Reflection on The Ritz-Carlton Carlton Hotel
The assignment reflects on the Ritz-Carlton Hotel to ascertain how it has positioned itself in the market. The assignment has given me the opportunity to have a clear understanding of how the company operates, especially how it manages its employees. I chose this topic as I have been an employee of the company for quite some time; hence, I want to share my experience concerning it. I would like to acknowledge the help of my supervisor who has been instrumental in my completion of this paper. I would also like to thank my fellow colleagues for their encouragement and willingness to aid me in any way possible.
Companies and organizations must be able to come up with strong strategies to be able to survive in the market. Every strategy they develop determines their success. This implies that the development of poor strategies can lead to a business exiting the market (McKeown, 2010). The Ritz-Carlton hotel has been able to achieve great success in the market. This paper intends to describe the role played by the management in the company and the impact its leadership style has on employee performance. It will also analyze the ways in which the company has been able to organize its human resource management as well as analyze its organizational culture. Also, the paper will also evaluate the hotel’s legal position. A comparison of job contract and collective bargaining agreement will also be carried out. Finally, the paper will also assess the application of environmental laws by the company.
Company Type and Category
The Ritz-Carlton hotel is a luxury hotel company that has its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a limited liability company that has been categorized as a luxury hotel chain. The Ritz-Carlton hotel operates in the hospitality and tourism industry. The company runs 84 resorts and luxury hotels in over 26 countries across the globe (Wolff & Wimberly, 2013). The company has been able to achieve great success in the market. This can be attributed to the fact that its management has the ability to develop strong strategies integral to the survival of the hotel in the industry (Humphrey, 2011).
The hotel’s organizational culture has played a major role in its success in the market. For one, the management at the Ritz-Carlton hotel treats employees as customers. It has ensured that employees are treated with the outmost respect. This has led to employees appreciating their workplace hence their willingness to stay with the hotel for long (Wolff & Wimberly, 2013). Similarly, employees in the company are empowered. This in turn has led to increased efficiency among them. Equally, it has also led to them developing a sense of belonging to the company. As a result, they have also maintained high levels of motivation, hence, increased productivity. This is also one of the major reasons of why the company has been registering low job turnover rates as compared to its competitors (Walker & Miller, 2010).
Managers in the company have also made it a habit to communicate with employees from time to time. Essentially, the management in the company prefers reaching out to employees on the ground. It ensures employees’ efforts are appreciated and rewarded where necessary. Every individual who plays a role in the success of the company is rewarded for his or her effort. The Ritz-Carlton hotel has ensured the same to encourage its employees to maintain high levels of productivity (Walker & Miller, 2010).
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The company offers various services to customers ranging from accommodation services to on-site services. It also offers on-site amenities including conference facilities, ballrooms, children activities, and health club. The hotel offers exemplary services to its customers to achieve high levels of customer loyalty (Vickers, 2012). It works closely with its customers to ensure its services reflect on what the customer really wants. Similarly, it also ensures high levels of motivation and commitment among employees to ensure the provision of the best services to customers. The management at the Ritz-Carlton hotel understands the fact that it is employees who deal with customers directly hence must be motivated to handle customers in the desired manner. Essentially, the Ritz-Carlton hotel is ever committed to offering differentiated services as compared to those provided by the competition (Humphrey, 2011).
The company has mainly set up its hotels and resorts in major cities. This can be attributed to the fact that most of its customers are found in cities. For instance, the company targets individuals on business trips who may be looking for accommodation in luxury hotels. Cities normally host the highest number of individuals on business trips (Vickers, 2012).
Price. As mentioned earlier, the Ritz-Carlton hotel is categorized under luxury hotels. With this being the case, the prices of its services are considerably high. The company targets middle and high income earners in the society. However, it ensures that the prices of its services are not too high to the extent that they lure customers away. Generally, the Ritz-Carlton hotel prices its services in a competitive and marketable manner.
The hotel uses various platforms to promote its services to the target customers. For one, it has been able to promote its services on both print and visual media. Magazines and daily newspapers have been used to market the company’s services. Correspondingly, it has promoted its services on television and billboards. However, the company has emphasized most the use of the internet in marketing its services (Humphrey, 2011). The recent years have shown an increase in the number of people using the internet, especially social media. The management in the company has used this to its advantage. For instance, it is able to market its services on such social media as Facebook and Twitter. The internet has enabled it to reach out to customers from all the 26 countries with one advert. The use of social media has enabled the company not only to market its products, but also to engage with its customers hence its ability to address their concerns. It has also enabled the company to ascertain customers’ perception towards its products. The Ritz-Carlton hotel has also marketed its services on its website (Walker & Miller, 2010).
