Dissertation: Employment and Workplace Design
[Impact of Workplace Design] Institute of Hotel Management Aurangabad The Impact of Workplace Design “ A study of the Employee on the Job Performance in Taj Palace, Delhi” Varun Sahgal (H-18095) Submitted in fulfillment of the requirement of B. A (Hons) in Hotel Management University Of Huddersfeild United Kingdom March 2013 [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 1 [Impact of Workplace Design] Declaration I declare that this Dissertation is the result of my own individual efforts and that it confirms to university, departmental and course regulations regarding cheating and plagiarism.
No material contained within this Dissertation has been used in any other submission, by the author, for an academic award.
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Varun Sahgal (H-18095) Third Year Hotel Management Course Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad Date: 19. 3. 2013 [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 2 [Impact of Workplace Design] Acknowledgement Every professional endeavor requires the hard work of many worthy minds and this work is no different. I would begin by thanking my Dissertation guide ‘Mr. Ananad Iyengar’, his patience and support, were instrumental in accomplishing this task.
I thank my year tutor ‘Mr. Rakesh Katyayani’ and my dissertation coordinator ‘Mr. Saurabh Krishna’ for their amazing organizational skills that kept me focused on my work. Many of the arguments and facts mentioned in this work were sourced from books, journals, newspapers and websites. Though I have tried to acknowledge most of the sources to the best of my abilities, there were certain sources whose roots were not available making it absolutely impractical and difficult to provide accurate acknowledgement.
Regardless of the source I would like to show my gratitude to these anonymous works as they may have contributed greatly towards my endeavor. Last but not the least I would like to thank my college ‘Institute of Hotel ManagementAurangabad’ for providing the necessary guidance and resources and I would also like to extend a vote of thanks to the ‘Summons’ online library of the ‘University of Huddersfield’. This work would have been incomplete without their academic support. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 3 [Impact of Workplace Design] Table of Contents 1. Introduction 1. Research Questions 1. 2 Subsidiary Questions 1. 3 Aim of the study 1. 4 Purpose of the study 1. 5 Limitation of the study 1. 6 Dissertation structure 6-8 8 8 8 9 9 9-10 2. Literature Review 2. 1 Introduction 2. 2 Ergonomics 2. 3 Workplace Motivation 2. 4 Supervisory support 2. 5 designing the new workplace 2. 6 Flexibility at workplace 2. 7 Health factors and wellness programs affecting on the job behavior 2. 8 The impact of technology on, on the job behavior 2. 9 Environmental concerns regarding workplace design 2. 10 Managing underperformance 2. 11The people involved 1 11-12 13-14 15 16-17 17-18 18-19 19-20 21-22 21-22 22-23 23 3. Research Methodology 3. 1Approach 3. 2Research Question 3. 3 Research design 24 24 24 24 4. Results and discussion 4. 1 Interview 4. 1. 1Mr, Avijit Sen, G. M. , Vesta Hotels, Jaipur 4. 1. 2 Mr. Akesh Bhatnagar, G. M. , Golkonda Hotel, Hyderabad 4. 2 Structured Questionnaire Analysis 25 25 25-27 28-30 30-40 [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 4 [Impact of Workplace Design] 5. Conclusion and recommendation 5. 1 Summary 5. 2 Major Findings 5. 3 Scope for future research 41 41 42 42 6. References 43 LIST OF TABLES
FIGURE 1 ATTRIBUTES AFFECTING EMPLOYEES…………………………………………….. 31 FIGURE 2 ATTRIBUTES AFFECTING MALE EMPLOYEES ………………………………….. 32 FIGURE 3 ATTRIBUTES AFFECTING FEMALE EMPLOYEES ……………………………… 33 FIGURE 4 COMPARITIVE STUDY OF ATTRIBUTES AFFECTING MALE AND FEMALE EMPLOYEE…………………………………………………………………………………… 34 FIGURE 5 ATTRIBUTES AFFECTING EMPLOYEES AGED 18-25 …………………………. 35 FIGURE 6 ATTRIBUTES AFFECTING EMPLOYEES AGED 26-35 …………………………. 6 FIGURE 7 ATTRIBUTES AFFECTING EMPLOYEES AGED 36-45 …………………………. 37 FIGURE 8 ATTRIBUTES AFFECTING EMPLOYEES AGED 46-55 …………………………. 38 FIGURE 9 COMPARITIVE STUDY OF ATTRIBUTES AFFECTING ALL AGES ………. 39 [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 5 [Impact of Workplace Design] Chapter 1 “All work is seed sown. It grows and spreads, and sows itself anew” Thomas Carlyle Abstract Workplace design in the hospitality sector has become a very important phenomenon; people do not only wish to see a luxurious front of the house but also an amazing back office.
Workplace does not only imply to external and architectural design, it also in its folds covers the topics like motivation, wellness, supervisory support, environmental concerns, learning and development etc. This project deals with understanding proper workplace design as a tool for improving on the job performance of an employee. The researcher plans to conduct a research on some of the employees working in the food and beverage department of Taj palace Delhi to understand which attribute of workplace affects them the most and till what extent.
The project also involves semi structured interviews with professionals at high designation in the industry and what is their take on the importance of work environment as an overall change maker. The objective is to completely understand workplace modeling and how innovations in the same can make it better in the future. 1. Introduction In the changing world of today where luxury and fashion make up for eighty to ninety percent of emotional content in an individual, people look for fashionable and comfortable work places also.
