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What level of Expatriation will be required to meet Taj’s Operational needs and maintain their Heritage?
The Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is one of the most renowned hotel chains in the Indian hotel industry (Tajhotels, 2017). The hotel comes under the possession of Tata Group. In the Middle East also TAJ Hotel has gained a significant presence by its well-known and prestigious hotel Taj Dubai. There are several challenges related to retention, selection and recruitment of employees which have been faced by the organization. The Dubai labor market has provided opportunities to Taj Dubai to have a safe and rapid development in terms of growth, success and workforce. The labor market of Dubai experienced a comibantion of expatriates as well as working Emiratis. Because of the presence of increased number of expatriates the labor market is considered as cheap as well as easy supply of labor is there. It has also resulted in availability of labor in squat wages. But the Emiratis as the domestic workers work on high wage structure only. There has also been regulating Emiratisation Law which restricts the employment of expatriates in the public as well as in private sector companies (Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation, 2016). This has also provided a benefit to the Emiratis to work only on high wages and salaries. But this creates several challenges for the organizations working in UAE. The report will focus upon the human resource issues faced by Taj Dubai, the approach used by Taj group in staffing, need of expatriation and various HR strategies to resolve and mitigate the issues prevailing in the Dubai operations.
Taj Dubai was established in the year 2015. The hotel is a beautiful blend of contemporary style, heritage and extravagance (Tajhotels, 2017). The hotel has been established in Dubai with one of the prime and most illustrious location i.e. Burj Khalifa. The hotel is doing enormously well. The main and the prime emphasis are led over maintenance of the Indian culture by serving in other nations. There are 296 rooms which provide the guest a luxurious and extraordinary experience of lavishness. The hotel provides a magnificent experience of Dubai culture with a fusion of Indian heritage. The points of attractions for Taj Dubai includes its eye catching location i.e. Burj Khalifa, a very short distance of 5 km from the Dubai mall and Downtown area. As well as the airport is just approximately nine miles away from the hotel (Tajhotels, 2017). Al these fascinate visitors, tourists and business associates to visit Taj Dubai.
The Geocentric approach of staffing is a method where the employees get recruited on the basis of competence and qualities. The individuals who can serve the organization in the utmost manner will be recruited by the organization regardless of diversity in nationality, culture or any other factor. The primary and main aim of the companies using geocentric staffing approach is to have an enhanced unity among the subsidiaries as well as the headquarters of the organization. The second approach is the ethnocentric staffing approach (Colakoglu, Tarique and Caligiuri, 2009). This approach also primarily focuses upon the global recruitments in the organization. There has been done recruitment on the basis of right individuals for the right work role. The people are selected on the basis of ethnocentric staffing approach so that the individuals can easily mix with the organizational culture. As per the ethnocentrism, it is viewed that the values and beliefs of a specific system of ethnic group is superior in nature in comparison with all others. And therefore the major decision power is impacted by the home standards in the controlling and evaluations taking place at the organization. A set counseling and advices are provided to the subsidiaries by the main headquarters on a regular basis (Tiwari, 2013).
Taj Dubai must adopt the ethnocentric approach in its operations. The prime reason behind selecting this staffing approach is that Taj group wants to have a mixture of cultures as well as wants to safeguard the Indian culture and heritage in its establishment at Dubai also. Therefore it will be best for the organization to take use of ethnocentric staffing approach instead of geocentric staffing approach. There are several benefits which are associated withy the ethnocentric approach other that the fusion of cultures. This includes effective communication, higher control and simple structuring.
There is an extensive need of expatriates for effective management of the operations of Taj Dubai. In present scenario every organization requires expatriates for managing their international chains or subsidiaries. In a similar way, Taj Dubai also has a need of expatriates for managing the functioning and operations. In case of Taj Group, the need of expatriates is high because of the fact that the o0reganizatiuon highly emphasized on maintaining the heritage. There are several advantages which the organization will achieve if they recruit high number of expatriates in the hotel management.
The main and the primary motive behind the employment of expatriates are to enhance the cultural integration. If there will be employees from the host as well as from the home and other overseas countries then it will result into enhanced cultural integration. In a hospitality industry it is great to have employees from various cultures so that they can efficiently take care of the customers coming from diverse cultural groups (Scielo, 2010).
