Linking pay and benefits to competitive advantage


Human resource basically deals with issues of the employees in a firm or organization. This includes assessing the manpower needs of the organization, coming up with a job description and design, recruiting people who can do the job, overseeing the employees work and individual needs. Also includes making sure that the work environment is conducive to work.

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Managing employee’s benefits and records and trying to work according to the company policy.Again it is the work of the human resource to ensure that the employees undergo further training and development as the company evolves so that they are constantly up-to-date with what is happening in the industry. It is important that employees be given a growth opportunity within the company, this includes opportunity for promotion. Employees also need to feel appreciated by the company and provided with the necessary tools to carry out their tasks.

If the needs of the employees are effectively met, this decreases a high employee turn over and the company is able to develop and retain its working base for high quality productivity. To achieve this, the human resource department usually carries out a lot of functions some of which will be discussed in this paper. JOB DESIGNJob design involves breaking down the overall job into various tasks. Job design can be further broken down into job enlargement where the employee is given more tasks which are varied to carry out.

This acts as a challenge to the worker and motivates them. There is job rotation which involves giving the employee different tasks to carry   out. This creates variety and helps to prevent boredom. It also provides more experience for the worker who will acquire more and varied skills.

Job enrichment helps the employee to take on more tasks that would ordinarily be done by the management. This usually comes with added responsibility. Job design has as effect on the workers. According to Perry, Mesch, Paarlberg (2006) the challenge provided by the job and the worker satisfaction achieved at the end of the task is influences whether a worker accepts a particular job or not.

Job redesign has served to motivate employees to work harder as they feel more useful in the company. It also stimulates growth of workers as it has to be tailor made according to workers abilities. Paul’s light’s survey of MPA graduates showed that most of them were interested in the kind of job they were required to do in an organization. According to Go 2 (2008) shows a case study of Humphrey who has worked for Earl’s restaurant for fifteen years since she was in college.

She says she decided to stick with the restaurant due to high number of activities that it does so she is not bored. Furthermore she was promoted to manager. Three employees of O’Bryans restaurant also decided to stick to their jobs because there is usually a heavy work load due to the many customers who patron the place and so they are not idle. They have found job satisfaction at their work stations therefore have proffered to work there for long periods of time due to the challenge provided.

It is good to let new employees to familiarize themselves with the on goings of the company. This will help them to understand the running of the organization, duties and facilitate their settling down much more quickly. Induction of new employees helps to reduce anxiety and stress due to uncertainty of what is expected. According to Work 911.

com (2008) induction helps to reduce the company’s expenses due to time wastage by employees as they grapple about what is expected of them. Also, colleagues and managers will spend less time trying to explain to the new employee their task. Induction also helps employees to feel appreciated by the company as they are not only employed but know the resources at their disposal and also understand the culture of the company. Two kinds of orientations exist: general induction and job specific induction.

General inductions give a general insight on the rules, regulations, safety procedures, union issues and government polices. Job specific induction deals with the policies of the company, other workers, the specific role of the employee and how it is related to the rest of the organization. Then it is important to keep follow up meetings to find out how the employee is doing


Benefits are what employers are usually willing to give to their employees on top of their salaries. This can include such items as unemployment and disability benefits, house and medical allowance, insurance, vacations among others.

According to Free Management Library  there are two types of benefits; those that can be seen and those that cannot. Examples of those that cannot include things like future promotion prospects and a good word from the boss. This also serves to increase the loyalty of the workers to the firm hence encouraging worker retention. Maslow’ss hierarchy in order for employees to be effective, their five levels of need must be met: the safety, psychological, actualization and egos.

The lower levels of need must be met first before the higher needs for the person to be able to reach self actualization and hence focus on the needs of the organization instead of himself.In the hospitality industry, how the employer rewards his employees emphasizes what is important to him. The higher the pay package for employees, the more emphasis is placed on that particular area. If the front office staff, waiters, chefs, bellman earn less than the other people in other areas, they will assume that their services are less important and not deliver quality service.

Employer intangible benefits also encourage staff to be more responsive to the needs of the clientele.The British Beer and Pub association have noted that sales have hit an all time low with pubs selling less than they have ever done. The Coors Company is looking for ways to improve its sales and enlarge their business base. But to do that they need to find and maintain qualified and experienced staff who can live up to the challenge.

According to Employee (2008) the British organization has moved to revamp its overall culture and that includes redesigning their employee benefits. Though the staff used to have benefits before, they company has made them more flexible by providing various options so that employees can pick the ones they are most comfortable in.

this benefits scheme was launched in 2007 and includes dental care, health care and holiday swapping that enables employees to switch up to five days of their holiday with another employee, a pension scheme, flexible working hours and sabbaticals. Following a survey that the company carried out on employees, they discovered that most employees also wanted to be given discounts and vouchers for company products. By implementing a better benefits package for its employees, the management believes that it has been able to prevent a high employee turnover and recruit the most qualified in the business to improve its business edge.