The researcher aims to study workplace attributes in the hospitality industry and its affect on, ‘on the job behaviour’ of the employees The researcher while working will adopt ‘contingency orientation’, he will aim to understand that organizational behaviour/on the job behaviour is complex and is driven by a lot of factors. No two employees are alike and different situations means different to each and every individual. Managers therefore must learn to adopt workplace policies that answer not only the grievances of few but provides solutions for the problems of the many. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 6 Impact of Workplace Design] The researcher aims to follow a three point approach while achieving objectives for the given topic. ? Identifying the causes of current behaviour through a questionnaire analysis on work and its attributes ? ? Sidelining strategies that would help mitigate current causes of disengagement Studying the impact of change implemented for the same Managing workplace and workforce in the twenty first century is all about embracing a change.In many ways the job of the workplace is to perform the same functions as it performed earlier which is to manage, motivate and influence employees.
Current scenario is that, the workplace’s expectation from the employee is the same but the employee’s expectation from the workplace has changed drastically. The complex variety of social, personal, environmental, recreational and technological changes that have taken place recently makes the task of managing workforce and designing workplace even more challenging. Someone rightly quoted ‘Managing on the job behaviour today is like pushing water uphill using a rake’ (Anonymous, n. d. ). Time is short and stakes are high. Corporate are running a race to achieve perfect face value amidst their competition.
Companies that manage their workforce well get higher returns on productivity. After all, a lot depends on the produce of a company. Recently many companies have focused their attention towards IT; they feel technology gives them an added advantage since it evolves rapidly. Managers forget that technology can only seldom provide an organization with a competitive advantage but in the end, it is the people that matter. Research has also shown that investment in IT workers pays greater dividends than investment in hardware or software.
When employees quit they are not leaving their jobs, they are leaving their workplace. Therefore a great workplace atmosphere creates a better on the job performance thereby creating a cadre of the finest productive workers. Products can easily be aped but not the workplace on which the productivity and behaviour of the human resource depend so an organizations greatest competitive advantage is its own workplace and the behavior of its [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 7 [Impact of Workplace Design] employees in the workplace.
Implementing methods for the improvement of a workplace should be the first and foremost decision of any company. This is why companies like CISCO, Harley Davidson and Merek are different they invest in manpower more than any other attribute. They understand the importance of work and workplace systems alike. One must know that implementing a straightforward management strategy is easy but what really counts is what the management does in difficult times when on the job behaviour is not good and there are high rates of employee attrition and abseintism. . 1 Research Question ? Is On the Job Behaviour influenced by workplace design? 1. 2 Subsidiary Questions ? ? Would a better on the job performance affect organizational productivity? Why have no strong laws in workplace design been implemented in the past twenty years? ? Will factors like goal setting, performance feedback, role congruity, defined processes, workplace incentive, supervisor support etc influence ‘On the job behavior’ of an employee? ? Have there been improvement trends in workplace design? 1. Aim of the study The aim is to analyze the effect of the Workplace attributes on the employees ‘On the job behavior’ by performing a structured research in the Food and Beverage department of Taj Palace Delhi. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 8 [Impact of Workplace Design] 1. 4 Purpose of the study Workplace and jobs have become a complex phenomenon in today’s times. Employees today have a large number of alternatives and selections at their disposal and hence workplace becomes a crucial factor for keeping or leaving the job.
It is imperative that an Employees working environment is well kept and maintained because ultimately the workplace environment is what defines on the job behaviour and employee motivation. How well an employee adapts to his psychological, psycho motive, desire and health factors at his workplace will determine his workplace behaviour, productivity and errors. Through this research the researcher aims to prove the relation between workplace factors and on the job behaviour of the employee thereby being able to prove that workplace design factors definitely impacts on the job performance of an employee. . 5 Limitations and scope of the study: Broad research in this field would bring about data collection complications. The research only analyses the data collected from a few employees in the food and beverage department. The semi structured interviews will also not show the bigger picture as different people have different opinions about their own workplace, to some the workplace seems perfect to others it may require a lot of change.
Although the study covers only a small department in one business unit of the hospitality sector research on this subject in the near future on a macro level would provide managers with an all new level of understanding in employee motivation and workplace design. The research can be extended to hotels resorts or even company policies. 1. 6 Dissertation Structure: The 1st chapter, the Introduction essentially covers the topic of the research and a brief on its relevance to the industry today.
The chapter summarizes the approach of the researcher and the hypothesis and other objectives. The chapter speaks of limitations and scope of this dissertation in the next decade. It also covers some of the questions that the researcher will analyze during the course of this project. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 9 [Impact of Workplace Design] The 2nd chapter, the literature review forms the basis of the dissertation. It carries a vivid description of each of the workplace attributes, their current scenario in the industry, prior research and the researcher valuable critique.
The literature review provides a structure to the dissertation and also helps to prepare a structure for the data analysis and research methodology. The Literature review also decides the scope for future research on the given topic. The 3rd Chapter, the research methodology deals with the steps the researcher has taken to obtain the desired data to conclude his hypothesis. It also gives a comparative understanding of how the researcher has composed the models for analysis and what was the approach.
The 4th Chapter, the data analysis contains the conducted interviews and the analysis of the data collected from the employees in the form of a structured questionnaire, the chapter has the analysis of the data which proves the researchers hypothesis and also answers the subsidiary questions as given on the first chapter The 5th Chapter, conclusion and recommendation summarizes the dissertation and the results of the analysis. It has the critique of the researcher on the existing procedures and how they can be changed in the near future to achieve outstanding results.
The chapter also provides a valuable insight into how future research can be conducted for the same [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 10 [Impact of Workplace Design] Chapter 2 (Literature Review) “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home. ” -Betty Bender 2. 1 Overview It has always been argued that distraction, lack of interest, poor decisions and high absence are the major causes of employee disengagement; but what organizations actually forget are that these factors might be just the symptoms; – the root cause may be very different (Slade, 2010).