The employment of expatriates will result into greater organizational flexibility. In several situation if there are employees from a similar background then there are high chances of rigidity as they have a unity amongst them. But increased expatriates employment will provide the organization with greater amount of flexibility in operations as well as management.
Individuals from other countries have a higher commitment with the companies as they are usually residing in other nations to have employment opportunity. So the expatriates will serve the organization in a more committed manner.
Recruitment, selection and retention are three primary and key areas from where all the human resource issues arise. Taj Dubai has also faced challenges in maintaining efficiency in these human resource areas. Following are the issues related to all these three key areas experienced by Taj Dubai:
This is the prime factor which is responsible for the occurrence of issues in recruitment, selection and retention of the competent staff. The attitude of the individuals related to the job in a hospitality industry basically at the grass root level is not so positive which can attract them to become the employees of the organization. Thus the talented and the competent individuals do not appear for the employment opportunities offered by the organization. Another major factor which acts as the barricade is the personal factors (Stephenson and Ali-Knight, 2010). People of Middle East generally preferred doing white collar jobs and that too in government organizations. This leads to decrease number of domestic staff in the private companies. As well as the type of jobs also restricts individuals to apply for the same. In many situations individuals do apply for the jobs in the hospitality sector but as soon as they get any better opportunity they tends to leave the organization. This directly impacts the retention rate of the employees.
In most of the organizations in the UAE the actual and true feedbacks are not provided to the employees. As providing true feedbacks is taken as a negative comment over the self-esteem of the employees if the feedback is downbeat and unenthusiastic. The employees do not take the feedback in a constructive way and possesses a notion that their self-esteems have been damaged. This results into attrition of the talented and the competent employees. In the Middle East countries people give more importance to their self-esteem sin comparison with their jobs (Mellahi, Demirbag and Riddle, 2011). And so organizations are unable to give a correct and effective feedback which results into inefficient performance appraisal in the organization. In Taj Dubai the employees are provided with correct feedback and this leads to negative impact over the Emiratis employees and that results into high attrition rate.
In present scenario the rewards and recognitions of the employees is considered as a major tool for retaining employees in an organization. The lack of rewards and recognition to the employees results into high employment turnover in the organization. This also leads to de-motivation of the employees. The de-motivated and low morale employees have a lower degree of productivity which ultimately results into organizational loss. All these have a direct impact over decreased retention of the employees in the organization. And therefore there are difficulties in selecting and retaining the talented staff in the organization (Arasli, Bavik and Ekiz, 2006).
Every individual as an employee demands for opportunities which can offer personal and professional development. The organizations that provide regular and extensive opportunities to the employees generally have high retention rates (Stephenson, 2014). But in Taj Dubai the employees do not found many opportunities for their personal and professional advancement. And this acts as the barricades for the individuals to associate with the organization. This results into on effective recruitment. The employees also leave the organization because of such issue. This has a major impact over the effective recruitment and retaining of the talented staff at the organization (Pforr and Hosie, 2009).
The Taj Dubai is basically an Indian organization which has expanded in the regions of Middle East. But still there are several communication gaps among the people of Dubai and the expatriate. At the higher position there are more of expatriate and this develops a human resource issue at the organization. The Emiratis employees are not comfortable in discussing their issues and this develops a communication gap in the hotel (Randeree, 2009). This communication gap poses a negative impact over the employees’ retention and selection. Thus there is inappropriate selection of staff and decreased retention rate of the competent staff.
The pay structure is one of the primary issues in the recruitment, selection and retention of the employees. Generally the national individuals of Middle East countries demands high pay structure and the expatriate are ready to work at a low pay structure also. This creates diversity in the pays. The Taj Dubai foes not allow this inequity in the pays thus the pays is similar for the expatriates as well as for the Emiratis employees. And as a result the squat pay structure restricts the employees to apply for jobs. And the one which are already employed left the organization as soon as they get some better working opportunity (Ahmad and Daghfous, 2010). Therefore there arise issues in the recruitment, selection and retention of the talented staff.