They have been able to catch a niche for themselves in the United Kingdom (U. K) beer market especially after merging with Bass Brewers in 2002 and become a recognized brand in the market.


Most workers prefer companies that do not only provide benefits for them as individuals, but cater for their families as well according to Messmer (2006). Some of the extended benefits should include provision of insurance for the whole family, children and the aged.  According to the society for Human Resource Management, only about twenty percent of organizations provide care for children and the aged.

According to a study by Hewitt Associates, a benefits and consulting firm, in America, most families consist of the old set up where it is only the father who works while the mother stays at home with two children and a dog. This means that most men would like to have the needs of their families taken care of. Lancaster Labs has an on site centre for taking care of the aged and disabled relatives of their employees plus a daycare centre that can take up to one hundred and fifty one children. It also has a gymnasium according to— meeting employees unique needs might serve to cut down employer costs as employees are able to concentrate on their work therefore give more quality work.


In order for companies to offer high quality services that are up to par with what is required in the industry, they have to train their employees. This is because the industries are volatile and keep changing all the time. What with new products, services and technology being churned out continuously. The employees have to keep abreast and adapt to new requirements.

There are many reasons why employees should be trained according to McNamara (2008). These include when after an appraisal the employee is found to be underperforming so he is trained to improve his quality of work. As part of an overall development of employees, to enable employees to adapt if the company is planning to undertake changes in the company, to teach employees about certain topics lie professional handling of customers, communication, technological skills, people skills, sexual harassment among others.

The results of such training is usually that the employees become more confident and deliver more quality besides coming up with new products, they get psyched up to work more, they are more flexible and willing to adapt more quickly to new technologies as they now have the expertise to handle them and the employees would prefer not to leave the company According to Courses Careers the hospitality industry is also speedily changing.

An example is the United States industry which has seen the emergence of numerous take away points, restaurants and parks based on themes. As the industry continues to expand, there is more need for trained chefs, receptionists and managers as most restaurants and pubs prefer to recruit from their own staff. Instead of outsourcing labor from outside. In fact, restaurants are now offering more attractive pay packages and benefits for trained chefs.

Therefore, it is now important to seek for professional training apart from just learning on the job. The hospitality industry like other institutions in the world has undergone a major shift. According to Scholarship Editions (2008) it has become more difficult for large American organizations to dominate the market. This calls for change and part of this change includes involving workers more in the work place. Again new technology is being introduced in the hospitality industry where I-pods and CD-ROMs are used to provide training to workers.


Amotivating and good working environment is what employers and employees want. This includes good air, good communication channels and a clear conveyance of what is expected. A secure working place and improvement of facilities are some of the things that employees  look for.

According to Circo Virus (2008) most employees would be willing to give up part of their earnings in exchange of a good working place. In a survey done in 2000 employees were asked in ways of improving their working environment 55.8% wanted a higher salary. When the survey was repeated in 2005 the figure fell to 44. 6%. While 34.2% said that they wanted better communication from the management. When asked about safety measures used it was found out the overall percentage of employers were now providing safety gear for their employers than in the 1990s.

They use dust mask and respirators, ear, eyes and protective footwear protective gear. One of the ways employers can increase safety and security in the workplace is to provide workers with handbooks, explain to workers what they are expected to do and evaluate them to find out their weaknesses and strengths Employee relations is one of the things that keep employees working well together. It serves as a driving force by creating a good and conducive environment in the organization. One of the ways to improve employee’s relations according to About.

Com (2008) is by team building. People work in a more synchronized environment as they understand each other better. The teams have to serve a real purpose in the organization and team members should be treated equally.According to the Schwartz Robert et al (2007) one of the key ways of increasing employee effectiveness is by synchronizing worker ability to the duties allocated to them, providing guidelines and good leadership.

Teamwork encourages trust and reliability among employees. Employee participation in the whole decision making process is important though it might not have such a huge impact on the performance of the employees. But at least it serves in better decision making especially in complex issues as those who know more about the subject will be employed. According to Manage Smarter (2007) the hospitality industry is trying to adjust to a new generation of younger workers who are more technology oriented, Generation Y as they call them.

As much as they are technology savvy they have to be trained in human relations, how to dress, talk and interact with people warmly as most of them prefer to spend time on the internet, texting on their phones, with I-pods on their ears. Most of them are not familiar with the culture of the hospitality industry and want things to happen fast. But as Fred Mayo who is the clinical associate professor at the Preston Robert Tisch Centre for hospitality, tourism and sports management says, with a little training most of them are ready for the industry.


It is the role of the human resource to set objectives both for the individuals and for the company. The reason for this being that achievements are usually measured by the amount of goals achieved so far. The more clear and specific the goals are and are communicated to the workers, the higher their chances of being fulfilled. Locke and Latham (1990) state that performance is increased where objectives are given before hand. Objective setting usually pushes the employees to work harder and reduces the chances of having the work redone again as most people will deliver what is expected of them.