The Ritz-Carlton hotel uses a hierarchical organizational structure. This means that there are top level and low level employees in the company. Low level employees normally report to high ranking employees. Key people in the company include the chairman who is on top of the organizational chart as shown below. The chairman is followed by the chief executive officer of the company who is followed by the president and chief operating officer (Vickers, 2012). The chief financial officer comes below, then the global office of worldwide operations. Next, there is the global officer, sales and marketing. Low level employees are on the bottom of the chart. This includes room service, front desk employees, customer service, guards, and maintenance crew.
Human Resource Management
Human resource managers at the Ritz-Carlton hotel always ensure they come up with plans on how to achieve organizational goals. It ensures that it has employees to execute different roles and duties. Employees at the Ritz-Carlton hotel are selected on merit. The company only employs people who have the necessary skills and knowledge to execute their specific roles and duties with ease. No one is favored during the recruitment and selection process. The company has ensured the same to be able to attract the best talent in the market. Any form of favoritism can lead to the company missing on the chance to attract the best employees as it will be focused on, for instance, selecting employees from one race as opposed employing the best (Vickers, 2012).
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The company has ensured it offers the best working conditions for its employees. For example, it has ensured the workplace is safe and free from any hazards. Secure working environments lead to employees having the desire to work with the company. As a result, the company is also able to reduce labor turnover. This also means that it has been able to cut the costs of recruitment and selection (Walker & Miller, 2010).
Likewise, the company also has a performance appraisal program. The program has enabled it to assess the performance of its employees hence its ability to ascertain their strengths and weaknesses. Human resource managers in the company have used the results provided by the performance appraisal program to have an understanding of areas that need to be improved to ensure employees are performing as desired (Walker & Miller, 2010).
The Ritz-Carlton hotel has also implemented training and development programs that are aimed at improving skills and knowledge among employees. Human resource managers in the company understand the need to ensure continuous employee development considering the fact that customer needs and wants keep on changing on a daily basis (Walker & Miller, 2010). With this being the case, employees must be improved upon as this is the only way they can be able to satisfy customer needs in an effective and efficient manner. Any form of incompetence among employees can lead to low levels of customer satisfaction. Every employee joining the company is taken through the training program. Human resource managers have developed this culture to ensure all new employees adapt to new cultures and find it easy to handle their roles and duties (Humphrey, 2011).
Correspondingly, the company offers employees career development opportunities not only that motivate them but to also ensure that the employees are retained. Nowadays, many employees are always attracted to companies that offer them career advancement opportunities. This is because they always want to achieve their full potential. As such, companies that fail to offer career development opportunities stand to lose their best talent to the competition.
Generally, the company has been able to manage its employees as desired hence high productivity among them. It is evident that the company treats its employees with outmost respect and ensures that their concerns are addressed. Equally, the company has ensured employees and the management find it easy to work with one another without many problems through improved communication. The Ritz-Carlton hotel has also ensured employees are willing to work with it for a long period of time. This has been achieved through providing employees with such incentives to stay with the company as career advancement and rewards among others (Wolff & Wimberly, 2013).
However, there is the need for the company to create systems on how employees can be able to raise their concerns with ease. It needs to capitalize on advanced technologies to improve ways through which the management and low levels employees interact with one another. It is also essential for the company to consider reviewing its employees’ salaries in the near future. Ultimately, it should consider affording its employees more time with their family members (Walker & Miller, 2010).
The company employs individuals from diverse cultures. For instance, the company hires different individuals despite their race or their country of origin. This has contributed a lot to its success. There are various advantages that the company enjoys as a result of embracing cultural diversity. It has been able to enjoy great collaboration and creativity among its diverse population. Correspondingly, the hotel has been able to enjoy good reputation for engaging in fair recruiting practices (Wolff & Wimberly, 2013). The fair practices also make it easy for the company to access a large number of job applicants whenever a vacancy arises. This enables the management to choose the best talent in the market. Equally, the company has also been able to attract more customers as a result of practicing cultural diversity. Basically, customers are normally attracted to hotels that are all-inclusive in terms of their employees (Walker & Miller, 2010).
There are a number of disadvantages that have been associated with cultural diversity. For example, conflicts normally arise in the company as a result of employees having different moral views on different things. There are times when minorities in the company feel excluded or inferior. This has led to the management in the company ensuring that minorities are well represented. Language has also been a major problem to ensuring diversity. The Ritz-Carlton hotel has also incurred more costs relating to hiring diversity experts (Walker & Miller, 2010).
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Kluckhohn and Strodbeck’s Value Orientation
According to Kluckhohn and Strodbeck’s value orientation, people from different cultures normally have their own preferred solutions to universal problems. There are normally many solutions to a problem that a company may be facing. However, people from different cultural backgrounds will always have different preferences to the best cause of action (Sadri & Flammia, 2011). This explains the reason why employees at the Ritz-Carlton hotel normally differ in the way of thinking, especially when handling business problems. This means that employees from the same cultural background may have the same values (Wolff & Wimberly, 2013).
