Cultural Diversity In The Hospitality Industry – Premier Inn Chester City Centre Hotel

Introduction

In this globalized world, cultural diversity is not a negative element while it is something which can facilitate the organizational glory. Though, it is not easy to manage the employees who are from different cultural backgrounds, but there are certain diversity strategies which can help in managing the cultural diversity. The cultural diversity can be managed through communication, facilitation of differences and capitalization and capitalization diversity by managing it through processes like employee development, performance management, succession planning and reengineering (Banks, 2015). This essay is about Premier Inn Chester City Centre Hotel which is a three start hotel. Organizations adopt interesting ways to manage the diversity. For example, Tabra incorporation has given employment to employees to various third world immigrants. Its workforce consist of immigrants from China, Ethiopia, Mexico, Tiber, Mexico, Laos, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and many other nations. It has recognized the importance of all these employees who belong from different origins and it has hanged 10-12 different flags in its premises to show the importance of country of origin of employees. The philosophy of this organization is to promote the diversity in a manner that it is not only tolerated by appreciated by everyone. The examples like this organization shows that diverse workforce has various benefits and it has helped it to achieve the competitive advantage (Diller, 2013). The present essay is about the analysis of the selected hospitality organization i.e. Premier Inn where it is analyzed that how cultural diversity could be managed to achieve the competitive advantage. This essay is about how cultural diversity could be managed to achieve the workforce diversity benefits. As said by Pieterse, Van Knippenberg and Van Dierendonck (2013), there are various benefits of managing cultural diversity and these benefits allow the organization to achieve the workforce diversity. It has been said by Ang and Van Dyne (2015) the companies that manage the culture effectively are better able to manage their cost. It helps in promoting minority friendly reputation among the employees who will join in future. Customers also prefer such organizations where cultural diversity is promoted. Trax, Brunow and Suedekum (2015) mentioned that diverse workforce is more effective in problem solving and creativity as compared to the homogenous workforce. The cultural diverse workforce improves the flexibility and adaptability for the environmental changes. This essay is based on both primary and secondary research about Premier Inn Chester City Centre Hotel for analyzing the cultural diversity issues and challenges. The primary research is based on a small scale survey which is conducted on 30 employees of Premier Inn before writing this essay. As per the current challenges, the recommendations for the cultural diversity management are also given.

Main body

Cultural diversity is beneficial for service sector organizations. The most important benefits of cultural diversity are improve employee morale, broader perspectives, global impact, innovation and enhanced productivity (Bellini et al., 2013). There are many successful examples of managing the cultural diversity in an effective manner which has provided the competitive advantage. In Australia, Hotel Nikko has achieved the competitive advantage owing to its diverse workforce which speak of total of 34 languages. In a similar manner, Qantas Flight Catering has employed the staff which belongs from 66 nationalities. The ethnic cuisines offered by Qantas has helped it to achieve competitive advantage as it offers food and ethnic as per the requirements of the customers (Canas and Sondak, 2013). The example of Don’s Smallgoods has reduced the costs and increased the profits with the help of cultural diversity which is promoted through language and cultural training. From the theories of cultural diversity, it is important to realize that cultural diversity is quite crucial for organizational progress. It is not a problem but it is an opportunity which allows organizations to achieve the competitive advantage and success. Premier Inn Chester City Centre Hotel has adopted various initiatives for managing the cultural diversity but the primary research has also identified some problems. Through managing the cultural diversity, it can achieve the competitive advantage (Trenerry, Franklin  and Paradies, 2012).

Current Practices and Major Issues of Cultural Diversity

In the hospitality industry, there are various challenges which are encountered. Premier Inn Chester City Centre Hotel has employed workers who belongs from various background and ethnicities. However, the primary research conducted at Premier Inn Chester City Centre Hotel indicates that there are problems which must be resolved for achieving the competitive advantage. The survey is conducted on employees which belongs to this hotel. The purpose of survey was to know the extent to which organization is taking the initiatives for meeting the cultural diversity challenging with the help of assessment and planning dimensions. The purpose of this research survey was to analyze how cultural diversity is managed at this organization.

