This is a continuation of discussions between Egi Gaisie, a Hotel Educator/Trainer with Kodjo Hazel a former Human Resource Manager of Golden Tulip Hotel, Accra and Alisa Hotel, Accra respectively and who is currently a Human Resource Consultant in the hotel industry.
Mr.Hazel has been expressing his general opinions about personnel working in the hotel industry in Ghana from an earlier article.
Question: How would you describe the performance of personnel in the various departments; the front office, housekeeping, maintenance, food and beverage service and food production?
Response: Performances in the stated areas are really not good due to lack of strategies and practical plans and programs. Additionally production costs are very high leading to unprecedented losses in revenue. The area most affected is food production where food percentage costs are high on the average.
Question: Would you agree that placing the customer first instead of the employee first has contributed to negligence in addressing human needs in the industry?
Response: I will agree to a large extent. Most industry practitioners tend to focus heavily on customer satisfaction and paying lip-service to the prime-movers of the industry.
It is now a proven fact that one cannot grow a modern hotel without a strategy that shares equity among the customer, staff, the process, the finance and the environment.
Follow up: You know the Ghanaian hotel environment is quite different from elsewhere.
A few Ghanaian hotel entrepreneurs I have talked to may not agree with you on the need to share equity as you have suggested. It may not be practical in our environment.
Response: Well, they will discover it sooner or later.
Question: I find hotel personnel working in different hotels comparing themselves to each other without considering that every hotel has a unique environment. Would you encourage or discourage this practice and why?
Response: If such hotels are in the same star-rating category, then there is everything to compare. Even so, there is a grounded reason for comparing hotels of different sizes, that is, different numbers of room-inventory and environment.
At the end of the day it is not the hotel with a large fair-share that matters but the one, in spite of its size, has a sizeable market-share.
Question: What advice will you give those already in the industry who may be thinking about leaving the industry because they do not see advancement coming their way?
Response: They have no other option than to stay. The job-market is saturated with an attendant growing army of unemployed youth. The future portend is bleak and so my little advice to them is to “brighten the corner where you are”.
Follow up: Don’t you think this will make them become disgruntled, lose interest and become square pegs in round holes?
Response: That’s the reality. You can talk to most service providers in our hotels-Golden Tulip, Alisa, Aqua Safari and more.
Thank you very much.