Case Study: Audit Feedback From the Rocks Hotel

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Audit of the Rocks Hotel

The Rocks Hotel has significant potential to be a world-class resort, yet must overcome significant process and system-related challenges from a Human Resource Management (HRM) standpoint first. The intent if this audit is to provide prescriptive guidance in the areas of staffing, training and development, employment issues and the alignment of the HRM functions at the resort to the Pacific Coast Hotels (PCH) strategic plan. PCH recently acquired the Rocks Hotel Resort, so this audit will be used as a framework for us with the subsequent acquisition in Thailand.

The Rocks Hotel Resort is in chaos from an HRM standpoint. There are no training programs, employment certification for hotel staff ranging from lifeguards to those in food service and catering, and no consistent standards in place for staffing and development. The net result is above-average turnover and very high costs being incurred from absenteeism, workplace injuries and a continual state of attempting to get new members of the workforce training and productive. Due to the complete lack of training standards there is also the potential for litigation due to the hiring practices in the food and beverage areas as the hiring manage openly admits to discriminating on women who are attractive. From that premise for a hiring decision, conditions can go bad quickly, inviting sexual harassment and discriminatory hiring practices. The conditions are such that the Rocks Hotel Resort is fortunate to not have been involved in human resources-related litigation yet. Much activity is needed to clean up these below-par practices in human resources management. The one positive note from this audit is that the concepts defined can be quickly applied to the acquisition in Thailand to ensure a high level of compliance to IHRM standards and local regulations about hiring.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Purpose

The Rocks Hotel Resort is the latest in a series of acquisitions by PCH, and the following HRM audit of their current recruitment, staffing, training and development, and resort management show drastic need for improvement across all areas. The purpose of this audit is to alleviate the systemic problems inherent in how Rocks Hotel Resort is being managed today, and in so doing define a framework for the next acquisition in Thailand. What is immediately apparent from the audit is the lack of a governance framework and structure that is critical for unifying each component of the HRM strategic plan and defining its contribution to the overall strategic plan of PCH. The role of governance is to galvanize all elements of an HRM plan first for consistency internally, and second for integration to the firms' overall strategic plan (Drew, Kelley, Kendrick, 2006). Clearly, this is not happening at the Rocks Hotel Resort at the current time as each component of the HRM strategy is not integrated to any other. The audit has shown that the Rocks Hotel Resort is experiencing exceptionally high turnover, absenteeism, workplace injuries while also not effectively utilizing customer satisfaction data to improve performance. Job descriptions and certifications for pool personnel, which as of this audit show none has lifesaving certifications, no cross-training or onboard training programs, and no employee management systems keeping all employees focused on a common set of objectives. There are also no clear goals defined for the resort. As a result, employees working in one department have no idea how their contributions affect the resort's total performance, including if their efforts are making a difference. When there is a lack of governance specifically in the area of cross-department coordination and workflow integration, employees often don't see the connection of their efforts to the broader accomplishment of a goal of objective (Carcello, 2009). Due to lack of governance and leadership, the Rocks Hotel Resort is struggling to operate reliably on a daily basis.

Situational Analysis

At the most fundamental and systemic level, the Rocks Hotel Resort lacks any kind of leadership culture at all. It is absent, and the pep talks and means of motivating through speeches are not closing the more critical gaps in recruitment, staffing, training and development, only making them more apparent by the very rapid turnover, absenteeism and workplace injuries. When there is a void of leadership culture, employees will not have a strong sense of purpose, lacking motivation to master their jobs, they will often seek other areas of mastery in their lives (John, McGuire, Rhodes, 2008). This lack of leadership culture is the catalyst of nearly every one of the problems that this audit has found. The ten functions of successful leadership as originally defined by Dr. Yukl and since analyzed in the context of leadership frameworks b Avolio, Walumbwa, Weber (2009) show that the endorsement of a cultural frame of reference first, even before mentioning strategy, sets the expectation and parameters of how any organization will operate over time (John, McGuire, Rhodes, 2008). The Rocks Hotel Resort has no such governance framework in place to execute a leadership strategy from. As a result, the attempts to motivate the various departments fails nearly very time. Despite "pep talks" and external motivation, the employees have a complete lack of internal motivation as evidenced by absenteeism, workplace injuries that are higher than average, and the threat of lawsuits and litigation of having a pool onsite with no one trained in lifesaving, resuscitation or pool treatments and testing as well. These factors and the lack of cross training as evident by one employees' response to a question during the audit further underscore how lacking a leadership governance structure is within the Rocks Hotel Resort.

The lack of governance structure at a strategic level has many symptoms present in how the resort is being run today as well. At the most central level, the lack of autonomy, mastery and purpose that the employees have about their roles in very evident on how each doesn't know what the other department does nor do they feel ownership of their jobs as well. When an organization lacks a governance framework and there is no leadership, employees find it very difficult to attain long-term learning in the workplace, as autonomy, mastery and purpose must pervade a company culture for self-learning to flourish (John, McGuire, Rhodes, 2008). At the most strategic level, the HRM audit indicates that employees see little connection between their long-term learning and the direction of the resort in terms of performance, and do not connect their efforts with the satisfaction of guests as the customer satisfaction data is handed back to sales and marketing for upsell and cross-sell of future visits. A more effective governance framework, supported by a leader with emotional intelligence (Kevin, Groves, Pat, Winny, 2008) and a transformational leader skill set (Howard, Bromley, Kirschner, 2007) is necessary for transforming the resort. This will most likely mean the current manager or director of the Rocks Hotel Resort will need to be replaced with a more senior manager, skilled in taking the many different functions and workflows of the report that are now either only partially working or not working at all, and transforming them completely. A proven characteristic of an effective leader is the ability to transform organizations (Ann, Pamela, Jerry, 2008). For transformation to take place at the Rocks Resort Hotel there will also need to be a much greater level of trust in the manager of the resort than there is today. Trust is the catalyst of an organizational culture changing and leaders gaining the credibility they need to transform processes, workflows and increase customer-centered performance (Ceasar, Suzanne, 2008). At present, the Rocks Resort Hotel does not have this, and is as a result struggling to meet customer expectations on a daily basis.

International HRM

The international aspects of HRM that the Rocks Resort Hotel presents are also multifaceted and revolve around the need for more consistency of leadership from both an emotional intelligence and transformative standpoint. The symptoms of dysfunctional leadership pervade this audit and show just how lacking any form of transformational and for that matter, transactional leadership is at the resort. With the recommendation made of replacing the manager and finding one more experienced with creating a unified governance structure than can transform the resort, the need for also defining strategies to enabling feedback to employees on their performance also needs to be acted on (Schaubroeck, John, Simon, Sandra, 2007). A major factor is the lack of autonomy, mastery and purpose throughout the resort on the part of employees is that they are not receiving any feedback at all. There are for example no performance appraisals or reviews given, no interactive feedback provided on how well a given task is accomplished or not, and most troubling, no connection provided for employees as to how their efforts affects guest satisfaction. Following the principles of the social constructs of followership, the management team at the Rocks Resort Hotel could concentrate on creating more effective levels of ownership between employee's intentions and actions and how those actions were perceived by guests (Carsten, Uhl-Bien, West, Patera, McGregor, 2010).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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