EVALUATING THE CHALLENGES FACED BY HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT POLICIES AND TOURISM MARKET IN MEME DIVISION
|TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT|
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The purpose of this paper is to investigate the various Human Resource Management policies and their effect on the Tourism Market in Meme Division. The following objectives were targeted in the study:
To identify the various HRM policies in the tourism sector in Meme, to examine the influence of the HRM policy on the tourism market in Meme, to examine the various challenges facing the Human Resource Management Policies and the tourism market in Meme Division and to determine the factors that can enhance the growth of tourism market in Meme Division.
To achieve these objectives, the study was guided by the following hypotheses: There is a significant relationship between HRM Policies and the tourism market in Meme. The empirical review of this study was divided into themes culled from the specific objectives.
The data collected for this research included primary and secondary data. Primary data collection instruments included interviews and questionnaires for employees and an interview guide for management staff whereby, a total of 100 questionnaires were administered to the employees using the random sampling technique while a convenience sampling technique was used to collect data from a total of 22 semi interview guide questionnaires administered to the top rank position of each tourism establishment.
The data analysis involved descriptive and inferential statistics. The descriptive statistics included: frequency analysis, percentages and charts. The inferential statistics involved tests of associations or significant differences of which the hypotheses of the study were tested using the Spearman’s rho test.
All statistical results in the study were presented with 95% Confidence. On the other hand, qualitative data derived from the open-ended questions and interview guide were analyzed using the thematic analysis approach with the aid of themes, groundings/frequency and quotations used in analyzing the qualitative data.
Statistically, findings revealed that there is a significant and negative relationship between challenges facing the HRM policies and the growth of tourism in Meme, (R-value -.567**, p-value 0.003< 0.05).
Therefore, the alternative hypothesis was accepted. In conclusion, findings show that more than half of the respondents indicate that their organization has human resource policies, and a significant proportion of the respondents indicate that their organization does not have such policies.
Keywords: Human resource management policies, tourism market, management
The study focuses on evaluating the challenges faced by the Human Resource Management Policies and Tourism Market in Meme Division. This introductory chapter covers the background of the study, problem statement, research questions, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, scope of the study, study area and significance of the study.
The tourism industry might not be unique in its dependence on customer service, but few other sectors in the modern economy are so closely linked with it. Most organizations today within the crowded and competitive space live or die by their ability to effectively cater for the ever-changing demands of a dynamic customer base (Betterworks 2019). Giving Cameroon the name of ‘Africa in miniature therefore gives us the opportunity to practise touristic activities. The creation of a ministry of tourism in Cameroon, also allowed us to satisfy the experiences of visitors who came to Cameroon to witness one thing or the other. Furthermore, the creation of the Delegation of tourism in the Meme Division has allowed this section of the country to be able to exploit some of its rich natural and human touristic features. One of the ways of catering for the ever-changing demands is by implementing a strong Human Resource Management (HRM) policy. Managing HR in an organization has never been an easy task. In the past few years, the challenges of HRM have only grown with the rapid growth of technology, the fast-paced software updates and remote working has made HRM even more challenging. For an effective HRM, the challenge is to make sure that the time, money, and resources are well spent. Furthermore, they make sure that employees have the required resources to perform their best and reach their highest productivity levels.
Human Resource Management(HRM) appears to have its origins in the United States in the 1950s but it did not gain wide recognition until the beginning of the 1980s and in the United Kingdom(U.K.) until the mid to late 1980s, while in India, the origin of HRM can be traced to the concern for factory workers during the 1920s.
