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Work-Life Balance: Challenges and Opportunities for the Hospitality Industry

Hausarbeit 2012 25 Seiten

Führung und Personal - Sonstiges


Table of contents

(I) List of figures and tables

(II) List of abbreviations

1. Introduction
1.1 Background and purpose of the topic
1.2 Methodology

2. Current Working Conditions in the hospitality industry
2.1 Issue statement
2.2 Special Working Environment and Conditions
2.3 Subsuming of the current situation

3. Description and Analysis of different Work-Life Balance methods and instruments
3.1 Definition of Work-Life Balance
3.2 Importance of Work-Life Balance for the hospitality industry
3.3 Work-Life Balance methods and instruments
3.3.1 Flextime Work Arrangements
3.3.2 Family Services
3.3.3 Feedback Instruments
3.4 Validation of the WLB instruments for the hospitality industry

4. Best Practice of Delta Hotels: “Exceptional commitment to a flexible Workplace”

5. Future Outlook and Conclusion

(III) List of references

(I) List of figures and tables

Figure 1: Challenges and Opportunities for the Hospitality Industry

Figure 2: Overall Aim of Work-Life Balance

Figure 3: Survey about Family-friendly Businesses

Figure 4: Influences on Employee Satisfaction

Figure 5: Flextime Work Arrangements

Figure 6: Family Services

Figure 7: Feedback Instruments

Figure 9: Vancouver Tourism Awards

Figure 8: Best Employers

Figure 10: Summary Challenges and Opportunities

(II) List of abbreviations

illustration not visible in this excerpt

1. Introduction

1.1 Background and purpose of the topic

Overwork, stress, a high employee turnover and a minimum time for the social life are just some of the negative working conditions for the staff in the tourism and especially in the hospitality industry. Human capital is a carrying pillar within every hospitality business. Employees have to be motivated to increase the customer satisfaction and ensure the economical aims of the enterprise. While the enquiry for the balance between social life and work has been recognized by various industries, the hospitality industry seems backward regarding the implementation of Work-Life Balance, later in the text also abbreviated as WLB, methods. Hospitality businesses have to realize, that the success of the business is no longer just based on natural conditions or advantages of the location or special tourism activities within a destination. The focus has to be more on the human capital. Therefore, the motivation and satisfaction of the employees should be a superior aim for the human resource management within the hospitality industry. (Lee-Ross and Pryce, 2010; Henschel, 2001)

Unfortunately, the gap between work and the social life is growing and leads to an enormous enquiry for a balance between these two important points in life. The problems arising out of this current working situation are diverse and reaching from chronically time pressure to a decrease of birth-rates and working mothers. (Esslinger, 2007)

Therefore, the importance of this topic shall be discussed for the hospitality industry. The overall purpose of this work shall be the finding of suitable opportunities and instruments for the implementation of Work-Life Balance methods for the hospitality industry.

1.2 Methodology

The report will be based firstly on a short illustration of the current situation of the working conditions in the field of hospitality, to have a good starting base for the later discussion, analysis and the solution finding. Secondly, the theory of Work-Life Balance will be described and different instruments will be pointed out and analyzed for their usability in the hospitality industry. The three different instruments of the flextime work arrangements, family services and the feedback shall be used as a base for this analyze. Thirdly, the evaluated outcomes will be connected with a best practice example of the Delta Hotels chain, which has successfully implemented the WLB theory into their daily working operations.

A literature conducted analyze is used to gain the theoretical knowledge. The usage of different studies, professional articles and best practice examples, shall help to achieve a direct connection between theory and practice.

2. Current Working Conditions in the hospitality industry

2.1 Issue statement

The issue statement shall point out general economical and social changes within the current working environment. The recent global developments had an impact on the relationship between employer and employee. Developments regarding the employer/employee relationship can be named as demographical changes, increasing pressure from competitors, global worker mobility, economical “boom and busts” and so on. Social developments like an increasing number of working women, a shortage of time or a higher physical and psychological pressure at employees, leading to big problems like decreasing birth rates and diseases like burn-out. Furthermore, long existing organizational and working environment structures changed. The outcomes have been different, on the one hand, employers are managing these changes proactively and adapt to this new situations. On the other hand, the outcomes have not been so enlightened and problems for the employees and the management arisen. Those changes can lead to high overwork with a wrong or unbalanced working schedule and to excessive demand and require an autonomous work time management. (Oechsle, 2008)

Certainly, the working conditions in the hospitality industry have been also hidden by those shifts. Not only the current economical changes are affecting the hospitality industry, also particular environmental working conditions are influencing the well-being and WLB of the employees. The next chapter shall point out the special working environment and condition within the hospitality industry. (Lee-Ross and Pryce, 2010)