Recent scenarios also indicates that subtle productive changes in the workplace environment today actually reduce employee absenteeism and attrition, which in turn improves on the job performance thereby impacting productivity in a very positive way (Roeloefsen, 2002). Today it has been proven that employee satisfaction is directly proportional to job satisfaction, which is directly dependent on the working environment. Workplace factors are a major catalyst in productivity and on the job performance of an employee.
In fact, research has focused on ergonomics or biomechanics because of workers’ demands for more comfort at the workplace (Wells, 2000). Theorists believe that everyone seeks a balance between what one puts into his work and what one expects to get out of it. Most of the time one tends to compare his own situations with that of other employees in the market place, before he actually decides to work with a particular organization (Adams, 1963). In the recent past the nature of employee and employer relations has actually been distorted because of the changes in job structures and way of living.
There are a number of companies in the market and therefore not only employees but employers also need to focus on their conduct to make a mark in the business. Higher salaries and better perks may seem the most obvious way of increasing an employee’s on the job performance but this is influenced by other important factors that include work motivation, training and development opportunities, physical, psychological and psychomotive factors (Leblebici, 2012). [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 11 [Impact of Workplace Design]
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs’ theory argued that the measure of anthropogenic attitudes to work was slowly and steadily being extended to workplace and work environment as well for understanding human psychology and motivating factors. The study involved synthesizing success stories of exemplary people like Einstein, Roosevelt, Douglas and Adams rather than studying the so called neurotic or mentally ill. The model involved looking at human psychology from scratch – basic needs like food, water, lifestyle, love etc. Going step higher, needs evolved to less basic ones like security, employment, morality, family etc.
At further higher levels, needs were more exclusive and included a need for creativity, belonging, selfesteem, motivation and culture. It was realized that if all these factors were well taken care of in a workplace environment, they would boost the on job performance of the individual , which would reflect on the team thereby boosting productivity on a whole (Janet A Simons, n. d. ). McGregor’s theory on the contrary involved classifying workers as X or Y elements, where the X elements are idle, destructive and redundant and require motivation and training to bring them up to speed with work and business.
Elements Y on the other hand, are selfmotivated workers flushed with creativity, who actually make up the strong pillars of the business and require less support as compared to the element X. McGregor’s theory differs from Maslow’s theory where he states that it is the worker who should be motivated. According to him, the workers should have a positive relation with the workplace to ensure all psychological and self actualization needs are being fulfilled for better performance and productivity. Stuart, 2010) Finally differing from all other theorists Herzberg found out that factors that were cause for concern were company policy, relation with the boss, working conditions, salary and relationship with peers. On the other hand , the factors that kept them motivated were achievement, recognition, business as usual, responsibility , advancement and growth, which again linked the theory of Herzberg to Mcgregor and Maslow (Anonymous, n. d. ) Therefore it may be said that a workplace is the result of various decisions, feelings and emotions working together in a close and cohesive work environment.
So to actually determine what is it that actually impacts on the job performance of an employee. The researcher will look into biomechanics which has been a very recent breakthrough in research better termed as Ergonomics at workplace. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 12 [Impact of Workplace Design] 2. 2 Ergonomics: Today ‘Ergonomics’ or innovation in workplace procedures has become the hip word in the United states of America as the workplace is going through major changeovers during this particular era.
The Modern Office Procedure Council has even moved up to publish an article fashionably, entitled ‘Ergonomics; the outbreak of a newer discipline’ (Anonymous, n. d. ). The article though not very acclaimed has covered: work-stations, work-environment, behaviors at work and many other minute issues that are generally overlooked while discussing on the job performance. The research brought together problems that had been collected and researched over a period of thirty years to prove that employers could actually boost employee on the job performance through workplace design.
Thi research is mainly being focused on the employees’ reaction to workplace and workplace design. Working all day at a desk in an office takes its toll on the eyes, neck and hands which are sometimes termed as Musculo Skeletal disorders or simply (MSDs) (Anonymous, 2010). Workplaces have today initiated Healthy Work Practice Programs (HWPP), these programs provide a proper checklist for office ergonomic design and also help develop strategies to implement the same (Anonymous, 2010).
A study conducted in 2000 also states that in the workplace today where technology has taken over a lot of the workplace space there should be supplementary breaks in between to reduce eye strain and over exertion of the eye muscles (Anonymous, 2007). Theorists have argued that the rate of production per industry per day has been increasing daily to maintain a competitive advantage in the market place. Technologies are being upgraded, work lifestyle is changing and most importantly, recreation time is being diminished. In such an environment, where humans are actually becoming synonymous to machines, the importance of rgonomics is paramount. If the principles of Ergonomics are not applied to the work task and tools, workers might go through undue stress and mental strain, which in turn decrease on the job performance and have a negative impact on productivity as a whole. Recognizing the ergonomic factors in a workplace is the first step to recognizing the hazards related to workers on the job conditions. Engineers believe that removing physical stress from the working environment could actually eliminate many serious work related injuries each year.
Employers should learn to understand employee mindset and work design to make the workplace safer. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 13 [Impact of Workplace Design] Ergonomics can help reduce many (MSDs) while working in operations like hotels, as the work involves giving more than eight hours a day to operations. The process also helps increase the productivity as it provides safer working conditions that motivates the workers to work better in an environment. Ergonomics would also help decrease the absenteeism rates due to less MSD’s and more energy among the work force.
A workplace can substantially reduce turnovers if new recruits find their workplace properly designed to suit their mindset. Reduced expenses, resulting from a decrease in the rate of (MSDs) would require less cost for covering illness and reduced organization and personal medical costs (OSHA, 2000) OSHA also agues that Reducing Ergonomic Hazards at a workplace is probably the easiest of operations to perform. If one is an employer and his employees frequently complain of ergonomic hazards, all he has to do is incorporate an ergonomics program in the foundation of his organization.