To maintain the heritage culture and to have higher operational efficiency Taj Dubai has employed higher number of expatriates. This creates some cultural issues among the Emiratis employees (Naithani and Jha, 2009). The issues are related to culture, communication gaps, pay structure, diversity in norms etc. all these issues gives rise to decreased retention of the Emiratis employees. And thus there is less number of people willing to join the organization. There develops recruitment and retention problems in the organization (Forstenlechner, et al., 2012).
The international organizations have a high wage and salary structure for the individuals but at the same time they have a very less job security for the employees. The squat or decreased job security is one of the primary reasons for the employees to leave the organization getting employed in any government organization. The Emiratis as well as the other individuals always demands for a secured job so that they do not have to face any kind of issues after serving the organization for a very long period of time due to issues such as inflation, downfall of the economy. This develops a threat of job insecurity among the employees which results into higher attrition rate (Rutledge, et al., 2011).
There is a need of few effective HR strategies for resolving the above mentioned issues and challenges prevailing in the functioning of Taj Dubai. Following are few of those strategies which can help the organization in achieving better human resource management.
Top recruit and retain talented staff in the organization it is essential that Taj Dubai must restructure its rewards and recognition programs so that the morale and motivation of the employees can be boost and so they deliver increased productivity. If the efforts and hard work of the employees are rewarded as well as get recognized then it shows a positive impact over their performances as well as develops a sense of organizational commitment (Boxall and Purcell, 2011). This directly impacts their retention period in the organization.
Every employee in an organization searches for opportunities which can provide them professional as well as personal advancement. It is required that Taj Dubai must provide the individuals with such opportunities. The greater the opportunities will be the more competent and skilled individuals will get associated with the organization (Nickson, 2013). The organization must also provide several benefits to the employees such as accommodation facilities, free pick up and drop services as well as free of cost meals. These additional benefits’ will enhance the employees’ commitment towards the organization. And so there will be proficient recruitment and increased retention of the employees.
The employees are also discontented because of the cultural diversities among the employees. To have enhanced cultural integration in the hotel management it is required that there must be job rotation among the employees. This human resource strategy will benefit the organization in several ways. This will help in developing informal communication among the employees of diverse cultures or nation (P. Crick and Spencer, 2011). This will also support in building higher association among the employees which will result to improved workplace environment and increased retention rate.
To have great symmetry among the employees it is essential that all of them must get similar training and must be enrolled for parallel programs. There are few recognized training programs of Taj Group such as ‘Taj management training program’, HOMT i.e. Hotel operations management trainee program etc. these training programs provide base for the new employees to have an equal understanding of the work and organizational culture (Wong and Ko, 2009). This will help them resolving their issues and getting associated with the hotel for a longer time frame.
To retain the employees in the organization it is essential that the employees must have adequate job security. The threat of job security forces an employee to leave the organization. But if TAJ Dubai will provide an extensive job security to its employees then there are up surge chances that the employees will retain in the organization for longer time. This will ensure them they are a vital part of the organization and will not be detached easily (Hu, Horng and Sun, 2009).
There is also a need of effective retention management program at the organization. This sort of programs helps the organization in retaining the employees as it helps in changing and improving the thoughts and view points of the employees in regards with organizational commitment. This gives an opportunity to the employees to attain greater employee engagement. And thus decrease the attrition rate of the employees (Hinkin and Tracey, 2010).
Taj Group is rapidly increasing its global presence in different overseas nations. The selection of Dubai is a potential expansion which can help the organization in achieving huge success and growth. From the above report it can be evaluated and analyzed that the Taj Dubai is doing very well in its operations. But still there is a need of improvement in its human resource management. There were several issues which have been identified in the HR operations of the hotel. These issues if not resolved may lead to extensive and deeper negative impacts over the organizational performance. The strategies provided for the resolution of issues and challenges will help Taj Dubai in attaining higher global recognition and success in its future operations. It can be concluded that if Taj Dubai adopts the ethnocentric approach and also have involvement of expatriates with the implementation of the mentioned Hr strategies then it may give constrictive results to the organization.
