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Factors impacting Guest Satisfaction and Employee Retention in Hospitality Industry

Discuss about the Hotel Guest Experience and Satisfaction.

Employee engagement and employee retention issues in the workplace are brought up in context of developing performance and improve the efficiency of the employees. Engaged employees are always productive and high employee engagement always leads to the less employee turnover. High employee retention reduces training expenses and onboarding and it decreases the employment gap (McPhail et al. 2015). Each of the business organisations provides emphasis on customer satisfaction as it provides the business with high revenue and strong customer base. In a service industry like hospitality, the staffs' behaviour and skills bring the guest satisfaction. Therefore, guest satisfaction is pivotal of organisations' success and it plays a significant role in organisations' financial performance. The better the organisations serve the guests, the better the organisations will perform in terms of the bottom line (Solnet et al. 2015). In the hospitality industry, the organisations want to bolster guest satisfaction and the management wants to create the workplace to retain more customers; the management can achieve guest satisfaction through engagement and satisfaction initiatives. Longstanding employees can understand the needs of the guests within a hospitality sector and the new staffs may not be motivated to serve the guests as they less effective and efficient. Moreover, domestic and international tourists come in Sydney and they stay in hotels. However, this research is based on focusing Sydney based hotels as the hotels in Sydney lose about half almost 50.45% of the staffs every year (Kandampully et al. 2015). High employee turnover is prevalent in the hospitality industry in Sydney and the average employee retention rate in Sydney based hotel is just 15%.

This research is significant for the hospitality managers of Sydney Australia as they managers will get to know about the issues of high employee turnover. In Sydney, maximum hospitality organisations are highly rated and the footfalls of the guests are high in this region. The study will be significant for the employees of hospitality sector as the employees will know about the reasons behind lower retention rate. This research will mainly collect the information from the secondary sources and the researcher will accumulate the primary data as well taking the information from the managers and staffs of Sydney hotels. Therefore, first-hand data will be amalgamated with the secondary resources to provide the hotel's ideas about operation management and strategies to retain maximum skilled and experienced employees so that the guests can get the high level of satisfaction. In addition, in the research work of Lu and Gursoy (2016), they specified about the low pay, to have better career opportunities and poor working conditions are the major reasons behind the employees' leaving. This particular research will try to gap from the existing literature to find out the reasons behind high employees' turnover and strategies to provide guest satisfaction. In addition, this study will be significant for the future researchers who would conduct further research on employee turnover in the hospitality industry. There are many specific reasons for guest satisfaction like personalised service, food quality, room service, the behaviour of the employees, atmosphere and service quality. This research will be significant to find out the reasons for lower of guest satisfaction that comes from the poor service quality of the employees.

Objective of the study

The demographic scope of the research is to find out the reasons behind the low employee retention who are working in the Sydney hotels. The employees who work in the Sydney based hotels are maximum young and this study will try to focus on the reason for leaving from the hospitality sector. In addition, the geographical scope of the research is based on Sydney as the researcher will collect the data from the Sydney based hotels. The domestic and international tourists come mainly in Sydney; therefore, the guest satisfaction can be highlighted focusing on the Sydney based hotels. Both international and domestic tourists who come to Sydney will be targeted for the research. The temporal scope of the research is to focus on the satisfaction of the tourists who visit in the winter season. In addition, the research will be conducted on winter (June to August) as the maximum guests visit in these hotels in the winter season.

Employee turnover issue has reached in crisis proportion in the hospitality industry in Sydney and the hospitality organisations are struggling to maintain the proper staffing levels in the tight labour market (Palanski et al. 2016). The hospitality industry in Sydney incurs total average expenses of $770,400 to replace the staffs that leave the hospitality sector. The industry-wide cost in all over Australia reached the figure of $47 million. The average cost of recruiting new employees are replacing the employees is estimated at $20,000 (Zhang and Cole 2017).

