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Pearson BTEC HNC/D Diploma Business - Unit 19 : HR Management in Service Sector

Unit Description

Introduction

The selected organisation for this HR management in service sector assignment is InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, which is also informally known as InterContinental Hotels or IHG. InterContinental Hotels is based in Denham, UK, and it has multinational hotel operation. IHG is considered as the largest hotel company in the world in terms of room counts. As of February 2014, the hotel operates more than 687,000 rooms across more than 100 countries. The group has more than 4,600 hotels located across the globe. On an annual basis, the hotel reportedly serves 161 million guest nights. The hotel manages a number of brands including Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Even, Candlewood Suites, and Hotel Indigo. Most of the hotels under the group are operated under franchise agreements, and the rest hotels separately owned by the company. The brands are primarily held through franchising model, which enables the company to transfer the expertise in three fields including systems, hotel management, and marketing to the franchises. The real estate investment which are mainly the hotel properties are owned by the franchises. The company has formulated a common goal to be followed by all the franchises and partners, which is Great Hotels Guests Love. The company has aligned al its functions and activities to the common goal. All the human resource related activities are also aligned to the common organisational goal.

 

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Task 1

A) Briefly define the concept HRM and examine the role of human resource function in the service sector organisation. Discuss how it is contributing to the success of your chosen organisation

Human resource management (HRM) is a planned and long-term based approach of going on the subject of the people management related aspects in an organisation, rather than the old approach of simply managing the employees. In service industry, people or the employees are considered as the most valuable assets of an organisation. The role of the human resource management practises are identified by the service sector companies in order to attain competitive advantages by utilising the employee pool efficiently. The purpose and role of human resource management is multi-faceted and it has a long-ranging approach in its applicability. The concept and the driving principle behind the human resource management practices in service sector organisations are to run the people management process in the best way possible, and efficiently aligning the forces working with the organisation. In the UK labour market context, HRM practices have been responsible for taking care of various issues like providing equal opportunities to all, maintaining fair practices of employment, offering better benefits and compensations to employees, and developing the employees by training them properly. The role of HRM is also useful in the outside matters including maintaining the labour relationship and taking care of safety and health matters in the organisation.

The chosen organisation is InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, which has been practising the HRM exercises keeping the company’s long term strategic approach lined up with the proper employee management tactics. The HRM approach has been helpful for InterContinental Hotels in terms of increasing the effectiveness and expertise of the people working with the organisation across various geographical locations. The purpose of human resource management practises at InterContinental Hotels is broadly to make sure that the organisation is following in every part of the employee management system. The hotel has a solid approach towards the recruitment process (so that the best people are recruited to serve the purpose of organisation), managing and developing people (which makes sure that the employees are shaped in the best possible way possible), and also towards the employee reward process (to keep the employees motivated). With an overall approach, the hotel group has been able to taste success because of the employee commitment and employee motivation. The group has created an image in the sector for its better employee interaction, which is exhibited in the way customers and guests are treated at the hotel facilities. Better employees are attracting more customers, and hence the business is also doing better (Dowling et al, 1994).

B) Outline a brief human resource plan for your chosen organisation by analysing the supply and demand for service sector personnel in your business environment. You should be able to determine your future requirements and say how you plan to meet the needs

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the largest group of hotels in the world in terms of rooms (as of February 2014, the company had a room count of 687,000 globally). The hotel group operates over about 4,600 hotels located across more than 100 countries across the world. For such a big scale of operation, it is very important that the human resource planning is well sketched out in terms of supply and demand. If we consider the employment-related situation in hotel sector, then we need to examine the latest trends in the European market scenario, at the time of various market and economic strains and crunch situations. The hotel industry, in overall global market scenario, is relatively more worrisome in terms of the employment opportunity. Specifically the European market is seen as an inelastic employment market; in terms of employee’s mobilisation and employer’s affinity towards hiring certain group of population. As a result, this trend results in high unemployment rate in certain European markets. The inflexibility in the job market is reflecting in finding out proper employee for various positions at InterContinental Hotel. InterContinental is operating in such an industry, which has been traditionally suffering from high rates of employee turnover. Stricter work routine and excess work pressure have resulted in higher employee turnover. Hence, the hotel group needs to examine the requirement of better approach towards managing human resource and planning amidst the difficult market conditions in the Europe and other geographical locations across the globe.

