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Research Project: Relationship Between Staff Motivation and Customer Satisfaction

Introduction

This research is aimed at investigating whether there is a relationship between staff motivation and customer satisfaction. The case study was done in the Savoy Hotel. The research process went well without much interruption. In addition to this, the respondents were very cooperative. Moreover, the management of the hotel supported us very well in all they could. Furthermore, they encouraged their employees, who were our respondents, to participate in the research. They argued that if quality information was derived from the research results or findings, then this information would be used to improve the decision-making in the hotel on issues regarding customer satisfaction and employee/staff motivation. The cooperation from the respondents was overwhelming. We did not expect this. The respondents were 100% cooperative and, hence, led to a successful research process that can thereby imply better results regarding bias and truthfulness. In addition to this, there was privacy. It means that the answers to each respondent were kept confidential. This went a long way in encouraging the respondents to speak freely and give the truthful answers according to their personal views. This also reduced bias in the research process, hence, giving more accurate results.

Analysis of primary data

Interviews

A total of 6 Savoy Hotel employees (3 males and 3 females) were interviewed. The respondents gave different answers according to their own perception of the questions they were answering. In the interview, gender was highly considered with the sample containing an even number of males and females to avoid gender biases in the results of the interview. Below are the questions asked and the answers given by the respondents:

Do managers perfectly motivate staff in this hotel?

Among the 6 respondents, 4 respondents (2 males and 2 females) felt that they were adequately motivated. Only 2 respondents (1 man and 1 woman) felt that they were not perfectly motivated and that more needs to be done for employee motivation. They suggested better pay, staff welfare programs, unions, and a better working environment. They also wished there were more leaves or off-days to give them more time to interact with their families. In addition to this, there was an issue of new parents. The employees felt that new mothers should have a paid leave of at least three months while nursing mothers should have flexible working schedules to give them time to watch their children. This was a general feeling among all respondents.

Do you think the work you perform makes customers more satisfied?

Among the 6 respondents, 5 (2 males and 3 females) felt that the work they performed made customers satisfied. Only 1 respondent felt that customer satisfaction was being compromised a great deal at the hotel. This respondent felt that due to less staff motivation, the quality of services he provided was quite low. Consequently, this meant less customer satisfaction. Evidently, demotivated staff will not be efficient at their work meaning that even the level of customer satisfaction would be significantly lower than desired.

Do you think increased rewards rise employee`s job satisfaction?

There was a unanimous answer to this question. All 6 respondents felt that if their pay were increased, it would increase the level of job satisfaction. Evidently, workers’ compensation plays a crucial role in determining the level of job satisfaction. All other factors held constant, well-paid employees tend to be more satisfied with their jobs while poorly paid employees are less satisfied (David, Louis, & Michael, 2005). The staff at the Savoy Hotel felt that an increase in their pay would go a long way in boosting their job satisfaction. This would culminate in better work or services provided meaning that even the level of customer satisfaction would increase. However, this is not the only way to increase job satisfaction. Unmistakably, some organizations offer a good salary for their employees. However, some of these organizations have a very poor working environment. Therefore, the level of job satisfaction would still below; all other factors held constant. This means that the organization should come up with a blend of factors that if wound together, they will ultimately work to increase the level of employee satisfaction thereby increasing customer satisfaction.

Does increased initiative make the employee more loyal to his organization?

In the 6 respondents interviewed, 5 respondents (3 males and 2 females) felt that increased initiative made an employee more loyal to their organization. The respondents felt that if the organization took the initiative of ensuring that their employees are well kept and satisfied at their workplace, their employees tend to be loyal. This is because the employees feel well protected and taken care of hence the allegiance to their employer (Baker, 2014). Only 1 respondent (female) felt that an employee’s loyalty to an employer was only a factor of salaries or compensation.

Is the work environment important for staff motivation?

All 6 respondents felt that the working environment was a key factor in the determination of staff motivation. Better working environment makes employees feel more satisfied with their jobs as compared to poor working conditions (Campbell, 1995). They felt that a better working environment would constitute of more leaves and off-days, better uniforms, healthy working relationships among junior and senior employees as well as more welfare programs, to name but a few.

Do managers behave with you in the way that you feel valued and respected?