Following are few recommendations which can be offered to Taj Dubai for achieving improved productivity and raped achievements:
Ahmad, N., & Daghfous, A. (2010). Knowledge sharing through inter-organizational knowledge networks: Challenges and opportunities in the United Arab Emirates. European Business Review, 22(2), 153-174.
Alnaqbi, W., (2011). The relationship between human resource practices and employee retention in public organisations : an exploratory study conducted in the United Arab Emirates. Edith Cowan University, Pp.245, Retrieved on: 28th February, 2017, Retrieved from: https://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1424&context=theses
Arasli, H., Bavik, A., & Ekiz, E. H. (2006). The effects of nepotism on human resource management: The case of three, four and five star hotels in Northern Cyprus. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 26(7/8), 295-308.
Boxall, P., & Purcell, J. (2011). Strategy and human resource management. Palgrave Macmillan.
Colakoglu, S., Tarique, I., & Caligiuri, P. (2009). Towards a conceptual framework for the relationship between subsidiary staffing strategy and subsidiary performance. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(6), 1291-1308.
Forstenlechner, I., Madi, M. T., Selim, H. M., & Rutledge, E. J. (2012). Emiratisation: determining the factors that influence the recruitment decisions of employers in the UAE. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(2), 406-421.
Hinkin, T. R., & Tracey, J. B. (2010). What makes it so great? An analysis of human resources practices among Fortune’s best companies to work for. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 51(2), 158-170.
Hu, M. L. M., Horng, J. S., & Sun, Y. H. C. (2009). Hospitality teams: Knowledge sharing and service innovation performance. Tourism management, 30(1), 41-50.
Mellahi, K., Demirbag, M., & Riddle, L. (2011). Multinationals in the Middle East: Challenges and opportunities. Journal of World Business, 46(4), 406-410.
Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation, (2016). Emiratisation Laws, Retrieved on: 28th February, 2017, Retrieved from: https://www.mohre.gov.ae/en/labour-law/labour-law/emiratisation-laws.aspx
Naithani, D., & Jha, A. N. (2009). Challenges Faced by Expatriate Workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries.
Nickson, D. (2013). Human resource management for hospitality, tourism and events. Routledge.
Crick, A., & Spencer, A. (2011). Hospitality quality: new directions and new challenges. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 23(4), 463-478.
Pforr, C., & Hosie, P. (Eds.). (2009). Crisis management in the tourism industry: beating the odds?. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd..
Randeree, K. (2009). Strategy, policy and practice in the nationalisation of human capital:‘project emiratisation’. Research and Practice in Human Resource Management, 17(1), 71-91.
Rutledge, E., Al Shamsi, F., Bassioni, Y., & Al Sheikh, H. (2011). Women, labour market nationalization policies and human resource development in the Arab Gulf states. Human Resource Development International, 14(2), 183-198.
Scielo, (2010). Contribution of expatriates in the management of subsidiaries to the corporate governance of international firms: the case of vale(1), Retrieved on: 28th February, 2017, Retrieved from: https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1807-76922010000100007
Stephenson, M. L. (2014). Deciphering ‘Islamic hospitality’: Developments, challenges and opportunities. Tourism Management, 40, 155-164.
Stephenson, M. L., & Ali-Knight, J. (2010). Dubai's tourism industry and its societal impact: social implications and sustainable challenges. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, 8(4), 278-292.
Tajhotels, (2017). About us, TAJ HOTELS RESORTS AND PALACES – MILESTONES, Retrieved on: 28th February, 2017, Retrieved from: https://www.tajhotels.com/en-in/about-taj-group/who-we-are/our-company/milestones/
Tajhotels, (2017). TAJ DUBAI, Retrieved on: 28th February, 2017, Retrieved from: https://taj.tajhotels.com/en-in/taj-dubai/?_ga=1.156121650.869678501.1488265661
Tajhotels, (2017). WELCOME TO TAJ, Retrieved on: 28th February, 2017, Retrieved from: https://www.tajhotels.com/en-in/home/
Tiwari, N. (2013). Managing human resources in international organizations. Global Journal of Management and Business Studies, 3(4), 355-360.
Wong, S. C. K., & Ko, A. (2009). Exploratory study of understanding hotel employees’ perception on work–life balance issues. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 28(2), 195-203.
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