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Leading A Diverse Workforce In The Hospitality Industry




Executive Summary

The analysis presented in this paper adds to the literature on ways of leading a diverse workforce specifically in the hospitality industry. Because of globalisation, organisations have been able to take advantage of the economic potential of the international hospitality industry to satisfy clients coming from different parts of the word.

The team spirit is the driving force in organisations where employees come from one region. When the workforce comes from diverse cultures, there may be challenges relating to bringing together these people to work as a team. However, the organisation should consider having global managers who may have grown over the ranks from within the organisation or those coming in from other units. Therefore, initiating a team spirit within the organisation will make it possible for the employees to appreciate people coming from different parts of the world and relate to them as if they were from the same culture. For the teams to function effectively, the managers should spell out individual and team targets and also guide the members on how to achieve these goals. It will put in place adequate communication mechanisms and help to develop conflict management strategies. Besides, it should be ideal that the headquarters should not dominate all the functions of the subsidiaries, but it should allow independent teams to be in charge of the exercise, come up with ideal cultures that accommodate the diversity and above all guide them on ways of working virtually in those departments where this may be applicable.


Executive Summary 2

Introduction 4

Critical Analysis of the Situation 5

Analysis of the Options 7

Evaluation of the Options 9

Recommendation 11

Conclusion 11

References 13


Emotional intelligence according to Walsh, Chang and Tse (2014) substantially impacts on the student's intentions to develop a career in the hospitality industry. The service orientation will be part of the contributing factors, but it has a weaker effect. Ideally, education will help to enhance emotional intelligence. Therefore, the persons in charge of the hospitality training sector will develop the emotional intelligence and service orientation of their students and in the process develop successful careers in the industry.

A diverse workforce will benefit the hospitality industry because of the many advantages that shall accrue including the ability of the diverse employees to converse in various languages, banking on the different cultures to serve the clients better and the creativity and innovation that shall result from these employees (Lisak & Erez, 2015). Creating the winning synergy among these culturally diverse staff working in geographically dispersed subsidiaries is a challenge, and this calls for the manager to coordinate the team functions in a way that shall maximise efficiency. The key to success when working with a globally diverse team is to select, develop and place people who are efficient global leaders at all organisational levels (Agrawal, 2012). These are the people who shall influence the thinking, attitudes and behaviours of these diverse employees to enhance innovation and in the end, contribute significantly to the accomplishment of organisational goals. This essay will analyse how to coordinate diverse employees from different parts of the world in a way that shall increase productivity to the enterprise. It shall also identify why some organisations fail to achieve the many benefits that a diverse workforce can bring on board when utilised effectively.  


Critical Analysis of the Situation

When a company starts operating in the global environment, it will have to initiate necessary means of creating a base of global managers. This is a process according to Popescu and Avra (2013) that involves a sophisticated human resource selection and planning system, and after that, a reliable training infrastructure meant to ensure the company gets its priorities right in implementing this strategy.

Most multinational headquarters have the tendency of dominating and influencing the diverse workforce operations specifically to impress the clients who will frequent the hotels for services. It will always rely on the home country nationals given that they are accustomed to the goals, policies, and practices in force at the headquarters, and so it shall be easy for them to exert control over the subsidiaries (Popescu & Avra, 2013). They shall use their technical and managerial competency skills to attain the desired communication and collaboration with the managers at the headquarters. However, using staff from the home country will be expensive given that the headquarters will select and train them from home and send them as expatriates overseas. They will experience language barriers and also different macroeconomic environmental factors that shall slow down their performance.

Sauer (2011) say that employees in the hospitality industry will facilitate product innovations based on their home country settings but targeting clients in their current workstations. When the employees create solid working relationships with customers, they will lead to repeated business and improved productivity. Kotler, Bowen and Maken (2010) argue that satisfied staffs make satisfied customers, a view that has become the basis for the conception of strategies in the hospitality enterprises. Therefore, management functions shall always be mutually dependent, and they should not be separated in practice. Therefore, when recruiting the workforce from different countries and allocating them duties, management at the headquarters should ensure they bestow authority to individuals who understand the principles of planning, organising, leadership, control and the management of human resources from a global perspective.

