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Jim Johnson is faced with a critical issue because the West Indies Yacht Club Resort (WIYCR) needs to implement several significant changes in its management system. There is unhealthy integration of the stakeholders, including the managers, the staff, and the guests and is a need of enacting effective strategies to improve it as supposed. The root of these problems, however, is the government’s policies regarding the British Virgin Islands' labor market (Shay, 2001). These laws and regulations have a significant influence on what is currently happening at WIYCR concerning the three issues raised by Johnson. So, it would be best to address this issue by tending to the roots first rather than cutting the branches that will still shoot again as long as the source remains supportive.
- Status quo; do not change the current system of recruitment
- Advocate for change of policies
- Initiate training programs
- Develop seasonal projects
Analysis of Alternatives
Status quo; do not change the current system of recruitment
In the conversation between Johnson and Dowd, the former admits that among the complaints presented by clients, especially repeat guests are that the staff’s morale is lower than before. They were high-spirited, but something is not right as the employees do not exhibit the same enthusiasm as before implying that things are not as supposed to be at WIYCR. The complainants, however, give no indications that the change in the staff’s behaviors is because the individuals who were there have been replaced. Instead, as elaborated in the case by Johnson to Dowd, employees' personalities and priorities have changed, and they no longer behave or perform as they used to. The latter also, affirms this as in the mission to find relevant details to complete the task at hand, he describes several familiar individuals with whom he has working experience with. It is, hence, an illustration that the resort has a competitive advantage of familiarized and experienced talents.
Consequently, the management is reluctant to change some of its staff, including senior personnel, because it believes in the potential, they have to deliver quality services to the clients. Despite the current problems that are influencing incoordination within the workforce, the company is still holding on to some professionals who are willing to perform accordingly to the goals set and revive stability. Characters such as Dave Pickering, Kristin Singiser and Mawhinney among other leaders at the resort are committed to delivering as expected in their duties despite being around uncooperative subordinates. They believe in leading by examples as they have faith, the others will change and join them in achieving WIYCR’s goals and objectives. They can give everything to ensure the intended responsibilities are sufficiently conducted to avoid adding more havoc to the current situation (Aguinis et al., 2012). For instance, while Singiser is supposed to be in the restaurant attending to guests looking for rooms, she is forced to remain at the dock to receive and engage clients in welcoming talks. She does this because the employees supposed to carry out such duties are either not working or involved in other activities far from what has been assigned to them. So, as much as it reflects the negligence of some workers, it shows that some people are dedicated and focused on what they do.
Notably, most of these hardworking individuals at the resort are expatriates who have been hired from areas outside the British Virgin Islands because of their skills and experiences regarding various operations at WIYCR. Unlike the others who must be pushed or forced to work as Singiser comments that sometimes the individuals at the resort ought to be hit on the head to follow directives. She makes these remarks when talking with Dowd to illustrate her disappointment with the locals operating under her guidelines. Regardless, she is a respected leader among her staff and is always willing to motivate them to enhance their performance. She, among others with similar personality and behaviors, illustrate why the organization should not consider changing its system of recruitment. Transforming how employees are hired, especially the expatriates could bring about impatient, underqualified, and discouraging leaders who cannot tolerate the locals. The local employees require a persistent and tolerant manager who is willing to guide and motivate them because, at times, they do not understand their duties at the organization (Au & Fukuda, 2002). It is most likely that without proper leadership, most of which are exhibited by the expatriate managers, the staff can be useless to the extent of bringing losses to the firm. Therefore, by maintaining the current recruitment system, WIYCR will be retaining while drawing more experienced talents that can guard and ensure there is a high performance that is needed to achieve the set primary goal of enhancing customer's satisfaction.
Advocate for change of policies
WIYCR, using its counsels, should seek backing up of other companies in the same industry to convince the government to change specific laws and regulations that restricted growth due to limited labor market. The policies restrict the companies from acquiring adequate expatriate labor, whereas the defended local workers cannot deliver as expected because most of them do not have the required qualifications. Moreover, the laws exert pressure on the resort to assign crucial responsibilities to inexperienced and uninterested personnel just because they are residents of BVI, and it ought not to be the case. Individuals should be offered posts that are compatible with their level of training and experience entailing that even the expatriates should be given similar and equal chances. Hence, the workers will be prompted to work hard to prove their eligibility for the high paying and positions in the company. They will not have to rely on the rules set and implemented by the government for their benefit.
The four government labor rules and regulations elaborated in the case are aimed at elevating the rights of BVIs’ residents regarding employment at WIYCR and its rivals. They discourage hiring and promotion of expatriate in the company with the justification that they are protecting the rights of the residents where the companies are being operated. It is fair to some extent, considering that those who ought to benefit more from any project are the locals living around that site. Similarly, WIYCR conducts its operations in BVIs, depicting that the highest beneficiaries should be the residents in these islands. However, some duties and responsibilities at the company are sophisticated and require specific training, and most locals do not have. Such kind of talents can only be acquired from other regions and be recruited as expatriate employees in the company. Moreover, they come with new ideas and knowledge that is useful to others, mainly the semi-literate locals who are presumably being favored by these government laws. Over time, they have developed a significant experience to perform complex projects in the company with minimal supervision (Brewster et al., 2002). Thus, they will be eligible for promotion to higher positions without the dependence on any set policies.
