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Summative Assessment (40572/20) 7RTM

Learning Outcomes:
1. Analyse and evaluate the major features of national and international employment markets
from which organisations source staff and ways in which these markets evolve or change.
2. Play a leading role in the development and evaluation of resourcing and talent management
strategies, diversity management and flexible working initiatives.
3. Manage recruitment, selection and induction activities effectively, efficiently, lawfully and
Assessment brief/activity
You work in the head office of a rapidly growing UK based budget hotel chain which has a focus
on providing high quality, but basic services. The HR Director is aware that the hotel chain has
been experiencing problems with the resourcing of staff in both managerial and reception roles.
This has been attributed to the unsociable hours, as well as the extensive responsibility of the roles.
Staff turnover in both these roles is much higher than the sector’s average and a great concern for
the organisation.
The hotel chain also has discrimination cases pending which, when reviewing turnover and current
staffing, it is suggested that there is a large numbers of females leaving both roles and practically
all managers are now male. Current reception staff are working extra shifts to cover shortages of
staff especially in London and the South East. The reward package is above the norm for this
segment of the sector. The reception and management roles are made up of full time and part time
permanent staff as the hotel has a commitment to staff and to the high quality services they provide.
Contracts have mobility clauses (staff may be required to work in any of the hotels within their
region) these have only recently been utilised however. Shift hours are fixed although the days and
nights staff are required to cover frequently change.
The organisation is concerned about some of these resourcing issues. Your new HR Director has
asked you to produce a proposal in the form of a 3000 word report which draws on examples of
organisational practice and academic literature to provide a rationale for a new resourcing and
retention strategy.
Your proposal should provide the HR Director with an analysis and evaluation of the following:
 the key features of the employment market, such as labour trends that may impact on the
recruitment and retention of suitable candidates for the roles
 recruitment, selection and induction practices which are: effective, efficient, lawful and
professional and are appropriate to each of the roles in question
 retention strategies, diversity management and flexible working initiatives that will address
the issues experienced by the hotel chain
The analysis and evaluation should provide a rationale for new resourcing and retention strategy
which will enhance employee retention and thus facilitate employee diversity, and support flexible
working initiatives.
All submissions should be in the region of 3,000 words plus or minus 10% and referenced


An increasing number of studies have been dedicated to resourcing and retention strategies
attempting to identify employment policies with a strong impact on business performance.
This rapport aims to provide a proposal for a new resourcing and retention strategy for a hotel
chain budget experiencing resourcing and talent management problems.

Effective retention is one of the talent management key strategies. Practitioners and researchers
have tried to identify the strong factors leading employees to leave or stay with an organisation.
Employees’ high turnover is linked to a variety external and internal factors and so far, there has
been little consensus in findings. This could be partly explained by the huge diversity of
organisational cultures, industries, employees` profiles, countries, epochs, and paradigms,
theoretical models, and research perspectives.

Whilst there is no single strategy for employee retention, concerted HR practices can minimize
turnover levels and support employees’ engagement. Based on the issues experienced by UK hotel
chain under this research, the present study analysed a limited number of policies likely to solve p
critical problems in the hotel chain.

For this purpose, the following specific critical axes of action have been retained:

 Leadership and organisational culture

 Employees motivation and job satisfaction
 Work-life balance and flexible working conditions
 Ethics and lawful working environment
Correlated factors in resourcing and retention, such as training and development, rewards or
promotion have been discussed very briefly. The core of analysis is centred on the four
dimensions, considered strategical change drivers context in which the hotel chain develops
its business and kind of problems. The proposal had drawn on examples of organisational
practice and academic research and aimed to result in the development and implementation
of an efficient rationale for a new resourcing and retention strategy.

Based on academic research, professional reports, surveys, case studies hereby referenced,
the consulted literature enabled to both develop an insight of relevant theoretical models, and
establish a conceptual analysis framework with practical business perspectives providing a
rationale for a reviewed resourcing and retention strategy.

