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Human Resource Management Strategy for Danube Ethno Village- The University of Cambridge, Milicevic Milena


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Human Resource Management Strategy for Danube Ethno Village- The University of Cambridge, Milicevic Milena

  1. 1. MODULE NUMBER MM11 MODULE NAME HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT COURSE LEADER Dr Jochen Menges AUTHOR: Milena Milićević HAND IN DATE 24 April, 2012 word count: 4056 I confirm that this submission is my own unaided work, except as specified below; all sources are fully acknowledged and referenced; the submission does not contain material that has already been used to any substantial extent for a comparable purpose.
  2. 2. Table of contents: Business Model……………………………………………………………….……….3 Situation Analysis and Creating the Team of the Danube Ethno Oasis…………....…4 Recruiting and Selection……………………………………………………..………..7 Motivated Workers are Best Retained ………………………….…………………....10 Performance Analysis and Compensation Scheme…………………………………..11 Trained and Developed………………………………………………...…………….13 Conclusion and Thinking Long-Term………………………………………………..15 Appendix 1……………………………………………………...……………………16 ******* Appendix 9………………………………………………………...…………………27 Bibliography………………………………………………………...………………..30 2
  3. 3. Human Resource Strategy for a family Start-up in tourism: Danube Ethno Oasis in Donji Milanovac, Serbia Business Model The family start-up company ‘‘Danube Ethno Oasis’’ (DEO) will be located in Donji Milanovac (Lower Milanovac) as a small-scale ethno village and a DMO (Destination Management Organization) with enough international expertise and local charm to provide services such as: accommodation, restaurant, sightseeing, recreational and extreme sports. Donji Milanovac, a Serbian town of 3000 people, is situated on the 992nd km of the Danube1 and has been offering tourism services in a slightly outdated manner, i.e. not understanding fully the needs of modern foreign tourists who usually stay in the Lower Danube Region around 2- 3 days (Scientific Research Centre 2007b, p. 4) and may not necessarily choose a luxurious mass-scale hotel for their accommodation. Therefore, Danube Ethno Oasis will leverage on this current tourism pattern, and the access to the Djerdap Lake and the Djerdap National Park, which is on the UNESCO Tentative List of Sights2 to differentiate itself as a consumers’ choice. The company will develop its initial profitability as an intact destination for passengers in Danube transit. It will strategically focus its business and human resource operations on these values: positioning the hospitable face of the Danube throughout the concept of sustainable tourism, engaging visitors in multifaceted differentiation experience: home-made healthy food, adrenaline sports or tranquil sightseeing in the untamed, protected natural resort. These values will be clearly indicated to employees, visitors and general public on the company’s website, during recruitment procedures and in interactions with guests so that fit of business and human resource strategy is ensured. 1 2 3
  4. 4. Donji Milanovac and the Danube Landscape on Wikipedia 3 Situation Analysis and Creating the Team of the Danube Ethno Oasis In 2007 The Serbian Ministry of Economic and Regional Development proposed The Serbia Tourism Strategy and the Master Plan of the Lower Danube Region for improvements of economic potential and employment opportunities in the region. (Macura 2010, p. 23) Authors of the Master Plan estimated that the initial initiative of the Ministry of Tourism to provide trainings and further education for tourism workforce was a good stepping stone in terms of two major priorities, ‘‘professionalization of human resources and enhancing service culture towards the global market.’’ (Scientific Research Centre 2007b, p. 185) These principles facilitated trainings for the skills which the workforce is mostly deficient of and which should be delivered to the customers in a more consistent and branded manner: equipping workforce with additional knowledge of foreign languages and soft skills, improving their customer relations, marketing and budgeting skills (depending on the relevance for their job), and training workforce for new sports. The company’s objectives and Mission statement will shape its strategy and guide its motivated, efficient team: ‘‘Danube Ethno Oasis (DEO) is a sustainable ethno resort 3 4
  5. 5. which provides unique and priceworthy stay and sightseeing. In this natural oasis you will experience relaxed spells of time, extreme sports and Serbian authentic food as our DEO team can greet you in more than 5 languages. You will travel with us to ‘‘the oldest known European human settlement Lepenski vir’’ (Misic 1980) that celebrated 8000 birthdays; you will sail the water roads of the Roman Emperors in the Djerdap, the largest natural park in Serbia 4 or enjoy unspoiled wildlife of the Djerdap Gorge within our modern times. Thus, our DEO team becomes the indispensable DEO (means: ‘‘part’’ in Serbian) of your enchanting experience.’’ This consistent and appealing imagery will better position the Lower Danube destination in the minds of international and domestic customers, and also establish our start-up company as an attractive job-provider for the educated and cosmopolitan workforce in the region that needs to boost investments and fully harness its tourism potential. Ten employees of the DEO family business will integrate the Danube Hosts/Hostesses role within their specific job requirements, which means they will help out guests, serve food for them during meals, engage in their conversations, perform short theatre or recital pieces according to the occasions and guests’ affinity. Equipping all employees with the roles of the Danube Hosts/Hostesses will help company create distinctive identity while promoting employees’ service (to customers and external partners) and linking them to the Danube region, which already appeals to the citizens of 10 countries and their guests. In pursuing differentiation and internal labour orientation the company will turn our Danube Hosts into Committed Experts. On the basis of competency modeling the following job specifications are required in recruitment stage: (See Appendix 1 for Ad description) 1) Chief Executive and Human Resource Officer, Danube Host, general enquiries and booking: Author of the essay 2) Chief Marketing, Merchandise and Finance Officer, Danube Host, general enquiries and booking: Author’s brother, college degree in Economics, motivator, shares the start-up vision, risk-taker with business intuition and perseverance 4 5