The program should motivate employees to participate and should provide scope for valuable feedback to supervisors. The program should be checked regularly by the executive in charge to ensure transparency and productivity. The program at the end of the day should be successful and should be a proper training and development task for employees as well as employers (OSHA, 2000) Though from personal work experience it is strongly believed, Employees in the Hospitality ndustry have an inner belief that it is the organizations outlook to provide them with safe, healthy and balanced working conditions. Over a period of the past two years the researcher has completed successful working hour within the premises of three Hospitality establishments and has nowhere experience a proper Ergonomic design program in place. Apart from workplace design 58% of the employees strongly agree that the motivation factor is a major discipline if one wishes to measure the relation between job performance and workplace.
Each and every employee feels that to sustain and work happily in a working environment there are only two things of paramount importance, the first being workplace design which has been explained above by the researcher in great detail and the other is Motivation factor. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 14 [Impact of Workplace Design] 2. 3 Workplace motivation Motivation recently has been a keen area of research among industrialists and psychologists as it impacts on the job performance of an Individual. It is being taken as a very serious process in a workplace.
The beginning of motivation for any personnel in any field of work is very simple, ‘he deserves to be treated fairly and with respect’. On the job behaviour is a pure reflection of how one is treated within the organization. The second step to why motivation is an important fact is because ‘motivation leads to a change in behaviour, which in turn decides changes in the productive aspect of the employee at workplace’. Slowly but steadily managers in many concerns have started taking the concept of motivation seriously.
The assessment of satisfaction in the workplace has been a very common occurrence in the recent times and has been used as a tool to measure employee well being and satisfaction in a particular department (Spector, 1997). General Research has shown that out of twenty candidates, seven prefer to go to work happily i. e. They are the category X employees according to the X and Y theory. Ten employees have a feeling that they wish to remain neutral some days can be happy and well other could be boring. The remaining three who are the Y candidates feel that their orkplace requires drastic improvements. There was a similar answer from all the candidates when they were questioned about appreciation, belonging, scope of improvement, salary, supervisor support goal setting and feedback. Therefore as gathered from work experience at a diverse number of workplaces, the general feeling is that workplace motivation is a very important aspect. If the behaviour of the supervisor or the senior does not motivate the employees at work then the employee tends to abhor their work leading to increased abseintism and attrition.
The researcher feels that out of a ten hour work shift an employer must at least spend thirty minutes with his employees to evaluate what they have done and what they should do in the near future to establish success in their working methods. An employer should be able to successfully develop a sense of confidence and optimism in his employees. The employer should also once in a while allow the employees to volunteer for tasks that are beyond their abilities so that even the failure can help generate self learning through a method of retrograde training.
Apart from this the researcher also feels that an employer must successfully be able to map his employee’s goals and aspirations to help them achieve the same through directed learning and development opportunities. Apart from all this the general feeling is that beyond motivation a good supervisor at the workplace is also an important factor for retaining and satisfying employees. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 15 [Impact of Workplace Design] 2. 4 Supervisory Support Today Supervisors are a very important factor in the workplace.
They are epitomes of knowledge and mediums of effective feedback for employees who are working under them (Durham CC, 1997). The level of supervisory support is directly proportional to the teams introduced in workplace today. A supervisor today should be able to comprehend the mood of the individual and the team and work accordingly. With increasing number of team members under a supervisor the need for traditional support reduces. Today a supervisor is expected to possess the qualities for performing diverse roles as with changing scenarios the rolls of different teams.
With the drastic changes in the environment it is necessary that the supervisor is chosen before the contingent team is prepared and his behaviour and attitude towards his work must be assessed before-hand so as to give a complete sense of satisfaction to all employees as theorized by (Tannenbaum SI & JA, 1996). A supervisor’s major focus should be on the job enhancement practices for his subordinates, feedback and training. This will help bring about a change in the employee’s behaviour, motivating him to redesign the workplace.
A supervisor must allow an employee to learn from mistakes rather than spoon feeding and directing each and every time as there is a line of research that states that ‘autonomy without doubt is the best form of learning’ (Parker Sk, 1998). Sometimes theorists do say that leadership and supervision have a lesser impact on satisfaction but that does not mean it has no impact at all. Supervisory support has critically been recognized as an imperative process for continuous development of new teams on the aspects of satisfaction. BM, 1997) The effect of supervisory support on employee satisfaction is an attribute which has scarcely been researched over time. What really matters is the ability of the supervisor to stay within a team and work as an equal and at the same time being able to stand out from the rest in some unique way or the other such that, he is successfully able to motivate and supervise the employees he has to lead. No supervisory support is complete without a super workplace design. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 16 [Impact of Workplace Design] . 5 Designing the new workplace Today ‘on the job behaviour’ is becoming an important aspect of workplace productivity, architects and interior designers have been working hard to provide employees with the most exquisitely modeled workplaces possible. But the time has come to look beyond architectural innovation because (Jusko, May,2000) says that a study conducted in office design and workplace survey in some of the best offices in the US states that most of the managers gave working conditions a grade ‘c’.
Hence, it was proved that there are some things beyond architectural design that prompted workers to do well, which were none other than ‘wellness and recreation design’ Healthcare expenditure is soaring high, there is a definite need for reducing hospital and sickness costs in each and every organization. The United States of America and the European nations have adopted structured wellness programs in their office design (Kutler, 2010). Research widely shows that prevention of injury and disease decrease working cost by $3. 47 per employee per day.
This average return on investment clearly highlights the fact that incorporation of wellness programs within an organization would help profits greatly and would positively influence on the job performance with reduced health concerns, injury and cost of treatment Theorists’ believe a key factor of human resource is to promote employee satisfaction thereby promoting customer satisfaction. Referring to ‘Maslow’s triangle’ , it can be easily seen that a sense of belonging, friends, culture, team work, co-worker support and supervisor support, games and recreation make an important part of an employee’s ‘self-actualization’ needs.