The objectives of the research are:

  • To explore the existing literature based on employee turnover and guest satisfaction in hospitality industry
  • To explain the reasons behind the high employee turnover in Sydney based hotels
  • To highlight the strategies of providing guest satisfaction in Sydney based hotels
  • To establish the relationship between high employee turnover and guest satisfaction in hospitality industry

In human resource, employee turnover means to the rate at which the staffs leave the organisation and the employees are replaced by the management’s new hires (Casabianca and Wolfe 2017). Hospitality is the service based organisation where the employees play an important role to provide guest satisfaction through their communication and the behaviour. Staffs leave the organisations for various reasons as it could be lower employee satisfaction, lack of career growth or it could be no fixed salary or lack of fixed benefits. Moreover, guest satisfaction is the terms that must measure the services supplied by the organisation meet the expectation of the guest. As stated by Cook (2017), guest satisfaction is significant as it can provide the business owners and marketers with the metric which the management can utilise to control and develop the business.

There are some factors in the place of work those create job satisfaction and there are some other factors that create dissatisfaction. The management within the organisation must provide emphasis to give attention towards both types of job factors. Motivators' factors arise from the employees' intrinsic conditions and it provides positive satisfaction to the employees. Motivators in the workplace are the challenging work, meaningful opportunity, decision-making capability, recognition and responsibility (Buhalis and Amaranggana 2015). On the other side, hygiene factors do job provides satisfaction to the workplace and it can provide higher motivation. These factors are mainly extrinsic in form and these factors are salary, job security, fringe benefits and good pay scale. Motivator factors are the satisfier and it increases job satisfaction and hygiene factors can reduce the job dissatisfaction. 

Factors creating Job Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction

SERVQUAL is the multi-dimension research tool, mainly designed for the capturing the perception of the customers. SERVQUAL is mainly built on the mainly expectancy-disconfirmation paradigm and it means that service quality is controlled by the perception of the service (Teshnizi et al. 2018). It has mainly five dimensions service quality and there are 22 perception items and 22 expectation items. Reliability dimension is about the ability to conduct the promised services accurately and dependability (Brodie et al. 2017). Assurance is the courtesy and knowledge of the staffs and their consistency to convey confidence and trust. In addition, tangibles are the appearance of equipment, facility, personnel and materials for the communication among them. Moreover, empathy is the caring provision, individualised attention towards the customers. Responsiveness can be defined as the willingness to assist the customers and providing the prompt service to the customers as well. SERVQUAL questionnaire is the popular standardise questions used by the hospitality organisation to measure the quality of the service.

Guest satisfaction relies upon heavily on the human resources in order to gain the competitive advantage. Hospitality is guest service-oriented industry and employees are leaving the organisations in Sydney based hotels. The employees are leaving the hospitality sector and it has been impacted by the guest satisfaction. The employees are leaving the hospitality sector for the less work-life balance. In Sydney, increasing the economic pressure leads to the high demand of working within the hospitality sector (Xiang et al. 2015). Therefore, the employees do not have any work-life balance and the employees do not find the satisfaction. Employees' expectations are not meeting while working in the hospitality sector and the employees feel undervalued. The employees in Sydney based hotels have been facing the issue of the low salary and the employees do not have a career opportunity in hospitality sector (Zhang and Cole 2017). The staffs do not find any development of a career in the hospitality sector and the employees are not having a training opportunity while working in the hospitality sector. HR department has been facing the issue as people skills are inadequate in Australia.

The hospitality sector is all about staffs' service and the hospitality organisations need to revamp the guest satisfaction service. The management can ask the guests if the guests would like to have any personalised service. As stated by Casabianca and Wolfe (2017), personalised touch in service of hospitality can increase the guest satisfaction. The management can ask about guest opinion when the organisation wants to provide personalised service. The management can send the birthday cards or seasonal greetings and this strategy can influence the guest satisfaction. In addition, if the guests earn the points from membership cards, the consumers get rewards consumer referrals. The management in hotels of Sydney offers value to the customers through discounts and the domestic as well as international tourists visit in these hotels. Guest satisfaction can be provided through engaging third-party service like flight, bus service, food options and guide service (Timms et al. 2015). The staffs should be given training so that they can behave well with the customers.

