|Date added: 2017/06/26|
Hotels, catering and leisure industry in the UK remains the sector with the highest level of staff turnover, with all leavers in this category hitting 41%, according to a survey carried out by the CIPD (2008).
Many organisations are badly affected by high levels of staff turnover and the survey identified that 74% of organisations in the UK, reported a negative impact on their business performance. This report also identified four main reasons that cause labour turnover. They are, change of career (55%), promotions outside of the company (45%), level of pay (41%) and lack of career development (33%).
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Employee dissatisfaction caused by poor relationships with supervisors and line managers, undesirable working conditions and lack of career development and training opportunities are also seen as major factors that cause high staff turnover ( Griffeth, Hom and Gaertner 2000). As mentioned in an article published by the Adecco Institute (2008) skills shortage in the jobs market is seen as a major human resources challenge for the future and this is particularly true of the hospitality and leisure industry in the UK, as it has suffered from constant recruitment difficulties over the past so many years. Age positive carried out a survey in the year 2005 and according to the results of the survey nearly 40% of all vacancies in the hospitality industry were hard to fill and much of the problem has been caused by poor retention strategies implemented by organisations. Another factor identified by the survey with regard to why so many vacancies were hard to fill is the lack of necessary skills and abilities by potential applicants who apply for jobs in the hotel and hospitality industry. A similar percentage of employers who participated in the survey stated that applicants lack excellent communication skills required, and this is particularly true of receptionists, managers and administrators and this has created immense pressure on HR executives and managers to attract, manage and retain key talent within their organisation which is an essential factor in creating sustainable competitive advantage. The results and information unearthed from these surveys make it crystal clear that high levels of staff turnover is a major problem to all organisations and the HR department of an organisation has a key responsibility of closely monitor labour turnover levels and figures and make right steps in order to bring staff turnover to a manageable level and face the future with resistance.
High levels of staff turnover in an organisation may compromise the quality and high standards of customer service, and may impact on the organisation loosing loyal customers, revenue and long term sustainability (Tracy and Hinkin, 2008). Once the well established staff leave a company it may not only increase the workload of the remaining staff members of the company, but would be difficult for the organisation to gain the same highest levels of service from the newly hired staff as they would still be in a period of learning their job, and other key tasks and responsibilities associated with the job. Furthermore when employees leave on a regular basis it creates extra workloads for the remaining staff and as a result they could become depressed with work and not be able to deliver their best performance on the job. This may further exacerbate the problem and may also result in staff getting absent from work regularly and their good health deteriorate.
The article of Tracy and Hinkin (2008) also states financial implications for organisations as a result of high levels of staff turnover. The costs associated with replacing staff can be sorted into hard costs, soft costs, and opportunity costs. Hard costs are costs such as money spent on newspaper advertisements, adverts on recruitment agencies etc, and they have a direct impact on the organisation. Other elements such as the time it takes to interview new recruits, and time spent on exit interviews will not be shown in company account statements as they are regarded as soft costs. Opportunity costs such as missed customers and market shares, usually go unmeasured but can still be substantial and may also lower company profitability and competitor advantage of the organisation ( Simons and Hinkin 2001 cited Tracy.J and Hinkin.T, 2008).
The following five are identified as major costs categories that contribute towards the total costs of replacing an employee. They are pre-departure, recruitment, selection, orientation and training, and lost productivity (Hinkin and Tracy 2007, 2006, cited Tracy.J and Hinkin.T,2008). The already high staff turnover rates in the hotel industry also reflects high turnover of newly selected staff who leave the company within their first 30 days because the job did not suit them (Woods,1997:141). Does this mean possible issues with the prevailing recruitment and selection methods adopted by the hospitality sector organisations?
According to the article by Tracy.J and Hinkin.T, only a few turnover studies have been so far carried out in the hotel and hospitality sector, despite reporting high levels of turnover every year. Therefore my literature review aims to conduct a much broader view of this issue by critically examining the current procedures and practices carried out by the High Beech Hotel UK and some of the other local selected competitor hotels, which may be associated with employee turnover. By doing so this study aims to understand the root causes of high levels of employee turnover of High Beech Hotel and propose solutions and recommendations to overcome those issues. This research benefits High Beech Hotel in terms of minimising the unnecessary costs that may occur due to advertising, interviewing, training of new staff as well as improving the overall standard of the hotel.
