Retaining Management Talent: What Hospitality Professionals Want from Their Jobs
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Taylor, Masako S.; Walsh, Kate
One of the primary challenges that the hospitality industry continues to face is high levels of turnover. With an eye toward finding ways for the industry to reduce unwanted turnover, we examine turnover intentions of one the most critical groups of employees: namely, management staff. Using a sample of 401 graduates of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (with graduation dates of 1987 through 2002), this study identifies the job features that enhance managers' commitment levels to their organizations and to the industry generally, as well as reduce their likelihood of leaving both. A key finding of this study is that these hospitality professionals are actively managing their careers. To that end, they are looking for challenging jobs that offer growth opportunities, competent leadership, and fair compensation. Foremost among those factors is the chance to gain career growth through increasingly challenging assignments. While a substantial number of respondents were motivated by external factors, such as compensation, most of the respondents find the greatest motivation from the internal aspects of the job, including the opportunity for personal and career growth and the chance to make a contribution to the organization. To the degree that those desired jobs features are in place, hospitality managers' commitment levels will rise. Managers' commitment to performing challenging work especially reduces their likelihood of leaving their companies and the industry.
hospitality firms; employee turnover; career development; management staff
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