However, this report is restrained within the length limits required to debate a set of specific
issues, based on the hotel chain case study`s information.

The expected results are directed towards a diagnosis of dysfunctionalities; immediate

interventions for readdressing current major issues; medium-term action plan to develop solid
pillars in the architecture of a new strategy; revitalizing internal culture and mobilisation to
monitor expected changes.


A rapidly growing UK based budget hotel chain which provides basic but high-quality services, is
experiencing a series of internal problems related to resourcing, retaining employees, pending
discrimination cases, overload due to shortages of staff and significant turnover of women at both
managerial and reception levels.
A new resourcing and retention strategy to enhance employee retention, facilitate employee
diversity and support flexible working is one of the priorities of HR manager.
The rationale for a new strategy has been underpinned by an analysis of major external factors,
(industry features, political context, legislative constraints, technology, labour trends and
internal factors (organization’s size, internal policies, leadership, workforce profile).
The process of designing a new strategy started with an organisational diagnosis, followed by the
content of the strategy, implementation plan, cost analysis, and plan for overcoming possible
The issues experienced by the hotel have disruptive effects, entail costs, and affect customers,
employees, third parties, or business performance. In the same time, is an opportunity to reflect
for improving its internal culture, policies, management systems.
Effective retention strategy is one of the talent management key strategies. The causes of high
labour turnover within the hospitality industry tended to highlight casual factors: poor pay,
unfriendly working hours, ineffective training, lack of promotion (Deery, 2008); (Heskett, Sasser,
Schlesinga, 1997) or poor work-life balance (Kouzes and Ponser, 2007). These factors may impact
negatively upon employees’ satisfaction (Verma, 2013), engagement (Hugles, 2008), or retention
(Riley et al., 1998). Whilst turnover patterns may vary with size, job categories, market segment
of the business, it becomes of particular concern when becomes a phenomenon ingrained into the
workplace culture, systemic, leading to functional disequilibrium and impacting on the quality of
organisational performance.
Labour market in hospitality industry
Hospitality industry operates in an increasingly challenging environment due particularly to the
uncertainties brought by Brexit. Various scenarios have been coined regarding the impact Brexit
might have on UK labour market. Positive or negative, the approaching year would bring
significant challenges and changings on resourcing patterns.
UK hospitality organisations with a weak internal architecture would find themselves in a critical
position, unprepared to respond and to undertake an innovative approach. The impact on
profitability can be severe and immediate and the winner companies will be those equipped with
a strategy, inspirational leaders, human capital, adaptive policies and a solid culture.
Hotels profitability post Brexit may be seriously affected since their demand is heavily decided by
external factors (Nickson,2007). Of significant importance is to prepare a detailed Brexit checklist,
spot emergent trends and contraints, monitor legislation, consider changing patterns on labour
markets, undertake internal analysis, engage effectively reourses for addressing current issues and
prepare for new challenges.

Hospitality industry has developed a negative perception illustrated by numerous studies (Hoque,
2000; Kelliher and Perrett, 2001; Lucas 2004; Baum, 2006; Nickson, 2007). Industry`s workforce
consists largely of people from secondary labour market (Nickson, 2007) composed of “marginal
workers”, part-time, low-paid, low-skilled, transient, tourist-workers (Wood, 1997). This context
acted as a demotivator for employers to invest in retaining policies and lead them to accept as an
inevitable situation. The pressure of both external and internal issues, resulting sometimes in
employment law issues, have pushed hotels to review their employment relationships and act
towards new resourcing and retention models. Recently a growing number of studies highlighted
an emergent positive trend in hospitality industry and portrayed a strong relationship between
HRM and performance (Hoque, 2000).

Designing new resourcing and retention strategy

Designating a new resourcing and retention strategy is a complex process that requires a strategic
commitment about organisational change. It should be an incremental process with multiple steps
and ideally to originate into a conceptual managerial model. Literature provide with plenty of
models of organisational performance. The “Motivational model of work design” (Cordery and
Parker, 2007), High Involvement model (Vandenberg, Richardson and Eastman, 1999) are
theoretical frameworks of how attaining business performance.

