels need to understand the needs of their customers and have to align their needs with their Front-Office operations as it is one of the most viewable aspects of hospitality industry. The topic discussed here is the Front Office practices of hospitality industry as it is one of most significant aspects of the industry in concern to attainment of success. The front office allows for services to hotel guests beyond the elemental duties of getting them into and out of their rooms so it can be said that it plays a prominent role in the industry (Front Office Overview, 2009). The significance of this operational topic will be discussed through a rational approach that will involve all essential aspects and theories. First of all a literature review will be completed on the selected topic and then the theory associated to the topic will be researched and observed how it fits with the real world of hospitality. Subsequent to this, we will research what are the politics, policies and practices of selected topic and what the implications of these politics, policies are and practices on the operational staff, the management and most of all the customers. Afterwards an appropriate research model will be used to evaluate the selected topic and the nature of topic will be stated along with the explanation of its importance in the industry and the benefits that will be achieved by analyzing it. An appropriate theory related with the selected operational topic will be researched so that the compatibility among the Front office practices and that theory can be identified for reaching at conclusion. In this whole process the management and the staff of Hotel Kurrajong will be interviewed so that some effective criteria can be developed to measure the compatibility between theory and topic. Front Office Practices Businesses and hospitality industry for attaining assured success always determine which part of their organization will have contact with customers. In this concern front office is the customer interface area. It directs to deal with customer demands and anticipations, appropriating the back office and other departments to go forward to focus on tasks which affirm the running of the organization and hotel as well as supporting the efforts of the front office (Key Concepts in Operations Management, 1984). Similar is the case with hotel Kurrajong, Canberra. The front office of the hotel manages the delivery of service systems to the customer, allowing the hotel staff not to be exhibited and supercharged by customer demands, thereby disseminating the demands and handling the capability of the hotel. Front Office is a term employed in hotels to comprehend the several sections which deal with reservations, room allocation, reception, service delivery, billing and payments. Front office is only one of the sections within a hotel (Bardi, 2006). This front office practices are essential in present as the first contact most potential guests would have with a hotel is with its telephone switch-board, which is a function of front office (Abbott Lewry, 1999). Telephone operator addresses the customers and connects them to someone in the reservations department, who considers their booking and handles following correspondence like confirmations, alterations or cancellations. When the guest arrives in the hotel, they may be aided by a uniformed guard, though this is not so common in present. In any situation the guests have to go to the reception desk to record and receive their room key. In addition to this, throughout their stay in hotel guests may well have chances to go back to reception a number of times, at a time for information or to find out messages if any and sometime for assistance with tickets or further journey. Apart from all these aspects, guests have to call front office at the end of their stay in order to hand over his room key and carry on with their bills of food and staying (Abbott Lewry, 1999). All these activities of front office related with guests do not end their association with the hotel. It is the responsibility of front office staff to keep their guests registration forms for a specific time period and the effective use of the data it contains (Abbott Lewry, 1999). The front office staff of the hotel can make use of guests data for an assortment of follow-up communications, which are planned by hotel to get their guests to come back at sometime. All these distinctive aspects are the specific job of front office. Front office is an American term, which is used in place of older word reception. The term has been replaced with the time because the older term only covers that staffs that comes into direct, face-to-face contact with the guests (Bardi, 2006). On the other hand, the term front office is broadly used to depict the altogether range of front of house sections that are as follows: Uniformed staff Reservations Switchboard Reception Enquiries Guest Relations Bill office Cashier (Abbott Lewry, 1999). The front office, which is conventionally known as reception, is the focal point of most activities within a hospitality business, whether it is a prominent or small hotel, a cruise liner, a holiday centre, a time-share resort or a youth hostel (Front Office Operations in Hospitality, 2010). Similar is the situation with Hotel Kurrajong, Canberra. The management of Kurrajong hotel primarily manages its front office practices as they are aware with the fact that the front office is the above all place where a guest has direct contact with the business, and is also the most noticeable of all departments. If this department, is managed effectively and efficiently, can direct towards the predetermined objectives of hotel management. For the hospitality industry the front office is a term consented as admitting back of house obligations, like switchboard, accounts, cashier and night audit, concierge, front desk and guest services (Front Office Operations in Hospitality, 2010). The management of hotel and the industry believes that the learners who want to come in the hospitality industry, mainly in the hotel sector, will attain various benefits with an explicit apprehension of front office operations. By developing