Correspondingly, the company has to pressure the government in changing all laws limiting its capability to acquire adequate labor market. WIYCR should develop a committee to be used in petitioning for change or removal of policies could prevent it from progressing because of lack of enough resources to attend to all assigned responsibilities. For instance, the law limiting a company powers of hiring foreign human resources ought to be amended in such a way that it does not undermine nor intimidate the recipient, who in this case is WIYCR. The law declares an organization must publish the hiring advertisement in a local newspaper for one month before looking for permit to recruit an expatriate. As much as this policy is meant to benefit the residents who could be qualified for the job at hand, it has negative implications on the hiring company. For example, the indicated post could be urgently needing refilling and considering the illiteracy level of the BVIs’ locals, none of the individuals could be qualified for the job. So, the waiting could delay the accomplishment of specific duties, and this comes to a drawback to the firm's progress. The waiting period should be reduced to at least two weeks to avoid creating performance disadvantages for the business and also ensure there is time to capture a local talent before hiring a foreigner. Therefore, advocating for changing of such law and others would benefit all the shareholders without crashing the rights or freedoms of others.
Initiate training programs
The local employees of WIYCR have been illustrated as untrained and others semi-illiterate on several occasions in the case. The lack of adequate education has rendered them having an unhealthy relationship with the expatriates working in the company because they are unable to understand their role and why they should follow their orders. They have, therefore, resorted to being inactive or challenging of which is unpleasant for WIYCR because the guests are complaining of how things have changed to worst. While some are delayed in various places including at the dock and in the restaurant, others lack someone to give them directions as to what needs to be done. Moreover, some residents claim they are unaware of what is expected of them implying that they do not know their responsibilities and yet they are employees at the resort. It is, hence, essential to organize training sessions that will be aimed at educating the locals various crucial things, including their duties, how to handle clients, and how to work under minimal supervision.
More so, the programs will educate the employees on the benefits of healthy integration at the workplace to avoid unnecessary confrontations with the expatriates. They will understand that with coordination and peace, people can achieve the intended goals effectively and efficiently, unlike when they are using valuable time conflicting and solving disputes (Mendenhall et al., 2002). The primary objective of these programs will be to solve one of the three issues raised by Johnson concerning the lack of cooperation between the expatriates and the local workers. They will induce knowledge in the trainees that they are expected to utilize while out and in of WIYCR to avoid further conflicts that are hindering provision of quality services to clients. Also, the initiatives will help in the reduction of guests' complaints as the quality level of services deliverance will improve, considering that the working environment will have improved. Therefore, the company’s management is encouraged to create relevant schedules that accommodate various sessions per week concerning training and educating WIYCR employees on matters regarding coordination and teamwork at the workplace.
Develop seasonal projects
According to Johnson, WIYCR is faced with a serious problem where it is usually overstaffed during low-season and understaffed when the season peaks. As a way of solving this, the company tends to lay-off some employees during low-season of which have adverse effects later as it is required to start the process of hiring. More so, one of the four government labor laws and regulations prohibits this practice implying that the organization has limited options. However, the company has resources to introduce other projects, whether inside or out of BVIs as long as it can sustain all its employees both in low and high-seasons. The projects can be partly profitable and partly charitable such that some of the workers are assigned seasonal tasks until the season peaks again, and they get back to the primary workplace. Hence, the organization will not be required to lay off some of its employees or hire as it will have retained all its workers throughout the year. Such a project can include road trips where the team sent is selling products with the company's logos while at the same time, they are giving gifts to the communities they pass through. While part of the workforce is attending to guests at the BVIs, other employees are marketing and engaging the outside communities and gathering significant opinions regarding WIYCR.
As the consultant agency, I would recommend WIYCR’s management to adopt the alternative of initiating training programs that will involve all the company’s employees.
The identified plan is the most suitable, less time-consuming, less costly, and practical plan to apply in solving the problem at hand at WIYCR. First, the management will be required to hire three to four professionals in the fields of psychology, management, and business, some of whom are part of the executive committee of the company. The team will most likely deliver its mandate within a span of 6 to 12 months, considering the number of trainees that will be involved and the time per session that will be agreed upon. The favorable time is during the low-season because the work at this time is less as there are fewer guests. Once the schedule has been developed, the learners will be engaged in shifts to avoid collision with working hours where a group will be trained for certain hours probably two at most; then, the others will enter the next session the next day but one. The essence of this is to ensure the guests are not inconvenienced in any way, and also, the management has enough time to arrange its schedule besides what concerns the programs. Hence, the time, cost, and place will have minimal inconveniences on all those involved, including the workers, leaders, and clients.
The two likely presumptions that could be made regarding the recommendations are;
- There will be time clashes and the time will not work
- Most of the workers are unlikely to attend
As per the first assumption, time can clash where the scheduled session clashes with work-overflow. However, this is solvable as the sessions can always be re-scheduled for another time when the workflow will have reduced. For the second assumption, the employees are informed the programs are to benefit them and their colleagues improve their relationship at the workplace. So, attending the sessions will be essential as one will learn how to counter future hindrances to smooth performance at the organization and in this way the highest percentage is likely to benefit from what will be offered by the professors.
- Aguinis, H., Gottfredson, R. K., & Joo, H. (2012). Using performance management to win the talent war. Business Horizons, 55(6), 609-616.
- Au, K. Y., & Fukuda, J. (2002). Boundary spanning behaviors of expatriates. Journal of World Business, 37(4), 285-296.
- Brewster, C., Suutari, V., & Bonache, J. (2005). Job satisfaction among expatriates, repatriates and domestic employees. Personnel review.
- Mendenhall, M. E., Kuhlmann, T. M., Stahl, G. K., & Osland, J. S. (2002). Employee development and expatriate assignments. The Blackwell handbook of cross-cultural management, 155-183.
- Shay P. J. (2001). West Indies Yacht Club Resort: When Cultures Collide. Montana University.
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