There are various strategies which are implemented by Premier Inn to manage the diversity but its employees are still facing certain challenges. As told by Ozgen, Nijkamp and Poot (2013a), the respect in the workplace is important to be managed however, the survey results showed that this hotel is facing this issue where diversified workforce’s differences are not accepted and respected as they should be. Though, it could be promoted through teamwork and this is also being promoted in this hotel, however, the results showed that majority of employees believe that there is problem in respecting each other. Though, it is striving to reach that level where employees from all nations, background and ethnicities are respected equally, still there are employees who believe that there is room for respect for their culture from where they belong. In this hotel, there are people from various background hence there are more chances of conflict as there are more chances of racism, prejudice and discrimination (Barak, 2013). The survey results have showed that few employees believe that there is no such incident where they have faced such issues but there were majority of employees who had encountered such issues where they believed that their management did discrimination with them due to their cultural background. When there are employees who are from diverse background, their lifestyle is also different which must need to be accepted by other employees in the workplace (Ozgen, Nijkampand Poot, 2013b). The survey results showed that more or less employees are not facing any issues related to the lifestyle acceptance. Majorly, the employees believe that their lifestyle is accepted by other employees and they do no feel any problem in this aspect. It was also observed that Premier Hotel has also hired gay and lesbian workers to promote diversity and their lifestyle was also accepted effectively, as per the survey results. It is found that employees who belong from different ethnicity and culture are not given equal place in Premier Hotel. The survey results revealed that they have never received any training related to this aspect where the unfair prejudice against different ethnicity, color and culture is avoided. As told by Thomas (2012), in the sphere of diversity, gender diversity is also important. In the hospitality industry, gender equality issues are observed widely. The disputes over equal pay and opportunity for transgender employees are quite common. Though, Premier Hotel has dealt with the issue of transgender employees in an effective manner but gender equality issues between men and women are still found. It was found that there were around forty percent employees who believed that the opportunities for men and women are not equal. The survey results also showed that men and women salaries are not equal. This often creates the feelings of disgruntlement in them. Though, this is one of the oldest issue related to the diversity (Chen, Liu and Portnoy, 2012), but in hospitality industry, its instances are still visible and similar is found for the case of Premier Hotel. Podsiadlowski et al., (2013) stated that in the diversified work environment, the problems like harassment are quite easy to emerge and similar is observed for this hospitality organization. It is important to realize that harassment is key to success and it must be prevented and eliminated from the workplace as it gives indication of discrimination. The sensitivity for harassment is higher that even the slightest comment could be problematic. The primary survey findings showed that Premier Hotel is unable to manage the harassment issue and thirty percent respondent reported that they have encountered the issue of Premier Hotel. As said by the theoretical arguments of Hogan (2012), communication problems have higher propensity to occur if cultural diversity is not managed effectively. The results of survey showed that employees have also faced the issue of communication when they have to communicate with those employees who are from different culture. With the communication problems, the productivity of employees has decreased. Therefore, the communication problems must need to be managed to improve the staff interaction not only with internal stakeholders but also with the external stakeholders. according to Banks (2015), one aspect of diversity is about generation gaps. There are various generations which could be part of the workplace. However, the observation depicted that there were only young employees who were working there. There were very few employees who were baby boomers. Most of the employees were from Generation Y. The current practices of Premier Inn has also also lead to the conclusion that it hires young workforce. As given in its corporate social responsibility report, it is forty eight percent workforce is between 16-25 years. From the total recruitment done in one year has sixty percent employees who are aged among 16-25 years. It hires NEET population who are basically the individuals who are not in employment, education and training. The analysis of current practices and strategies indicate that it is striving to build and promote the diversity (WhiteBread Plc., 2014).