skills in front office operations, admitting advanced reservations, guest registration and guest accounting processes a learner can attain immense success in the industry (Front Office Overview, 2009). The industry requires learners to make effective use of the front office systems, from traditional manual systems to advanced fully-incorporated computerised systems (Front Office Operations in Hospitality, 2010). In addition to this for gaining foothold, newcomers also need to learn about the means in which data, like room occupancy statistics are used to evaluate performance. Interdepartmental collaboration and communication are critical to the success of any hospitality business, and front office practices and staffs are way to this. The newcomers coming to this present growing industry need to develop a superior apprehension of how the front office associates to other departments, for instance housekeeping, food and beverage, sales and marketing and accounts. For the effective management of Front Office practices it is essential that the management of Kurrajong Hotel, tailor its front office procedures with its business as otherwise it would not be possible to manage these practices effectively and generate desired results (Front Office Overview, 2009). The management and its staff should develop a thorough checklist that covers crucial front office goals and aims so that all aspects can be managed accordingly. The front office procedures of hotel should be managed in a way that can reflect the overall business environment. In this way, it can be said that the practice of front office is not as easy as it appears as until or unless it is not managed effectively cannot appeal guests. The hotel management need to evaluate it continuously as in these operations there is always room for improvement. By identifying the room for improvement management of hotel can easily create and implement suitable strategies. Theory related to Front Office Practices The theory related to the selected operational topic of Front Office Practices is Employee Empowerment. Employee empowerment is a theory or philosophy that is used to evince the means in which non-managerial staff can make independent decisions without conferring with their boss or manager. These self-directed decisions can be diminutive or great relying upon the level of power with which the company regards to provide employees. Employee empowerment in organizations and associations can begin with training and altering an entire company to an empowerment model. On the other hand it simply means allowing employees with the capability to make some decisions on their own. The present era in which business organizations are operating is of intense competition, growing intricacy, elevated uncertainty and marginal profits. Complying with the extreme challenges confounded by such surroundings is only probable through team work, cooperative effort, invention and compliance (Bilal, 2010). The only answer to deal with this environment lies in bringing about modification to persist competitive. Consequently, conducting and handling change has become a key obligation and one of the significant success factors for present leaders and managers in most of the grownup organizations all over the world. Although, organizational change is a multifaceted procedure concerning numerous interconnected aspects of an organization but changes if made prominently in one function of the organization often have reflective consequences on other functions (Employee Empowerment, 2010). In most of the organizations and the one with conservative management, any change attempt invites opposition from assorted directions, most especially from within, because the managers experience endangered to lose authority, while most of the employees have the concern of losing the job or some of the gains in an altered, competence-based, result-oriented work setting. So, for prospering alteration attempts, a holistic, people-concentrated approach embracing conventional aspects like structure and schemes, as well as unceremonious aspects, like culture, communications, employee benefit, etc. is necessitated (Bilal, 2010). From last some years it has been seen that time-honoured stratified command and control organizations have been ineffectively contending to arrive at an edge over their rivals, while relatively liberal organizations with flatter schemes, which regarded their employees throughout the conceptualization, designing and effectuation levels of change, succeeded in accomplishing far ameliorated results to comply with the increasing requirements for quality and adaptability through well-liked change brought about through empowerment of its employees (Employee Empowerment, 2010). In this way, it can be said that an organization cannot attain desired results from change without the participation and ownership of the change by its employees. This significance of employee involvement developed the concept of employee empowerment (Bilal, 2010). With these kinds of beliefs it becomes apparent that before bringing about any change for improvement, efforts need to be made for creating a sense of ownership amongst the employees of the organization. The sense of ownership among employees can be produced through following measures: Developing an energetic, ground-breaking, knowledge environment where people are incessantly seeking novel ways to gratify customers and have the autonomy to try out their groundbreaking thoughts (Potterfield, 1999). Giving small personal advantages to employees and worrying about their well being and health. Adopting decentralization and allocation of several functions to grassroots level, which fundamentally intends that the employees of organization should be given more liberty to take go-ahead and computed risks when required, without asking from their seniors and devoid of any dread of reprimand (Bilal, 2010). Nowadays, empowered and endowed employee is the main component of organizational success, which is also true for Kurrajong Hotel. For managing its all different functions it is essential that the hotel employs productive employees. The most significant method of management that hotel can