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The Prince Edward Hotel is located on the beautiful waterfront in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The hotel caters to the business community during the week and holiday travelers during the weekends and summer months. In the summer and on weekends, there is, therefore, a greater demand for catering and waiting staff. The hotel has been gradually improved and refurbished over the past five years, and business has also gradually improved over the period.

There has been a particular problem in recruiting kitchen assistants, waiting and bar staff. This is partly due to local competition but also due to the fact that early starting and late finishing times make travel very difficult as these staff are not adequately paid to own and operate their own vehicles. Often, there are no buses at these times and taxis are the only available mode of transportation. One or two hotels in the area have begun a hotel transport system, and the Prince Edward Hotel management has decided to investigate the idea to attract and retain staff. A second staffing problem has been identified as the lack of availability of chefs and receptionists. Many of the graduates at the local college leave the Island for jobs in Western Canada.

In a recent planning session, the hotel management has decided that one of their key objectives over the next few years is to become known for excellence in customer service. This is seen as a key tool to compete with adjacent hotels.

Other plans include an expansion and further renovations including building an additional 20 rooms in a new extension during the coming year to meet demand. Construction is expected to get underway in September 2021 with a completion date of December 2021. In January 2022, management plans to close 20 of its oldest rooms and pool area for a complete refurbishing. The project will be completed by late April 2022, just in time for the summer season. There may not be enough work to keep all staff on the payroll during the renovations and construction. A plan to address this issue will be required.

Management has developed a simple staffing model:

• 55 rooms requires 60 staff

• The ratio of staff to rooms is therefore 1.09 staff per room

Other considerations:

• The Prince Edward currently has 85 staff and 78 rooms

• The relationship between people, demand and time has been gradually improving over the past several years as staff gain experience

• The new wing is expected to open in December 2021. The demand at that time of year includes an occupancy rate of approximately 65% plus seasonal corporate functions.

• Occupancy rate during the summer months (June – September) is 90%

• Sick leave has been gradually increasing over the past two years from an average of 2.5 days per employee to 5 days.

• Three kitchen staff and two room staff are off for an extended period of time due to back injuries.

Management at the Prince Edward Hotel decided recently to encourage greater staff flexibility and interchangeability. This interchangeability would be particularly useful between reception, waiting and kitchen duties. At the present time, waiting duties are the greatest on the weekend and least during weekdays, whereas reception and kitchen duties are the other way around. The effect of this is that waiting staff are overloaded during the weekends and have a number of hours of idle time during the week and vice versa. Hence, there was some overstaffing. By securing flexibility from staff (by paying a flexibility bonus) it was felt that the smooth running and efficiency would be considerably increased. It was calculated that the existing ratio of 1.09 could be scaled back to 1.00. Management is exploring this option along with opportunities to increase the use of technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Many staff are anxious about these changes because of low literacy and limited computer skills.

Managers at the Prince Edward assessed the level of customer service at present by collecting questionnaire data from both staff and customers and conducted a series of interviews with staff. They also asked where service could be improved and asked their staff how this could be achieved. Staff indicated that reporting relationships are confusing, job duties are unclear because of outdated work descriptions, and communication between management and staff is generally poor and inconsistent. In addition, the check in and out system was overly complex and needed to be simplified. Also, shift change times were found to correspond with busy checkout times. Staff also complained at the lack of performance feedback and absence of learning plans and training programs. Several weeks ago, the General Manager received a sexual harassment complaint. The written complaint is still sitting on his desk.

A statistical analysis of staff was conducted with results as follows: The annual labour turnover index is 26/85 or 30.5%. Of the 26 staff that had been recruited in the past year, six had been replacements for the same kitchen assistant’s job and five had been replacements for receptionist positions. At exactly one year earlier, there were only 69 of 85 of the positions filled. Analysis of departures indicates that the majority of departing employees had shorter lengths of service, with the period of employment of less than 6 months being the most common and in the age group of less than 45 years. Analysis of the age distribution indicates that there may be some difficulties with promotions. In particular, a problem was identified for management promotions among junior managers, the youngest being 35. In the past, such a junior manager would have been promoted after just two years of service. Staff turnover of general managers has, in the past, been low however the age of the general manager indicates that there could be a potential retirement in the near future. The average retirement age of all staff is at 61. In view of this, it was thought likely that two junior managers would leave shortly. This was not desired since they are particularly capable, so ways of dealing with this promotion block were considered such as creating new roles, which might retain the junior manager’s services until more promotional opportunities become available. Currently there is no HR Manager position in the organization and junior managers tend to be generalists.

Staff by occupation, number and age:

Position Title Number of positions Ages
General Manager 1 63
Managers/Junior Managers 7 35,38,43,52,50,59,61
Reception 12 23,21,22,34,46,39,41,33,29,35,52,50
Room staff 19 59,60,50,28,32,55,39,39,41,22,29,35,29,33,26,35,41,28,60
Chefs 7 22,32,44,54,56,59,60
Other kitchen staff 16 32,55,39,39,41,22,29,35,45,52,29,35,28,33,26,43
Bar waiters 13 39,41,22,29,35,27,22,45,36,39,41,22,29
Garden/lawn keepers/maintenance 6 41,26,30,28,50,39
Others 4 36,55,51,45
Total 85

1. Introduction

a. An overview of the organization and the purpose of the Strategic HR Plan

Please write in the computer.

 
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