Workplace recreation and design is very evident in organizations that bring together people and processes and its introduction into the hospitality sector is a highly necessary evil. The question to ponder over is why again is a recreational design required at a workplace? The answers though are pretty simple. Today Recreational activities provide a form of intrinsic reward, a sense of self satisfaction from within, which boosts employee motivation. Participation in recreational activities and retreats, help put a balance between work and life.
Recreational activities that require participation of staff teams provides scope for individual behaviour and attitude feedback. Recreation in a way helps an employee connect his aspiration to his organization and last but not the least, recreation provides the best forum for self development (Mokaya, february,2012) [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 17 [Impact of Workplace Design] So, when it comes to linking recreation and health with on the job performance it has been well seen that both help in strengthening the social bond between customer and employee.
They help in developments of skills like leadership, team work and communication, which are invaluable assets for the service industry. The activities also provide a good social forum for discussion and understanding of topics like goals, vision and mission of the organization and future endeavors; it also provides scope for innovation and brain storming at work, coupled with increased friendship and cohesiveness among the staff.
Other than wellness and recreation Work stress is also a major cause of not liking ones workplace so to provide a better relationship among staff and employers it is necessary also to act upon the concept of workplace flexibility. 2. 6 Flexibility at workplace Today flexibility means defining how and when a work is done and how does one organize his career in such a critical way that there is improved workplace effectiveness. Companies use workplace flexibility as a major tool for managing, customizing, recruiting, retaining and strategizing workforce load as said by (E. Friedman, 2002).
There have been several studies in this field that have successfully been able to prove that flexibility has a major role in reducing stress, increasing effectiveness and improving performance. Flexibility at workplace can be of many types depending on what the work demands and how the superior wants to maximize the amount of work done by a particular employee. Today Traditional flextime at a workplace allows employees to choose their own times of coming and leaving the office such that their times will be surrounding the time of core operating hours and the work meted out to them should be done.
Employees are given a certain amount of time in a week to complete their work for e. g. ; the employee is to work ten hours a day for four days a week or has to complete eighty hours of work over a period of nine days and so on and so forth (E. Friedman, 2002). Many companies also do offer a concept better known as summer hours, i. e. , increasing an hour per day and completing the time allotted before the designated day, to apply for an extra off. Theorists believe that Flexibility is many times wrongly termed as an employee perk whereas it is only a tool to successfully manage employee on the job behaviour/performance.
Its importance is such that it can be used over a range of managerial jobs and at different levels of the hierarchy. Most importantly it is a precise tool and should only be applied only [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 18 [Impact of Workplace Design] where the management feels apt to do so, everyone cannot ask for flexibility and not all jobs can be given flexibility. There are instances wherein on a permanent job an employee can be provided flexibility for a temporary period to boost his morale so as to help him change his outlook towards his work (E.
Friedman, 2002). It is imperative that a company realizes the problem it wants to deal with, using the tool of flexibility. It is wise always to look into flexibility issues of comparable companies before such a step is taken to boost employee esteem. The company should conduct internal studies and should actually be completely sure about the attitudes of the personnel for whom they are allowing flexibility as the company’s entire working schedule will be centered on flexibility.
Going by what theorists say, coping with flexibility is also not an easy factor so it is always better if the supervisors of a company are better trained to monitor staff that are flexible and are trained to calculate output from a flex oriented workforce and last but not the least, a company should make its staff well aware of the continuing improvements and should regularly appreciate staff who have done well on a flexi schedule through accolades and newsletters.
Though flexibility is not a very common answer to problems in the Hospitality sector as it is a very human oriented industry, what can actually become the solution is concentrating on improving the health of an employee. 2. 7 Health Factors and Wellness Program affecting on the job behaviour Today a workplace is viewed from the health perspective, research so far has looked into workers health in two aspects, the former being – do organizations today promote wellness and health programs for workers?
And the latter being – Are healthy workplaces also the ones which are more productive? The first question generally covers human resource, employee motivation, hazard free environment, wellness programs, supervisor support, training and development. The latter question though here is significantly more important for this particular research as it is looking into improvements in ‘on the job performance’ of a worker in the organization. Looking at a very three dimensional view of the situation, the answer to the latter appears to be more qualified and complex.
Organizations are slowly incorporating workplace wellness programs in their work schedule but actually translating the measure of wealth to on the job productivity is a very difficult task that is required to be accomplished. The research on this front appears to be very weak because in the service industry where work is supposed to be inconspicuous, the industry has shown graphs of deteriorating worker [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 19 [Impact of Workplace Design] health and wellness because of the amount of hard work required and less time available for one’s own self.
One must identify the gaps in the health environment of a workplace and should aim to understand the synergistic effects of certain health promotion exercises by combining psychology with job behaviour to research factors like motivation, productivity , sickness ,absenteeism , leave and other psycho social outcomes that can be measured through wellness studies conducted on the job. Organizations must invest in a healthier working environment and employee care as it will no doubt increase productivity and will be a smart investment in terms of future returns.
It is highly imperative that employees coordinate with employers for such programs and understand the effects of team related, work related and family related healthcare. But then again by incorporating better technology also, one can reduce the stress on the Human workforce of the industry. 2. 8 The impact of technology on, ‘on the job behaviour’ Technology has not only changed the workplace today but has also become the lifeline of success of any company. The world has changed after the advent of fax, internet, Wi-Fi, e mail and holograms. Technology is upgrading itself each minute and will continue upgrading itself at a fast rate.