adopt in present is employee empowerment (Johnson, 2002). This practice will assist the hotel in employing the people liable for the work procedures and the people who acknowledge the procedures and the aspects of quality. By appropriating autonomy and feedback to its front office staff, the management of hotel can make its empowerment process successful (Potterfield, 1999). Employee empowerment does not intend that the management is no more accountable for functioning or for conducting the hotel rather it means that by empowering employees management becomes responsible to create and promote a setting in which it is evident that employee input is coveted and cultured (Doughty, n.d.). The management must believe and communicate with its employees for empowering them to a maximum extent. The practice of employee empowerment will assist the hotel management in creating a working environment where every employee is appropriated to make his own determinations in explicit work-related positions (Johnson, 2002). This will increase the employees accountability towards his work place, his morale and the quality of their work life. Preferably, when an employee feels enthroned in an organization, he will be more fertile, devoted and more convinced. The most prominent aspects related with employee empowerment are effective communication and participative management. It is known that participation and satisfaction are strongly associated with inspiration and execution. With the help of employee empowerment the management of hotel will become able to delegate more responsibility directly to its front office employees (Doughty, n.d.). This in turn will assist in identifying the latent of employees to distinguish troubles and to formulate actions to figure out those troubles. Front office employees are the most important asset of any hotel so it is essential that the management of Kurrajong Hotel empower its employees so that they can experience satisfaction in their achievements (Doughty, n.d.). By empowering its front office staff, the hotel management can effectively develop a sense of responsibility and the knowledge among their employees that in turn will gratify employees as they will become aware with the fact that their organization is concerned about them and their success (Johnson, 2002). This theory and practice of employee empowerment can be effectively related with the Front-office practices of Kurrajong Hotel and that in turn will result in the effective management of front office aspects of hotel. Relation among Employee Empowerment and Front Office Practices Employee Empowerment is the most well-liked theory among modern management and organization diligences, which amends the decisional powers of employees and affirms their personal development. It is the most appropriate management apprehension deliberating the acquainting of an organization with employees, demonstrating that they were honoured by the managerial level and heightening their involvement to their work. In the labor concentrated tourism sector, the practice of employee empowerment play a significant role. It increases the productivity of employees and ensures the organizational competence (Pride, Hughes Kapoor, 2009). The stability and victory of present hotel enterprises like Kurrajong hotel which give precedence to customer satisfaction and personnel satisfaction devolve on the quality of personnel and on an uninterrupted enhancement in this quality. This theory of employee employment is related with the Front office practices of Kurrajong Hotel, as it can be related with its front office employees and managers in an effective and efficient manner. The management of Kurrajong hotel is aware with the fact, that the basic source of rendering competitive advantage and the customer satisfaction in their hotel is its employees (Cogner Kanungo, 1998). By applying employee empowerment practices, the management of hotel can significantly increase the productivity of its front office staff that in turn will increase the organizational efficiency. This increasing interest in employee empowerment within the hospitality industry is related with some of the fundamental themes distinguished in the evolution of HRM generally that is deriving competitive advantage through enhanced service quality. Mainly, it has been believed that in hospitality industry service deliverers (front office employees) play a critical role in influencing the extent and quality of customer experience and satisfaction (Lashley, 1995) and due to this it is said that the industry players should definitely apply the practice of employee empowerment. An employee of the hotel must make decision at the same time with the time of event, and must exercise this decision due to the consumer conscious and competitiveness and this can only be done by giving them authority and power to make decisions (Pride, Hughes Kapoor, 2009). On the other hand, if some mistake is committed by employees, a resolution can be discovered and feedback can be done but all this necessitates empowerment of front office employees and managers of hotel. With the evaluation of the use of empowerment in service sector organizations it is identified that in present a number of different fleshes of employee empowerment practices are being implemented in real life (Cogner Kanungo, 1998). These diverse approaches demonstrate a variety of managerial significances being enforced which are grounded on diverse precepts of business troubles, needs for bringing in empowerment and comprehended gains to be arrived at through empowerment. The conception that empowerment can be employed as a term to distinguish diverse go-aheads allows for a expedient rhetoric which evokes that empowerment is in standard a good thing and develops a win-win condition for employees and managers (Pride, Hughes Kapoor, 2009). The compounding of customer and employee satisfaction, conducts to enhanced organizational functioning, repeat business and word of mouth recommendations and in ameliorated employee morale, altered effort and inferior turnover and absenteeism, as well as in originality and advancement (Hales Klidas, 1998). Research Study for evidencing Relation