An individual undergoes all the stages of the culture shock when joining the Ritz-Carlton hotel. The first stage is excitement. This entails a new employee feeling positive about his or her surroundings and being overwhelmed with impressions. The same individual also finds the new culture fascinating, as well as exotic. The second stage is withdrawal (Marx, 2001). At this point, the same individual starts to feel frustrated with the new culture. A person finds other people’s behaviors strange and unpredictable. As such, he or she is normally filled with anxiety hence the development of the desire to withdraw or start criticizing others. This is normally the case after he or she starts to experience the culture (Daft, 2011).
The next stage is adjustment. Adjustment occurs when a person has a routine and starts to feel more confident and settled when dealing with the new culture. The individual feels less isolated and regains his or her sense of humor. The last stage is enthusiasm. At this point, a person feels at home. He or she begins to enjoy new culture and improves his or her functionality in the culture. Adoption of certain aspects of the new culture is also imperative in the last stage of culture shock (Wolff & Wimberly, 2013).
Prejudice and Stereotypes
Prejudice and stereotypes are common at the Ritz-Carlton hotel despite the efforts by the management to end such practices. Allport’s scale of prejudice can be used to explain hypothetical stereotypes and prejudice in the company. Specifically, antilocution, avoidance, and discrimination are imagined to exist in the company. Physical attacks and fatalities have not been known to exist in the company at any given point in time. Antilocution entails a certain majority group making fun about a minority group. For instance, one group can make jokes about another group as a result of its inability to converse fluently using a certain language. Avoidance involves members of the majority group in the organization avoiding those in the minority group. On the other hand, discrimination entails the minority group being discriminated against, for instance, by being denied the opportunities to progress in their careers (Daft, 2011).
The major cause of the prejudices and stereotypes is the majority group in the organization feeling more superior to the minority group. The stereotypes normally have negative effects on the affected group. For instance, it leads to the minority group feeling isolated. With this being the case, the members of the group may not be very productive (Daft, 2011).
Levels of Cultural Awareness
Different employees at the Ritz-Carlton hotel are at different levels in terms of cultural awareness. For example, there are those who are at an unconscious incompetence level while there are others who are at an unconscious competence level. An employee who has been able to stay or work with the company for long is normally at unconscious competence level. Such an employee does not need to engage in serious thinking in relation to what he or she may be doing to be able to make the right decision or do the right thing. Culturally appropriate behaviors are normally second nature to such a person hence he or she can trust his or her instincts considering the fact that they are reconditioned by the new culture in question (Bacon & Pugh, 2003). As such, the individual does not need to make much effort to be culturally sensitive. The fact that an individual has been working for the Ritz-Carlton hotel for quite some time means that he or she has come to understand and appreciate its culture (Walker & Miller, 2010).
Managing Intercultural Conflicts
Intercultural conflicts are common in companies and organizations especially those that embrace cultural diversity. It is clear that the Ritz-Carlton hotel has embraced cultural diversity hence has had to deal with intercultural conflicts from time to time. Employees in the company can easily differ in their values at work. For instance, Muslimscan easily differ with westerners in terms of how to dress while coming to work (Vickers, 2012). Essentially, Muslims are normally of the view that westerners normally dress in an inappropriate manner hence their unwillingness to work with them. Managers at the Ritz-Carlton hotel have been able to handle such situations through the application of emotional intelligence. They have always ensured they first understand the cause of the conflict before trying to handle or solve it. Similarly, the management has always encouraged its employees to show willingness to comprise and accommodate one another’s culture and value (Bacon & Pugh, 2003).
The Ritz-Carlton hotel is a limited liability company. This means that the company provides limited liability to its owners. There are a number of reasons to why the owners of the hotel opted to choose this legal construction. For one, the owner of the Ritz-Carlton hotel wanted to protect their assets in the sense that their private assets cannot be pursued by creditors in case the company finds it problematic to pay its debts. Limited liability companies are also able to heighten their credibility as different stakeholders see how committed the company is to its business (Martin, 2011). The owners also chose the legal construction to be able to develop flexible management structures.
Nevertheless, there are also disadvantages associated with limited liability companies. The formation of such a company is normally very expensive. Owners of such companies also find it problematic to transfer ownership. Rules and regulations governing such companies also differ from one state to another (Martin, 2011). The fact that the Ritz-Carlton hotel is operational in more than one country means that it has to deal with different laws. This has been confusing at times as the management in the company finds it hard to develop strategies that will ensure its survival in the market. Essentially, the management must ensure that its strategies do not go against the laws governing limited liability companies in a particular country (Bacon & Pugh, 2003).