SERVQUAL Questionnaire in Hospitality Industry

The guests' satisfaction comes from the experienced staffs who know how to communicate and deal with the guests. In Sydney, employee turnover has been the measure of the staffs' performance in the hospitality industry and high employee turnover has led to the high expenses in operational effectiveness and financial performance. High employee turnover leads to leaving of experienced employees from the hospitality sector. Skilled and experienced employees are best to provide guest satisfaction as they know how to behave well with the guests. Therefore, a substantive talent gap can emerge when the employees leaving the organisation. As hospitality is all about service related sector; retention can provide more than money as it can provide guest satisfaction. Rampant turnover can impact negatively on the guest satisfaction (Palanski et al. 2016). The expectation of the guests in hotels is to have best services and high employee turnover can hamper guest satisfaction. The HR needs to hire more employees when the employee turnover is high; therefore, it leads to more expenses.

Reference List

Brochado, A. and Pereira, C., 2017. Comfortable experiences in nature accommodation: Perceived service quality in Glamping. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 17, pp.77-83.

Brodie, R.J., Hollebeek, L.D. and Conduit, J. eds., 2017. Customer engagement: contemporary issues and challenges. Abingdon: Routledge.

Buhalis, D. and Amaranggana, A., 2015. Smart tourism destinations enhancing tourism experience through personalisation of services. In Information and communication technologies in tourism 2015 (pp. 377-389). Springer, Cham.

Casablanca, J.M. and Wolfe, E.W., 2017. The impact of design decisions on measurement accuracy demonstrated using the hierarchical rater model. Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling, 59(4), pp.471-492.

Cook, S., 2017. Measuring customer service effectiveness. Abingdon: Routledge.

Kandampully, J., Zhang, T. and Bilgihan, A., 2015. Customer loyalty: a review and future directions with a special focus on the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 27(3), pp.379-414.

Lu, A.C.C. and Gursoy, D., 2016. Impact of job burnout on satisfaction and turnover intention: Do generational differences matter?. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 40(2), pp.210-235.

McPhail, R., Patiar, A., Herington, C., Creed, P. and Davidson, M., 2015. Development and initial validation of a hospitality employees’ job satisfaction index: Evidence from Australia. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 27(8), pp.1814-1838.

Palanski, M., Avey, J.B. and Jiraporn, N., 2016. The effects of ethical leadership and abusive supervision on job search behaviours in the turnover process. Journal of Business Ethics, 121(1), pp.135-146.

Solnet, D., Kralj, A. and Baum, T., 2015. 360 degrees of pressure: The changing role of the HR professional in the hospitality industry. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 39(2), pp.271-292.

Sydney Tourism. 2018. Sydney Personalised Hotel Service. [Online] [Available at https://www.destinationnsw.com.au/tourism/facts-and-figures/sydney-tourism-statistics]

Teshnizi, S.H., Aghamolaei, T., Kahnouji, K., Teshnizi, S.M.H. and Ghani, J., 2018. Assessing the quality of health services with the SERVQUAL model in Iran. A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 30(2), pp.82-89.

Timms, C., Brough, P., O'Driscoll, M., Kalliath, T., Siu, O.L., Sit, C. and Lo, D., 2015. Flexible work arrangements, work engagement, turnover intentions and psychological health. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 53(1), pp.83-103.

Xiang, Z., Schwartz, Z., Gerdes Jr, J.H. and Uysal, M., 2015. What can big data and text analytics tell us about hotel guest experience and satisfaction?. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 44, pp.120-130.

Zhang, Y. and Cole, S.T., 2017. Dimensions of lodging guest satisfaction among guests with mobility challenges: A mixed-method analysis of web-based texts. Tourism Management, 53, pp.13-27.

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