among Employee Empowerment and Front Office Practices With the above discussion it is clear that the theory and concept of employee empowerment is significantly related with selected Front office practices of Kurrajong Hotel, but for evidencing it with rational justifications, a research study will be undertaken here. The nature of topic selected for research is of qualitative and descriptive research. This study involves qualitative phenomenon, i.e., investigating the reasons of human behaviour. This research aims at discovering the underlying motives and desires of hospitality industry employees as it is essential in present because employees are the only most viewable aspects of hotels and hospitality organizations. Purpose of the Research: The significant aim of this research is to find valuable results by trying out the efficiency of the employee empowerment variables ascertained by theoretical information, by means of survey method to be applied to management and staff of Kurrajong Hotel. In regard to attain the predetermined purpose, questionnaires are used for the management and front office employees. Importance of Research: The immense success of all functions carried out in tourism sector admitted in the service sector devolves on the human factor. The persistence of selected hotel furnishing services in the tourism sector relies on the quality level of its selected personnel and on the uninterrupted augmentation of this quality. The increasing rivalry among hotel enterprises functioning all over the world and in the Canberra, in the perspective of customer satisfaction, augments the significance of the employee. Accordingly, the opinion of employee empowerment is regarded as a mean for the hotel to attain its objectives. With the identification of its significance in its hotel, the management of hotel can substantially apply it in their work environment that in turn will direct it towards the augmented customer satisfaction (Guzel, Tukelturk Ozkul, 2008). On the other hand, another prominent reason of this research study is to identify the importance of employee empowerment and to understand the perception of this approach through management and employees and to elucidate the circumstances of success. Research Methodologies: The research will be completed by making use of various methodologies and the theoretical information that will assist in arriving at meaningful results. The observation and questionnaire methodologies are two forms of the survey methodology that can be used in the selected study. For questionnaire, the research will made use of a specific sample group of management and employees and will identify the facts related to the employee empowerment and Front office practices. The methodologies selected are effective and will significantly help in providing a proper direction to the research and in proceeding systematically. Research Design: The research design is descriptive and qualitative as the questionnaires, literature review and observation methodologies are used. The research design of this study should aim at accomplishing the pre decided goals and objectives of the research. The responses that will be collected through the questionnaires will help in finding out the significant facts (Fink, 2002). Justification for the Selected Research Methodologies: The selected observation and questionnaire methodology will be helpful in finding the facts related to the topic of the research. These methods are selected as they are the right and absolute methodologies for the research. It aims at minimizing the errors in the research and proves to be helpful and highly beneficial for the present as well as the future researchers. The survey methodology has many advantages and is considered as a very useful method of conducting research. First of all, survey methodology is a very efficient technique which is used to collect data from a large number of people through questionnaires and when the sample size is small through observation and interview (Cohen, Manion Morrison, 2007). Sample: The sample for the questionnaires comprises of 30 top management executives and 50 front office employees. The questionnaires are e-mailed to the top management and Front office employees. Time flexibility is given to the professionals and front office staff to answer the questionnaires so that they would not answer any question in hurry and give proper and right answers of the questions asked in the questionnaire. The questions in the questionnaire were close-ended and not open ended so that there were less chances of biasness in the research. Reliability Validity of the methodology: Survey method has a strong reliability but the validity of the method is not so strong. The survey method also has some tests for measuring the reliability and validity of the survey conducted. The reliability test that can be used here is alternate-form reliability (Cohen, Manion Morrison, 2007). In this test, the questions are reworded. Even their order could be changed; but the aspect of behaviour of the items should not differ. This compels the respondent to read the question carefully and reduce the practice effect. For measuring the validity of the content, another test known as content validity test can also be conducted. Observation methodology: Observation methodology is very useful in finding out the behavioural facts associated with the selected topic of study. So, it can be very meaningful methodology for finding out the relationship between empowerment and front office practices. This methodology is used to serve the formulated research purpose and is a scientific tool of data collection (Cohen, Manion Morrison, 2007). The observation methodology here is very helpful in attaining the objectives of the research. It will give a spontaneous picture of the activities of the front office staff and the effect of empowerment on their tasks and performance. Questionnaire Methodology: In this methodology, two questionnaires are framed one for management and one for front office staff, which involve a set of questions. The questionnaire consisted of close ended questions including the topics relating to front office practices and