Imagining work without access to technology is unimaginable. Technology has not only changed the lives of the physically able but has also given equal power to the disabled to compete and even be more productive than normal. With the advent of technology, more and more physically challenged people are entering the business today that probably earlier, just had one or two options. Before technology the differently abled could only earn from supplement programs of the government or could attend ‘training and retraining’ in schools for the challenged, but their life was neither challenging nor productive.
The knowledge of assisting devices – how they work and how easily they can be serviced, has empowered the physically challenged to reach newer heights, today even they can be workers, coworkers, self-earning individuals and most importantly with technology boosting their self-esteem, they have become successful and productive employees of today. Theorist believe Whether disabled or not , technology will continue to assist individuals in a job where precision and time management are required, and before joining a job the employer [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 20 [Impact of Workplace Design] s often riddled with questions about what technology will the employee be using and can the technology be remodeled as per his convenience of use (Cohn, 2000). Therefore it is imperative that technology keeps changing so that work becomes easier as ease of work is another incentive/tool to improve on the job performance and quality of service. Before we close the topic of technology, we must not forget that a very simple technology that has been around for the past few years is the one on which the foundation of every successful business industry is based is the e-mail, which is viable proof that technology is a burning need.
Though technology is indispensable, policy makers in every country should take an important stride to maintain on the job wellness and a healthy workplace environment. A healthy environment is the first installment of better and greater future returns and for that technology must go hand in hand with the Environmental concerns of Today. 2. 9 Environmental concerns regarding Workplace design Environment issues at workplace should be a growing concern for any company today after the green laws and threat to the ozone layer.
Apart from all this it also affects employee performance and on the job behaviour. Who would like to work in an office with bad ventilation and the smell of asbestos around? An infected work environment is a health issue; it not only decreases productivity but also has a direct impact on employee health causing diseases like asthma, claustrophobia and lung infections. This in turn again increases employee absenteeism and health costs of the company. The Employers should take necessary steps to ensure a healthy work environment.
The organization should maintain and keep to the guidelines provided by OSHA and EPA to maintain cost effective ways of managing work environment and reduce absenteeism and attrition to influence on the job behaviour and employee productivity. Theorists argue that employees should also understand greater concerns related to the environment when they are working in a service industry where 75 to 80 percent of the waste generated is biodegradable and can be managed simply by doing CSR initiatives and nonprofit work.
Restaurants generate around seventy to eighty kilos of edible waste per day. If a company plans successfully, the food waste can safely be disposed off to NGO’s for the poor as a CSR initiative which would give employees a sense of belonging and goodwill and [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 21 [Impact of Workplace Design] would motivate them to innovate on better and unique methods of waste disposal for the greater good and environmental concern.
The reason for bringing in environmental concerns while studying employee productivity is the simple fact that “waste should be eliminated in the surroundings where it is generated’ then only is it said that the company follows a policy of successful waste management. Therefore, every company should have a method of connecting with the experts for complete understanding of environmental concerns relating to a guest service industry. Proper training and development sessions on how to manage cleanliness and environment around and in the workplace should be well followed by employers.
The employees should be trained in the art of environment management by their given organization. After discussing every aspect of workplace design one must not forget that an Employees reason for discord may also be underperformance which also sadly makes up a large part of the workplace design. 2. 10 Managing underperformance Workplace is marked by unsatisfactory work performance or the failure to comprehend and act on the tasks which are to be done by the individual in the position of power he holds.
The reasons clearly stand to be; a high degree of non compliance with workplace policies and/or rules, unacceptable behaviour from peers at workplace and disruptive or attitude clashes with bosses or superiors. Apart from this the reasons that are more importantly missed while carrying out a feedback are an employee’s problem in understanding what is expected, his incapability to perform in the given position due to a mismatch between job profile and skill set, lack of regular counseling thereby paralyzing the employee technically, family issues, drug abuse and work culture.
It has been frequently argued that dealing with underperformance has always been challenging for employee and employer alike. Managers with formal education require the 5Cs to deal with underperformance which relatively are character, commitment, conviction, courtesy and courage (Khera, 1998). It is crucial to resolve underperformance problems in the location where they arise. Not necessarily does every underperformance issue require a structured approach but the mind must always be free to explore additional options.
Employers must remember in all contexts that underperformance affects a work environment adversely. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 22 [Impact of Workplace Design] There exists certain incapability among managers to identify the source of underperformance and then assess it successfully. Never has one seen all companies perform at the same level and if they would have, the existence of competition would not have been a paramount feature hence it is important to understand who controls the situation and who manages the workforce. 2. 1 The people involved After discussing all the attributes involved in a workplace design that lead to positive on the job performance, one must not forget the major question of who should be involved in the major processes. An article published by (Frenburg, 1985) stated that flexibility, health, environment, recreation and motivation impacted on the job performance as it involved a sense of well being and belonging in an employee. The researcher also found that whatever gaps were left in progressive work design was the lack of consultation between employee, employer and workplace designer.
It is undoubtedly very clear that a workplace benefits more from staffs who are motivated and trained and understand who the boss is. Effective performance management individuals can create better employees and better effectiveness at workplace. Non compliance with workplace issues, negligent behaviour and hostility in the workplace environment leads to leadership, teamwork and managing the workplace issues. It is rare that an employee knows what is expected from him. Many a times it has been seen that for all the processes mentioned above, there are as such no ground rules laid down by the department to help employees with the same.
Unless employees are made to understand that they are underperforming, it is very difficult for them to actually understand that they are underperforming (government, n. d. ). It is essentially required that the head HR managers and executives , properly look into the tasks mentioned above so that proper coordination is maintained and all the processes followed very closely and carefully… [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 23 [Impact of Workplace Design] Chapter 3 (Research Methodology) 3. Approach The researcher has adopted a mix of “quantitative” as well as “qualitative” approaches to carry out this particular study. The Qualitative analysis involves the primary research which draws inferences from the working environment and its effect on the employees in the food and beverage department of the Taj Palace Delhi. The secondary research of this analysis involved conducting literature reviews through thorough study of journals, books and websites to get a global understanding of employee and employee workplace to substantiate the primary research.
