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EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT AND CUSTOMER SATISFACTION ON HOTEL INDUSTRY (A CASE STUDY OF PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE)

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

As we know that employee is the backbone of the organization because he/she is only person who directly touch with the customer on the time of dealing the service. in this research article we have focus on employee empowerment in order to increase the quality of service and customer satisfaction on the other hand we can say that employee empowerment improves the quality of service which automatically improved the satisfaction level of the customer towards the service. Without the empowerment employee not confident, not be creative and not enough knowledge therefore unable to provide better performance as per expectation. Employee will be successful if management provide them some authority and provide them systematic knowledge according to their work, which is known as the employee empowerment. The continuously development of employee empowerment is directly affected the quality of service and satisfaction level of customer towards the service provider. Whereas at present scenario all the service industries are making them self-strong in order to increase the quality of service and customer satisfaction.  Participative management is one of the most popular and most commonly practiced management styles in modern organizations. Employee empowerment is one of the reflections of this modern approach to man management. It invariably leads to a positive change within the organization. Empowered employees are more motivated as compared to those who just follow the given lines. Employee empowerment creates sense of belongingness and ownership towards the parent organization. Empowered employee feel more confident and try to give their best to their employers, as a result, service quality improves. Improved product or service quality generally results into higher level of customer satisfaction. Higher level of customer satisfaction results into a bigger sales volume resulting into an improved profitability. Every business aims at earning profits; however profits and customer value go hand in hand. In order to give maximum value to a customer, the service provider is required to develop a sound understanding of the customer expectations. Once customer expectations are known, then some legitimate freedom of action along with the input of employee in the service or product would create a more favourable environment for the success of a business venture. Although, customers of service organizations are friendly, most of them seek for firms that offer values, such as close accessibility, security, clean and attractive office layout to do business with. Despite the above, it is worthy to state that where a service firm has well trained empowered staff that treats customers with respect, communicate confidently with them and offer outstanding service, such a firm would increase her customer base more rapidly than her competitive rivals. No doubt, in this globalized era, Customers who have interactive relationship with empowered and skilled employees of their service organizations are likely to be more loyal to the firm in their business transactions. Customer satisfaction in hotel industry is posited to be a function of service quality i.e. customer service, corporate image, price, innovativeness and convenience, among others. Odindo and Delvin (2010) noted that increase customer satisfaction has the potential to enhance organizational performance and as a result managers should have customer satisfaction as a key target. Oloko & Ogutu (2012) stated that, in recent past, employee empowerment has been promoted as a general recipe for enhancing work performance. In support of the above, Manzoor (2012) claimed that, empowerment provides benefits to organizations and makes sense of belonging and pride in the workforce. He further contended that, it builds a win-win connection among organizations and employees, which is considered an ideal environment in numerous organizations and their employees. Empowered employees focus their job and work-life with additional importance and this leads to constant progress in coordination and work procedures. In his contribution to empowerment literature, Ayinde (2012) provided a lucid definition: ‘empowerment means giving power or entitlement to people, helping them acquire capabilities or qualifications, establishing structures which enable them to have more control over decisions affecting them. Despite the enormous amount of research work carried out in the field of employee empowerment, throughout the developed and emerging economies of the world, there is still inadequate literature on employee empowerment and how it affects customers’ satisfaction in Nigeria. In short, there is little or nothing known about the importance of employee empowerment influence on customers’ satisfaction in hotel industry in Nigeria. This study therefore posits that, employee empowerment can be the panacea to the public distrust and lack of customers’ satisfaction in the hotel industry in Nigeria (Ademulegun, 1975). We argued that, hotel service being an intangible, heterogeneous, perishable, service product, produced and consumed simultaneously, only empowered employees can seek to differentiate themselves from their rivals by treating customers in the way they would want to be treated, thereby attaining the quality service that makes the difference. To many customers and potential hotel consumers in Nigeria, whom hotel service is a technical product, the first contact persons (employees) represent the hotel company. If these employees are able and satisfactorily meet their needs, they are not only satisfied, but would become emotionally attached to the company.

  1. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

In hospitality industry human resource management reveals a bunch of arrangements and forms which engage subordinates to better performance. Empowerment is a very useful tool in manager’s work. If they decide to implement empowerment in their strategy of being a leader it might bring only positive results. The hotel industry has (comparatively speaking) not the best reputation for its ability to manage all Human Recourses (HR) related issues. Management is characterized as having heavy reliance on flexible staffing policies, and part-time and extra help workers make up a significant proportion of hotel staff (Lou & Milne, 2014). This characteristic of hotel industry is typical also for hotel industries in Rivers State. The hospitality industry rise very fast and a lot of tourists and business people visit hotels, restaurants and cafes. It is interesting how leaders and managers deal with subordinates which are the faces of the places to keep customers happy and make them wants to come back. Thus this research is planned to conduct a check on how managers deal with empowerment and this HR difficult discipline. This work is meant to check and investigate managers and leaders who are responsible of creating quality services. How they use empowerment and what are their strategies of influencing employees to performance and better service.

1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY

The major purpose of this study is to examine empowerment and customer satisfaction on hotel industry. Other general objectives of the study are:

  1. To examine the perception of employees in the hotel industry about employee empowerment.
  2. To examine the level of customer satisfaction in hotel industry services.
  3. To examine the impact of employee empowerment on customer satisfaction in hotel services.
  4. To examine the factors affecting employee empowerment in an organization.
  5. To examine the relationship between employee empowerment and customer satisfaction.
  6. To suggest strategies considered as efficient for implementing a successful empowerment culture in Hotel industry.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. How is the perception of employees in the hotel industry about employee empowerment?
  2. To what extent is the level of customer satisfaction in hotel industry services?
  3. What are the impacts of employee empowerment on customer satisfaction in hotel services?
  4. What are the factors affecting employee empowerment in an organization?
  5. What is the relationship between employee empowerment and customer satisfaction?
  6. What are the strategies considered as efficient for implementing a successful empowerment culture in Hotel industry?

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

H01: There is no significant impact of employee empowerment on customer satisfaction in hotel services.

H02: There is no significant relationship between employee empowerment and customer satisfaction.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research will provide a deep view to the implications of employee empowerment to employees, government, employers, students and the general public who have an interest in the study. The readers will be able to understand new relations between different variables and conceptual understanding of these variables. They will read new concepts in the context of hospitality industry e.g. organizational image, effectiveness and efficiency and building trust. This research is targeted at the management of organizations within the banking industry, and industries producing highly intangible-dominant services, as suggestion regarding employee empowerment, which when practiced can enhance customer satisfaction and create a good customer- perceived service quality. Managers in other organizations will also find the study useful in enhancing their appreciation of the need to empower employees. The findings of this study will also be valuable to the hotel industry as they will be able to understand the relationship between employee empowerment and customer satisfaction. The recommendations given in the study will help the hotel industry by equipping them with adequate tools and information. The study will contribute to the literature on employee empowerment and customer satisfaction which will form part of articles that will be useful to researchers who want to further in this study.

1.7    SCOPE OF THE STUDY 

The study is based on the employee empowerment and customer satisfaction on hotel industry in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Empowerment:  Is a positive use of power to create more power, which has a positive energizing effect on the organization (Vogt and Murrell, 2014). Empowerment in this study is a management practice of sharing information, rewards, and power with workers so that they can take initiative and make decisions to improve service and performance and to solve problems.

Management: The organization and coordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives. Management is often included as a factor of production along with machines, materials, and money.

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