  6. 6. 3) Website and IT System Developer: has college degree in Information Systems/ Web Design Development and references that show experience in designing websites for tourism associations and developing systems for financial management. Because of the specific expertise required, the web designer will be hired externally. Still, our 2-person team will build a relationship with the designer and create with other employees the strategically integrated website sections about customized booking, special offers, Danube gastronomy, nature, multimedia (to engage customers) and additional recruitment (when business expansion arises). Employees will also use intranet documents and customer service manual to maintain service standards and have the blueprint of intangible company resources (values, brand, code of conduct). 4-6) 3 Tour Guides to be Danube Hosts/Hostesses will be in charge of cultural outings and event organisation at the Oasis venue and with external partners. One Tour Guide, Danube Host/Hostess (who shows greatest managerial potential) will be gradually involved in running of the accommodation, answering enquiries with management and conceptualizing the long-term company strategy with other team members. 7-8) 2 Welfare Officers to be Danube Hosts/Hostesses will promote healthy lifestyle, sports; assist with medical help if needed and utilize networks with local partners to take guests to the outsourced sport services should they have special wishes. In the long-run those employees will be promoted in developing of the regional Danube Adventure centre and strategy for customers’ welfare. 9-11) 3 Chefs to be Danube Hosts/Hostesses will be in charge of restaurant catering, ambiance and serving guests on the grounds of their college education and mentorship in cooking and preferably international experience. Long-term, these employees will create and implement gastronomic aspects of company’s strategy as they start organizing Danube cooking workshops. Nickson warns us that in the reality of hospitality management the ‘‘front-line staff often has the lowest status in the organization, and is being the least trained, and the 6
  7. 7. poorest paid within the company’’ (2007, p.5). Our DEO company will need to tackle this and other challenges in tourism industry such as decreased motivation, high turnover, lack of adequate payment and rewards, limited opportunities for development in order to provide differentiation service and become profitable. The DEO’s competitive advantage will therefore stem from the realistic messaging in recruitment stage, strong internal culture of hospitality, family business, empowerment and not servility, as well as working with long-term developed workers who can be promoted from within rather than with part-time, seasonal workforce. Management and tour guides will attract customers via online channels (website, blog writing, promotions), collaborate with relevant local and state authorities, partner cities and tourism associations within the Danube region and internationally. The entire team will be encouraged to suggest improvements for the marketing strategy, customer service and logistics. Vertical strategic alignment will be ensured ‘‘between the Committed Expert HR strategy and business strategy of differentiation throughout innovation’’ when the workforce creates new services. (Stewart and Brown 2009, p. 528) However, horizontal alignment between individual practices is important so that company recruits the team players who can project consistent, positive guests’ experience, and who can be subsequently assessed in performance appraisals on the basis of fair competition and beneficial cooperation. Moreover, since service is intangible and variable, and start-ups can perform chaotically, what will enable effective implementation of differentiation strategy and organisation’s survival in harsh currents is workers’ reciprocal interdependence and at the same time autonomy and rigour. Only with such motivational job design and consistency customers and evaluators can say, ‘‘I know what good service is when I see it.’’ Recruiting and Selection After defining job specifications for the candidates in DEO team, we should formulate selection criteria out of limited number of applications. When recruiting for a start-up, it is crucial to understand that different types of people are motivated to work there 7
  8. 8. than for an established multi-level corporation− start-up aspirants want to feel involved in an entrepreneurial decision making and company development from the onset; they usually have general knowledge rather than specific and should be flexible to finish urgent and diverse tasks instead of being constrained by bureaucracy and waiting on colleagues whose profiles suit more the task description. Therefore, although our company will strategically attract Committed Experts to utilize their specific skills, in the initial environment this strategy may shift and applicants will be advised and expected to finish general tasks beyond their duties. DEO management will use targeted skill scope strategy for more efficient and cost- effective choice of candidates. The company will recruit on campus and present in case study talks (even before the website is finished) the start-up’s narrative, its exciting mission, potential challenges in order to spark candidates’ entrepreneurial engagement. Also, college professors (of tourism, hospitality management, marketing) will be encouraged to recommend the most adequate students for the company to