The Premier Inn chain of hotels started its operations in the year 1987 as a travel inn for the tourists. The first hotel under this brand name started by the side of a restaurant, which was adjacent to the restaurant, called "The Watermill" in Basildon. Later in the year 2004, Whitbread acquired it. Which later acquired another hotel of Premier inn chain, and named it as the Premier Lodge, for a price of £536 million. This in turn added another 141 hotels to the entire portfolio of the group. In the year 2005, the company started its 500th hotel in Hemel Hempstead and then in the next year 11 holiday inns were started in England as well as Wales under the brand name of Premier inn group of hotels. The leisure facilities were well maintained by these hotels and attracted large number of customers form different parts of the world. There were luxurious swimming pools as well as best in class food and other services at each of these hotels innovations such as more luxurious bedrooms were started in the hotels in order to make the staying experience for the guest worthy to be remembered. This was aimed to make the difference between the staying experience in a Travel Inn" and "Premier Lodge" prominent for the customers so that they know what they are paying for and how superior their experience were at the times of their stay from that in the lodges. By the year 2009, the premier Inn group of hotels had more than 70% Whitbread's revenues and by September 2007, Whitbread had acquired the Golden Tulip UK. Additionally, Whitbread acquired six other hotels, which were under the Tulip Inn as well as Golden Tulip brands, and they were later converted to Premier Inns. By April 2008, Whitbread announced an investment of £100 million for the expansion of Premier Inn hotels within London over the period of the last three years.
In the month of July 2008, Whitbread purchased another 21 Express by Holiday Inn category of hotels in exchange for 44 Beefeater as well as Brewers Fayre category of restaurants as a substitute of hotels that were not possible to be at par with the traditional Premier Inn hotels. This was another avenue of generating business for the company since they started this operation at places where it was physically not possible to construct Premier Inn hotels. In the year 2011, the 600th hotel was inaugurated in Stratford-upon-Avon. Premier Inn hotels have successfully sold off many of their smaller hotels earlier properties that were not generating more revenue or the properties that had lesser number of rooms than 30, to a company called Good Night Inns. Most of these hotels were earlier were originally Premier Lodge but in locations that were lesser known to the guest or were not strategic (Ghandour, Jebai and Hussain 2014). By the end of July 2015, the 700th hotel of the Premier Inn group started its operations near Thames, London and is one of the busiest group of hotels in the world today.
Problems from HR perspective within the Premier Inn group of hotels:
There are different kinds of issues that are faced by the human resource department in the Premier Inn group of hotels. There are issues in terms of maintaining the employee details, retaining employees, ensuring that the different code of conducts as well as other polices are being implemented in the different department etc. (Abdullah and Zulkifli 2015). The different issues faced by the human resource departments are explained below in the following paragraphs:
Turnover is one of the major problems being faced by the HR department of the Premier Group of hotels in UK. This is a general issue faced by the hospitality industry as well. According to a recent study by the Bureau of Labour Statistics, hospitality as well as leisure had the highest rate of turnover as compared to the turnovers in the other industries within the United Kingdom and the Premier Inn group of hotels alone contributed an average of between 4.8 and 5.5 percent turnover. This statistics ranged from the month of February to June in the year 2013. Along with another prominent industry which s construction, these figures of the rates of turnover from the hospitality industry has consistently been seen in the recent past (AlBattat, Som and Helalat 2014). Research has shown that there could be multiple reasons for such high rates of turnover such as low pay, etc.
Recruitment tis another issue faced by the human resource department of the Premier Inn group of hotels. With high rates of turnovers, recruitment has proven to be yet another major issue faced by the human resource department of the Premier Inn Group of hotels in the United Kingdom. This again is faced in the entire hospitality industry (Albrecht et al. 2015). The Human resource personnel of the organization find it difficult to find candidates to even excel in the entry-level positions within the organization. This has become one of the major issues for the Premier Inn Group of hotels and the HR department finds it extremely difficult to search for the right candidate for the right job roles within the organization. The major part of the issues related to recruitment lies in the process of pre-employment assessments within the organization (Al-Refaie 2015). Since company fails to access the candidate in the right way, it often ends up hiring the candidate for a wrong role, which is a wastage of valuable human resource. In the same way due to improper or inefficient human resource management systems within the organization, the organization often rejects good candidates just because it fails to completely understand what role the candidate is actually meant for within the company.
Training again is another important issue faced by the human resource management team of the Premier Inn Group of hotels. The training facilities of the organization has gone down in terms of standards as well as training quality and the management tends to put newer employees who do not have much knowledge about the processes on floor even before they complete their training due to shortage of human work force (Amayah and Gedro 2014). As a result the quality of the service to the end users who are the customers get affected since the new joiners do not have much idea about the hotel operations in the very beginning phase of their career. In this way, not only the employees themselves are getting irritated with the consequences and the irate customer’s but the company itself is defaming its own brand image and losing customers. The employees and new joiners should be fully trained and given adequate time from their own learning and development before the management can put them for actual tasks on the floor. In this process, many of the employees often quit their jobs and move to higher managerial processes even before the management trains them adequately. The concern of the human resource department is not about hiring new staff now, but it is about the quality of service expected out of the existing staff. Additionally, high rates of turnover in the organization can cause many employees moving into managerial as well as other high positions without improper or inadequate process training (Bakker and Demerouti 2014). That again is an issue for the HR department.