Change is usually approached with reticence, diffidence (Einhorn and Hoharth, 1986) or with
overconfidence and a strong risk-seeking (MacCrimmon and Wehrung, 1986). How to face the
change and implement a new organisational architecture is a challenge. The “high-involvement”
work system (Lawler, 1986) brings forward a strategic key component, the impact of leaders. The
best HR strategies are useless without strong commitment to implement (Hutchinson et al. 1998).

Competitive advantage and differentiation strategy

The hotel chain is a rapidly growing based budget hotel whose differential strategy is the quality
of services. The capacity of providing high quality services lies on a superior management, team
quality, competence, courtesy, credibility, reliability, engagement, customer- oriented philosophy.
A recommended differentiation strategy is through employees. This is an avenue conducive to
performance and establishes in time a highly differentiated position among competitors (Porter,
Michael E, 1985).

The strategic role of HRM and performance management

Since the earliest attempts of Schuler and Jackson (1987) until today, complex models have been
developed to indicate how HRM could be a source of competitive advantage to organisational
performance (Legge, 1995); John Storey (1989), Keith Sisson (1990), Armstrong and Baron
(2002), Grant and Shields (2002), Purcell J and Wright P (2007). Whilst ideal types may not always
depict the complex reality of what really hospitality industry faces, the way in which hotels take
full advantage of suitable models would make the big difference.

Performance management (PM) is a process intimately related to organisational effectiveness. It

is an essential key in the retention strategy (Boxall and Purcell, 2011), (Kaplan and Norton, 1996).

Following the interpretation of data collected in the hotel chain, a new model of HR strategy could
be designed. The big challenge is to identify organisational success factors, critical areas to act
upon, and desired model to implement. Becoming an agile hospitality organisation requires
flexibility. The model developed by Dyer and Shafer (1999) is a relevant illustration of how HR
strategy should operate for a transformational change.

A high level of turnover may reveal neuralgic points at managerial level in terms of leadership,
planning, environment, team, workload, work-life balance, or discrimination. An appropriate
bundle of HR practices, strategically pointed towards critical areas would change the internal
dynamic of hotel chain. The ability to read trends, to mobilise rapid response through a change-
welcoming culture, to embed organisation learning through debate and experimentation, to equip
organisation with leaders and strategic talents comfortable with playing with change, paradox and
committed to business values are ingredients of an agile organisation (Dyer and Shafer (1999).

Hospitality industry goes through a continuous process of renewal. Customers` demands are more
sophisticated and even the syntagma basic services changed its meaning over time. Customers
have higher expectations and take it for granted to have access to a set of basic services in terms
of technology, facilities, wellbeing, customer-service approach, happy experience. Without the
available human resources, right people, skills, knowledge, to make all these expectations happen
there is unrealistic to expect delivering quality services. Moreover, customers are increasingly
concerned with the way organisations treat their employees when they are selecting their service
provider. An organisation with a controversy reputation is less likely to attract customers.
To answer adequately, hotel chain needs to consider hospitality sector challenges in their global
context and integrate appropriate changes internally. A more structured approach in terms of
skills; inclusion of apprenticeships/ schemes; social engagement, supporting hospitality diaspora;
support unemployed works to re-join the sector, encouraging and supporting the accreditation of
skills for employees’ retention in the industry. The participation of the hotel chain within industry
schemes organised by the British Hospitality Associations is proved to have a major impact on
the business performance (Boella M.J. and GOSS-Turner S2013) since it reveals the commitment
of the organisation to adhere to good practices in industry. These interventions would create, over
time, a distinctive culture and generate new internal resources to face an uncertain market.