sift out. Managers can publish the intentionally creative, competitive and entrepreneurial job postings on University Career Service websites, and throughout student and regional web media since the company is outside of the major employment city. These criteria should be included in job postings, HR strategy and interaction with candidates, ‘‘job purpose, tasks involved, the duties and responsibilities, the performance of objectives, the reporting relationships, the remuneration package and working hours’’. (Heery and Noon in Nickson 2007, p. 91) Once the adequate number of candidates submitted their resumes, cover letters in English and work portfolios with references (pictures of dishes they created, certificates from sport competitions or additional professional development), DEO management should proceed with multiple hurdles approach and start short-listing around 10 candidates for each position to be tested at the Ethno Village premises. Iverson outlines criteria which can help recruiters to select most adequate candidates during screening: ‘‘resume and application are visually meticulous, there are no illogical breaks in work history; college major, previous skills and career objective are appropriate for the job, grade point average is acceptable.’’ (2001, p 110) 8
  9. 9. In authentic working environment candidates will undertake a structured 30-minute individual, behavioural interview (in the morning) and a group case study (in the afternoon) in English or Serbian, given the appropriateness and candidates’ language fitness. (See Appendix 2a for Behavioural Interview Questions and Appendix 2b for Interview Checklist) The Five Factor personality test or other time-consuming pre- employment tests will not be used because the data collected from structured interviews and behavioural simulations is more relevant to performance in tourism. Those applying for the chef’s position will be requested to conceive in a 3-4-person team the authentic Danube menu, which they will prepare and serve to customers. Tour guides and welfare officers will be given the customers’ profiles and the overview of company’s values so that they can come up with innovative solutions how to attract tourists first online and then in their programmes. (See Appendix 3 for Customer Profiles) During the 20-minute brainstorming before 10-minute presentations (or somewhat longer for chefs) teams will be receiving the suddenly changed task input, ‘‘How would you respond now that the customer complains or needs a change?’’ These activities will test applicants’ courteousness, adaptability, initiative and prepare them to perceive themselves as interconnected to other teams once they are hired. To reach consensus and make a final selection, our two-person recruitment team can use Fraser’s five-fold person specification model and give diverse weights for these criteria: (Boella 1992, p. 75, Nickson 2007, p. 92) 1 Impact on others are similar to Rodger’s physical make-up: appearance, manners, speech and the concept (Nickson et al in Nickson 2007, p. 93) of ‘looking good’ and ‘sounding right’. Our company will establish a standard against beauty bias as we will hire people of exceptional abilities and charisma who can perform the job, but their appearance will be of secondary importance. 2 Qualifications and experience correspond to Rodger’s dimension of attainments, educational/professional qualifications and relevant work experience. Previous achievements correlate with future performance, which is especially important when the performance is defined by ‘‘output measures such as production or amount of sales.’’ (Stewart and Brown 2009, p. 223) 9
  10. 10. 3 Innate abilities are similar to Rodger’s general intelligence and indicated problem- solving skills, ‘‘thinking on one’s feet’’, along with responsiveness and courtesy which are all highly important in service industry and start-ups. 4 Motivation describes a person’s determination to succeed in the workplace, which becomes especially important when leveraging on non-monetary rewards to incentivize employees and the start-up is going through turbulent times. 5 Adjustment represents personality factors such as ability to cope with change, stress or high-maintenance customers and stakeholders. Motivated Workers are Best Retained Upon employees’ signing up of contract and arranging details for a probation 3-month period, they will be socialized at the orientation meeting. (See Appendix 4 for Orientation Checklist and Appendix 5 for Contract Parameters) At this event founders will inform employees about their most important commitment factors such as: work requirements and pace aligned with employees’ skills, provided benefits and development opportunities, ways of satisfying customer needs, care for work-personal life balance (Management Review, 1999, p. 9 in Iverson 2001, p.165), as well as about established performance measures and specific grievance and disciplinary procedures, which hopefully should not be conducted. Employees will also get the guidance about these aspects via interaction, intranet, and the customer service manual. (See Appendix 6 for the Customer Service Manual) They will be requested to sign the form which confirms that they have read the material and will work in accordance with the aforementioned principles. In order to retain high performers and facilitate growth, the management should match employees’ diverse goals with incentives they seek and align them with company’s long-term strategy. On the basis of McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory we can differentiate among: need for achievement, power and affiliation. Those wanting promotion will be driven by the need for power and should be given opportunity to influence others as they ‘‘improve customer service, train new employees or act as shift leaders.’’ (Iverson 2001, p. 160) Those motivated by achievement will want to learn continually in demanding tasks and can be responsible 10