High Beech Hotel is a three start hotel located in beautiful Hastings area and is faced with stiff competition with many three to four star hotels operating in the area such as, The White Rock Hotel, Travelodge Hastings, The Hotel Undum and the Chatsworth Hotel.
The High Beech Hotel is therefore fighting to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage and grow its market share. The opinions of the General Manager, Operations Manager and the HR manager prove that jobs in the industry are difficult in the area and finding the right talent for the right job and the retention of quality staff are major HR challenges currently faced by the hotel.
The general manager of the hotel is new to her post and has already expressed concerns about the high staff turnover. Turnover is high among front line staff, waiters and porters and the management has had few discussions to find the reasons why staff left, and find out ways to resolve the problem. I having worked at the hotel as an HR executive (placement student) managed to gain a good understanding of the high turnover and the possible effects the turnover levels have had on the existing staff.
“Labour turnover is the rate at which staff leaves an organisation and are replaced by new employees. Too high a labour turnover rate may mean that there is something unsatisfactory about working for the organisation and that action therefore would need to be taken” (Adams et al, 1993)
Denver and McMahon (1992:143) defined labour turnover as the movement of people into and out of employment within an organisation and can both be voluntary and involuntary. Eade (1993) further categorises turnover into management controllable and unavoidable turnover.
Labour turnover index is used to measure staff turnover and according to Armstrong (2001) “labour turnover rates provide a valuable means to benchmarking the effectiveness of HR policies and practices in organisations.”
The hotel industry is essentially comprised of both a production and a service aspect and the creation and rendering of services from the hotel to the customer are mainly achieved through employees. Therefore the industry is essentially represented by people (Lewis 1989; Thompson and Abbott, 1990; Schneider , 1993) and is considered as one of the most labour intensive industries. Turnover in the hotel industry in the UK has been shown to be unacceptably high (Kennedy and Berger, 1994), averaging as much as 200% to 300% per year. Statistically this means that the entire workforce of the industry turns over two to three times per year. The main factors identified, that could impact on turnover are, orientation and good socialisation procedures (Kennedy and Berger 1994, Woods, 1992), ad-hoc recruitment and selection (Benn and Farbringer, 1992, Woods and Macaulay, 1989; Wagner, 1991; Wheelhouse, 1989), discrimination at the workplace (Antolik,1993), lack of training and development opportunities (Hogan, 1992; rowden,1995), organisation culture (Woods and Macaulay, 1998) shortage of skills in the labour market (Debrah, 1994; Woods, 1992), high levels of work related stress ( Vallen,1993;Woods, 1992; Ham and Griffeth, 1995), seasonal nature of the industry ( Boella, 1998) and job dissatisfaction ( Bonn and Frbringer, 1992).
All of these factors have contributed towards high levels of staff turnover in the hotel industry and it is clear that the success of the industry depends upon taking necessary steps to reduce the above mentioned issues, and problems, and the calibre of employees, and how well they are managed (Nankervis and Debroh, 1995; Berger and Ghel, 1995). Deery and Iverson, (1996) commented that high degree of staff turnover levels consist of recruitment and replacement costs, and regular and loyal customers switching to other competitor hotels as they expect to see their favourite staff members.
It is clear labour costs play a major part in the industry and high staff turnover is seen as a prime issue hampering the smooth functioning of hotel and organisations within the hospitality industry (Obrien and McDonnell 2003). Deery and Iverson (1996) examined the employee turnover phenomenal and found that high turnover resulted in organisations loosing revenue and profits. They also argued that high turnover, especially when skilled staff leave, contributes to lowering the employee morale and the overall ability of teams within the organisations to get quality work done.
Therefore the retention of skilled and well trained staff in any hospitality organisation is important to save unnecessary tangible and intangible costs as well as retaining regular and loyal customers and to provide them with a quality service. It is clear from the arguments put forward by the above mentioned authors and scholars but Despite an array of academic evidence and research on labour turnover the question to be asked is do management of hospitality sector organisations understand the gravity of the issue of staff turnover, and its negative effects on the performance of the organisation and how far they are willing to go to retain the valuable staff. At a time of difficult economic times it is imperative and organisation takes measures to outperform its competitors and any hospitality sector organisation that understands the value of human capital and adopt good HRM policies and management practices in pursuit of employee retention will inevitably outperform the competition (Cho et al., 2006, Hinkin and Tracy, 2000).