Goals serve to highlight what is important to the company and motivate employees to work hard in order to achieve the desired goals. It is imperative to include employee participation while setting goals as they might provide useful insight. Their can be long-term and short term goals. Establish hard deadlines when the jobs should be done and write down the goals.

Keep track on the implementation of the goals to determine their success level. This will be able to bring to focus what has already been achieved according to Stacy (2008) this will enable the management to critique the effectiveness of the goals and areas that need to be worked on for improvement. It is good to prepare the workers by warning them that they will have to overcome various obstacles in achieving their goals. Encourage employees to make decisions and foster good communication channels. This will help employees to achieve their goals.


According to Messmer offering schedules that are easily adaptable to employee needs is a plus factor. According to the research findings of the United Nations National Labor organization, most Americans worked an average of 1800-1900 hours every year. This means that most of the workers would like to work at convenient times and be able to prioritize and manage their own time.

By providing flexible schedule, an organization becomes more attractive to prospective employees and helps in employee retention. One of the ways that employers can become more flexible is by offering transportation services to workers to and from work. This will prevent time wastage. Also, provision of part time slots and job swapping among workers.

Or giving employees a certain time period to finish their work load without necessarily dictating the working hours as long as the work is done on time. This gives workers more time to concentrate on their work. Other ways flexiblity in the oragnization can be achieved according to Scholarship Edition  include using advanced technology like computers, increasing worker involvement and using teams.


It is important for employers to create awareness about the kind of programs they run to their employers according to Messmer (2006). This will help them know what is happening in the company and might help them to take advantage of company services. Tis will help remove mysticism about the basis of service distribution and perceived biasness among employees. Adams’ theory propagates that most employees want to feel equal to their collegues. Therefore they abhor preference by the management of one employee over the other.

Employee’s awareness of the program will determine whether the management is successful in achieving it goals or not. One of the ways to ensure program awareness is by coming up with clear cut policies that an average employee can understand. Then distribute them to the employees. Ensure that they have received them.

Come up with a method where you can ascertain that the employees have read and understood the policies. To do this, you can give them a simple test to ensure that they have understood the policy. Finally, evaluate the effectiveness of the policy. This is according to Polivec (2008).

for instance, American Hotel and lodging (2008) Good Earth Keeping Program enables hoteliers to manage and keep track of their energy and financial requirements. It enables managers to asses their energy need and keep track of their requirements. They not only save costs, but also provide examples to their guests using environment friendly means. Once employees are trained on how it works, they can adhere to the guidelines.


Good human resource services help to provide employee maintenance and retention. Some of the benefits of retaining employees include increased productivity as the employees become more efficient and effective after working for a long time. Also, high quality products or services by experienced workers.  Also, less expenses will be incurred as their will be reduced costs of training new employees by the organization.

Moreover, according to Skilled Services, there will be reduced risk of accidents happening within the organization’s site due to poor mishandling of equipment through ignorance.Considering employee family needs is in the end more cost effective to the company.  Its is important though to try and tailor make different ways of meeting the varied needs of the workers to prevent jealousy due to perceived favoritism of one group of people against another. Like unpregnant women to their pregnant colleagues who they might see as getting special treatment.

Job design helps the employees to be more focused and carry out the specific work that is required of them to avoid duplication of duties. Workers also like to work on flexible schedules considering that they work for many hours in a year, therefore giving them flexible schedules that they can work around communicates to the employees that the company appreciates them. Less time wastage will occur if a proper job orientation for new employees is effectively carried out and the functions, roles and policies of the company are clearly spelt out to the worker. A good working environment that fosters growth and development setting clear goals are some of the things that employees look forward to.

All in all it can be said that if employees are treated well by their employer, that I s on top of being given a good wage, most of them are ready to work and produce good results. It also encourages worker retention and maintenance as most people feel a sense of loyalty to the organization. That is why most people have been able to work for long in the hospitality industry. Their long term experience helps in the effective service and satisfaction of customers who most often than not become repeat customers.

They are also able to change with time and attract more customers thereby bringing in professionalism in the industry. Hence it can be said that the human resource has played a vital role in the growth of the hospitality industry.


  1. (2008)  How  to Build a Teamwork culture. Last retrieved on 22 march 2008
  2. Courses Careers  Career Advice and Job Vacancies. Last retrieved on 22 march 2008
  3. Employee Retention Techniques for the Hospitality Industry. Last retrieved on 22 march 2008
  4. Lovewell Debbie (2008) Employee benefits Last retrieved on 22 march 2008
  5. Manage Smarter (2007) hospitality: Warming Training Trends  Last retrieved on 22 march 2008http://www.
  6. Max Messmer  (2006) Startegic Finance  “Benefits: Gain a Competitive Edge with Offerings Employees” Last retrieved on 22 march 2008  .www/


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