  11. 11. ‘‘for creation of new menu items, training manuals, customer newsletter, assessment of company technological needs.’’ Employees who highly need affiliation and strong relationships with customers and colleagues should be encouraged to use their communication skills and affection in planning special events and asking customers about improvement of service. Management should recognize employees for the quality work and encourage the culture of praise and sincere thanking. Employees may create newsletters and press clipping of Danube Hosts/Hostesses for group and individual achievements which will empower employees in representing company. In creating publicity for major highlights, local media and other relevant organisations can be contacted. Employees can also serve on the meetings when top managers are not available and should be consulted for innovations: such as changes in menu, uniforms or new service. (Iverson 2001, p. 166-7) To encourage intrinsic motivation the reward scheme does not have to be only monetary (such as annual and spot-bonuses), but also praise or special incentives: event tickets, beauty vouchers or Christmas gifts. Performance Analysis and Compensation Scheme Effective management of employee performance reduces turnover, increases job satisfaction and service quality. Three performance dimensions will be important in our evaluation: task, citizenship and counterproductive performance. (Stewart and Brown 2009, p. 289) In the start-up setting employees should score high on procedural knowledge and interpersonal citizenship behaviour, whereas organizational citizenship behaviour will speed up efficient operating of the business unit if an employee notifies that a task must be delegated due to unforeseen circumstances. Counterproductive performance will be prevented since the recruiting stage and later fostered by establishing a strong culture of loyalty and disciplining workers if needed. (See Appendix 5 for Discipline procedures in the contract) The company will base its performance system on customers’ input because the ‘‘customer is always involved in service process and the quality of service can be checked only after its delivery.’’ (Kandampully J., et. al. 2001, p.117) Demand 11
  12. 12. variability will influence both the ethno village operations and evaluation of performance management. April-September is the most popular time for Danube discovery via cruising and other transports, whereas short stays outside June-August vacation period will usually happen in the weekends. During those periods and in check out times (typically morning) the anonymous customer feedback can be obtained in paper version or on the screen for improving satisfaction and further market segmentation. (See Appendix 7b) Our questionnaire, available in Serbian and English, will reflect ‘‘our organization’s culture, industry and location’’, provide space for giving narrative comments, minimize ability for the response ‘not enough info’ and scale how important each service segment or skill are for the customer.’’ (Bentley 2012) The collected customer satisfaction data provided via purchased computer-based tool will guide management to decide in which areas to improve service and how to set more specific goals. New and returning customers will be surveyed again after around six months on how those specific goals are met, whereas employees will receive partial or entire bonus depending on to which extent objectives are met. Because start-up environment requires a lot of employees’ initiative and autonomy and managers cannot be as often present to track down events, employees will be encouraged to write down critical incidents for both achievements and areas that need improvement. Employees can also report to supervisors ‘‘their list of specific goals, career map or career development plan which defines what behaviours and self-paced learning will lead their current position to the aspiring one’’. (Iverson 2001, p. 171) For increased trust and greater involvement of employees, managers’ performance should be also evaluated every 6 months via dimensions of BARS framework. (See Appendix 7a) for dimensions of performance evaluation of workers and management and 7b) proposal of customer satisfaction feedback) In compensating employees DEO will have lead-the-market strategy in order to retain best performers in the industry with substantial labour costs. Gain sharing and individual bonuses would be a reward for improved company’s profitability: e.g. increasing number of customers by 20% in non-peak months, serving above 50 meals per day, decreasing level of spent energy or customers’ complaints. Pay-for- performance scheme will be avoided because it may hamper team spirit, indispensable 12
  13. 13. for smooth customer service and because required ROI for decent wage will not be realistic for demands of the industry, especially in the initial stage. Employees who will work at DEO and in a sustainable tourism town will be also motivated by other factors than money. Company will listen to the needs of workers for work-life balance and gather them in nature for team buildings, exercising, bicycle tours, greening the workplace; it will reward successful quitting of smoking; encourage healthy staff-made meals, and provide benefits package depending on workers’ motivation and interests. When employees stay longer than a year in a company, they will start to get payments for their pension fund and medical insurance. In terms of culturally sensitive tipping which Nickson defines as ‘‘internationally recognizable’’ (2007, p. 206) our company will neither restrain nor encourage guests for this policy as service will be included in the bill, but employees will be obliged to utmost collegiate behaviour on this note, as well. Trained and Developed Training and development will be another way to create satisfied workforce and customers when internal mentoring or external trainings happen and social distance between workers gets erased. Management should be sensitized to everyday coachable moments in situations when employees ‘‘demonstrate a new skill or interest (which can stimulate them to get involved in additional responsibilities), when they ask about earlier events, new organization practices or development opportunities, when their dissatisfaction or questions should be solved and followed up.’’ (Iverson 2001, p. 186) This ‘‘regular coaching’’ is also beneficial because it contextualizes employees’ performance before providing general, more extensive feedback based on standardized criteria in performance appraisals. Depending on the season and job dynamics, every month employees will present to their colleagues 15- minute findings about the job and relevant skills in order to encourage peer mentoring and unified experience of common mission and improved guest satisfaction. It will be important to codify our company’s competitive advantage i.e. exquisite service 13