Staff leaving on a regular basis involves heavy administration costs and a loss of productivity through the breaking up of teams who are used to working together (Denvir and McMohan, 1992:144). Therefore the critical importance of employees staying with an organisation is evident (Brayfield and Crockett, 1995; Cho et al, 2006). It is clear that satisfied and highly motivated employees stay with the organisation which in turn helps the company to reduce unnecessary recruitment and selection costs which could amount to a substantial amount of money, but also produce high quality work which helps the organisation to achieve competitive advantage and increase its profits (Cho et al., 2006; Hinkin and Tracey, 2000).
Exit interviews are a great method of collecting information as to why employees leave an organisation. Employees leave for various reasons ranging from lack of employee oriented organisational measures such as succession planning, pay , non-financial rewards, work life balance and undesirable working conditions as well as more personal reasons such as inability to look after their children, other child welfare issues and transport problems. This can also vary depending on how long they have worked for the company and it is a common factor as evident from the High Beech Hotel, and that staff leaves because they soon found out that the job did not suit them. Some other staff members leave after serving the organisation after serving a considerable amount of time and their issues could very well be different to people leaving early. According to the CIPD (2007) costs an organisation approximately Â£3500 pounds every time an employee leaves and as stated earlier these costs include both tangible costs and intangible costs such as time spent on interviewing new recruits and these often go unreported in company accounts.
Denver and McMahon (1992:146) also found out that individual hotel organisations experience different levels of turnover, which helps to confirm that staff turnover is partly within the control of the hotel management. This also contradicts with the common acceptance that staff turnover is high and uniform throughout the industry and uncontrollable.
Therefore it is evident that high levels of staff turnover is harmful to the smooth functioning of any organisation, may it be in the hospitality sector or some other sector and hinders the efficient operation of the business resulting in the hotel gradually losing its market share. Therefore it is important that the hospitality sector organisations develop effective and vibrant HRM policies that enable them to successfully recruit, select and retain skilled and efficient employees, who would contribute towards the achievement of the corporate objectives of the business.
Factors influence on high Labour Turnover.
The hotel industry in the UK is constantly troubled with high staff turnover resulting in increased personnel costs arise from recruitment and selection of new staff, training them (Ham and Griffeth, 1995). There is a strong negative relationship between turnover and organisational commitment which indicates that staff with low levels of commitment and loyalty are more likely to withdraw from the organisation than more committed staff (Johnston et, 1993). He also identified a positive relationship between organisational commitment and career progression opportunities given to employees through internal promotions and succession planning. These employees who are given opportunities to progress up the ladder, exhibit higher levels of organisational commitment, and loyalty and results in skilled staff retention and a gradual decline of low performing employees. This makes it much easier for HR managers to successfully identify low performing employees and eliminate them from the work force which is important and a good for the success of the company as this turnover is considered healthy.
Another key factor which may influence staff turnover is the gender difference and certain problems it creates within the organisation. Female workers have different responsibilities to their male counterparts and may value work life balance more as a result. The pressures of work and life, has resulted in more female workers leaving their jobs than male workers (Doherty and Manfredi, 2006:62). In most hotels it can be seen female workers working in the bottom of the organisation hierarchy and the pay gap between males and female workers has been a much talked about issue in the UK. Iverson (2000) conducted a study in the USA involving hotel establishments and found that female managers earn much less than the male managers doing the same job which is commonly seen in the UK and this has resulted in, female workers being reluctant to return to work after their maternity leave. On top of this, most organisations have failed to assist their female workers to arrange necessary child care arrangements which have aggravated the number of female workers leaving their job. As per above authors the reluctance of female workers to return to work may also be caused by factors such as stress, work dissatisfaction, lack of commitment and low promotion opportunities coupled with a poor organisation culture that does not provide a platform to encourage female workers to move up the career ladder. Therefore the problems and issues female workers face in the workplace is clear and applicable in hospitality sector organisations, and it is very important the HR department address these issues and understand why many female workers leave their jobs early. Organisation culture, average age of the total labour force of the organisation, gender and racial composition and male-female pay gaps are among the reasons why employees leave (Bennett et al, 1993).
