Hospitality Conflict Resolution
Hospitality Conflict Resolution
Question 1: Identify the different types of conflict in the scenario.
Conflict is common phenomenon in any workplace situation. “Conflict is the clashing of opposing values, beliefs or interests”. In the workplace conflict may result in effort being purposely made by one person or group to block the efforts of another, or in one person or group getting what they want at the expense of another.
Our current conflict scenario outlines different types of conflicts in a typical hospitality environment. The following types of conflict are identifiable from the scenario,
1. Conflict between colleagues and ourselves:
This can happen due to a wide range if circumstances. In our current scenario there is couple of instances of this type of conflict. Like between Jack and Amanda, as Amanda not-turned up for work two days in a row, so Jack as front office manager will have address this issue with Amanda, which might turned into a conflict. Moreover Jack and Maria (Room division manger) also had conflict regarding Jack’s role in order to rectify some existing problems.
2. Conflict between Work teams:
In most of the organizations different work teams work together, and possibility of having conflict quite usual. Like in our current scenario the front office team may have conflict with the Rooms Division team or with back of house.
3. Conflict between Staff and Management:
It is a common occurrence in many workplaces. For example in our present scenario, the Front Office Manager having conflict with Rooms Division Manager. Also the Front Desk Receptionist, Samuel having conflict with the Higher Management regarding the cash mishandling.
Question 2: List and describe the stages of the conflict in the scenario.
Conflicts generally progress through a number of stages unless resolved early. Mostly, conflict starts from a small event and it is not dealt with effectively, it can escalate to a crisis point. The different stages of conflict are Discomfort, Incidents, Misunderstandings Tension and Crisis. The following stages are predominant in our current scenario.
• Discomfort: In these situations things don’t feel right; you feel uncomfortable but may not be sure why; it may be difficult to identify the problem. Here in our current scenario a similar situation arose when Jack (Front Office Manger), after returning from his holidays, found that Amanda, one of his best employees, not turned-up for work two days in a row. Jack was unaware of the reasons, so he was determined to address this issue with Amanda as soon as possible.
• Incidents: In this stage short sharp exchanges occur without lasting internal reaction; something has occurred that leaves you feeling irritated or upset or with a result you did not want. As we can see that in our present scenario two particular incidents has occurred as being mentioned by Maria (Rooms Division Manager). The first, the M.O.D incident, where the Front Office Receptionist gave the Bell person the wrong room number. The second issue was, the spotter’s had not been asked for their keys at check-out by the Front Desk Receptionist.
• Misunderstandings: In these situations motives or facts may be confused or misconceived (have wrong idea of or misunderstanding); your thoughts keep returning to the problem.
• Tension: In these situations negative attitudes and fixed opinions weigh down relationships; there are likely to be significant changes in the way you react to or feel about others; the workplace relationship is source of constant worry or concern. In our current scenario this stage of conflict takes place when Maria and Jack were discussing about the second incident that occurred, where the spotter’s had not been asked for their keys at the check-out by the Front Desk Receptionist. Maria wasn’t listening what Jack had to say about correcting the problem. Maria had her opinion fixed and wasn’t ready to hear anything from Jack. This situation clearly indicates a Tension situation.
• Crisis: when conflict reaches this stage, behavior is affected; normal workplace functioning becomes difficult even impossible in some instances; extreme gestures may be used; you are dealing with a major event such as team member resigning or being fired. Now as we go through our current scenario we may find the first Crisis Situation happened when Amanda not turned-up for work two days in a row. Though the reasons were personal but still in some extent this created crisis in normal working condition of the Front Office Desk, as the desk was short personnel. The second Crisis situation happened when a Front Desk Receptionist named Samuel was found guilty of Cash theft. As a result Jack suspended Samuel, pending investigation and recommended his termination for violate of company policy.
Question 3: What are the consequences of the conflict to (a) The business and, (b) the individuals in the scenario?
Conflict is a part of our everyday life but it is our response to it that determines whether the outcome is negative or positive. Now the consequences of the conflicts that we visualize from the current scenario, are described in the following,
(a) Consequences to the Business: Considering the situation on the scenario when Amanda, one of the best employees didn’t turn-up for work two days in row caused problems at Front Office Desk. As the desk was short personnel on a busy time, so in the flurry of trying to take care of everyone, the receptionist had given the wrong room to the bell person. This has caused extra trouble for other staff to locate the luggage; moreover the guests will not be happy for this hassle.