effect of empowerment on their practices. This methodology of attaining data will increase the accuracy of the results and will help in forming the important results for the research (Cohen, Manion Morrison, 2007). It also aims at fulfilling the targets and objectives of the research by asking the right and required answers to the respondents. Significant findings are made with the help of the responses obtained through the questionnaires which will be discussed later in the findings section of the paper. Analysis of Findings The findings of the research are demonstrated in three groups. First group involves demographic features of managers, employees and organization itself. Second group depicts attitudes of the managers towards the front office employees empowerment and third group involves attitude of front office employees of hotel towards their empowerment. Findings related with the Demographic Characteristics of Managers Employees: The aspects related with demographic characteristics that need to be filled in questionnaire are the gender, the department, the working time period in the sector, the working year in the Kurrajong hotel and the number of hospitality organizations for which manager or employee has worked previously (Lashley, 1999). On the bases of demographic characteristics it is found that from 30 managers 83.3% are men and 16.7% of managers are women. On the other hand 70% of 50 front office employees are men and 30% of 50 front office employees are female. In addition to the dominance of male members the age of the managers and employees who fulfilled the questionnaire is between 29-38 18-38. On the other hand, the majority of the managers are working from last 8 and more years and employed in Kurrajong hotel for 1-3 years. This information demonstrate that the managers working in hotel have worked in the sector from last several years but their working time period in Kurrajong hotel is short which shows that they often switch their enterprises. Apart from managers, the working period of employees in sector is between 4-7 years and their working period of existing organization is between 1-3 years (Guzel, Tukelturk Ozkul, 2008). Findings related with Attitude of Managers towards Employees Empowerment The industry players are aware with the fact that human factor is very important in management of a hotel and due to this; this research aims to discover the attitude of hotel managers to the process of employees empowerment and the significance level of these positions (Pardo, 2003). For identifying the attitude of managers 5-point Likert Scale is applied. With this analysis it is identified that the most significant aspects for managers in concern to empowerment are allowing for essential training to employees and restructuring of the environment in compliance with the subject, proclamation of objectives and goals to the employees, furnishing a reformist business condition, rendering employee allegiance and gratification by means of all these actions (Lashley, 1995) As a result, it can be summarized that the managers of Kurrajong Hotel give substantial importance to the employee empowerment as they know that with this front office employees will become more competent in performing their duties and tasks. Attitude of Front Office Employees toward Empowerment By analyzing the attitudes of front office employees towards the empowerment, it can be said that the employees believes if they are provided with chances of success and are rendered with positive environment and opportunity to make decisions they performance level increase significantly (Pardo, 2003). Conclusion The notion of employee empowerment means that the working person could take part in determinations pertaining to his job and could get the substantive training in order to arrive at competent stage. Whereas Front Office practices includes all essential reception related tasks of hotel (Lashley, 1995). This theory of empowerment is critically related with Front office practices and this relation is evaluated in this study in regard to Kurrajong hotel and the conclusions below have been arrived at. Managers generally attach importance to the employee empowerment as they are aware with the fact that until or unless front office employees do not have power to take decisions it is not possible for them to satisfy the coming guests and travellers. For resolving their queries and problems, it is essential that they have power to take spontaneous decisions (Pardo, 2003). For enhancing this practice of empowerment with Front office practices it is essential that the managers of the hotel give training to front office employees and modify their environment, exposed them to targets and encourage them with ideas of invention and originality. With this discussion it is clear that by adopting practice of employee empowerment the management of Kurrajong hotel can significantly expand the responsibility area of its front office employees that in turn will aid in accomplishing the needs of hotel customers ((Lashley, 1995). The analysis demonstrates that the managers of hotel are not giving substantial attention to this practice employee empowerment whereas by assigning authority to its front office staff it can effectively augment their motivation and performance in regard to satisfying the needs of customers in the most effective and unique way. For attaining the exclusive benefits of the practice of employee empowerment, it is essential that the management should relate it with their organizational structure and management apprehension (Ozdilli, 2003). Despite of the role of managers, it is also essential that front office employees of the hotel also take part in decision making process on different subjects so that they become aware with the problems and troubles they may find or confront some day. The management of hotel should also allow them to take part and should encourage them to offer proposals and should allow appropriate material and moral rewards. In addition to this, the management of hotel should analyse the hotels employee selection and evaluation process and the employees appropriate f

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