HRM may add value to the business through how succeeds to build a strong employer brand,
contribute to operational efficiency, attracting best talents, promote diversity (Armstrong
2016), engage or retain; (Boxall and Purcell 2016); (Rees and Smith 2017). Strategic areas to be
retained: talent management, leadership, flexibility; internal communication or gender
balance. When fails to respond adequately, a detailed analysis of restricting factors should be
undertook. Constraints may derive from insufficient key skills on HR team; poor influence at
senior management level; inconsistent policies; ineffective collaboration with line managers;
lack of consistency, inadequate technology; difficulty to translate data into insights for
decision making.

Core Actions for an Improved Resourcing and Retention strategy

In line with the above argumentation, the retained areas of intervention for a better attracting
policy, a decrease of turnover levels, an increase employee engagement and better retention are
detailed as following:
 Leadership, culture and performance
The links between leadership, culture and performance (Ogbonna and Harris, 2000), (Alvesson,
2002), Thompson and McHugh 2001), Denison, 1990; Kotter and Heskett, 1992) are of particular
interest. The role of leaders in creating and maintaining particular types of culture (Schein, 1992;
Siehl, 1985) is a prerequisite of performance.
The main role of leadership is to deal with change (John P. Kotter, 1996). Giving to the
transformation the best chance to succeed requires to approach it like a process, and not as a
singular event.
The way in which culture can support organisational goals might be done through the adoption of
a distinctive workplace, collaborative working style, communication or way of how we are
working here (Ogbonna and Harris, 1992). An intense induction can lead to internalization of
values, psychological attachment, motivation to achieve performance.
The ability of the organisation to achieve deeper levels of cultural transformation can remain
problematic if there is no change in working conditions and terms of employment (Ogbonna and
Harris, 1992).
Whilst the cultural impact has its limitations, the cultural fit has a significant weight on employees’
decision to stay or leave.
The effectiveness of a leader in fostering the core values is a major determinant of the success or
failure of a group (Fiedler 1996; Hennessey 1998). Developing leaders to cope with a complex
external environment and some different generational employees and to sustain the distinctiveness
of the culture is a critical competitive advantage (Darcy and Kleiner, 1991; Hennessey, 1998; Saari
et al., 1988). A major intervention should focus on managers` induction into the hotel chain
organisational culture and ensuring their commitment to act consistently across departments and
Manager`s commitment to implement policies plays a critical role (Purcell and Hutchinson 2007).
The ability of managers to manage the “Emotional Intelligence” of their employees (Daniel
Goleman, 2007) is a great competitive advance in hospitality. The “black box” concept explores
the links between HRM and performance and is instrumental in analysing the gap between
management intentions and actions -workforce perceptions and organisational outcomes (Boxall
P, Purcell J, 2011). Analysis of current state of psychological contracts guides managers towards
the main causes of dissatisfaction (Grant, 1999). Understanding the dynamics of theories of
motivations and performance would enable managers to solve “performance equation” (P=f
(a,m,o)), (David Grant, 1998).
Organisational culture is strongly linked to business performance (Schein, 2004; Watson, 2006;
O’Farrell, 2006). Leaders, HR are the main pillars to create a climate for effective change (Orla
O’Donnell Richard Boyle, 2008) by changing habits (Charles Duhigg, 2012), shifting paradigms,

recognize trends (Otteribacher & Howley, 2005). A recommended differentiation strategy to be
considered is through leadership and culture. a transformation culture at leadership and
management levels should become a retained priority.

 Employee motivation and job satisfaction

Despite extensive research, motivation remains a challenging topic. The psychological contract
plays a critical role into retention strategy. One of the main influencing factors of job turnover is
job satisfaction; poor working conditions, lack of career progression deter individuals from
wanting to join or stay.
Abraham Maslow (1943), McGregor (1960), Vroom (1964), Hertzberg (1968), and Hackman and
Oldham (1976) examined various facets of employee motivation reaching broadly similar
conclusions. Recognition, personal autonomy, meaningful work, flexibility, positive feelings
(Feldman and Arnold, 1983); job pride, recognition, self-fulfilment, self-growth, skill utilisation,
variety (Reichheld, 1996; Spector, 1997, Hirschfeld, 2000) are some of intrinsic, job content or
extrinsic factors strongly related to job satisfaction, retention, engagement and productivity.
 HRM solutions for Skills shortages