  14. 14. aspects of Danube Hosts/Hostesses in order to systematically pass business and HR strategy to new workforce throughout expansion. Concerning official training programmes, DEO employees should especially work on their customer care skills, entrepreneurship, operation management (for restaurant and accommodation) and marketing. According to UNWTO et. al. report from 2011, local government with tourism stakeholders in Lower Danube will set up The Service Centre for Human Resources Development Programme to provide specific workshops which will emphasize how diverse Hosts can meet guests’ expectations and which important improvements this destination needs. (See Appendix 8 for costs of training and the relevant workshops marked with a line) This programme, organised with local and international stakeholders, should last several days, whereas its usefulness and instructors should be evaluated in a questionnaire feedback. Nickson suggests that (2007, p. 164) some of the best ways to implement learned is via ‘‘structured exercises and case studies’’ which is a better option than examining participants.’’ Budget resources will be often allocated to development so that our employees get training in other Danube countries and internationally on tendencies in sustainable tourism, their field, soft skills, managerial potential and growth of small businesses. Networking opportunities, knowledge transfer and challenges will also intrinsically motivate our workers during domestic and regional competitions (in gastronomy, extreme sports, tour guiding) and when they present on managers’ behalf at tourism fairs and conferences. Conclusion and Thinking Long-Term In conceptualizing long-term business and human resources strategy it is important to recall that our company will go through several stages of its life cycle. The greatest priorities in the DEO’s entrepreneurial stage will be hiring adequate candidates whose performance will be appropriately measured and paid for and that the organization manages to survive and grow due to understanding of market forces. (Stewart and Brown 2009, p. 7) In the communal stage DEO can focus on innovation in services 14
  15. 15. such as business expansion of entertainment and sport facilities, as well as providing gastronomy and relaxation experience along the differentiation dimension. DEO will work on enhancing employees’ sense of belonging as it facilitates the strategic fit among newly hired employees, additional workforce in season times, and the organization’s mission. Then, in the formalization stage the company should increase its efficiency and deal with possible ‘‘decline in motivation as hiring, training and compensation become formalized.’’ (Stewart and Brown 2009, p. 7) Elaboration stage will require renewing DEO practices to the accelerating changing environment in tourism sector: more frequent use of digital media and shared content when choosing travel destination, search for more sustainable resorts, traveling larger distances and staying shorter time spans in one transit place. In the long-run with enough profitability our employees will be promoted to design new facilities and improve services. (See Appendix 9 for Value Chain and Employees’ Involvement in the Long- term Strategy) Iverson estimates that committed workers who see alignment between the company’s and their objectives ‘‘do their job as if they owned the company’’, which becomes a significant source of competitive advantage in times of high turnover, rivalry among companies and general shortage of qualified workers. (2001, p. 165) Our family company will pursue this path and closely cooperate with relevant local and international stakeholders personally and online so that the provided infrastructure offers unified experience of hospitality and good organization from the moment the guests arrive in the Danube region and along the all dimensions of their value chain. Such integrated approach will help our company to become more profitable and to expand from a hospitable oasis and a committed start-up into a sustainable, relaxing resort with par excellence service. 15
  16. 16. Appendix 1: Ad description in English to be posted in student and local internet media and via University Career Service portal Fancy working in tourism? You prefer natural environment to the concrete jungle? You want to be involved in a start-up’s growth, not work for a big corporation? You think the Danube and Eastern Serbia are hidden gems in the customers’ mind? If you are saying ‘‘Yes!’’ now, nodding and smiling, apply for the job in our…your… tourism company Danube Ethno Oasis (DEO) in Donji Milanovac. We look for these profiles: 3 Tour-guides to be Danube Hosts/Hostesses for cultural outings and event organisation at the Oasis venue and with external partners: -University graduates (preferably The Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Arts, History) -Fluent in English and/or other foreign languages -Experience in communicating internationally and with clients (volunteered, studied abroad) -Team-oriented, flexible, nature and culture lovers, motivated to work in a sustainable town -Playing an instrument, acting in the drama club, having artistic flair or other hobbies are advantages 2 Welfare Officers to be Danube Host/Hostesses: -University graduates (The Faculty of Sports Education or Medicine) -Promote healthy lifestyle and sports -Willing to assist with medical help if needed -Fluent in English and/or other foreign languages -Patient, approachable and willing to organize gliding, archery, bicycle and walking tours, extreme sports and rafting in our team or with other local sport associations 3 Chefs to be Danube Hosts/Hostesses: -College education in cooking and international experience, -Received mentorship in prestigious restaurants -Flexible, creative, good at multitasking -Communicating in English and/or other foreign languages is an asset -Willing to organize Danube cooking workshops and to get engaged in serving guests. We offer the following benefits: -Competitive Remuneration Package: Salary above the industry average for 6-day work week, including 1-2 late evenings. -Standard health insurance, pension schemes and 28 days of vacation -Group and individual bonuses -Training in your priority field -Exposure to international clients and diverse partners -Ability to make contribution in company’s growth -Fitness facilities and special gifts Show us your rigour, team orientation and creativity in your application. Submit a two-page resume in English, portfolio of your work, relevant references in Serbian or English and a one-page cover letter in English indicating why you are the right candidate for us and why we are the right company for you. In your cover letter structure your answer around these questions: 1 What do you expect from working in the Danube Ethno Oasis? 16
  17. 17. 2 How would you contribute to the company’s growth, increasing number of customers and their satisfaction in the role you apply for? 3 Describe how you overcame one challenge or failure in your life so far and how what you learned from it can help you in professional and personal life? 4 What is the tourism in the Lower Danube region missing and how would you improve the situation? N.B. Although this ad will encourage people of diverse ages to apply, our management team believes that in reality the final recruited workforce will be of more homogeneous age and marital status (recent graduates and unmarried) because job is performed in a small town and a nature-loving setting which may require relocation. Appendix 2: A) Sample of Behavioural Interview Questions: adapted from Iverson 2001, p. 118 -Please describe a situation when you worked with very little supervision. What did you learn from it and how did you feel? -Give an example of a time when you performed more than was required of you to get something done. -Describe how you built up motivation within a team. -How did you achieve your earlier goals and on the basis of which parameters you knew that the goal was accomplished? -Tell me about your previous relationship with your supervisor (at job or university). -Describe the result after you took the risk for team’s decision. - How did you improve operations in your last job and what was the outcome? B) Tourism start-ups –Interview Checklist 17
  18. 18. Our structured and behavioural interview should contain both open-ended and probing questions that aim at specific answers. This checklist adapted from Iverson (2001, p. 121), Boella (1992, p. 85-86) and the website Business Tools helps us stay structured during the interview and rate the candidates on the scale 1-10. Criteria in the checklist are based upon job specifications and economic rationale for start-ups in tourism, and upon completing separate profiles candidates can be compared. Interview Checklist Date: Candidate Name: Interviewed by: Rank on the scale 1-10, indicate yes/no, write details where appropriate Candidate 1 1. Meets educational criteria Type of education: Achievements: 2. Meets experience criteria Type of experience: Achievements: Personality: 3. Professionalism and high integrity 4. Courteous and efficient service skills 5. Persuasive verbal communication and good manners 6. Motivated for improvement and has long-term goal orientation 7. Enthusiastic and entrepreneurial 8. Able to work in the team effectively and enthusiastically 9. Able to fit into company’s culture 10. Tolerant to risk and perseverant Level of additional skills: 11. Knows foreign languages 12. Computer literate 13. Interesting hobbies Present circumstances: 14. His/her terms of employment are mutually acceptable with ours e.g. pay hours holidays benefits (yes/no) 15. Currently unemployed (yes/no) 18
  19. 19. 16. Needs notice period (yes/no) 17. Has clean driving licence (if required) 18. Has good health record (yes/no) 19. Other appointments pending 20. Reasons for wanting this position 21. Recommended for final round (yes/no) 22. Gave permission for contacting referees (yes/no) Appendix 3: Customer Profiles for Recruitment Case Study and Company Strategy In providing tailor-made service our employees will need to understand the lifestyle profile of customers visiting the region, which Spanish MDG Achievement Fund systematically explained. (2011, p. 81) 19
  20. 20. Appendix 4: Orientation checklist for new employees in the industry This orientation checklist adapted from Boella (1992, p. 98-99) will help management in communicating succinctly and memorably human resource and business strategy at the orientation meeting. 20
  21. 21. Appendix 5 Parameters in the Employment Contract Adapted from: Nickson, D. 2007, p. 272. and Issuing employment contracts: 21
  22. 22. After selecting candidates and doing background-check the contract should be signed with the following parameters: The Danube Ethno Oasis, an ethno village and Destination Management Organization, recruited ……………………………………… (the name of the employee) on ……………………………. (the date their employment started). Gross salary per year above the industry average in the Serbian region is 8000 € according to the study of UNWTO, et. al. (2011, p. 46.)  Salary will be paid monthly in two installments (on the 1st and 15th day of the month) and individual/group bonuses and incentives will be provided when appropriate and on the basis of criteria agreed upon.  When profitability increases according to the set target, employees will share profit and obtain group and individual incentives.  Working week will be limited to 49 hours a week including the weekends and certain people such as welfare officers may work two shifts a day. In each 7-day period, one free day will be guaranteed to workers and 11-hour rest period between two days. However, in the working day longer than 6 hours, workers will be entitled to a rest break of 20 minutes. 22