2.2 Special Working Environment and Conditions

Nowadays, hospitality staff is “sick of gloomy” working conditions (Lee-Ross and Pryce, 2010, p.11) like the case study from 2007 of 1000 hospitality workers, from the United Kingdom, is showing. According to the outcomes of this survey, employees are willing to take more sick days, 19 days off, as employees in other industries, eight days. This leads to the question, why the hospitality industry has such an enormous development of increasing sick days and unsatisfied employees. Therefore, this chapter shall identify the main drivers for the current working conditions within the hospitality industry. (Lee-Ross and Pryce, 2010)

The hospitality industry is affected by an instable and sometimes also unpredictable demand. The peak times have to be managed with overwork and during low-seasons, the staff and the management, have to oversee a high presence time. That means, the employees have to be present in the hotel, e.g. at the reception, even if there are no customers. That can breed to bored employees and high costs for the management in terms of human resources. Presence time can be seen as unproductive time and should be just as avoided as overwork, because the human resources are not efficiently used. Another big problem is the parting shift system, which can be often found in the hospitality industry. The employee is starting work in the morning, takes a break at the afternoon and is starting the shift again in the evening. Thereby, the employee is losing the whole day and has no real chance to get a mentally cut from work to leisure time. (Henschel, 2001)

Not only problems regarding the work time have to be mentioned. Proper employee trainee and qualification programs are hard to set into practice within the hospitality industry. This can be ascribed by the size of the companies in this economical sector. Mostly hospitality industries are small and medium enterprises and do not have the financial as well as human resources to implement a proper employee qualification and trainee system. This circumstance can also lead to unsatisfied and unqualified employees. (Lee-Ross and Pryce, 2010)

A last big point to mention is the high fluctuation within the hospitality industry; fluctuation rates of 60% are not unusual. Those numbers are far more than in other branches. For the hotel, the outcomes of this numbers are clear, enormous costs for replacing the lost employee and productivity damages. (Henschel, 2001)

2.3 Subsuming of the current situation

Whereas chapter 2.1 pointed out general economical changes and new circumstances for the employee and employer, chapter 2.2 focused on special current working conditions within the hospitality industry. Combined, the given information alludes to increasing challenges in terms of employee satisfaction, motivation and the creation of a healthy working environment. Figure 1 is illustrating the main working challenges within the tourism industry.

Figure 1: Challenges and Opportunities for the Hospitality Industry

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

(Source: Own illustration based on Lee-Ross and Pryce, 2010)

Those are current challenges; a hospitality industry has to overcome to run a successful business, with satisfied employees and customers. Therefore, the author was trying to find suitable opportunities to solve those problems inside the hospitality industry. The question mark in the illustration, figure 1, stands for the unanswered question, if a lived Work-Life Balance can be the solution to overcome the challenges within the hospitality industry and find opportunities to create a better working environment.

An evaluation of Work-Life Balance methods and strategies shall help to find an answer. The next chapter will present the mode of action of WLB and the importance for the hospitality industry. WLB methods and instruments will be introduced and validated regarding their suitability for the hospitality industry.

3. Description and Analysis of different Work-Life Balance methods and instruments

3.1 Definition of Work-Life Balance

The term of Work-Life Balance is a rather dazzling then fundamental term. (Oechsle, 2008) There are various definitions used to get a better understanding for the term of Work-Life Balance. A psychological perspective at the topic is given by Resch and Bamburg; they are arguing that the work is a part of the life and not an extra excluded part, so the term of Work-Life Balance can be seen as irritating. Much more, the focus should be to hold negative life experiences to minimum and positive experiences to a maximum. (Wiese, 2007)

Oechsle (2007) is describing the term Work-Life-Balance at different dimensions:

- the normative level
- the level of action
- the level of organizations

Those will be described in the following more in detail.

The normative level is expressing the overall balance between the different life areas; a wholly successful life shall be reached.

Figure 2: Overall Aim of Work-Life Balance

illustration not visible in this excerpt

(Source: Own illustration based on Lee-Ross and Pryce, 2010, p.141)



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
1 MB
Institution / Hochschule
Fachhochschule Westküste Heide
Work-Life Balance Tourism Hospitality human resources employee motivation hotel industry hospitality management Work-Life Balance methods Work-Life Balance instruments Feedback Instruments Flextime Arrangements Flextime Work Arrangements Working Environment Working Conditions



Titel: Work-Life Balance: Challenges and Opportunities for the Hospitality Industry