Recruitment is an expensive activity. Attracting competent staff has been an endeavour for
hospitality industry even in a stable environment. Adequate planning, diversified recruitment
alternatives, robust induction and training cannot be underestimated (Rees and Smith 2017).
In the context of Brexit, talent management should consider:

 The impact of immigration changes. Lower cost migrant labour was a strategic advantage
(ABTA, 2016). Transitioning from a migrant to a domestic labour force may be costly and
needs planning (Rees and Smith 2017).
 Assess future changes in the labour market, legislative contraints;
 Develop recruitment strategies focused on alternative resourcing;
 Plan resourcing activities and allow enough time for attracting and selecting;
 Attract and retain through brand, policies, benefits, culture, leadership (Boxall and Purcell
2016; Armstrong 2016).
In the context of a shrinking talent pool, redirect attention on:
 Retaining current talent;
 Developing own bench of talent

 Work-life balance and Flexible working

Work-life balance is an increasing expectation nowadays. Numerous studies have shown the
positive impact of this policy on various pillars: enhanced job involvement (Caillier, 2012), job
satisfaction (Otieno, 2010; Mukhtar, 2012), performance (Sheppard, 2016; Rubel, 2014), and
retention (Hashim, et al., 2016; Deery, 2015).

Functional flexibility is assisted by flexible job design, cross-training, job rotation, enrichment.
These initiatives are correlated to practices as internal promotion, training, appraisal systems
(Wood and de Menezes, 1998; Baron and Kreps, 1999; Appelbaum et al, 2000; Guthrie, 2001).

A dominant characteristic of hotel industry is its reliance on numerically flexible staffing and
contingent workers. Increased flexibility options are ranked among the measures leading to
increasing commitment. Flexibility as employment practice can take the several forms: (Hoque’s,

- flexible job descriptions which facilitate job enrichment, cross-training;

- activate mobility across locations of chainhotel for a wider exposure to learning contexts;
- short rotations for task variety and lateral comptency enrichement.

Managers can adopt various forms of flexibility to meet and accommodate employee’s needs (part-
time, flex-time, staggered hours, compressed working time, self-rostering, annual hours, V-time
are possible arrangements to choose from). Offering flexible working can therefore have a positive
effect on attracting, engaging and staff retention. (Kelliher and Riley, 2002). Flexibility can enable
employees to achieve balanced work personal life and enable employer to respond more quickly
to customer demands.

 Ethics and lawful working environment

The hotel faces major issues with gender discrimination and women turnover, which might hide
deep problems from an ethical and legal standpoint. For an effective intervention, analysis should
focus on several steps. Firstly, an examination of ethical issues in hotel, critical areas retained after
previous investigations, identification of disruptive root causes (managers, law breaches, ethics,
discrimination, authority abuse?); spread of dissensions (local level or generalized across
regions?). Secondly, the actors involved.
The British employment system has been shaped by EU Directives. The UK’s departure from the
EU will affect employment laws. Some regulations and directives would become obsolete or not
mandatory whilst other would shape the new employees’ relations. Whatever might be the new
changes, there are regulations whose principles are basic human rights in every employees’
systems: health and safety, discrimination under all its forms, equal opportunities, and respect of

Contemporary HRM is faced more than ever with sensitive ethical issues. Managing a diversity of
cultures, people and emotions require a solid organisational ethics, theories of justice, managers
cognizant of cross-cultural decision making (Boella M.J. 2013). The way an organisation manages
complaints/ grievance reflects the maturity of management, ethics and compliance to regulations.