While the employees in the different hotels of the Premier Inn Group want to focus on their jobs, the human resource department also aims to retain the existing employees in case of their job dissatisfaction. Many of the employees often find it difficult to work under constant work pressure from their managers (Bamberger, Meshoulam and Biron 2014). Often they are underpaid. Such conditions lead them to quit their jobs. Therefore, it is again another important concern for the human resource department since they have to retain the existing and old resources who are highly experienced and precious for the organization. They also have to release vacancies to hire new professionals in case any employee quits. They should always ensure that the morale of the employees are always high so that they enjoy the job that they do. They should ensure that there are no avenues of employee job satisfaction within the hotels, which in turn can help reduce the number of employees quitting their jobs at the Premier Inn Group of hotels (Baum 2016). Low employee morale can also cause the defamation of the hotel and negative feedbacks in the markets, which has the potential to completely erode the business for the entire group. That should also be taken into serious consideration by the organization. Some of the primary reasons in the Premier Inn lack of training, colleagues who are unskilled, understaffing, few rewards as well as peer and manager induced stress. Improper balance between work life and personal life is another issue faced by the employees, which indirectly is a concern for the human resource department.
Shrinkage, which is another term for the loss of goods, is another concern for the human resource department of the Premier Inn group of hotels. This has become a growing issue for all the bars, hotels, restaurants as well as nightclubs that operate under the Premier Group of hotels and in turn is causing issues like employee vandalism and increasing employee job dissatisfaction (Baum 2015). There are multiple issues faced by the guests accessing these services such as unreported wastage, theft as well as misuse, activities such as providing free of cost food and drinks to friends cause a lot of Shrinkage for the entire group and is a major source of loss for the organization. In addition, loss occurs due to both transactional as well as inventory discrepancies (Björkman and Welch 2015). This in turn affects the human resource department of the organization.
Evidence of the problem:
In a recent survey, it has been found by the TUC that most of the hotel employees in the United Kingdom, including the employees at the premier inn are underpaid. The government rules of minimum wages are not being followed by the organizations and they salary that they derive is below the national minimum wage. Overtime charges are not being paid to the employees and they are made to work free of cost after their normal working hours (Boella 2017). It has been bound that about 30% of the employees in the hospitality industry are not legally paid for working even after their shift hours. Most of the employees have been seen to earn even less than the minimum salary in the hospitality industry according to the norms of the government. Because of this scheme of underpayment, it has resulted in enormous employee job dissatisfaction and many of the employee of the premier Inn quitting their jobs (Cascio 2014). This is one of the biggest issues faced by the human resource management teams of the hotel.
According to another government initiated Labour Force Survey, it has been found that every 3 out of 4 employees in the hospitality industry within the United kingdom, work for at least 5 hours a day apart from their regular shift timings and his extra work that they do is unpaid. The study has also shows that many employees work for more than 10 hours in a week that again goes unpa0id and the management does nothing about it (Celma, Garcia, and Coenders 2014). This is one of the most serious problems faced by the human resource department in the hotels.
Another recent survey by the Union Unite showed that most of the employee sin the different hotels in London work for more time for lesser pay and the work hours in many places including the Premier Inn Group of hotels is above the government figures. More than half of the chefs from the different hotels have said that they are made to work even after their normal working operations in the hotels depending upon the needs of the hotels and the demands of the business (D'Cruz, Noronha and Beale 2014). Increasing number of guests and more expanding business should create more jobs and the hotel companies should hire more chefs and other personnel. However, in the process of cost cutting they often retain the same old Chef and make them work harder even without paying them for the extra hours they work even after their shift timings (Deery and Jago 2015). The recent surveys from the different hotels have shown that every 1 out of 3 front office staff in the hotels owed money for the hours they have worked even after their shift timings.
Implication of the problems:
There are different kinds of implications of the issues faced by the human resource department of the Premier Inn group of hotels in the United Kingdom. On of the major implication is the brand image of the entire, which goes down drastically. Since the employees are underpaid and often not paid according to the rules and regulations set by the government, they are often seen dissatisfied with the jobs and end up quitting the organization. This in turn adversely affects the reputation of the organization since the dissatisfied employees after quitting their jobs and under acts of employee vandalism, often cause harm towards the brand image of Premier Inn with a mentality of taking revenge (Gannon, Roper and Doherty 2015). This is one of the most critical issue faced by the human resource management and has to be addressed on a primary basis. There is little or no reward systems for the employees for their achievements within the organization and this demotivates them greatly. Since it has been found from the recent surveys that their wages are even below the minimum national wage as per the government regulations there is immense employee unrest in the hospitality industry within the country. This degrades their productivity as well as service towards the guests, which in turn cause the company to lose much of its valuable business in the future form, the potential customers (Gibbs, MacDonald and MacKay 2015). They otherwise could have been great sources of repeat business for the Premier group of hotels .Due to the negative feedbacks form the other customers as well as the degrading brand image and such negative talks about the company in the media. This can cause even the premium clients of the company to start losing their faith on the brand.