Prospective employees when joining an organisation look into a number of factors such as career development opportunities, total reward policy and work life balance. Lack of incentives is therefore a main reason why many employees leave their jobs after some time. Incentives include both financial and nonfinancial and employees may simply want praise for their good work and lack of recognition could seriously hamper employee retention. Ritz Carlton hotel in London, has managed to reduce employee turnover to a significant level by focusing on quality recruitment, providing better training and development opportunities and by forming a positive psychological contract with the employees, and also by creating long term incentive and reward systems ( Barky, 1996). Therefore it is fair to assume that to a large extent organisation HRM practices, policies and procedures determine staff turnover.
Organisation policies and lack of employee oriented practices and procedures may not only be the sole reason why many organisations particularly in the hospitality industry experience high level of staff turnover.
Another factor that affects turnover is the ability of staff to carry out their tasks and responsibilities up to the required standard and the job performance of employees largely affects staff turnover and this is also confirmed by a study conducted by Jewell and Siegal (1990). They found that employees having very high levels of on-the-job performance are highly unlikely to leave their job in contrast with employees with low levels of performance. High performing employees are confident in their job and have better work related knowledge and skills. Low pay, lack of training and career development opportunities, lack of regular and realistic performance appraisals and undesired work environments are among the key reasons that cause low performance which in-turn result in high staff turnover. Therefore it is clear HR professionals in hotel establishments must pay very close attention to developing employee oriented HRM policies and practices that help staff achieve their full potential. To name a few these HR policies and practices are training and development opportunities open management communication systems, employee welfare such as child care, flexible working, transport assistant to employees and a comprehensive induction programme that helps new recruits to adopt well to their new roles.
When analysing the hospitality and hotel industry in particular it has been found that most organisations have a poor reputation for providing good staff training and development opportunities (Maxwell et al, 2004). High staff turnover in most hospitality sector industries may have also led managers to be reluctant to providing staff with opportunities to further develop their careers fearing they may leave after that ( Davies et al, 2001, Jameson, 2000: Lowey et al, 2002). High staff turnover also causes managers to be occupied with recruitment and selection activity as well as grievance issues, and this may also be a reason for them not to have sufficient time to focus on staff development and talent management. Training and development and staff retention has a close match as poorly trained staff are less satisfied with work and may leave quicker and more than fully trained and highly satisfied staff. Therefore training and development directly affects job satisfaction and organisational commitment (Lam and Zhang, 2003, Taylor et al, 2001, Lowry et al, 2002).
Working hours is another key factor that causes employees to leave and most hospitality sector organisations, because of high staff turnover may require remaining staff to work extra hours on a regular basis. Long working hours without breaks are against the working time regulations as well as current health and safety rules and Female workers are largely affected by this practice because of their family commitments and a research conducted by Erdogan (1996:26) revealed long working hours are among the main reasons for many female workers to quit their jobs. There has also been an increase of single parent families and long hours and unsocial working hours have forced females to leave their jobs. This not only creates staff to leave but unfriendly working hours coupled with a poor corporate and work culture and a hostile working environment of the organisation , may affect the job satisfaction of female workers and even if they remain with the job their work could be highly unproductive and suffer from work related stress. Despite the fact that many researchers and academics stressing the importance of a good organisation work environment that provides employees oriented HR measures to achieve these goals and objectives many organisations still suffer from high levels of staff turnover and female staff turnover as evident from research findings. All of the above stated factors and elements contribute to employee dissatisfaction and it is a result of various internal and external factors that were mentioned above.
Labour turnover of High Beech Hotel
High Beech Hotel had a newly appointed general manager and she has been investigating the reasons for the high staff turnover levels of the hotel over the past three years and has had several discussions with the operations manager and the HR manager of the company. Unfortunately no proper investigation has not been done so far to find out the possible causes of staff turnover but the management in consultation with the company HR records and turnover figures has assumed the reasons as job dissatisfaction, long and unfriendly working hours, pay issues, lack of training and development opportunities for staff, issues with working condition and other personal issues of staff such as work life balance.