The mode of managing hotels at InterContinental is different. It primarily manages various hotels owned by the franchises and makes sure that the global brand is kept intact, even though they are owned by other parties. The hotel group basically tries to sell its proficiency and expertise in the hotel management field to the franchises. This model requires skill intensive and people specific systems that are managed directly by the organisation. The hotel annually serves about 161 million guests’ nights through its various hotels and facilities across the locations. Moreover the goal of the company is to create the “Great Hotels Guests Love” theme across its facilities. In order to make everything fall into places, the hotel group needs to plan its future leadership trend. The growth at global scale will also result in demand for more work forces, and the human resource planning will be to fill up the vacancies amidst the tight European conditions. The hotel group can divide its workforce broadly in to four categories: Europe, America, Australasia and Middle East, Chinese territory. This will help in identifying the regional trends of employment, and help the management to take region specific steps to serve the purposes. In order to fill up the future leadership positions, InterContinental Hotels Group needs to groom the graduate recruits and shape them properly into future leaders. The group has to find the talents from the above mentioned four geographical groups and groom them with the local culture and guest needs. However, each future leader at InterContinental Hotels Group must have cross cultural mind set in order to serve the global customers (Wood, 1999; Storey, 2001).

Task 2

A) Examine the history of employment relations in the UK briefly and analyse the current state of employment relations in your chosen travel and tourism or hospitality organisation

InterContinental Hotels have ample setting up in the company’s organizational Behaviour that regulates the relationship between the employee and the company. The company has focused mainly towards providing its employees with individual freedom at work. The managers play crucial role in maintaining the relationship with the employees and the company. The company practices equal opportunity at the work place, and it starts right from the recruitment and selection program. The company runs graduate programs which are long term based plan to capture future leaders and groom them into shape. The hotel discourages any act of discrimination at work, and tries to maintain vibrant workplace. The hotel communicates its employees and the outsiders about employment and other key policies. The employment problem related grievance system is present in the hotel, which takes care of issues arising from misconduct by employees (Hollenbeck et al, 1997; Lucas, 1995).

B) Discuss how employment laws in the country affect the human resources management function in your chosen organisation

In terms of abiding by proper rules of conduct, the hotel tries to maintain fairness at workplace, and ensures that its employees are also abiding by the outlined rules. In unfamiliar situations, the employees can raise the concern which may arise from his or her manager or fellow colleagues. The concerns are raised through grievance methods at InterContinental, which are useful if the employee feels that there has been any form of misconduct. The employee must follow a formal procedure of complaint to the human resource department and the following steps must be coordinated with the employee. The grievance process assures the employee of ample confidentiality, and the employee has to offer his or her full support so that fair settlement can be done (Hoque, 1999).
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Task 3

A) Analyse the recruitment and selection policies and procedures in your organisation and discuss how job description and person specification can be matched for a specific job in the chosen organisation

The InterContinental Hotels group gives much importance to diversity and tries to implement inclusion across all aspects of its business located across various locations globally. The hotel practises the recruitment process and promotes the individuals in the organisation solely on the basis of their suitability. The hotel discourages any form of discrimination which may arise from various grounds such as gender, colour, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnic, religion, or marital status. The company also modifies its principles based on certain national or local legal requirements in some countries. The company provides opportunities for employee development and provides proper and ample training programmes which include management and leadership training to its employees. The company also provides succession planning for identified high-potential contenders in the company and provides development programmes specifically designed for women. The company has been acknowledged by the UK Government for its “Positive about Disabled People” initiative. The company also has a Disability Advisory Committee which takes care of recruiting proper candidates with any sort of physical disability. Because of its affinity and ability for recruiting people with disabilities, the hotel group won Springboard Award for Excellence award in the ‘Diversity in Employment’ category in 2008 (InterContinental Hotels Group, 2014).

We will discuss job descriptions and personal specifications for hotel receptionist job at InterContinental Hotels. The company publishes employment advertisement for the position in various print and online mediums. The candidates are then screened based on the matching criteria with the below mentioned requirements:

Job Title: Hotel receptionist

Department: Administration

Work and Responsibility: Full time permanent front office administrative work. The hotel receptionist will report to the Administrative Head of the particular hotel facility in London.

Location and Purpose: Hotel receptionist will handle the administrative works and front office reception related formalities of the hotel. The person will work with the administration and human resource department to in order to make the customer reception work go smoothly. The location is at the hotel facility located in Hamilton Place, Park Lane, London.

Person specification: The person be proficient in managing communications and have a pleasant personality. He or she must possess great amount of professional ethics. The person must have the qualities to meet the customer demand, and the efficiency to meet their complaints with priority. The candidate should be passionate towards managing people and should enjoy while interacting with people. The hotel reception should be open to interact with people from various social and physical backgrounds. As the hotel will have a large number of Asian and Latin American visitors, the candidate should have a fair idea about the cultural background of the people coming from different geographical locations (Dowling et al, 1994,; Goldstein, 1993).

