The Challenges of Cultural Diversity in Hotel management

Table of Content

Therefore, diversity training program for local staffs and managers will be helpful to decrease conflicts due to misunderstanding of other cultures. Moreover, completed actions for supporting human resource department within company are also very important because such as the investment Of money and talent both can improve human resource management, and earn more profits for corporations. With the progress of tourism and hotel industry, international hotels have expanded rapidly. Due to this, there are more and more opportunities for these international hotels to contact with global guests and employees.

Indeed, some proofs also show that hospitality industry usually employs immigrant staffs to meet the demand of workforce (Christensen- Hughes 992, cited in Bam et al. 2007). Basically, hotel industry is suffering from an extreme cultural diversity in workplace. However, what is diversity? Johnson& Marry stated that diversity refers to the divergences of gender, age, personal characteristics, financial status, family status, education, language, lifestyle, race, religion and so on ( Hollister &Hodgson 1996).

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But this report will focus on the cultural aspect to discuss the problems in hotel management. The purpose of this report is to explore the difficulties which cultural diversity brings to workplace in hotel industry and provide strategies. The first section of this report will describe two main challenges of cross-cultural phenomenon in hotel management. Secondly, this report provides two methods to ease the cultural shock for hotel management in the short- term and long- term.

There is no denying that cultural diversity indeed benefits hotel industry to increase their creativeness and competitiveness to adapt this changeTABLE market, but cultural diversity also lead hospitality industry face two major challenges. Pl 2. 1 Managing Barrier and Discrimination The first challenge of cross-culture in hotel industry is managerial barrier. ExpecTABLE, using second language as official language is a primary reason to lead some communication problems when multi-cultural staffs work together.

Because of regulations or convenient, these oversea employees have to use their other language to be an official language to communicate with others in workplace. This situation is likely to cause some misunderstanding and conflict in workplace when multi- cultural employees was doing communication by verbal or text, which could negatively influence staffs’ relationship and performance (Divine et al. 2007). Compared with there difficulties of cross- culture, language is the simplest problem, other cultural diversity, such as custom, concept and lifestyle all are the biggest trouble for management.

For example, “Slow” means an elegant and polite attitude for French people so they always serve customers with their “slow’ style. But unfortunately, this style seems to bring some negative views to French, such as inefficient and lazy ( Saved 2005). This is because managers or other employees were lack of knowledge and experience to understand the reason behind this behavior, and did not appropriately ammunition with that staff for making sense of why this staff did that.

And then conflicts and mistakes have been produced constantly due to the gap of culture. Moreover, discrimination issue also exists in some workplaces, for instance, Racial Discrimination and some unequal treatments. Some studies show that these discriminations usually drive the factors of employee selection, even do not offer the chances for international staffs to progress (FAA ‘ elite Ireland 2005, cited in Hearts, Divine &Baum 2007). It is probably because Of some problems of visa or language skill, but it still can create more disadvantages or management.

Hence, it is obvious to predict that this unfair mode and potential conflict have gradually worsened internal management for hotel industry. Training Challenge is undoubted to become the second problem of multi- culture in hotel workplace because managers have to consider more aspects of training problem except language. According to Hearts, Divine and Bam (2007), the resources of suiTABLE language and training program for international labors, employee selection standards and rules all become the issues which executives have to solve.

Indeed, these oversea staffs have efferent background, even though they could use official language fluently, they could not be trained very well. This is because even though some international staffs can handle second language successfully, they could not totally know that country’s culture, and exactly catch the meaning of conversation (Mailman et al. 2002, cited in Change & Tsar 2011 This impedes their learning efficiency. Another possible reason is that because unitary content of training conflict with international labors’ habits and concepts, they can not absorb new knowledge smoothly.

Furthermore, generally speaking if international aborts did not be provided better conditions to be trained, they are possible to fell lose in the training process and get a fail (Hearts, Divine &Baum 2007). Therefore, a successful training program for multi- cultural staffs should be implemented by a more diversified and more equiTABLE system. 3. Strategies for Cultural Diversity in Hotel Management Through the implement of diversity training, the cultural inclusiveness of local employees and various training programs could be improved.

As mentioned, some difficulties happen in managerial area because local employees or managers are lack of knowledge and experiences to understand international labors’ behaviors, which lead they can not respect or tolerate multi- cultural labors. Therefore, diversity training for local employees and managers is necessary. Wood (2004) also indicates that a diversity training program is useful to enhance staffs’ knowledge, and create a workplace which contents a richer culture (Divine et al. 2007).

This diversity training also can inspire hospitality employees to make more benefits for companies through a cross-cultural working environment (Lee & Chon 2000). Actually, hospitality industry has a need to create a diversity environment for leading employees to fit or handle visitors who are from various countries. And through this long- term training, it may increase employees’ reaction capacity and flexibility. There is a more specific example of multinational corporations, Milliner. Milliner established a school to train their professional staffs to adapt to work anywhere in the earth because their trades are around the world.

By Mixing people who have different cultures and backgrounds in the group, staffs has more chances to exchange their ideas, and learn how to aspect others culture (Celluloid 1998, cited in Seamen 2006). As for other companies, IBM and HP both provide a similar diversity course for existing employees to understand other ethnic, races and gender, and expect to decrease the fight in management (Daft 2003, cited in Seamen 2006). Clearly, the effect of diversity training is hard to be denied, but the contents of diversity training should be planned carefully.

Due to the need of managerial ability, the diversity training for people who are going to be managers should cover the skills which can use to coordinate different employees’ values and deeds (Wright & None 1 996, cited in Seamen 2006). Because manager usually plays an important role when the managerial conflicts happen, if manager has a better coordination capacity, some problems in internal management will be overcome easier. Therefore, diversity training for local employees and managers has to set up in hotel management. 3. Supportive Actions of Hotel Corporations for Human Resource On the other hand, some specific action should be implemented to support human resource management. NO matter local employees’ diversity training or international employees’ training both need a large number of investment, ND it usually depends on how this company support its human resource. Therefore, a successful hotel operation should cover a long-term investment for being a cultural diversity corporation because they can not doubt that cultural diversity brings more benefits for their business.

Basically, for global business and operation, these hotel companies all have to put money into human resource to expect that these actions can help them to lead a diversity team effectively (Grouchy 201 1). Even these actions could cause some financial burden for corporations, these investment are still an ineviTABLE trend in the true. Moreover, some parent companies of hotels should make sense of the need of international executives’ appointment. Sometimes parent companies do not support to appoint too many international managers based on managing consideration.

However, they could ignore a fact that the appointment of international managers is helpful to manage international staffs because of more empathy (Change & Tsar 2011 These critical strategies all need to be supported by parent companies. If hotel operation can gain these supportive actions, hotels will be TABLE to maximize benefits of cultural diversity in workplace. To conclude, contemporary multi-cultural phenomenon has influenced hospitality industry so employers of hospitality industry have to prepare some strategies to deal with the problems which be created in the process of cross- culture in hotel workplace.

These problems include managerial barriers and training difficulties. In managerial aspect, because employees do not have enough knowledge and experience or language skills to handle communicating barrier, managerial conflicts and obstacles has increased constantly. Moreover, training naturally becomes another challenge hotel impasses have to overcome due to some different cultural background, such as language, custom and race. However, these difficulties are TABLE to be mitigated by diversity training of local employees and some supportive actions within corporations.

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