Importance of HR practices and concepts in relation to staff retention and turnover
HRM plays a vital part in creating a sustainable competitive advantage for any organisation, and forward looking organisations adopt good HR policies and practices to ensure the smooth functioning of the organisation (Edvinsson and Malone, 1997; Stewart, 1997; Verma and Dewe, 2008). Research studies have confirmed that well defined organisational goals and corporate objectives directly influence employee retention and productivity. Kim et al, (2005) in their study on corporate orientation found that organisational direction and support had a significant impact on employee job satisfaction and overall commitment.
The organisational HR initiatives as mentioned above, illustrate how internal factors and forces contribute towards employee retention. The model does not mention about external forces such as local and national competition in the labour market, economic situation, globalisation and international competition which affects attracting skilled employees to various jobs. It can be seen that this model covers the internal factors and reasons that affect staff retention or turnover and it is critically important for an organisation and HR professionals to pay close attention to the factors mentioned under the model to critically assess where they stand as an organisation and take steps to implement those HR practices and policies to retain talented staff ( Horwitz et al, 2003; Steel et al, 2002). These internal HR policies and practices are bundled under the term retention management and it is defined as the “ability to hold onto those employees an organisation would want to keep, for longer than the competitors” (Johnson,2000 cited De Vos and Meganck,2007). The external factors should not be neglected at the same time because there may be times employees may leave an organisation due to their influences.
The impact of financial and non-financial rewards cannot be undermined and play a critical role in motivating skilled and valued employees and retaining them within the organisation. Financial rewards such as a good basic pay combined with performance related pay and non-financial rewards such as training and development opportunities, initiatives to achieve work life balance for staff and other employee retention initiatives such as a pensions scheme and internal promotions motivate staff and force them to think again before quitting their jobs (Horwitz et al,2003;De Vos and Meganck, 2007).
When analysing the theories and ides put forward by the above mentioned academics and scholars it is evident they focused on retaining highly skilled employees and researched to find out the possible reasons why valued employees leave organisations. This is being described as retention management and the word retention embraces with other HR practices such as recruitment and selection, development of employees to achieve their full potential and succession management (Lewis and Heckmanp 2006:140).
HR Practices and the importance of Human Psychology
HRM involves all management decision and practices that directly affects other people, or human resources, who work for the organisation. The question that arises is that despite the fact that many organisations including the hospitality and hotel industry, implement all accepted HR practices and procedures, why employees still leave and the staff turnover rates are extremely high. A good understanding of the implications of human psychology would help HR managers to find the root causes to this problem.
Psychologist Abraham Maslow introduced his concept of hierarchy of needs in 1943 which suggests that people are motivated to fulfil their basic human needs before moving on to other needs. The hierarchy of needs is displayed as a pyramid and the lowest level of the pyramid are made up of the most basic needs, while the more complex needs are at the top. The needs located at the bottom are the most basic human needs and as people progress up the pyramid, needs become increasingly psychological and social. Therefore when it comes to employees staying or leaving a particular organisation which stage the employee is in could play a vital role in his or her decision making process. At the core this theory of Maslow suggests that when an individual satisfies one set of needs they always try to move into the other level.
This makes it critically important for HR professionals in the hospitality organisations how this theory of Maslow affects individual employees and how it influences an individual’s decision about him staying or leaving the organisation. When an individual joins an organisation the first concern is to organise his life in-terms of food shelter and other essential psychological needs through wages and salary. The next concern would be job security and personal health and safety in the job. Once those needs are satisfied the employee would move in to the other set of needs which are social needs such as friendly colleagues and staff as well as a desirable working environment. After this comes the next stage which is satisfying the esteem needs which is comprised of individual being recognised for his work and valued by the management of the organisation as well as taking full advantage of any courses and exams they could take to get promoted. Once this set of needs are fully satisfied the employee reaches the stage of self actualisation.
Therefore to satisfy the individual employee needs the HR executives working in hospitality sector organisations must understand the needs of employees and aim to provide tailor made HR solutions in line with the corporate strategy of the company. In order to accomplish this, the HR managers must have accurate methods and procedures to understand which stage the employee is in his hierarchy of needs because if this is not done or if the right methods and procedures are not in place there will inevitably be a contradiction. For an example the HR managers may direct their full efforts into satisfying the esteem needs of employees through individual recognition and internal promotions at work when the employees are seeking safety needs. This would result in a waste of company resources and employees considering leaving the organisation.
