University of Twente Student Theses


Establishing employee engagement within a Dutch hotel

Habraken, M.M.P. (2013) Establishing employee engagement within a Dutch hotel.

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Abstract:This research focuses on the emerging construct of employee engagement within a Dutch hotel. Recently, a new management has taken over the running of the hotel under study; launching with them a new look and fresh approach towards the business. Building on the already implemented changes, management now strives to create an organisation which is engaged; where the employees are satisfied, passionate and proud of working for the organisation and therefore willing to invest discretionary effort. To help with the establishment of an engaged workforce, in other words employee engagement, the management of hotel X wants to carry out a research among its staff. Therefore, besides the objective to discover the important drivers of employee engagement, a second aim of the study is to obtain an employee perspective on the discovered variables. The final research objective is to determine the associations between the variables under study and the employee engagement construct. From the aforementioned text, the following central research question is formulated: How to establish engaged employees at hotel X? To answer the proposed research question a literature study is conducted to first of all define the term employee engagement. By so doing an understanding of what the topic of the paper implies is provided. Secondly, literature models as well as models developed by consulting organisations are analyzed for the identification of the general antecedents (drivers) of employee engagement. Since the term employee engagement is still a relative recent construct both viewpoints are examined so as to gain insights and obtain contributions from practice, in addition to the academic data. The studied literature models are the Job Demands-Resource (JDR) model and Alan M. Saks model. The examined consulting models on the other hand originate from the following three organisations: Aon Hewitt, Burke and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES). The gathered antecedents to employee engagement however provided a too long a list to be able to investigate them all. Therefore semi structure interviews are carried out to find out which antecedents of employee engagement are important to hotel X. This process resulted in the decision to study the following antecedents of engagement: social climate, supervisor relationship, the job characteristics autonomy & skill variety, organisational goal information, organisation wide information, own work information, organisational goal participation, organisation wide participation, own work participation, learning opportunities, career opportunities, service vision, customer treatment and innovative climate. Since the focus of study 2 is to obtain an employee perspective, insights are gained, via an online questionnaire, on how employees at hotel X currently experience the above mentioned antecedents and what their wishes or suggestions considering these variables are. By performing a correlation analysis on the acquired data, information is obtained on whether associations exist between the term employee engagement and the antecedents under study. The results of the correlation analysis indicated that the following antecedents have a significant, weak to moderate, positive association with the employee engagement construct: social climate, supervisor relationship, the job characteristic skill variety, organisational goal information, organisation wide information, own work information, service vision and innovative climate. To establish engaged employees at hotel X the above mentioned antecedents should receive attention. However, the findings from the correlation analysis also demonstrated that the remaining seven variables are indirectly associated with the variable employee engagement. Making them of higher importance to the establishment of employee engagement than when no associations would have been found. Based on this conclusion several recommendations are given to the hotel under study. These recommendations contain the following: Management is recommended to implement improvements in the distribution of information, for the survey results showed that an overarching problem within this issue is the lack of enough and clear information and communication. Further management is recommended to solve the existing imperfections concerning the amount of skill variety. Besides management, immediate supervisors and also the employees are advised to devote more attention to the amount of recognition that people receive from each other. Additionally management as well as immediate supervisors are advised to become more aware of the relationships that exist among staff. Regarding the innovative climate the given advice towards management is to keep up the good work. However, improvements are still possible and addressing them would be recommended considering the current economic situation. Management is further recommended to improve the aspiration of providing quality service among its employees, especially within students and weekend forces. Finally, due to the indirect associations that are found management is also advised to address existing problems within these variables.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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