Proposed strategies for Cultural Diversity

From the above analysis regarding the current status of diversity at Premier Inn, this section provides the strategies for dealing with the cultural diversity.  It is an international brand and it is expanding in those nations which are different from it. Therefore, whenever it decides to expand in the new country, First of all, it should analyse the Hofstede Dimensions of the workforce (Arends, 2014). For example, if it is going to expand in any of South Asian Country like Pakistan, it should analyse the cultural dimension of that nation. Once analysed, then its human resource management strategies must be in accordance with the cultural dimensions. For example, Pakistan is a collectivist society, therefore, it has more opportunities to promote the workforce diversity through team development process. Likewise, Pakistan has a long term distance orientation, therefore, it should offer such compensation plans which are matched with this orientation; examples include stock options and retirement packages. Following are few recommendations for promoting the cultural diversity through human resource strategies.

As per recommendation of Richard, Kirby and Chadwick (2013), there must be equal employment opportunity for all employees during the process of recruitment and selection. There should not be any discrimination while hiring women or minorities. As it has been analysed for the cases of Xerox, IBM and J.C. Penncy, workforce diversity starts from the recruitment and selection process (Ted, 2005).There must be such recruitment and selection process where Premier Inn could harness the creativity of employees who belong from different culture. In the current U.K. environment, the incidents of lack of equal employment opportunities are common, it must be ensured by Premier Inn that people from all culture, ethnicity, gender, race and religion are given equal opportunity in recruitment and selection process (Williams, 2013).

Diversity could be promoted with the help of effective training and development practices. There must be arrangement of diversity training in Premier Inn where employees should be given training that how they can deal with the various issues which occurs when they have to work with people who are different from them. hey must be given training that how they need to understand each other differences and how they have to appreciate and respect the differences of their co-employees (Trax, Brunowand Suedekum, 2015).  Likewise, when employees are being sent for international experience, there must be training for ‘cultural shock’. The role of communication becomes more critical in such organizations where people from various cultures are working, therefore, it is recommended that communication training should also be provided.  As the issue of gender inequality is quite common in Premier Inn, there must be training for ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ for women (Richard, Kirby and Chadwick, 2013).

The performance appraisal process is a practice which can actually solve many of the current issues of Premier Inn regarding cultural diversity. It must promote objective criteria for performance approval of employees and issues like bias for gender and minority, discrimination and harassment should be minimized by taking appropriate actions against such issues (Martín Alcázar et al., 2013). The organizations like Digital, Esso, Westpac has promoted the cultural diversity by promoting fairness and objectivity in their performance appraisal. Similarly, the issue of pay differences should not exist in Premier Inn, and pay determination should be on the basis of skills, abilities and knowledge of employees. Their cultural background should not be used as the basis of pay determination (Yoder-Wise, 2014).

Conclusion

From the above analysis and discussion, it becomes visible that cultural diversity has a critical role to play in service organizations. The success of organizations depend on the level of cultural diversity. In the service sector, the organizations can achieve the competitive advantage by enjoying the benefits of cultural diversity. This essay was based on the analysis of current practices and issues of Cultural diversity in Premier Inn. The primary research has led to the conclusion that though this hotel is striving to promote the diversity management, but it is still unable to reach the desired level of diversity. It has hired employees who belong from diverse background, but it is not managing them through effective cultural management practices. the issues like ‘lack of respect’, ‘gender inequality’, ‘harassment’ and ‘conflicts’ has been reported by the employees of Premier Inn. In this essay, various human resource management practices are proposed which must be adopted by this service organization. It must take the help from the national cultural dimensions of the employees. It should promote the equal employment opportunity in the employees during the recruitment and selection process. It should promote the fairness and objectivity during the performance appraisal process. Likewise, the training opportunities should also be provided to employees to meet with the challenges of cultural diversity. They should be trained on how to deal with the employees who are from different background and it should also provide training on cross cultural communication. If Premier Inn will be implementing these practices in its hotel, there are higher chances that its workers will be satisfied from it. The satisfied workers also bring up greater productivity. Through realizing all of the benefits of cultural diversity and tackling with its challenges, Premier Inn can achieve the competitive advantage.

 

 

References

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