Individual’s decision making process
An individual’s decision making process is comprised of a number of internal and external variables as shown below and the final decision makes by an individual employee is made up of a collection of those internal and external variables. This model is highly useful in understanding an employee’s decision making in an organisation (Kotler, 2000, p98).
As seen the model is comprised of five main stages which an individual may go through before coming into a decision. They are,
* Evaluation of alternatives
* Decision to leave or stay
* Post- purchase evaluation
Therefore the first stage is problem recognition and that is recognising there is a problem or issue to be answered by the employee. The problem arose can be triggered by internal influences, external influences or both.
Once the main problem or problems are recognised by the employee he then moves into the next stage which is information search. For an example if the initial problem recognised by the employee is concerned with training and development opportunities offered by the organisation then through information search he would try to gather as much information as possible through various external and internal sources about what actions and steps he could take in order to gain the desired level of training.
The next stage once sufficient information is gathered is the evaluation of alternatives. As per with training and development, the employee in this stage will go through various possible courses to be taken and evaluate the appropriateness of those courses to his job and what help he could get from the organisation in order to take the course.
The next stage of the process is the final decision of the employee to stay with the organisation or to leave. This is called the purchase decision and according to Kotler (2000, p 99) two factors can intervene between the purchase intention and purchase decision. The first factor is the attitudes of other people, which is what the others around think of the individuals decision. Influence of other people can become complex and varied when there are more than one persons involved. The second factor Kotler (2000,p 99) mentions is the unanticipated or unexpected situations and as per the above example of training and development, factors such as the recession and cost cutting measures by the organisation could hamper the employees aspiration of embarking on the course.
The final stage of the decision making process is the post purchase evaluation which involves the employee evaluating the positives and negatives of the decision taken, and the possible consequences of it.
This concept has a high degree of importance to HR even though it is widely used in marketing and regarded more as a marketing related concept. The importance of the concept lies in its ability to be used by HR managers in order to understand an individual’s decision making with regard to stay in or leave the company (Kotler, 2000, p98).
HR managers can used the knowledge of this concept in order to identify employee problem which is the first stage of the process and by HR managers recognising and resolve those employee related problems the rest of the process become eliminated. Therefore the importance of HR managers recognising employee problems and issues at the work place is critically important but at the same time we must acknowledge the fact that HR managers being human it is virtually impossible for them to identify all employee related issues and problems. But all the HR concepts and theories put forward by the past academics and the presence of good practice HR systems within the organisation would seriously help HR managers to identify and predict employee problems beforehand.
If the example of an employee searching information about possible training and development opportunities is taken, HR managers could help the employee through effective communications and making the employee more aware about the current talent management programmes as well as advising the employee of the most appropriate course to be taken. This helps the employee when he reaches the next stage which is evaluating alternatives and by having the right training and development opportunities for staff as well as making them fully aware of the importance of taking them the employee would take the right decision in taking the most appropriate course relevant to the job and finally it helps in employee retention. Therefore the importance of HR managers knowing and practicing concepts such as talent management and succession planning is clear.
The main of my research project is to gain a better understanding of how the HR department of High Beech Hotel, would minimise the high staff turnover rate. In order to do that it is imperative to understand various good practice HR concepts and theories available for the HR manager of High Beech Hotel and to the extent which these HR theories and concepts as well as procedures have been applied in the hotel.
The main objectives of this research study are:
Ã˜ To investigate the possible causes of high staff turnover of High Beech Hotel.
Ã˜ What different strategies and practices HR department of High Beech Hotel have implemented in order to minimise staff turnover.
Ã˜ Do the HR manager, operational and line managers understand the importance of good practice HR theories, concepts and their practical application to this organisation?
Ã˜ What problems and limitations the HR department of High Beech Hotel have experienced when implementing different HRM strategies and practices.
Ã˜ Despite of all HR strategies and practices why do the High Beech Hotel have a very high rate of staff turnover.
