To: Mr. Jim Johnson (General Manager), West Indies Yacht Club Resort From: Mr. Patrick Dowd (Management Consultant) Date: 1/12/2007 Subject: Recommendation Report for West Indies Yacht Club Resort Introduction The purpose of this recommendation report is to sort out the existing problems of West Indies Yacht Club Resort and to suggest some feasible solutions to improve the current situation. This report is going to identify the key issues in the resort, list and discuss the main findings, outline the conclusions based on the findings and offer recommendations.
Identification of the key Issues After being a participant observer in the resort for 3 weeks, four main key issues can be identified: High expatriate turnover, rising number of guests complaints, increasing tension between expatriate and local staff and the lack of motivation. It is worth finding out that all these problems are from the same root, that is the cultural difference between the US expatriate and British Virgin Island (hereinafter called BVI) staff. Therefore, all these issues are undoubtedly related to each other.
Presentation and discussion of the main findings: a) Increasing tension between expatriate and local staff The ideal management style of USA expatriates and BVI staff are of great difference. The former will prefer laissez-fair or behind the scene style while the latter prefer hand-on style. Yet, in the resort, there are merely a few hand-on managers like Singiser who would strive hard to integrate into the local culture and gain respect from the BVI staff. Thus, the distinct relationship and misunderstanding between the two parties does give rise to the tension among them.
Unclear job descriptions and expectations do play a role to increase the tension among the two parties. Due to low education level, the BVI local needs clear and detailed role description while USA expatriates perceive a brief guidelines are enough to get the job done. Thus, whenever there are any problems in the working procedure, USA expatriates would be significantly unsatisfied with their subordinates, believing that they are not striving hard for the task. This misunderstanding leads to the tension between the two parties. b) Lack of motivation
Should Inappropriate reward system, leading by the cultural difference, act as a prominent factor triggering the lack of motivation in the resort. In the eyes of USA expatriate, money and promotion is the only motivator for work. Yet, it cannot fit in BVI staffs’ shoe as what they treasure is teamwork work and relationship, but not achievement. Thus, the achievement-oriented reward system could not motivate the BVI staff to struggle hard for the betterment of the resort. Adding to the reward system, unsuitable management style, as mentioned before also leads to the lack of motivation.
Indeed, cultural difference is the root of both the inappropriate reward system and unsuitable management style. c) High expatriate turnover It is no denying that cultural difference does play an essential role for leading to high expatriate turnover. Most of the expatriates find the job too challenging as the working styles of the two parties are totally different: USA expatriates are proactive and aggressive while the BVI local staff are laid-back; USA expatriates treasures achievement while the BVI local staff love nurturing.
Having such an enormous gap between the two parties, USA expatriates do receive immense pressure and frustration. Adding with homesick and inadaptable to the local environment, USA expatriate may prefer to leave at the end. d) Rising number of guests complaints Generally speaking, the problem of rising number of guests complaints, to certain extend, are generated by the lack of motivation and the increasing tension between expatriate. As the BVI staffs are not motivated by the achievement-oriented reward system, they are not proactive to serve the ustomers, and hence fail to make the customers have ‘home away from home’ feeling. Besides, the tension between the two parties lowers the efficiency and the quality of the services as not enough co-operation and communication is made. The poor handling of the complaints is also matter. Facing the cut-throat challenges in the industry, it is of great importance for maintaining the standard of the services. Yet, there are no specific departments to handle guest complaints at first instinct. Thus, it leads to the accumulation of the guest complaints. Conclusion
According to the discussion of the findings, the four main issues in the resort are indeed closely correlated with one another and have the same fundamental cause—cultural difference. Recommendation: As the four main issues are interdependent with one another and are rooted with cultural difference, four measures are generalized to cope with the problems: a) New Training Practices Training should be arranged to both the BVI local and USA expatriates for lessening the misunderstanding between the two parties. As 70% of the BVI staff is illiterate, an interactive workshop, for example role play, is preferred.
In the role play, the real scenario would be given to the BVI staff and they will be put into different positions. It can not only train them to cope with the challenges in various situations, but also let them understand the difficulties of the USA expatriates. Besides, for the USA expatriates, informal sharing sessions can be held regularly in order to exchange the skills and methods to deal with the BVI staff. b) Hiring practices The resort should employ suitable expatriates from abroad for having a list of criteria of being flexible, adaptable and open-minded. Also, those having he experience to work or live in different cultures and practicing hand-on management style are preferred. These sets of criteria should be tested through a strict screening procedure to ensure that a right person is chosen. Also, a seminar introducing the BVI and the resort can be held in order to let the applicants to have a general understanding of what they are going to face if they really get the job. c) Improving communication Better communication is a feasible way to reduce misunderstanding between expatriates and BVI staffs. Two approaches can be used to reach the aim.
Firstly, regular informal gathering can be held among the two parties. For instance, they may have a dinner or take a trip to the neighboring islands. This can not only helps to build up friendship between the two parties, but also lessen their misunderstanding. The second approach is to organize some “hands-on campaigns” during off season. Expatriates are encouraged to get their hands dirty during the campaigns to impress the BVI staffs and to work as a big family. d) New Reward system Altering the rationale of the existing reward system is one of the ways out to tackle the problems in the resort.
It is worth noting that the new reward system should aim at providing reward which can fit the needs of BVI staff, hence enhances job motivation of BVI staffs as a whole. Firstly, changing the basis of the reward system from individual to team is a desirable choice. This can encourage all BVI staffs to work hard together as they treasure teamwork very much. The second remedy is to replace the achievement-oriented reward system by offering the staffs some coupons for enjoying the resort’s amenities or having a holiday trip.