  23. 23.  Because of the start-ups demanding nature, working hours will be prone to change and employees will be encouraged to flexibly and regularly fix the hours with the management. Here are the provisional working hours: -Working hours for chefs (including serving meals and eating with the guests/ or at the same premises when appropriate; work with managers on establishing cooking workshops, gastronomy pages on the website): 7-14h, 12-19h, 18-01h -Working hours for tour guides (including visits to cultural monuments, serving meals and eating with the guests/ or at the same premises; administrative work with managers on website, advertising, strategy): 10-16h, 17-24h -Working hours for welfare officers (depending on the activity and commuting, along with work with managers on strategy and advertising, serving meals and eating with the guests/ or at the same premises): 7-11h, 14-18h, 20-24h  28 days will be paid holiday entitlement for the workers and they will have the standard amount of the days for sick leave. Medical insurance and pension scheme will be provided after employee’s first year with the company. If employees wish to terminate their employment, they will have 6 months of notice period.  If need arises following disciplinary and grievance procedures will be administered: verbal warning, couching and counseling, written warning. (Boella, 1992 p. 99) N.B. Concerning disciplinary measures, most companies terminate the contract if three written warning notices are issued within a year-suspension- termination. (Iverson 2001, p. 239-241) Appendix 6 The following aspects will be included in our Customer Service Manual and they will be guiding dimensions for assessing employees’ performance: Adapted from: management/operations-customer/10207159-1.html • Overall customer relations objectives and standards • How to talk to customers (Some of the suggestions will be ‘‘Greet our customers with a smile and: Welcome to the Danube Ethno Oasis! Please have 23
  24. 24. a look at the menus. […] Use the guest’s name at least two times during check-in.’’ (Iverson 2001, p. 185) • How to present materials to customers and colleagues (from handouts and fliers to menus) • How to answer product/service/business questions • How to proceed if you cannot answer a question • Where to locate useful information for customers • How to inform customers about changes to the facility, products, or services • How to increase selling of services • How to deal with customer complaints or comments • How to help customers with special needs or with disabilities • How to gather and evaluate customer feedback • How to encourage return of customers (immediately after their departure and while keeping in touch) • How to advertise company’s service through formal channels (traditional media, internet) and informal channels (word of mouth) • How to improve company’s environmental responsibility • How to cooperate with local community, external partners and administrative stakeholders • How to promote innovation and creativity in the company • How to show initiative in developing one’s own and team members’ potential Appendix 7 A) What variables to measure when assessing performance 24
  25. 25. According to the licensed producer of 360-degree Performance Feedback and Boella’s proposal (1992, p. 105) employees can be rated on Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale in this format. Likert 5-point scale will be adapted for the following dimensions and results will be aggregated. (Bentley T. 2012, text from the website video) In the initial stage customers will evaluate employees and service, whereas employees will self-monitor their performance. Those findings, plans for improvement and supervisor’s feedback with relevant comments and these 7 dimensions following below will be combined to provide complete performance appraisal, rather than using 360 degree feedback. To encourage workers’ initiative, management should be also evaluated in open communication around these dimensions, ‘‘communication skills, handling guest complaints and promoting guest relations, developing marketing strategies and monitoring sales programmes, motivating and modifying employee behaviour, implementing policy, making decisions, and delegating responsibilities, monitoring, operations and maintaining product quality and handling personnel responsibilities.’’ (Nickson 2007, p. 180) The Supervisor’s Appraisal Form Personal details Name Length of service Job position not sure (n/a)/ strongly disagree/ disagree/ neutral/ agree/ strongly agree 1Business skills and experience: formulates strategic goals and objectives, proactive (responds to opportunities, solves problems) 2 Professional and technical skills: ethically meets job requirements anticipates problems and proposes solutions 3 Departmental requirements: successfully works in his team, manages well resources (given funds, people, equipment), adaptable to change, has entrepreneurial attitude to meeting customers’ needs 25
  26. 26. 4 Teamwork and leadership: helps people accomplish goals together as a high- performing team, fair in assigning challenging tasks to department members, sensitive to gender/cultural differences 5 Interpersonal credibility: shows empathy to co-workers, patient with those who do not understand, positive under difficult circumstances, keeps his/her commitments 6 Communication and negotiation skills: effective at communicating plans, information, perspective in spoken/written form, good at adjusting his/her style to different needs, effectively negotiates disputes with others 7Development potential: intellectually capable of performing well in the job, shows genuine appreciation for honest feedback, willing to learn even from mistakes, shows evidence of growth and development as an expert Training needs in present job: General salary and improvement recommendation: Employee’s comments: B) Customer Satisfaction Feedback The guiding feedback from Boella (1992, p.251) can provisionally be adapted and shortened on certain dimensions to encourage improvements both in service and human resources, with space left for customer comments: 26