 Discrimination at the workplace

Regulations plays a growing role nowadays in almost every area of HRM, contributing to
rebalancing the power betweeen employers and employees, restricting abuse, promoting justice,
ethics, good practices in people management. The way hotel respect employement law from
recruitment, pay, working time, health and safety, grievance and discipline, equal opportunities,

until retirement or dismissal etc indicates its legitimity, credibility and attractivness for all its

Legal issues with its employees is proof of internal dysfunctionalities, an alarming sign for
employees, employer and third parties. It reveals unethical management, controversial practices,
and problematic workplace. Apart from being costly, is time consuming, resulting in damage of
reputation, inability to concentrate all efforts and resources on achieving productivity and

Discrimination is a sensitive matter. A company that discriminates, under any form, will be
curtailing the chances of attracting or retaining its employees.
Hotel chain under present research has discrimination cases pending, a large number of women
leaving their roles. Sexual and gender discrimination are both illegal in the UK (Equality Act
2010). Although illegal, it’s still an issue, taking more direct or indirect forms. Sexual harassment,
pregnancy/maternity discrimination, low female representation at managerial level. HR should act
through solid. non-negotiable policies. A zero-tolerance to all forms of discrimination, consistent
ethical behaviours are conducive to an inclusive, lawful and ethical workplace. Board-level is
dominated by men, which should rise concerns.

To address dysfunctionalities, the following actions may result useful:

 Identify critical area, discrimination forms, actors involved
 Ensure policies are in place to foster and protect employees’ rights
 Observe behaviors. Act immediately, consistently; communicate untolerable attitudes
 Improve gender balance across all policies
 Calculate gender pay gap - UK's Equality Act 2010
 Minimise unfair bias across policies
 Review respect of diversity in all its forms
 Persist with promoting gender diversity for an effective change
 Appoint managers who commit to achieving gender equality at senior and executive levels

Innovation is highly connected with inclusion and business success (Keogan Caoimhe, 2018).
Watching polices introduced by companies to ensure gender quality at work (Mandatory paternity
leave) ( Anderson.B. 2018) is strategical.
Inclusion takes many forms, at both formal or informal levels. Empowering and giving employees
a voice and involving them in all the stages of the Escalator of participation (Marchington and
Cox (2007), team briefieng (Derek Torrington, 2014), quality circles, surveys, consultation,
codetermination - are forms for inclusion.

Implementation and costs

Implementation is a major stage. Inconsistency, transgression, lack of commitment to concretise

agreed policies would lead to failure and generate dysfunctionalities at various business levels. For
a successful implementation, aspects to be considered:

 Unfailing support from Senior Management

 Cross- level communication of the new changes
 Shared information channels
 Clear assignment of responsibilities and involvement at all levels
 Realistic deadlines and budgets
 Follow-up and immediate action for readdressing dysfunctions
 Privacy and confidentiality
 Assessment of results obtained at the end of an agreed time frame

Acknowledging potential barriers to the implementation of the new strategy is important. Factors
such as resistance to change, inertia, cultural blockages, weak management, poor leadership,
change as an episode, inconsistency, poor communication, low understanding of the new directions
are factors leading to failure. For overcoming barriers, a rigorous periodical follow-up should be

High turnover costs are never enough emphasised. The costs for implementing the above-discussed
actions are far from being more expensive than the costs the hotel under research is paying
currently. Focusing on a retention strategy and correlated policies for reducing turnover levels
would improve significantly the management system of the chain hotel.


New resourcing patterns in the UK hospitality chain are emerging. Through leadership, culture,
adaptive policies, engaged employees, flexibility and agility, the hotel chain would find internal
resources for responding to external challenges.

The present proposal, with all its inherent limitations and imperfections, intended to provide a
framework of analysis and action for a new resourcing and retaining strategy. However, much and
deeper exploration remains to be done in the field on employee retention, resourcing, talent
management, flexibility or discrimination removal.

Probably no model or strategy will ever be perfect, adequate or relevant for any organisation,
industry, internal culture or employee generation. Future research would bring forward challenging
paradigms to support practitioners and business strategies.


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