Solnet, Kralj and Baum (2015) say that a diverse workforce will have various ways of communicating and expressing themselves effectively given that they grew up in different cultures. These are characteristics that shall be critical for a well-functioning hospitality industry where humility, respect and having a jovial mood all the time helps to win clients and make them loyal. However, the challenge is that some people may not learn these virtues especially if they consider themselves coming from a superior culture compared to those they are serving (Muethel & Hoegl, 2010). Therefore, this outlook will compel the management to reconsider whom they employ and from where and also at what level of management. For instance, the white people may not like the idea of serving people they consider as low-cadre like working as waiters in African or Asian hotels, but they will want the top level positions in the same place. Therefore, management from the headquarters should balance such complicated options in a way that does not raise complaints from other staff that rely on building a career within that organisation.

In many cases, diverse workforce will work on activities that span many countries, and the operations will run much easier where the members communicate virtually (Radenovic et al., 2016). The global multicultural team will, therefore, differ in many areas from the co-located culturally homogeneous ones. This happens to be a dynamic environment the leaders will have to look into not to sideline one set of employees over the other. Of more concern should be the nature of the leaders in this industry and the main qualities are general intelligence, personality traits, and emotional responses when dealing with people from within the home are and those coming from other countries.  

Analysis of the Options

The hospitality industry happens to be mostly service oriented, and it will only thrive by having the right employees performing specific functions (Mok, Cheng & Morris, 2010). Therefore, conducting team building sessions regularly and especially after introducing new staff will produce continuing benefits to the organisation and this will promote healthy working relationships among the diverse groups. This measure will promote their ability to make and execute decisions across the board, handle the diversity conflicts that could arise, enjoy the organisational credibility, and in the end they will generate working innovative solutions to the hospitality industry. This may be an issue of time and money but it is better for the organisation to incur the expenses now or the team will be disadvantaged through its working life as the members may end up being less effective and they could suffer from an inability to solve disputes individually leading to a high turnover.

In the hospitality industry, clients will identify excellent and wanting service immediately one comes to serve them (Patrick & Kumar, 2012). Therefore, the first impression will go a great deal to retaining the clients or chasing them to look for a better service provider. The organisation has to clarify team expectations and norms on the earliest opportunity. This aspect includes the management clarifying the purpose of the team, figuring out the different ways the members can work as a unit, conducting a stock of available resources to work with, and spelling out and understanding their deliverables earlier on. Therefore, the persons in charge should highlight the payoff of working through as a team and agreeing on norms when initiating working as a team.

Making an extra effort to understand the existing cultural complexities will help to improve operations within the organisation (Martins & Schilpzand, 2011). The way one team member engages another will be informed by the individual cultural background. Therefore, each member should be assisted to develop that mindset helping them know the best way to involve colleagues from different cultures, and this realisation will help them know that not all individuals can fit their stereotype but they have to relate in one way or another. When the manager helps the diverse teams to identify the complexity in culture, this acts as a rich resource for each team member to discover and exploit that layer of unique and individual preferences in addition to the layer of cultural and national backgrounds.

Conflicts and creativity management will determine the success of an enterprise in the hospitality industry. Usually, handling conflicts well is a challenge to any team as biases do crop up and reduce the trust among the members (Patrick & Kumar, 2012). In a diverse workforce, conflicts are likely to be perceived, valued, and also addressed differently by the different cultures. If the teams fear unwanted consequences of conflicts, they will end up suppressing ideas that could have helped the organisation, their discussions will become sterile and in the end creativity will suffer. The best practices in building multicultural teams will address creativity management as the best way to chart the organisation forward.

As a manager, analyse the barriers that affect building and maintaining effective multicultural teams and work with all members to contain those challenges. Personal challenges especially because of cultural differences may find their way into the working station where the staff are not trained how to relate effectively with one another. It may be common for one section of employees to blame their disadvantages on others especially when they do not perform as expected. Therefore, the team members should learn to communicate effectively and openly as one way of ironing differences and in the process identifying ways of informing each other when a team member has stumbled or hinders progress.