Therefore, this issue of not paying the employees their deserving salary affects the performance of the employees largely and they have been seen to be demotivated and uninteresting towards their job roles (Kang, Gatling and Kim 2015). They will not be completely committed towards their jobs and will not be able to service the guests as per the services standards expected out of the staff of Premier group of hotels or any renowned brand in that case in the hospitality sector. In addition, Lack of a proper human resource set of policies can also result in high rates of turnover and many employees have been seen to search of job opportunities elsewhere while in their present roles. They quit their jobs shortly in the future since no employees wish to be unfairly treated for a very long period of time an these issues leads to a high staff turnover as none of the employees will prefer to be treated unfairly for a long period (Kramar 2014). The high rates of turnover affects the brand image of the hotel and many people who are aware of these issues associated with the company will not want to work in this company unless they are desperate. However, that again is an issue for the human resource management since it is difficult to deal with such people who are only desperate for money and do not bother about the needs of the organization (Kulik 2014). These are the categories of employees who tend to participate more in acts of employee vandalism. It is one of the major impacts of the issues faced by the human resource department.
Solutions and their implementation techniques:
- Shortage of skilled work force should be addressed and more competent and experienced professionals to be hired by the human resource department by proper assessment of the candidates through tests and other techniques.
- Existing employees should be provided with good incentives and there should be reward systems for recognizing the achievement of the employees (Suan and Nasurdin 2014). This can greatly enhance their motivation at the work place.
- Adequate training and development programs should be there for the employees, which should be carefully designed by the human resource teams. There can be online portals as well as video sessions with experts that can train the employees while they are at their work.
- There should a common online database of important information that can be accessed by the employees at any point in time during their work hours (Luo and Milne 2014). This can ensure that they always have the required information ready and are easily accessible.
- Another important solution to the problems is by maintaining a healthy workplace diversity in the organization. Through this, it can be ensured that a proper culture and helping attitude is developed among the employees and they work in harmony and coordination with each other (Marchington et al. 2016). It can ensure that the different employee’s from different cultural background respect and care for each other at the work place. The human resource management should address their likes, dislikes as well as preferences. It can ensure that the employees are happy about their job as well as the work culture of the Premier Inn group of hotels.
Figure 1: Qualities expected in the HR manager of Premier Inn group (Werner 2014).
Literature supporting the solutions and its critical review:
Therefore, it is extremely important for the employees to get themselves enlisted in the Trade Union, as the process of risking their jobs will in turn pay off as being their problematic situations at work, which will also change. This is because, most of the employees will not prefer in constantly switching their jobs due to this one single reason of employee job dissatisfaction and underpay and needs to have a permanent solution. This is also a very stressful task for them to do. Instead, the human resource management should understand threat retaining the employees and ensuring they are satisfied with their jobs would be beneficial to the overall business of the Premier Inn group as well as for the employees themselves (Riley 2014). Loyalty of the employees towards the organization will contribute to their internal growth as well as promotions, which in turn will help in building a good reputation of the brand, and attract more candidates for job opportunities and customers (Shamim et al. 2016). The customer satisfaction will also greatly improve if the organization itself is able to maintain a good employee’s loyalty.
Therefore, it can be seen that a critical analysis of the human resource management of the human resource management in the hospitality industry shows that its main task is to come up with innovative strategies to retain the existing employees and counter balance the bloodthirsty environment of the market. Organization, which are not able to bring in new talent into the work operations and fail to identify the potential candidates in the recruiting process invite dire consequences since their market competitors may hire them with increases salaries and then further develop to improve their business in the markets (Tracey 2014). Their focus is on developing the best way instead of experimenting with different ways in a trial and error basis. The critical analysis of the premier Inn group shows that trying a best practise is a better way of dealing with the employees rather than coming up with a new strategy every day. The focus of the organization is to come up with innovative training programmes to ensure that the employees a rein a constant process of self-development (Alonso et al. 2014). The HR manager at the Premier Inn group should be well aware of these techniques in the future.
Therefore, it can be concluded from the report that even though the Premier group of hotels is quite renowned in the United Kingdom there are different issues in the human resource management that should be addressed by the organization. This report describes the different kinds of information needed for the effective human resource management and how the employee job satisfaction can be further improved in the hospitality industry. The challenges are discussed and the recommendations have been provided regarding how to overcome the challenges of the human resource management. The different techniques have been studied in details with appropriate figures based on research on the Premier Inn group of hotels in the United Kingdom. The human resource managers have to understand the concerns of the employees in an effective way and adequate strategies should be framed in the work operations regarding their salaries, incentives, reward systems as well as other aspects to ensure optimum employee job satisfaction.
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