Jobs and Tasks and Collective Bargaining
The Ritz-Carlton hotel has ensured that its employee’s job contracts specifications are in line with collective bargaining agreements. This has been done in countries where its employees are unionized to avoid issues with trade unions. The management in the company understands the fact that failure to comply with collective bargaining agreements can lead to trade unions calling mass action, for instance, calling an employee strike or taking legal actions against the company. Essentially, conditions of employment, that is, working hours, wages, overtime payments, benefits, vacations, and holidays have been based on collective bargaining agreements. This also relates to dispute resolution procedures (Walker & Miller, 2010).
However, there are times when employees’ working hours may change depending on the situation the company may be handling. For instance, an employee may be expected to work more hours, especially if a colleague calls in sick or is committed otherwise. The management always explains to employees the need to engage in such practices hence employees are always willing to help in any way they can even if this goes against collective bargaining agreements.
Differences between Gross Salary and Net Salary
There is always a difference between gross salary per hour and net salary per hour. This is because gross salary represents what an individual is expected to get before certain deductions have been made. Deductions include, among others, health insurance and taxes. Net salary per hour represents the total salary received by an individual after the deductions have been made hence it is normally as compared to gross salary (Fischer, Taylor, & Cheng, 2008). The salaries of employees at the Ritz-Carlton hotel are also subjected to the deductions hence the difference net salary per hour and gross salary per hour.
Additional costs one has to pay before his or her total salary is paid include loan repayment and contribution to social security programs among others. There has been no point in time when employee salaries have been withheld as a result of the above costs.
The Ritz-Carlton hotel is obligated to ensure that its business practices do not have negative effects in the environment. The environmental laws differ from one country to another. For instance, it is expected to ensure its product packages are recyclable. As such, the hotel ensures that its packages are recyclable to avoid environmental degradation. Equally, the company is expected to reduce the levels of environmental pollution in relation to the way it disposes its waste products. The company has also ensured that waste products are disposed in the right manner (Ferrey, 2010). Basically, the management at the Ritz-Carlton hotel has ensured compliance with environmental laws in all the countries the company is operating. This has been done to avoid lawsuits being filed against the company for failing to follow the law.
There are various motivational theories that have been developed by different scholars to explain what motivates and demotivates employees. This includes, but is not limited to, Maslow’s hierarchy needs, Herzberg two factor theory, and Skinners reinforcement theory. Maslow hierarchy of needs states that people are normally motivated by the desire to achieve certain goals. The fulfillment of one goal leads to an individual seeking to fulfill another. The theory states five needs that people strive to fulfill, that is, psychological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization (Lauby, 2005). Many individuals at the Ritz-Carlton hotel find it easy to satisfy the first three needs; physiological needs, safety needs, and social needs. However, only a few satisfy esteem and self-actualization needs. This normally demotivates many individuals. A good number of employees at the Ritz-Carlton hotel seek self-respect, dominance, respect from others, independence, and achievement among others. Nonetheless, only a few are able to enjoy the above (Walker & Miller, 2010).
Herzberg two factor theory is of the view that there are factors that cause dissatisfaction while there are also separate factors that lead to dissatisfaction. Herzberg argues that the management of a company must understand what satisfies as well as dissatisfies their employees when developing motivational strategies. It must also understand the fact that what motivates or demotivates employee changes with time (Lauby, 2005). The Ritz-Carlton hotel has in the past lowered the level of motivation by engaging in practices that lead to dissatisfaction. For instance, traditionally, supervisors in the company have micromanaged employees. Many employees are opposed to such management practices. Ultimately, poor salaries and poor relationship with peer have also in the past affected levels of satisfaction among employees in the company. The company has ensured a turnaround of events through the development of recognition programs, salary advancements, and growth among other practices. These, among others, have led to high levels of employee satisfaction hence improved motivation(Walker & Miller, 2010).
Skinner’s reinforcement theory states that the addition of certain consequences to a particular situation after a response can increase the chances of the response being repeated in the future in similar conditions (Lauby, 2005). This theory is very applicable to the Ritz-Carlton hotel. The hotel has also added different consequences to different situations to increase the probability of a repeat of a certain behavior. For instance, the company has offered rewards to employees after behaving achieving great success to encourage them to behave in a similar manner in the future. The absence of the rewards normally demotivates people to work even harder to achieve the same results in similar situations. Basically, the company has always used a pleasant stimulus to motivate its employees to maintain certain behaviors. Alternatively, it has removed unpleasant stimulus as this also leads to people preferring to behave in a certain manner(Walker & Miller, 2010).
The Ritz-Carlton hotel has been able to achieve great success in the market. The company has strong leaders who have the ability to develop strong strategies to ensure its continued survival in the market. The company manages its employees as desired ensuring high productivity and motivation. It has also been able to develop competitive strategies that enable it compete effectively in the industry.