The quantitative approach involved conducting a survey of thirty employees in the food and beverage department of the hotel, the questionnaires were distributed to equal number of men and women and were spaced over a span of different age groups to understand how employees today feel about their workplace and what is the change they would like to see in that particular department or their working conditions in the near future.
After which the researcher conducted semi structured interviews of certain industry personnel who have given sufficient amount of years to the industry and who can successfully compare and contrast the difference between workplace scenarios then and what change they have undergone now. 3. 2 The Research Question/Hypothesis Do workplace attributes affect on the job behaviour of an employee? 3. 3 Research design The primary design of the research is an empirical deductive research. The questionnaire data has been collected from thirty employees belonging to different societies and spread over different ages and genders.
The qualitative data involves deducing data from semi structured interviews of hospitality industry professionals with sufficient experience of the topic. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 24 [Impact of Workplace Design] Chapter 4 (Results and Discussion) 4. 1 Interview 4. 1. 1 Mr. Avijit Sen, General Manager, Vesta Hotels Jaipur How critical is the physical work environment to office space designing today compared to when you began your work in the industry? Things were indeed very different when I began in the hospitality sector. The industry was still going through a phase of metamorphosis and things were very new.
Then, every HM student was considered to be a waiter and a culinary guy a ‘bawarchi’. There was no defined workplace design as such, people were staunch followers of the phrase work is worship and no matter whatever be the condition work is our livelihood so good or bad pleasing or not so pleasing it did not matter. But yes things are very different now. People are being judged on their overall efficiency more and more jobs are being replaced by technology and a small number of highly qualified individuals are required in a business unit. Workplace or the so called physical environment of the employee has become an epicenter of change.
Innovation and efficiency are today’s mantra and are the keys to employee motivation. Everyone wishes to have an environment with his own physical space. There has been more stress on scientific design lately to suite the body and physical needs of employees and with labor becoming more and more costly, one has to design to retain. When did you first begin to realize that the work environment or the workplace itself has started affecting your on the job behaviour? Well to be very honest, it was not very tough to realize that. When you are at the level of assistant managers you are young in the industry and the world seems to be a gift of Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 25 [Impact of Workplace Design] unlimited possibilities. At that time when you are in the period of frequent transfers and property changes you seem to notice designs and patterns I am from a food and beverage background for me at least I knew that the design of the bar or the restaurant definitely mattered. Better ambience better origination would not only please customer but also employee alike. The major difference always will be that some places the organization would have designed well at other places it would have not shown much interest so the working attitude really differs from place to place.
I preferably found the Private hotels and their designs better and hence changed over from ITDC. Why do you feel that the industry is taking so long to incorporate workplace innovations even after realizing that it has a significant impact on the on the job behaviour? Unlike all other product oriented businesses which have been there from time immemorial the hospitality industry is relatively knew and mapping all aspects of its production is very difficult.
Plus recent insights show that the hospitality industry is still in need of a lot of qualified professionals Workplace design though essential is a very hi-fi concept, the education system in India is definitely not equipped to produce out of the box thinking individuals and that is why there are very few. It is not that the workplace engineering concept has not been introduced, the fact still is that hospitality professionals are still not mentally prepared to embrace the realities of the concept. If you wanted to create the ideal workplace environment, what would you envision it to be if you were an employee?
Honestly, if I were to view workplace as an employee, India is far from achieving the vision I have seen. Improvements are not only required in staff line motivation but also infrastructure [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 26 [Impact of Workplace Design] Life in hospitality is fast paced, the job is demanding and work hours are eerie. In a scenario like this, employees are forced to come and change in a changing rooms cramped with lockers that would not even hold two pair of suits. The washrooms of the back area are cramped and employees literally have to bend to accommodate.
The bunk beds placed for employees on night parole too are rough and uncomfortable When I began as an hotelier we had a few prestigious properties of hospitality scattered in the regions of Delhi Madras and Bangalore and sadly when today hospitality is growing its staff sector is still underdeveloped. The resources are not proper and the facilities are scarce. What do you feel have been the most repetitive complains regarding workplace issues in the industry? Being a manger you face those complains in abundance, you can never categorize these complains as important or non important.
Many of them are linked to issues I have already discussed with you in previous questions. I often get complains like the environment smell rancid, the cleaning in the back areas are, not proper. Technological failure, software’s not working. Then you will also not be surprised to find complains like space in washroom is not sufficient or the staff rooms are too claustrophobic. Lack of basic amenities and training programs and less motivational factors related to work. Office innovation or workplace change is actually the development of technological social and personnel aspects, what are your comments on this statement?
It is definitely that but a lot more is what I would like to say as I have mentioned every aspect in my answers above. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 27 [Impact of Workplace Design] 4. 1. 2 Mr. Akesh Bhatnagar, General Manager, Golkonda Hotel, Hyderabad How critical is the physical work environment to office space designing today compared to when you began your work in the industry? Interesting Question, you see physical work environment or office design now is like the rotation of the earth, there is day and there is night. Some changes occurred for the best and well others were not that successful.
Office design was critical then and is critical now the only difference today is that people are more aware of what is expected of them. In the 1980s when I was still in my twenties I remember the laws of transparency at work and overtime were not strict. People could get away with anything and everything and honestly we did not bother much we did what our elders had done, we were told work was for a living and it had to be done come what may. Today though things have taken a drastic turn with people today aping the west and with more flexibility in laws and awareness employees tend to choose their own workplace.