Evaluation of the Options

Regular team building sessions will help to make the team members focussed on the ultimate goals (Zander, Mockaitis & Butler 2012). They will use this factor as an opportunity to address the individual challenges and go over them as opposed to dwelling on them. The regular team building sessions will require the members holding sessions away from the office and they may end up turning expensive in the short period, but they will help to strengthen relations among the employees. For this exercise to be successful across the board, the organisation may consider bringing teams from different branches to meet others in a different country or setting for a period that will allow them to interact and share more about their cultures and working life. In the end, the diverse workforce will be free with each other and they will share more factors relating to their work, and the organisation will end up growing strong and able leaders in all levels of management.

According to Lunenburg (2010), the organisation should consider hiring experts who will train the members more about diverse groups and the importance of relating well with the groups. As Shaban (2016) argues, many diverse groups in the hospitality industry suffer because of adverse behaviour that shall affect effective outcomes in the form of social cohesion and relational conflicts. In the end, this organisation will experience higher turnover as the employees will have perceived dissimilarity and adverse stereotypes working against them. Therefore while building strong teams, showing the members how they can benefit from their diversity is critical and should also be a regular exercise.

The organisation should consider the option of encouraging team members to communicate with each other through creating virtual teams. When working virtually, the different teams according to Zander, Mockaitis, & Butler (2012) will complete tasks more efficiently and quickly by utilising the best resources available. The main challenge here is different cultural backgrounds, working with a technological interface, and members not in sync because of different time zones. Management should put in place adequate communication styles along with creating effective teams and empowering the members to appreciate the contribution of each other. They should invest in the best structures that will allow the teams to work across the borders and more importantly they should sponsor the members to learn transformational leadership, especially in the group setting. Moreover, the organisation should incur the additional expenses of arranging for common team sessions irrespective of the time differences and encourage members to contribute freely.

Personal challenges may hinder full exploitation of the capacity of individual employees. Personal challenges could include the inability to perform some activities at home or the place of work, and when not addressed, they may lead to blame game when one person delays the completion of tasks in other team members' activities (Awang & Pearl, 2013). The person in charge should teach the team ways of identifying stressing situations and stressed members and the best ways to approach them without straining existing relationships. Therefore, it is important for the organisation to higher experts who will train team members about stress management, hoe to handle challenges in not attaining the targets, and also communication challenges across the board. This investment should come lastly once the teams are working efficiently and this part should be a continuous exercise aimed at helping the members to remain competitively throughout their working life.


It is clear that organisations will continuing to work with employees from different parts of the world especially in the hospitality industry where the clients are mostly foreigners. I will recommend the organisation to consider having all its employees working as a unit and this calls for creating and sustaining team culture. The management should start by establishing functional teams within each subsidiary, and this exercise should culminate in having the entire subsidiary working as one lot where there are no boundaries between managers and employees. This is a measure that shall help to remove fear from the company, and the employees will contribute creative ways they believe will help control costs while enhancing performance.

The management should encourage all members to join the team spirit by training them the advantages of relating freely with each other. This requirement will make it possible for the recruitment to be from different parts of the world as the ultimate goal is having in place a team that performs as per the expectations. I would also recommend hiring the services of professional trainers in group management and also those who will train the staff on how to communicate effectively in a diverse working environment.

While factoring in the team spirit, it shall be important to swap the employees from among the different subsidiaries as this exercise will promote their ability to appreciate working with diverse teams. The organisation will cater for training expenses as the ultimate goal is developing employees who achieve targets.


Leading a diverse workforce in the hospitality industry is an aspect that the organisation gets accustomed to as people from different cultures will look for jobs in one organisation. These individuals grew up in various places, and they value different factors when it comes to working and growth and development. However, the organisation should have capable managers whose work is to enable these people to acknowledge each other and appreciate the contribution the different members make to this organisation. Therefore, it shall be important to organise these workers into teams and train them how to maximise the benefits of working with each other as a team member.


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