On the other hand the Front Desk Receptionist, Samuel got suspended, will go through further investigation, and might end-up loosing his job. In that case the business has to hire another employee or has to train someone existing for the job, will eventually cost money for the business. So the different conflicts are having bad impact on business.
(b) Consequences to the Individuals: Different individuals involved in the conflict as described on the scenario have different impact. Like Jack was worried as Amanda didn’t turn-up for work. Furthermore, the Rooms Division Manager was distressed after returning from the M.O.D. meeting due to the mishaps happened as a result of the conflicts. Jack was under a lot of pressure to resolve different conflict situations, also the relationship between Jack and Maria may degrade after they discussed the incidents that happened earlier, as Maria wasn’t not listening Jack’s point of view about resolving the issues. Moreover, Samuel’s job has been suspended and may face termination at the end of the investigation, due the cash theft. Now the good thing is Jack has resolved Amanda’s conflict nicely, he understood Amanda’s situation and the conflict she had with her boyfriend, which eventually led her to keep absent from the work. Jack didn’t document this particular incident, and suggested her to concentrate on getting the situation with her boyfriend taken care of and come back to work happy.
Question 4: What are the points to remember when resolving conflict?
To be successful in resolving conflict you must be prepared to open the discussion and prepare an effective opening statement. Then you must be assertive and communicate clearly without appearing to be threatening. The points to remember when resolving conflict are,
• Don’t worry about assigning blame. It’s a waste if time, only creates bad feelings and sets you up for competition rather than collaboration.
• If it’s possible, take the time to plan the process – think through needs and rights of both parties, work out what you will say, think about what response you might get, etc.
• Remember that conflicts can be destructive or constructive. Have a positive attitude of working out how to solve a problem together and you are halfway there.
• Deal with strong emotions (usually with reflective listening or with time) before you try to solve problems.
• If you don’t have the time to discuss a situation properly, or there are strong emotions, make a time to talk about it later. This also gives you a chance to plan.
• Don’t put off resolving a conflict. If is easier to deal with at the early stages. The longer it is around the more destructive it may be.
• Being assertive doesn’t mean you should always be assertive. It means you have a choice. Sometimes it may not be worth it.
If we respond constructively to conflict situations in the early stages we can often resolve conflict.
Question 5: Self reflect on the scenario and change the scenario to remove the conflict. Summarize the points rather than rewrite the scenario.
Our current scenario depicts typical conflict situations in hospitality business organizations. When we go through the scenario we can visualize the facts that contribute towards different conflict circumstances. To start with, when Jack (Front Office Manager) returns to work after a weekend away in the country, he finds out that one of his best employees named Amanda didn’t turn-up for work two days in a row. Now this was an unusual phenomenon that Jack could expect from an employee like Amanda, so he was quite eager to address this issue with Amanda immediately. Moreover, Jack found that another two incidents happened earlier has made today’s situation worse, as Maria (Rooms Division Manager) came from M.O.D meeting and was distressed due to those mishaps.
Now as we can see from the scenario that Maria’s absenteeism was related to her personal problems with her boyfriend as they had a terrible argument. So Amanda took time to resolve this first so couldn’t come to work. Now this was unexpected for Amanda so in a sense nothing much could have been done to avoid this conflict. But the management could hire an additional person for the busy period to ensure coverage of such situations.
Another potential conflict situation took place when Maria and Jack were discussing issues regarding the 2nd incident where the Spotter’s had not been asked for their keys at check-out by the Front Desk Receptionist. During that discussion Maria was quite furious, and didn’t allow Jack to express his opinion at all. Now this was quite frustrating situation for Jack, but he dealt with it calmly and normally so further conflict didn’t occur. In situations like these Maria should be more reasonable and should have the mind-setup to listen what other has to say to avoid any conflict.
The last but not the least conflict to happen was the Cash Mishandling/ Theft done by Samuel a Front Desk Receptionist. He took $1000.00 from company account without notifying anyone, which is a serious violation of company policy. To support himself Samuel said he took the money for a room-mate who needed that to pay his medical bills. And Samuel had every intention to pay back the money tomorrow after he received the money form his room-mate. But this is not good enough, in order to avoid such conflict Samuel could have discussed this issue with his Manager or Supervisor and can sort something different. Which would been better for him and for the business as well.
Now in these ways the conflict situations described on the scenario could have been avoided.