If it is good and up to their level of comfort they will do the job and if not ‘it’s not their cup of tea’, so today office space design has actually become a mirage of what the employee wants to see. It is his job and his way. When did you first begin to realize that the work environment or the workplace itself has started affecting your on the job behaviour? Well it is actually hard to recall but if you ask me personally, I would say I realized it when I was training with ITDC on a banquet operation. I remember I had a very grumpy supervisor who would snap at us every time we moved a glass from here to there.
It was actually intimidating the way he would actually direct us in each and everything how to walk, how to talk and how to serve, what to say and what not to say. One must understand that people do not like that. They prefer an environment that gives the ease of working not overstress them From there on I started judging my workplace by how my peers were, how my colleagues were, how well kept my workplace was and most importantly whether I can expect to get back what I put in. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 28 [Impact of Workplace Design]
Why do you feel that the industry is taking so long to incorporate workplace innovations even after realizing that it has a significant impact on the on the job behaviour? Well Varun, I do not know if you realize this or not but hoteliering is not the most happening profession in the world today. You will actually be surprised to know how many people keep this as a second option, honestly hoteliering was my second option too it was much later when I came face to face with my work that I realized it is not that bad after all. If you see figures the industry is actually in need of more than twenty thousand educated professionals but alas!
People with brains either become engineers or doctors or join other professions with other noble roots. There is a shortage of skilled personnel in this industry and people knock on the doors of this profession when they have realized that they do not stand a chance elsewhere. People like you that is if hotels was your first option are really hard to come by so you know bringing in an innovation which few seem to understand feels like a waste of time so the process of workplace change though slow seems even more redundant because of the lack of skilled people for its execution.
If you wanted to create the ideal workplace environment, what would you envision it to be if you were an employee? Well if I were to envision my work place I would see myself sitting on a chair that floats above the ground and be able to move in an out through walls unnoticed eat sleep work and enjoy when I want. Jokes apart, I am just trying to say that there can never be one vision. The vision of workplace for every person changes with the change in his seniority and his mindset.
When I was at the Front office manager I wanted a bigger desk today when I am a General Manager I want a bigger and much more technologically improved office What one envisions to see will always be steps away from reality, so if you wish to sum up what each and every one of us in this industry wants it would just be ‘paradise’. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 29 [Impact of Workplace Design] What do you feel have been the most repetitive complains regarding workplace issues in the industry? Well when you talk of complains in this industry they are more like tantrums of kid.
It is like when the kid wants something he wants it without even realizing whether or not the company would actually be able to provide him with the same. I get complains like ‘the staff washroom is to small’ or ‘ we need better lockers’ or ‘the work hours are killing’ or ‘sir, I did not get my designated of’ and last but not the least ‘ my supervisor and colleagues do not respect me’. This world is a battlefield of conflicts, people strive to achieve better and better. To people there will always be a scope for change so workplace design or change is like polishing a diamond with each intricate cut it shines better and its value doubles.
Maybe many of the complains do not have a solution but many also do but the irony is if you solve one they come up with upgraded versions of previous complains so you have got to keep improving yourself so that you can face the challenges of the future. Office innovation or workplace change is actually the development of technological social and personnel aspects, what are your comments on this statement? Definitely, very truly spoken because work and its outcomes depend mainly on personal social and technological aspects, enhancing all of the above would definitely enhance productivity. . 2 Structured Questionnaire Analysis A structured questionnaire was provided to thirty staff members selected randomly from the food and beverage department of Taj Palace Hotel, Delhi. The questionnaire involved ranking workplace as an important attribute affecting job satisfaction and on-job performance on a scale of one to five, with one being the lowest and five being the highest. After the data was collected, it was analyzed for the importance placed to different attributes with regards to the employees’ job satisfaction and on-job performance.
An average of the [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 30 [Impact of Workplace Design] data submitted by all participants of the study was calculated and a bar chart was generated as follows. Attributes of Job Satisfaction 5 4. 5 4 3. 5 3 2. 5 2 1. 5 1 0. 5 Attributes 2. 6 2. 6 3. 7 4. 4 4. 1 3. 9 3. 6 3. 6 3. 7 3. 7 4. 1 4. 2 4 4. 5 3. 8 4 4. 5 0 Figure 1 The analysis of this questionnaire presented to employees of different ages and working at different levels in the Food and Beverage Department of The Taj Palace Delhi yielded very interesting results.
Looking at the bar chart from the average of all attributes of work and workplace design , it is naturally seen that Learning Opportunity, Promotion, Motivation and Workplace Architecture play a major role in employee satisfaction, which in turn is known to be directly proportional to the on the job behaviour of the employee. Many employees have also marked Wellness Programs and Job Security as important reasons for retaining a job. The analysis also included ideas collected from, The Restaurant Manager, supervisors, the stewards and also management trainees working in the department.
The questionnaire by design was circulated to an equal number of male and female employee’s in the study. [Varun Sahgal (H-18095)] Page 31 [Impact of Workplace Design] Next, the researcher segregated the study findings by gender to see if any deviations occurred in the result. It was realized that different workplace attributes motivated male and female employees differently. Given below is a Bar chart of the attributes that the male employees considered essential for job satisfaction. 5 Job Satisfaction Attributes for Male 4. 7 Employees 4. 1 3. 4 3. 8 3. 7 3. 4 2. 8 2. 5 4. 1 4 4 4. 2 4. 2 4. 2 4. 1 4 4. 5 4 3. 5 3 2. 5 2 1. 5 Attributes(M) 1 0. 5 0 Figure 2 It was clearly noticed that for male employees working in the Food and Beverage department of The Taj Palace Hotel, Delhi that what motivates them the most is the physical attribute of workplace, which includes working desk and back area design. Workplace architecture is closely followed by job security, training and development, motivation while attr