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Staffing Issues among Small Hospitality Businesses

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In order for a hospitality institution, regardless of its size, to be successful, the manager must possess a range of professional skills. What concerns a small business, competition and marketing-related problems are not so prioritized as personnel issues. The latter present the aim of the study by Alonso and O’Neill focusing on labour force shortage and employee turnover and the way they affect hospitality enterprises.

Literature review allows making the following decisions: the factor of season plays an important role, but even at the peak of the season, the danger of underemployment cannot be fully eliminated; one of the major problems of hospitality business is a low skill rate and lack of loyalty caused by a low wage rate. The ways of handling these issues include seminars based on development of certain personal skills relevant to the professional sphere and introducing of financial incentives for the staff members with the best performance. The ultimate goal for such solutions is to provide a customer with a decent service level.

Methodology applied in this research was a combination of a quantitative approach (for interviewing the respondents) and qualitative (for analysing the influence of staff shortage and poor retention on the successfulness of hospitality business). Some methods, like face-to-face interviewing or distributing letters, were eliminated from the investigation due to insufficient efficiency. Telephone and e-mail contacting proved to be faster and more convenient for the respondents. The survey was conducted with a full compliance with the ethical considerations. Unfortunately, the research was based on hospitality business owners, and not employees, which could provide a better understanding of the problem. Besides, only a half of the intended sample (to be more accurate, 51%) was engaged in the study, which is a drawback of it. However, validity and variability rates turned out to be quite satisfactory, although the use of visual aids could have found more application in the study.

The authors make a conclusion that insufficient motivation, low job status, unstable and low wages, and seasonal character are the factors leading to unattractiveness of the industry to skilled labour and cause high employee turnover rates.

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