Travel and Tourism is one of the most significant industries. The data from World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) mention that the industry offers the job to 9 percent in the globe. Economics, Social, Political and other factors like laws etc was the very basis of the evolution of management in the past. The emphasis of the HRM in the tourism and travel were based on the welfare of the employees. However the process was very rigid, this is because the whole purpose of the HR managers and the organizations focused on the pattern of hiring the employees, paying them and then firing them (Lindsay and McQuaid, 2004). The focus was on increasing the productivity of the employee rather than on the employee’s interests. After the productivity, the stage that emerged in the tourism and HRM as a whole was the focus on training of the staff members. The focus started to move towards the output the HR activities generate that are beneficial for the employees. As discussed in the studies by Nankervis et al. (2008) the idea behind reflecting on the output was to establish a ideal working culture and climate. The research paper will put the focus on the tourism industry, the state of affairs, and what needs to be done for the employees. The development of the employees and the need to manage their productivity, motivation, and ethics within the organization will be discussed and debated (Chen, 2009). The study will take cases from UK tourism industry and other countries like Germany and an analysis of critical nature will be done in order to understand the industry dynamics and the need for the development of the sector.
Travel and Tourism industry comprises of the workforce that are marginal in nature. Marginal workers mean that the workers in this industry are basically young in age, casual in nature. The industry is seasonal in nature, and therefore the employees that work also comprise of part time workers and freelancers (ILO, 2001). The wages and salaries in this industry are generally lower and therefore challenges for HRM is to preserve trained staff from switching the industry and even to create a base of more trained people and staff. Lower wages on the other hand create a hiccup for employee attraction (Waddell et al. 2013).
Flexibility of the employees is the most significant criteria in this industry. The changing dynamics of the industry and the increasing competition asks for the employees to be flexible in the adaptation of the environment in which they work. In order to match the competition and the employee’s interests at the same time, it is critical that the training and development focuses on these aspects. The competitive advantage of the industry is dependent on the nature of training and development is received by the workers of that industry. Holden (2004) gives the example of training in UK that proved to be inadequate when compared to some other advanced countries like Japan and US. The training and development in case of UK is divided into various organizational levels. The first and foremost is the national level, which includes UK government, the direct involvement of the government ensures training needs are been met (Parker et al. 2005). Then there are national organizations for training and development. The process of training and development in UK remained slower as the employers were earlier given free hand on the training they wanted to provide to the employees. Studies from Hyman (1996) prove that the training by employers in the nineties was driven by the measures to control any contingencies rather than a holistic approach to groom the employees. Finegold et al. (2000) have mentioned that the training of the employees is driven by the vocational courses.
The cases of Germany which has been more proactive in its approach towards the tourism sector has been reflected in the studies of Finelgold et al. (2000). The study has mentioned that there are policies of apprenticeship in the industry before a person makes the career in tourism. This means that the country is far more advanced in terms of producing the ideal candidates for the tourism industry compared to UK, where vocational courses are taken by the inspiring candidates and there is no enforcement on the part of the organizations to train the employees (Smith et al. 2010). The other factor is that the training is done through public-private partnerships in Germany, which is not the case in UK. This means that the commitment of the staff in Germany is higher. The framework of training is such that the sector has grown leaps and bounces compared to UK.
Communication and Change management in HR can be those influential policies that can result in the transformation of the work done. Change management can be done by increasing the pay structure of the employees working in the tourism sector. The employees can be given the bonuses for the development of newer skills, innovative ideas, and change in the working behaviour (Conway & Monks, 2009). This is necessary in case of the tourism industry as it will be serving various objectives for the organizations. The basic thing that these sorts of measures are capable of doing is retention of the employees and skills in the industry (Baum, 2006). The performance levels of the industry can be maintained when the employees are retained. However, the employee retention on the changes in the reward system is also linked to composition of the rewards in the industry, the competition from other industries in terms of the lucrative offers (Chen & Huang, 2009). Measures and accountability of the government is critical. Lower remuneration and the opinion that the industry offer lower growth are one of the main issues surrounding this industry. Therefore HR role should be to manage and communicate the policies that create sense of trust among skilled people (Lindsay and McQuaid, 2004). The change management should involve the changes in the pay scales of the organizations that are linked to the industry. It has been noted that even the travel agencies, tour booking portals, and tourism companies offer lower remuneration to the employees. They generally hire young graduates and exploit them. This creates the sense of distrust for the industry at large.