Human resource management (HRM or HR) is the strategic approach to the effective and efficient management of people in a company or organization such that they help their business gain a competitive advantage. It is designed to maximize employee performance in service of an employer’s strategic objectives (Johnson, P. 2009). Human resource management is primarily concerned with the management of people within organizations, focusing on policies and systems. (Collings, D. G., & Wood, G 2009) HR departments are responsible for overseeing employee-benefits design, employee recruitment, training and development, performance appraisal, and reward management, such as managing pay and employee-benefits systems. (Paauwe, J., & Boon, C 2009). HR also concerns itself with organizational change and industrial relations, or the balancing of organizational practices with requirements arising from collective bargaining and governmental laws (Klerck, G.2009)
Human resource management policies are concerned with the management and development of people in organizations (Armstrong 2006). They are involved in the development and implementation of human resource strategies and policies and some or all of the following people are involved in the management of activities: organization development, human resource planning, talent management, knowledge management, recruitment and selection learning health and safety, welfare, human resource administration, fulfilment of statutory requirements equal opportunity and diversity issues, and any other matter relating to the employment relationship (Armstrong,2008). Further, as indicated by Dessler G. 2003, human resource management is the process of acquiring, training to appraise and compensating employees, and attending to their labour relations, health, safety, and fairness concepts. It is important to note that for human resource management to effectively carry out its functions, it implements policies which are continuing guidelines on the approach an organization interns to adopt in managing its people (Micheal &Armstrong 2001). They represent specific guidelines to hr managers on various matters concerning employment and state the intent of the organization on different aspects of HRM such as recruitment, promotion, compensation, training selections etc (Pravin & Durai 2010). They, therefore, serve as a reference point when human resource management practices are being developed or when decisions are being made about an organization’s workforce. A good HR policy provides generalized guidance on the approach adopted by the organization, concerning various aspects of employment. A procedure spells out precisely what action should be taken in line with the policies (Michael, Armstrong 2001). Some of the HRM policies include Employment policies, that is minimum hiring qualifications and experience, transfer and promotion policies, training and development policies, compensation policies, integration and human relation policies, working conditions and welfare policies.
The tourism sector is an industry associated with leisure and travel (Cunha & Cunha 2005). It allows people to visit other countries and see the beauty of nature, different climates and weather. Tourism in recent years has become a popular worldwide leisure activity. Tourism is a combination of economic and socio-cultural issues bringing in huge amounts of income in the purchase of goods and services for export and import creating employment openings, generating tax revenue and stimulating transportation services, hospitality services and entertainment services. The tourism industry is also important in increasing the economic base through its association with the agricultural, industrial and service sectors. Its role has become particularly important in developing countries (Edgell, Delmstro, Smith & Swamson, 2008). Additionally, it is considered one of the top and fastest-growing sectors which can significantly contribute to a country’s economic growth (Osman & Zentosa, 2013; Chin, May-Chiun, Songan, & Vikneswaran, 2014)
Tourism marketing on the other hand involves a collective name given to the various strategies used by businesses within the tourism industry. The purpose of this strategy is to promote the business, make it stand out from rivals, attract customers and generate brand awareness. Many modern marketing strategies make use of the internet, with websites, online adverts, email and social media platforms. Adopting the right tourism marketing strategies can be a vital part of maximizing revenue, building brand awareness and managing your company’s reputation.
The travel and tourism industry is a good example of a VOA volatile industry. This industry is not immune from political, social, and economic shifts. Many of these factors are outside the control of the travel companies and tourism boards however, being aware of the factors can enable people who have invested in this industry to be more proactive and develop adaptive strategies quickly. Some of the challenges faced by the travel and tourism market include taxation, competition, economic changes, government regulations social shifts, and security (Blue Whale Academy Blog 2018)
In Switzerland, Larger hotel chains have HRD resources including in-house and on-the-job training whereas SMEs cannot do so and rely more on the VCT system to meet their training requirements. However, because of the political structure and size of such organizations, it can be a challenge for hotel chains that have adopted broad HR management views to maintain a consistent approach to HR practice and industrial relations including dialogue across regions. (The Governing Body of the ILO, Geneva November 2010).
In China, there are many human resource challenges facing China’s hotel and tourism industry. The key issues are the lack of qualified staff at both operational and managerial levels, high staff turnover rates, the unwillingness of university graduates to enter the industry, and the gap between what is taught in school and college and the realities of the industry itself. The aim here is to explore these issues by interviewing industry executives and academics and via the authors’ own experiences of teaching and research in China. It is hoped that these issues will be noted by the Chinese government and by industry leaders, and academics, as it will take a collaborative effort to address them (Hanqin Qiu Zhang &Ellen Wu 2004)
In Zimbabwe, the study acknowledges that the tourism sector is facing several growth-constrain challenges that include a lack of inter-governmental policy coordination as different government institutions promulgate policies and regulations without consideration of their impacts on other sectors hence impacting negatively on the tourism sector. Associated with this, is the issue of poor policy implementation and costly policy reversals. Other bottlenecks to tourism growth include lack of internal airline connectivity & poor road network, poor marketing, lack of institutional coordination, limited skills and experience, lack of domestic tourism promotion, unfriendly visa policy and limited ICT usage. ZEPARU (2013 )
In the Cameroonian concept, some scholars suggest that human resource management is pivotal for the success of an organization (Wright et al., 2005). However, differences in employees’ perceptions, management strategies and practices of human resources can pose challenges for small and medium-sized businesses. Effective management of human resources can improve the performance of employees and also increase productivity and profits for the business. (Rebecca Mbuh DeLancey (2015)
However, the development of the tourism market in the Meme Division is in the infant stage. Various factors are hindering the development of the tourism market in the region. Nevertheless, a limited study was done in identifying factors hindering the growth and development of HRM Policies and the tourism market in this section of the country. Hence, the current research addresses the above-stated problems and contributes to the tourism industry development in the Meme Division of Cameroon.