Among the 6 respondents interviewed, only 3 of them (1 male and 2 females) felt that their managers’ behaved in a way that they felt valued and respected when interacting with their juniors. The other three respondents (2 males and 1 female) felt that managers should do better and work towards building a healthy working relationship with their juniors. The female respondent cited instances of being looked down upon as well as rude managers. They also said some bosses were too authoritative. The best management method in the contemporary business world is not by authority but by exerting acting like a “servant” of your juniors (Tracy, 2013). Moreover, they felt that some managers were also poor regarding leadership skills and interpersonal relationships. This made the employees feel less valued and not respected in the workplace.

Does the culture of this hotel make you proud of this organization?

Among the 6 respondents interviewed, 2 (male) felt that they were proud of the culture of Savoy Hotel. The remaining 4 respondents (1 male and 3 females) said that they feel that more should be done in the organization regarding how employees are treated and other issues related to employees of the hotel.

Do you think staff motivation input on satisfying customers?

This question received a unanimous answer: Yes. All respondents were of the opinion that staff motivation is a vital factor in determining the level of customer satisfaction in an organization. When the level of staff motivation is high, the level of customer satisfaction is also high while if staff motivation is low, the level of customer satisfaction tends to be low too (Gagne 2014). This is because demotivated staff cannot work efficiently. In most cases, they work like robots. For example, the waiters will find themselves not jovial as they serve customers at the hotel. This will mean that the customers will not feel welcome at the hotel. In addition to this, the workers might also arrive late at work since they are not even motivated to go to their workplace on time. Evidently, they will only be working for pay. This means they will only fulfill the minimum requirements (if they care to) leading to a situation where the workers are just robots at work. There will be no personal touch in the course of their interaction with customers (Latham, 2007). This means that the customers will have less satisfaction that will consequently lead to fewer returns for the hotel, hence, the hotel will have very few customers.

Table 1 below shows a summary of the interview results

QUESTION FOR/YES AGAINST/NO
Do managers perfectly motivate staff in this hotel? 4 2
Do you think the work you perform makes customers more satisfied? 5 1
Do you think increased rewards rise employee`s job satisfaction? 6 0
Does increased initiative make an employee more loyal to his organization? 5 1
Is the work environment important for staff motivation? 6 0
Do managers behave with you in the way that you feel valued and respected? 3 3
Does the culture of this hotel make you proud of this organization? 2 4
Do you think staff motivation input on satisfying customers? 6 0

Table 1: Interview results summary

Analysis of Customers feedback

A total of 300 customers’ feedbacks from the Trip Advisor on customer’s satisfaction and dissatisfaction factors at the Savoy Hotel in London were also reviewed for the months of September 2015 to November 2015. Out of the 300 feedbacks which were selected randomly, 201 were from couples who made the majority reviews, business and family persons made 45 reviews each and the solo travelers were 9 making the minority of the feedbacks.

A majority of the participants in the feedbacks (72%) indicated in their reviews that they were satisfied with the services which were offered in the hotel including overall satisfaction (Figure 2). According to the reviews, some indicated that they enjoyed the hospitality of the staff, the general services offered in the hotel and their experiences. Other customers rated average (7%) and very good (20%) which is a clear indication that they were satisfied with the hotel services. There were no reviews indicating that the customers got a terrible experience (0%). Only 1% of the customers indicated that they got bad service or they were not satisfied with the services offered to them as they showed a poor rating.

The visitors of the hotel according to the visitors’ feedbacks are explained in Figure 3. The male visitors constitute the majority of the visitors as they make 61% of the total visitors while the female visitors constitute only 39%. The hotel had more male visitors than female visitors between the months of September and November 2015.

According to the customers’ feedback, the customers reviewed some of the services in the hotel like the cleanliness of the hotel or rooms, the general location of the hotel, sleep quality, rooms, and the value of the services. The rating points of the customers ranged between 4-5 which according to the rating scale showed that they were satisfied (4) and completely satisfied (5) with all the services provided in the hotel (Figure 4). This shows that the customers could return back to the hotel or even refer their friends to visit the hotel because they never displayed any dissatisfaction levels of a rating of between 1-2.

Analysis of secondary data

Numerous studies have been done to demonstrate the relationship between customer satisfaction and employee motivation. All these studies point to one fact: there is a positive relationship between the level of customer satisfaction and employee motivation. For example, research on Sears Roebuck & Co. showed that an improvement in employees’ attitudes by five points increased the level of customer satisfaction by 1.3. This, in turn, generated an increase in revenues by 0.5%.