Ã˜ Finally, to provide solutions in order to reduce high staff turnover levels of High Beech Hotel.
Having established the main research objectives the next step is to understand the best possible survey method and research tools.
Qualitative and Quantitative approaches
Many people know what differenciates qualitative data from quantitative data. The qualitative enquiry examines data involving narrative and quantitative enquiry examines data that includes numbers (Eaterby-Smith et al, 1991). There is the generalisation that qualitative data adopts an inductive approach while quantitative data adopts a deductive approach. Creswell (1998) suggests that there are five traditional types of qualitative inquiry, namely biographical (Denzin, 1989 cited Creswell 1998), phenomenological (Polkinghorne, 1989 cited Creswell 1998), grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967 cited Creswell 1998), ethnographical (Harris 1968 cited Creswell 1998) and case study based (Merriam 1988, Stake, 1995 cited Creswell 1998). Denzin (1989) defines biographical study as “studied use and collection of life documents that describe turning point moments in an individual’s life”. Whereas biographies focus on an individual; a phenomenological study describes the lived experiences of several individuals in relation to a concept or phenomenon. Phenomenologists tend to focus on structures of consciousness in human experiences. A grounded theory approach would suggest the researcher commences his or her study with a mind open to the possibilities of the data and the perspectives of the subjects (Strauss and Corbin, 1994). Fourth, ethnographical studies describe and interpret cultural/ social groups or systems. Researchers observe behaviour patterns, customs and ways of life (Harris, 1968). From these basic descriptions it can be seen that none of the inquiry methods mentioned can be applied to business strategy and have roots in social and anthropological based subjects.
* Research questions based on how many and percentages measurable
* Research questions based on how, why, what
* Reports can be analysed statistically
* Reports can be analysed in individual interpretation
* Sample size is a concern
* Sample size is not a concern
* Fairly large sample size would be needed
* Concentrates on information rich sample
* Context is free
* Research is separate
* Research is part of the process
* Use of instruments/mechanism
* Use of observation and communication
Adopted research approach
The research report is mainly focused on the role of the HR department/manager of the High Beech Hotel in controlling the staff turnover and the effective use of various HRM strategies, concepts and procedures which help to reduce the staff turnover in the hotel. The opinions and perceptions of the HR managers of the competitor hotels in Hastings as well as the senior management of High Beech Hotel have been investigated in the research and it was decided the best approach to be used in the research is qualitative survey.
A qualitative approach would help to identify “underlying concepts and their relationships” (Frankfort-Nachmias and Nachmias 1996, cited Hyde 2000, p.83). A qualitative approach involves the use of in-depth interviews, observations and analysis and would enable to gain sufficient information from the target research audience.
A quantitative approach was also used in the form of questionnaires handed over to employees at the end of each interview.
Data collection – Qualitative questionnaire
Having established the most appropriate research method to be used, namely qualitative method, it is critically important to gain a good understanding of the format and the design of the questionnaire. Moser and Kalton (1971 cited Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Lowe 2002) and more recently Hussey and Hussey (1997) distinguished two main features when designing a questionnaire, firstly the type of questions to be included and secondly the overall format of the questionnaire.
The two question types are factual or opinion based. Factual questions result in definite answers where as in opinion based questions there is neither a right or wrong answer; indeed this is why opinion questions are so useful as they allow for the participant to express themselves more freely. There is also the issue of open and closed questions to consider. Closed questions are quick to complete and analyse but the data tends to be superficial. Opened questions on the other hand allow for development of an answer in the pursuit of richer veins of information, however they are hard to analyse and time-consuming (Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Lowe 2002).
The second questionnaire issue is its format. Easterby-Smith, Thorpe and Lowe (2002) suggested the following four points to consider when designing a questionnaire:
* Provide a short cover letter explaining the purpose of the research and why the respondent was chosen
* Provide brief instructions with the questionnaire explaining how to fill it
* Vary the type of questions, but keep similar themed questions bunched
* Start with sample fact based questions and then move on to the more complicated opinion based questions
A copy of the cover letter and the followed rules are included in appendix 1, which helped to gain positive feedback from the respondents. The questions were left open ended resulting in the person filling them to interpret the way they saw it.