B) Compare and evaluate the different selection process in your chosen organisation with another tourism or hospitality organisation

The InterContinental Hotels group mainly follows external recruitment method to attract candidates. The company prefers to advertise its positions on certain online sites which are intended to get a diverse mix of candidates. The selection process mainly follows the following flow:

Initial screening – the company can discard the misfit profiles through bio data filtering or primary interviews
Application – the screened employees will be asked to fill in the required application form in order to give overall idea about their personality and other personal things.
Employment test – for the job of hotel receptionist, the test should have psychological tests: which would include intelligence test, personality test, ability test, and aptitude test.
Interview- after the candidate clears all the tests; it is the time for one to one interview. The panel of line manager and administrative practice head should take the interview of the hotel receptionist. The process will be helpful in knowing the original and first-hand experience side of the candidate.
However, the company also follows various internal methods to fill up positions available within the organisation:

 

 

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Promotions or transfer- with promotion, the individual is offered employment level movement from a comparatively lower level to higher one. The transfer method involves moving internal employees in lateral movement from one grade to another, but in a different department or location.
Job posting: by this method, the hotel can publicise its job openings (which are hotel receptionist and cleaning staff in this case) on the company’s electronic or physical bulletin board.
Referrals: the company can escalate emails to its employee asking for referrals from them.
On the other hand, Hilton Worldwide focuses more on retaining its employees. The company has 100,000 employees across the globe, which are often referred as team members and the hotel ensures that the selection process is designed more towards identifying the long term based candidate who can be maintained with the organisation. The company practises similar method of internal and external recruitment. All the steps described in the case of InterContinental are same for Hilton Worldwide (InterContinental Hotels Group, 2014; Becker & Gerhart, 1996).

Task 4

A) Analyse how training and development contributes to the effective performance and organisational success in your organisation in general

Employees who are in proper shape, in terms of employability skills abilities, can lead the organisation successfully in the long term. Hence it is very much important that the company follows training and development practises to fully enable an employee to serve with best capabilities.

Training programs are short term based and they are aimed towards improving the set of minimum required amount of capabilities for the employment. Training can be on the job and off the job. Various on the job training programs include inductions, mentoring, and coaching.

Induction: Aim of the induction program is to make them familiar with the organisation, and it is offered to the new employees while they join the company.
Mentoring: It offers opportunity to the new recruit to gain the first-hand experience knowledge from an experienced mentor. It is targeted towards empowering the employees with new ideas and to increase their potential.
Coaching: It offers learning and development practises to the employee with more specific goals and objectives than mentoring. A coach is given charge of specific employee development with responsibility of an employee or a group of employees.
Off the job training facilities include role plays, simulations and lectures. These methods are theoretical in approach, and they are intended towards inculcating fundamental ideas of various areas of job. These trainings are offered outside the actual facility of work.

Development programs for employees are different from training programs in terms of applicability and employee’s association. On one hand, trainings are provided in the initial stages of employment which makes the employee understand basic requirements of the employment. On the other hand, development programs are aimed towards improving employee personality and skill sets. Development programs are longer in their approach compared to training. Development program requires strong commitment from the learner and it gives a continuous learning opportunity. InterContinental hotels identify the potential long term leaders and the identified employees are trained with required skills for future needs. The employees at various facilities of the group are given with more responsibilities and are asked to put their best efforts in right direction (Noe, 2002).

B) Critically analyse the current training and development policies and procedures of your chosen organisation

InterContinental Hotels have been practising a number of training programs related to various functions of the company and also have leadership development programs at place. The training programs are aimed towards making the employees understand various functions including Sales planning & Marketing, Revenue Management, Maintenance, Housekeeping, and Supervisory Leadership. The company offers the programs for various roles within the company and at various locations of employments. Employees are encouraged to take part in the company’s training programmes available online. Moreover the hotel group has formed a partnership with the Hospitality management & Research Institute, in order to develop training systems with more applicability and relevance.

The group provides the four promises to each employee in order to make them enable align with the growth opportunity offered by the organisation. The training and development are programmed in order to support the employees and give them ample opportunities in order to develop and pursue their career. The four promises based on which employees are trained are the following:

You will know what success means for your role
You will be involved in regular, quality feedback instructions
You will have the opportunity to develop both in your current and future roles
You will know what career opportunities are available with IHG around the world (InterContinental Hotels Group, 2014)
The company offers Senior Leadership Programmes which are structured in order to develop the required capabilities required for the employee who want to be at top-level management. It includes psychometric assessments, and the program contents are delivered by academics from leading universities. The program is concentrated on linking the employee’s personal and professional goals. The training and development facilities of the IHG are regarded as one of the best practises in the industry. The effectiveness of the programs has given result by bringing future leaders to the front, and by enabling the company possess a robust talented work force (InterContinental Hotels Group, 2014; Noe, 2002).

 

 

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Conclusion

In the hotel sector, the purpose of human resource management is to enable the organisations follow best methods of recruitment, employee management and development. The role of HRM is much more than just administrative management of employees. Role and responsibility of employees in service sector organisations are very important because they carry the value to the customers. The function of human resource management ranges from the employee selection and recruitment process to the employment cessation process. Hence it is necessary to perceive the HRM practise with strategic approach. Training and development activities are also helpful in building the employee efficiencies.

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