HR policies should be based on communication tactics in case of the tourism and travel industry. The HR policies should be based on the direct communication tactics. As per the studies done by Marchington and Wilkinson (2005) there are number of policies that can be adopted by the HR managers so that the employees can be communicated in a effective manner. The participation of the employees is very much required. There can be meetings between the employees to form the strategies and briefing them of the policies. The other option to communicate with the employees is the use of management letters and emails. Employees can be asked for the innovative ideas and they should be rewarded for their smart thoughts beneficial for the society (IRS, 2006a). The ways to improve the management and the policies of the employees should be done.
Motivation and commitment of the employees is important for the tourism industry. Lower wages is one the critical element that demotivates the employees and hampers their commitment towards the work. The job related promotions are critical so that the employees are motivated to work. The issues like gender differences must be taken care off. The difference and barriers in terms of gender should be answered by the management through their policies (Johnston, 2006). The management should be done on the basis of the teams. The team building exercises should be implemented so that the employees work in a cordial atmosphere. This will increase their productivity. Almashaqba & Nemer (2010) mentioned that the division of work is required to manage it effectively. This involves the allocation of the work as per the team. However communication is important so that the work management is done on a effective basis.
Ethics in tourism industry is required. This industry lacks effective policies and Corporate Social Responsibility from the stakeholders. The exploitation of the employees in tourism industry is common. In order to reduce the exploitation of workers, the example of European working council can be taken. European Work Councils (EWC) is an example where the workers are given rights. This body is constituted with employers and employee representatives. These councils are bestowed certain rights, one is the right to receive the information from the employers; employees are given security for their health (Freeman, 2010).
Performance appraisals can be one of the most effective forms of the performance management (Bach, 2005). Performance appraisal is a way in which the satisfaction of the employee can be ensured. The training and development needs of the employees are checked and the employees are given the opportunity to groom and eradicate their mistakes. Feedbacks are provided to the employees, this ensures that the improvements are done. The employees are trained and they are groomed to perform the tasks to build motivation in them. Performance appraisal is one form in which the employees are given the responsibility of what is expected from them, and how they can achieve what has been desired.
This model mentions the approaches of HRM that may be hard and soft based on the situation in hand. There are components that are taken care off under this model. The first component is the integration of the strategies for business and for HRM otherwise the policies framed will not be able to affect the organization at large (Guest, 2011).
Paulo (2013) has stated that the employees should be able to adopt in the flexible environment. The organizational policies should be based on improving the flexibility. The payment terms for peak season should be higher, and should be made so that in non-peak season the employees are able to compensate for the loss of work. The employees should be provided with technology so that their work load is reduced (Clarke and Hermann, 2004). Employees should be motivated towards the work and they should be motivated to give new ideas (Conway & Monks, 2009). This means that the commitment levels of the employees are higher.
Beer et al (1984) proposed this model mentioning that the manager’s involvement with the employees should be there. The organizational demand should be strategically looked into as per Chen & Huang (2009). The Harvard School of thought mentioned that the line managers should be responsible for setting the policies and strategies in most cases. Even the leaders that is responsible for the activities like management of team, should owe the responsibility along with HR managers.
1. Almashaqba, Z. S; Nemer Al-Qeed, M, (2010). The Classical Theory of Organization and its Relevance. International Research Journal Of Finance & Economics 41: 60–67.
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