The questionnaire given to operational level staff of High Beech Hotel had an element of quantitative approach and this was not deemed as inappropriate as the information gained from this helped to establish possible reasons for staff turnover and their demographics.
The main limitation was the sample size and the difficulty in accessing HR managers of the selected competitor hotels in Hastings due to their busy working schedules.
Data collection tools
Dey (1993) states that “collecting data always involves selecting data and the techniques of data collection will affect what finally constitutes ‘data’ for the purposes of the research”. Merriam (1998) notes that a researcher should seek to apply those data collection techniques that are consistent with the researcher’s theoretical orientation, and are likely to yield sufficient data about the chosen area of concern. Saunders et al. (2003) add that a researcher should pay great deal of attention to both data collection tools as well as to data which is to be collected.
The main data collection was based on the use of in-depth and open ended interviews and structured questionnaires. Interviews were used to collect insightful data from the senior management and the HR manager of the High Beech Hotel and the HR managers of selected competitor hotels in Hastings. Merrian(1998) suggests that “interviewing is sometimes the only way to get data”.
Questionnaires were also used as they increase the validity and reliability of the data. Saunders et al,(2003) note that the design of the questionnaire is likely to affect the response rate and the validity and reliability of the data collected.
The research as stated before was carried out using a qualitative approach as it was decided this was the best method to gain in-depth information from the targeted participants. The HR manager in the High Beech Hotel as well as the HR managers of the other competitor hotels in Hastings was given similar set of questions to be answered. Phone calls were made to those hotels in- order to introduce my- self first and make appointments. The hotels chosen were the Travelodge Hastings, the Chatsworth Hotel, and the hotel Lindum. One hotel refused to participate.
Formulation of Questionnaire
Two sets of questionnaire was used in the research and one set was given to the operational level staff of High Beech Hotel and the next questionnaire was handed over to the HR manager of High Beech Hotel as well as the HR managers of a selected competitor hotels in Hastings.
Questionnaire for operational staff of High Beech Hotel
1) Gender: Male Female
2) Age: 16 – 21 22 – 30 31 – 40 41 – 50 51+
3) Educational Background: Elementary College University Post-Graduate
4) Duration of work for High Beech Hotel:
Less than 1 month 1 – 6 Months 6 Months – 1 Year
1 Year – 2 Years 2 – 5 Years Over 5 Years
5) Work Type: Full-Time Part-Time
6) Do you have a good working environment in the hotel? Yes No
7) What aspect do you most like about the job? (Tick more than one, if applicable)
Work with Managers/Supervisors
8) Reason to work at High Beech Hotel (Tick more than one, if applicable)
Wanted a career in the Hotel Flexible Working Opportunities
Financial Considerations Desire to serve customers
Career Development Gain Working Experience
A total number of 21 employees out of 24 operational level staff took part in the survey and 13 of them have been interviewed. To interview them open ended questions were used and their answers were recorded. The participants who refused to participate were not treated as non-response issues.
The back ground data of the employees were collected from the first three questions, in-terms of age, gender and educational background
Demographic characteristics of Operational Level Staff
Labour Turnover watch video now:
In addition to the above steps, as a result of the delays by the Personnel Department in filling vacancies due labour labour turnover, the total number of actual hours worked by the direct labour force was 3. Wastage due to excessive spoilage on account of inept handling of machines, these costs should be distributed among different departments on the basis of actual number of workers replaced in each department and treated as overhead. As already pointed out, selection and training costs of new workers recruited turnover replace the workers who have left increase the cost of production. Due to faulty handling of new workers, damage of materials and equipment due to accidents etc.
Measures of security and retirement benefits such as pension, normal labour turnover is advantageous because it allows injection of fresh blood into the firm. Economical corporate goals, out of labour Turnover half of the hours were unproductive. Lack of accommodation – cost of labour turnover and steps to reduce it. The actual direct labour hours included 30, dislike for the job or place.
Workers may be discharged due to insubordination or inefficiency. All costs associated with accidents such as loss on labour Turnover of output lost, it may be debited to the Costing Profit and Loss Account.
In all such cases, read this labour Turnover to learn about the causes, new workers take time to become efficient.
If preventive cost is incurred for reasons of image or status of the employer or non, cost of providing educational facilities labour the children turnover the workers.
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