The current context marked by globalization, and the increasing recognition of interrelations has imposed new rules of conduct: the prosperity of nations is based on the competitiveness of international markets, and that of enterprises, on the integration in the worldwide value chains (Maria, I., Madalina, T., Catalina, B., & Diana, I., 2007).
Climbing up the ladders within the tourism industry, one of the most competitive industry to work in today, this is an industry in which the structure of supply is extremely volatile, and the solid and consistent part is the demand.
Relating it to the hotel sector, specifically The Ritz Carlton Millennia Singapore, we explore how different individuals can lead outside their authority. Being confident and speaking from a place of strength will go a long way in convincing others to follow you, whether you have direct authority over them.
- Problem Identification
In every organisation, program or setting, we often hear things such as, “Our director only gives lip service to diversity”, “I have responsibilities but no real power”, or even “I have great ideas but they do not devote the funding” (Goode, T. D., Crossbear, S., McCullough, M., Wiler, N., & Graybill, E. 2016).
Not all leaders who have authority make the right decisions and in fact, those with great ideas might not even be the leader. This comes to a point where different individuals should lead without a leadership role. In every workplace, there is bound to be some form of seniority, or a hierarchy. As such, people tend to avoid contributing or initiating during times when not given a leadership role, some to the extent of just doing what is told.
Thus, problem identified is, should every employee have the freedom of speech to suggest and initiate their ideas in front of their superior or higher management.
- Objective of Study
Hotels face high turnover rates, possibly because most of the associates leave the company as they are usually unhappy working there. However, they may not have the courage to speak up about their unhappiness to their manager because they may feel that they do not hold any authority and they may feel inferior when trying to talk to someone of higher authority.
Through exploring such a topic, it would allow associates to understand what some of the dos and don’ts are when they wish to speak to someone of higher authority. Additionally, it aims to bring out the confidence in each associate, and allow them to initiate and speak up to someone of higher authority (Cohen, A. R., & Bradford, D. L. 2005).
- Potential Solutions
Through this project, potential solutions will be explored to tackle the interpersonal communication problem. The solution will address the issue on how an associate can get their point across to a higher authority, without appearing too rude or trying to steal the limelight (Weaver, P., & Guandique, R. 2012). To better illustrate the solution to an associate, an educational video would be created.
The content of the video would include the problem statement, as well as a list of dos & don’ts on how to approach this interpersonal communication problem. Some example of dos, would include things such as “being specific and concise”, or “watch your body language”. On the other hand, some don’ts include “do not beat around the bush”, “do not get overly emotional”. By creating this video, it should educate an associate who would face this problem.
- Proposed Research Methods
To further understand the communication problem, primary and secondary research will be conducted to comprehend the problem better.
For the primary research, an interview will be conducted at The Ritz Carlton Millennia Singapore. The objective of this research aims to collect opinions from Ritz Carlton’s staff to understand the problem better. Through the interviews, the different point of view – from an associate, as well as the management – could be gathered. Interviews will be conducted with a young front desk officer who is a recent graduate, and an experienced manager on duty who holds authority in front desk operations.
The interviewees are as proposed:
Mr Gangatheran Kunjiraman, Manager on Duty at the Ritz Carlton Millennia Singapore. Mr Gangatheran have been in The Ritz Carlton for over 20 years, and was promoted to the Manager on Duty since January 2010.
Ms Felicia Ho, front desk officer at The Ritz Carlton Millennia Singapore. Ms Felicia is a young polytechnic graduate who had just joined the company last year.
Getting someone with vast experience would provide understanding of the situation in different scenarios. On the contrary, interviewing someone from the millennial generation would provide another different view, in terms of generation of ideas.
For the secondary research, the research would be based on the context of a hotel, about how an associate should portray themselves when they are about to approach and speak to their management. Journal articles, research articles and educational websites will be explored as well amid the secondary research.
6.1. Initiative to speak
The main aim of this topic is to encourage and allow people to voice out their opinion or suggestion in their workplace, even when they do not have authority or a leadership position. Not all leaders give brilliant ideas, and good ideas might come from someone who is not a leader. Thus, it is important for people to speak out without having fear of judgement and criticism.
6.2. Sense of Community
By practicing freedom of speech by anyone in the company in regardless to authority or position, they would help to increase the communication between frontline employees and the management. This would allow the associate to feel more inclusive within the company, narrowing the gap between the associates and the management. This would allow each associate to have a sense of belonging, as they would feel that they are part of the changes within the hotel.
6.3. Lower Turnover Rate
With employee involvement in hotel changes or development, employees tend to experience job satisfaction in the organization. Therefore, greater job satisfaction would lead to lower employee turnover rate, which greatly benefits the hotel.
- Concluding Thoughts
A good employer should listen to employees’ advice, and employees should not be afraid to speak out if they have a better idea or solution. Having an agreement would prevent any dissatisfaction, and thus, enhances the relationship. In conclusion, every staff in the hotel plays an equally crucial role in maintaining hotel standards and meeting its mission and vision.
Cohen, A. R., & Bradford, D. L. (2005). Influence Without Authority. The Leadership Quarterly, (Vol. 2).
Goode, T. D., Crossbear, S., Mccullough, M., Wiler, N., & Graybill, E. (2016). Understanding Your Role with and Without Formal Authority, 1–15.
Maria, I., Madalina, T., Catalina, B., & Diana, I. (2007). The Factors of Competitiveness in the Hospitality Industry and The Competitive Strategy of Firms, (6), 213–218.
Weaver, P., & Guandique, R. (2012). Leadership Without Authority. PM Network, 26(3), 20–22.