Human Resource Management is one of the most important and powerful pillars of every organization that forms the business colonnade in the global economy. It deals with the art of managing the human workforce to achieve organizational goals. Good HRM policies and practices help in motivating employees by creating a healthy environment and work culture. Along with the employees, the best practices in Human Resource Management (HRM) would also result in benefits to all stakeholders like the shareholders, creditors, suppliers and consumers.
These striking features however have a lot of setbacks. The tourism industry suffers from high employee turnover, caused by a lack of employee satisfaction within the industry which leads to their (employees) decision to leave the tourism industry and move on to other industries that offer better employment opportunities and salaries. Another issue faced by HR in this industry is the lack of a well-equipped workforce supply, whereby there are not enough skilled workers to fulﬁl the needs and demands of the industry due to the low numbers of trained personnel and poor transfer rate of graduates into the industry.
Also, tourism HR practices are “ambiguous and inﬂexible”, the policies are often unplanned and unstructured with a lack of cohesive strategy, and are often known for “ad hocism”, which affects recruitment, retention, training, and career progression. Some of the HRM policies found in Meme related to recruitment and labour laws (Law No 92/007 of 14 August 1992) states that the least age for recruitment ranges from 21years and above. With the said age range in place, most of the employees or job seekers may not have left secondary school, some may be living the university with little or no professional training in tourism or the hospitality field in general, and going to uthe nderdeveloped tourism industry, this is one of the challenges facing the industry.
Furthermore, one other HRM policy is catering against criminal activities in the tourism industry such as the use of illicit drugs like tramadol, prostitution and rape cases. Most of all these turn out to pose a threat to the industry and the tourism market as most of the hotels paint a beautiful picture on the outside and the fact that most visitors or tourists are not properly checked.
Another HRM policy is the number of working hours required from employees in the tourism industry. Employees work long hours without overtime payment which violates the Labour Code of Cameroon, Section 80(1) which states that the required or statuary hours of work in both private and public establishments may not exceed forty hours per week, but this is not a normal phenomenon with the tourism industry in Meme. Also, many tourism establishments in Meme have no respect for their employees as they turn to throw or exercise verbal abusive words on their employees, openly stating that the employees should be happy with their jobs as there are many people out there who need the job, moreover most managements turn to pay late and to some extent only part of the payment is made available to the employees, for which section 67(2) of the labour code of Cameroon specifies that ‘monthly payments shall be made not later than eight days following the end of the month of employment in respect of which the wages are due. This turns out to be a problem because if the employee has to put in so much effort, hard work, commitment and loyalty and in the end, all these are not balanced by the establishment through good salaries or timely payments, this pushes the employees to behave poorly at work which may hurt the tourism market and the visitors or tourists, some employees may end up abandoning the job for new jobs and better pay packages.
One other HRM policy is balancing gender equality at job sites. According to Section 6(2) p, 21 of the Labour Code of Cameroon which states that ‘for the same type of work and level of proficiency, workers shall be entitled to the same remuneration, irrespective of their origin, sex, age, status, and religion subject to the provisions of this section. This seems not to be the case with many tourism establishments in Cameroon and Meme in particular.
Finally, studies on HRM policies that relate to the hotel industry in the Cameroon context have not been discussed and are limited. Most of the existing studies have looked into the hotel industry and were conducted in a Western context. Due to this gap, the current study intends to uncover the missing gap by evaluating the challenges faced by human resource management policies in the hospitality industry in Meme.
Examine the various Human Resource Management policies and their effect on the Tourism market in Meme Division?
1) To identify the various HRM Management Policies existing in the tourism sector in Meme?
2) To identify the influence of the HRM Policies on the tourism market in Meme.
3) To examine the challenges facing the HRM policies and the tourism market in Meme Division
4) What are the factors that can enhance the growth of the tourism market in the Meme division?
1.4.1 General Objectives:
The study seeks to investigate the various Human Resource Management Policies and their effect on the Tourism Market in Meme Division.
- To identify the various HRM policies in the tourism sector in Meme
- To examine the influence of the HRM policy on the tourism market in Meme
- To examine the various challenges facing the Human Resource Management Policies and the tourism market in Meme Division.
- To determine the factors that can enhance the growth of the tourism market in the Meme Division.