In 2000, Brooks carried out a study to find out the relationship between customer and employee variables (for example, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction) and the financial success of a business. He found out that 40-80% of customer satisfaction was a factor of employee satisfaction and motivation (Brooks, 2000). Another study done by Coelho and Vilares (2003) found that employee satisfaction and motivation had a very significant impact on the services they provide to customers and consequently the level of customer satisfaction. This in turn affected customer loyalty and the financial success of a business.

A study by Xu and Goedegebuure (2005) on the leading Chinese companies investigated the relationship existing between the satisfaction of employees, satisfaction of the customers and the profitability of the company. The findings from this research showed that there was a positive correlation between customer satisfaction and the satisfaction of employees which further had a positive impact on the company’s profitability levels.

Numerous researches also point to the fact that the level of perceived employee satisfaction determined their loyalty to the employer as well as the commitment to their job (Fitzwater, 1999). This increased the quality of services the employees render, and consequently, the value of services increased the level of employee satisfaction. This shows the positive relationship between customer satisfaction and employee motivation and satisfaction. Evidently, satisfied employees are motivated employees. Therefore, they tend to deliver high-quality services. They have high energy, ability and willingness to provide good services to their customers; hence, this ensures a high level of customer satisfaction. It explains the higher level of customer loyalty and consequently, a higher rate of return and profits for the employer (Egil & Helge, 2009).

Conclusion

From the above research, and adding to the other numerous researches done by other people, it is evident that there is a strong positive correlation between the level of customer satisfaction and employee motivation (Gupta, 1998). This finding should be of great importance to the management of the Savoy Hotel. The management should be made aware of the fact that motivated employees have a significant role to play in increasing the profits of the business. Therefore, management should work to increase the level of motivation of their employees to ensure that they have job satisfaction. This will, in turn, boost the quality of services they deliver to clients (Lillian & Tammy, 2012). Consequently, they will develop customer loyalty meaning that the hotel will have its customers. As a result, the satisfied customers will bring other customers and eventually, the business will have a stupendous number of customers. This will mean more profits for the business.

It is also important to note that motivated/satisfied employees experience interactional justice (David & Cary, 2009). Because of this, they also can have enough emotional resources to show understanding, respect, empathy, and concern, to name but a few necessary virtues in business, especially in the hotel industry. This will ensure that the workers are not working like robots. Their interaction with customers will make the customers want to come back again due to the high level of customer satisfaction (David & Cary, 2009).

Recommendations

According to this study, the management of the Savoy Hotel should come up with employee motivation strategies so as to increase the quality of services that the employees render to the customers. Customer satisfaction is vital to the profitability of the hotel so the employees need to have enough drive and force to improve their output levels and performances.

Some of the recommendations to the management are as follows:

i). Creation of a positive working environment

A good working environment is essential to any employee as no employee would work in areas that pose a threat or risk to their lives or well-being. The management should ensure that there is also a good working environment between the management and the subordinates because employees would work better when they are not harassed by the top management.

ii). Employee training

The hotel management might also consider taking their managerial team for training on interpersonal skills so that they also know how to interact with their juniors in a healthy manner. Evidently, instances of rude managers will be eradicated, and employees will feel valued and respected. It will increase their level of satisfaction at the workplace, thereby ensuring that they are motivated. This will ultimately be of great importance to the organization since increased employee motivation will increase the level of customer satisfaction that will mean more profits for the organization.

iii). Recognize achievements

The management should ensure that the efforts of the employees are recognized so as to enhance motivation in the employees to work harder so as to be recognized. This could be done through the use of performance awards and employee celebrations. Apart from that, team accomplishments and efforts could also be recognized.

iv). Set goals

The management of the hotel should help the employees to set their own goals which will enable them to be self-motivated. These goals should be achievable and the employees should be encouraged when they achieve their set goals.

v). Provide incentives

Incentives always boost morale in an individual. The hotel can offer incentives like some forms of low-cost ways such as gift vouchers, movie tickets, day-offs or even travel tickets so as to try to show appreciation for the efforts of the employees. When the employees are motivated, they always tend to perform better as they have the drive and motive instead of just performing their duties because they are paid.

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