  27. 27. Appendix 8: Training costs and plan for workshops in Service Centres for Human Resources Development Programme This content is adapted from UNWTO, Spanish MDG Achievement Fund, Tourism& Leisure Advisory Services (2011), p. 64. The relevant column lists cost of Workshops if training programmes are held in the regional, newly built Service Centre. We will prefer this external training option, subsidized by our local 27
  28. 28. government, rather than the extensive training scheme within our organisation as we lack resources for such thorough endeavour at the initial stage and this local initiative will provide inputs from wider contacts and potential business partners. In this case the strategy proposes that expenses be covered by the Service Centre and the workshops marked with a line can be relevant for our business model: Appendix 9- Value Chain and Employees’ involvement in the Long- term Strategy Spanish MDG Achievement Fund (2011, p. 81) estimated that these values are significant when analyzing development in rural tourism sector. Our human resources 28
  29. 29. strategy will be aligned with these elements as we recruit, train, evaluate and compensate our Danube Hosts/Hostesses so that they provide exquisite experience along these dimensions of the value chain in teams or with our external partners. According to Scientific Research Centre of The Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade. (2007 b) in 2020 short vacations will encapsulate 24% of tourism profit, whereas 16% will belong to sightseeing vacations. As our company grows, our employees will be given promotion opportunity to design new facilities and service improvements: e.g. Adventure Centre by Welfare Officers, Danube Bicycle and Historic Tours by the entire team and Tour Guides, Danube Gastronomic House by Chefs. The projection of costs for some of the facilities is given in this excerpt from Volume IV: Implementation Plan (2011, p.55) which will help us in thinking strategically together with our employees, our greatest brand, and stakeholders in our community. 29
  30. 30. УКУПНО НОЋЕЊА 179.027 100% 494.155 100% 984.150 10 30
  31. 31. Bibliography Anon (2012) The Importance of a Formal Customer Service Manual. Available at: customer/10207159-1.html (Accessed: 3 April 2012) Anon (2012) Business Tools- Interview Checklist Centre/Interview-Checkkist.aspx Boella M. J. (1992) Human Resource Management in the Hospitality Industry. Avon: The Bath Press. Bentley T. (2012) The Complete 360-Degree Feedback Resource Kit, Available at: (Accessed: 3 April 2012) CIPD (2005) Performance Management Survey Report. In Nickson Human Resource Management for the Hospitality and Tourism Industries. Oxford: Elsevier Ltd, p. 181 Iverson K. M., (2001) Managing Human Resources in the Hospitality Industry. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Issuing employment contracts Available at: (Accessed: March 30, 2012) Heery and Noon (2001) A Dictionary of Human Resource Management. In: Nickson, D. (2007) Human Resource Management for the Hospitality and Tourism Industries. Oxford: Elsevier Ltd, p. 91. Macura B., Bojovic D., et. al. (2010) Local Communities and Management of Protected Areas in Serbia. Available at: studies/local-communities-and-management-of-protected-areas-in-serbia/ (Accessed: March 20, 2012) Management Review 88 (July/August, 1999) ‘‘Employee Loyalty Surprisingly Strong’’ p. 9. In: Iverson, K.M. (2001) Managing Human Resources in the Hospitality Industry. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, p.165. Misic, V. (1980) Djerdap Refugio – unique natural phenomenon in Europe (with special emphasis on flora and vegetation). IV Symposium of Biosystematist of Yugoslavia)], Donji Milanovac, 1-24. [In Serbian]. In Macura B., Bojovic D., (2010) Local Communities and Management of Protected Areas in 31
  32. 32. Serbia. Available at: and-management-of-protected-areas-in-serbia/ (Accessed: March 20, 2012) Nickson, D., et. al. (2001) ‘The importance of being aesthetic: work, employment and service organization’. In: Nickson, D. (2007) Human Resource Management for the Hospitality and Tourism Industries. Oxford: Elsevier Ltd, p. 93. Nickson, D. (2007) Human Resource Management for the Hospitality and Tourism Industries. Oxford: Elsevier Ltd. Scientific Research Centre of The Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade. (2007 a) Master Strategy of the Lower Danube Region in Serbia. Available at: %20PLANOVI/Donje%20Podunavlje/MasterplanDonjePodunavlje.pdf (Accessed: March 20, 2012) Scientific Research Centre of The Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade. (2007 b) Master Strategy of the Lower Danube Region in Serbia (shorter version). Available at: %20PLANOVI/Donje%20Podunavlje/Masterplan%20DonjePodunavljeSkracena %20verzija.pdf (Accessed: March 20, 2012) Spanish MDG Achievement Fund (2011) Strategy for Sustainable Tourism Development in Serbia. Kandampully J., et. al. (2001) Service Quality Management New York: The Haworth Hospitality Press. Available at: id=XsqhxXjKJ2IC&pg=PA90&lpg=PA90&dq=Behaviourally+Anchored+Rating+Sc ale+in+tourism&source=bl&ots=uSRgdB1RQG&sig=L29Km4xL23ep23LTBHRLcn PXZYk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Tjx7T9enCeab1AWxrdy7CQ&ved=0CF0Q6AEwBg#v=o nepage&q&f=false (Accessed: 3 April, 2012) Stewart G. L. and Brown K. G. (2009) Human Resource Management: Linking Strategy to Practice. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley UNWTO, Spanish MDG Achievement Fund, Tourism& Leisure Advisory Services (2011) Volume IV: Implementation Plan for Sustainable Rural Tourism Development in Serbia. Available at: %2021042011/VOLUME%20IV%20IMPLEMENTATION%20PLAN%20for %20Sustainable%20Rural%20Tourism%20Development%20in %20Serbia_190411.pdf (Accessed: March 23, 2012) 32