Ramada Hotel: Case Study
Research is an important process that ensures that an organization remains in business when there is a shift in the business sector. It also helps companies to track all the factors that can cause the shift in the business. Ramada is a popular chain of the hotels that operate in various parts of the world. As it is a franchise system, the properties contend with differing service standards among owners. In 1996, the survey showed that middle-level hotels had a downward trend when it came to customer services (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). Belonging to this category of hotels, Ramada would also be affected by the same problem. Therefore, Ramada Franchise Systems conducted research in the hospitality business that assessed the trends set in customer satisfaction and eventually led to Ramada Franchise System developing a new employee hiring model: The Personal Best Program (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). This program saw Ramada Franchise Systems change the manner of hiring employees, the training process that the franchise undertook after the employment, and different motivation methods that Ramada Franchise Systems would use on its employees. This essay describes the whole research process of the franchise and its development of the Personal Best hiring, training, and motivation program.
1. To develop an effective research process, there is a need to build the management-research question hierarchy. According to Cooper and Schindler (2011), a useful way to tackle the research process is to state the basic problem that prompted the research. Ramada management must address the research question hierarchy to know the underlying issue in the research. It includes the management question, research question, investigative questions, and measurement questions (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). The management-research question hierarchy in Ramada would help the management to research on issues revolving around customer satisfaction and, consequently, increase their customer satisfaction. The control question would be: what actions in hiring, training, and motivation should be applied to increase customer satisfaction? Research questions should identify the goals of the survey – what can managers do to improve consumer loyalty, do the employees’ motivation and attitude result in any change in customer satisfaction, what characteristics and skills should Ramada workers have, and would it be advisable for the management to consider the employees’ motivations as a way of improving the customer satisfaction? Additionally, another research question would be what HR models should he used during the hiring of the staff and their training. According to Simons and Hinkin (2004), HR models that hire staff unselectively can have devastating effects on internal and external customers. Next, leaders who make conclusive decisions and obtain feedback after the research should use the investigative questions. These questions should include: in which manner the management should incorporate its employees into low-level leadership, how employees should be rewarded to improve service satisfaction for customers, and what HR models should be changed. Lastly, the measurement questions would aid in outlining the level of service satisfaction. Examples of such questions include: how are new employees trained, how will the training process be updated, what are the rewarding procedures, and what are the promotion procedures (Cooper & Schindler, 2011).
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2. a) Ramada used exploration in its research. The role of the exploration was to help the hotel chain to identify what areas needed changes. First, 24 scientists visited Ramada hotels and obtained primary data from interviews conducted with employees and managers (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). Moreover, the workers had the chance to express their opinion based on the experience of working in a casual, fun atmosphere. Then the company wanted to discover what other companies that were perceived as having higher levels of customer satisfaction had done to improve their performance. Such companies included Disney, Southwest Airlines, TGI Friday’s, and Carlson Hospitality. Some more sources of secondary data included the Shifflet’s research on customer satisfaction, American Hotel, and Motel Education Institute.
b) The role of the secondary data was to gather additional information related to the effects of customer satisfaction. Moreover, the information was easy to access, which made the approach cost- and time-effective.
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c) The Ramada Franchise System followed certain steps and phases according to the process model. They include clarifying the research questions, distinguishing the research proposal and research design strategy (visiting all 900 sites to have an approval of every franchise and applying a multi-stage design), data collection and preparation, (collection of primary and secondary data), data analysis and interpretation. Further stages include research reporting (deficiencies in the current practices and ways to improve them) and decision-making (introduction of the Personal Best Program).
d) During the research process, several research decisions were made. First, the management decided to study the experience of successful companies mentioned above. Second, it conducted interviews with employees and managers to obtain feedback. Third, the hotel chain cooperated with American Hotel and Motel Education Institute (Cooper & Schindler, 2011). All these decisions helped Ramada to review its training and hiring processes, as well as motivation methods, and make positive changes in all franchises.
e) During the research process, the sampling methodology used by the researchers was face-to-face interviewing. This method has numerous advantages; for example, employees tend to be more friendly and sincere in relaxing atmosphere. Again, face-to-face interviews make employees truthful and open due to the comfortable atmosphere. For this reason, the researchers can gather a significant portion of information for their research from the employees.
f) The research design employed by the researchers has some strengths and weaknesses. Some of the strengths include using face-to-face interviewing in an environment that was comforting to the management and employees. By visiting every property, researchers were able to assess the situation across different locations. Again, the party-like atmosphere with food and beverages provided a platform for honesty. Weaknesses are not prominent in the case study. However, there is an assumption that the research process was expensive because the researchers had to visit all 900 properties in different locations, which involved much traveling and time. Additionally, the timespan for the whole research process ran for almost a year, resulting in delays in any changes that would improve the quality of customer service, which would in turn improve customer satisfaction. Lastly, the analysis process was cumbersome since the researchers had to analyze data from all the 900 properties.
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g) Property owners and managers authorized the research to be conducted. Throughout the research process, the management in all properties met with headquarters to discuss any issues that concerned them. The feedback provided by the employees was important in tackling the problem and it showed the employees that they were valued and were part of the team.
h) Ramada chose to conduct the research in a nontraditional party-like atmosphere since the best way to make a connection with employees is to put them in a friendly environment. Such method has its pros and cons. Usually, people are more casual in less formal conditions with free food and drinks. These types of discussions and meetings will probably make people open and free to share their opinion and thoughts with others (Rampton, 2015). As for the cons, different people need various approaches; therefore, some of them may perceive such discussions not serious and may feel uncomfortable.
3. The results of this survey showed that the HR methods used were completely ineffective. That is why such a system did not motivate employees in any way. Therefore, it was important to review the workers’ involvement in the management process. Moreover, the employees would like to experience incentives from the institution in which they work. From this perspective, the management implemented modern HR methods, such as effective training on CD. The promoting spending plan was additionally expanded to attempt to impact consumer loyalty. Change in advertising has demonstrated the organization’s dedication to satisfying its workers and clients.