This document develops and presents the organizational model within the Novotel London Tower Bridge. During the preparation of this work, we spoke with Mr Fontagne, Assistant General Manager of the company, and have subsequently decided to study more precisely about the role of this organizational model in efforts to reduce the variability of behavior of employees. We posed this problem to the manager.
We understand the differences that emerge between individuals in their approach to work as a result of variability in behavior,and the nature of the interaction that they maintain (or will maintain) with the organization. Reducing this variability shall be construed as a kind of standardizing of behavior and the smoothening of these behaviors. Indeed, if the organization wants to achieve its objectives, it must lead and guide these behaviors in order to refocus on its core mission.
Overview of the organization
The Novotel London Tower Bridge is a 203 room hotel built in 2000 in the heart of the city of London. It belongs to the Accor Group (3rd largest hotel chain in the world) and employs about 60 people in different departments:
- Bar, restaurant, ten conference rooms and banqueting
- Support Services with the accounting, revenue management, marketing, internal audit, etc.
Some activities are outsourced for cost reasons (general cleaning and laundry). The author has spent a year as an internal auditor under the guidance of the Chief of the hotel.
Individuals arrive in the company with motivations, expectations and values different or contradictory to those of the organization and even to those of their new colleagues. Thus, according to a study cited by Getz (2002) and conducted by the Company and Progress Association, 71% of employees surveyed "believe that the interests of firms and employees are not in the same direction" and only 40% "believe that business leaders care about the satisfaction of their employees.
These natural differences can lead to significant changes in employee behaviors in many different directions. For hotel groups like Accor which is studied here, establishing a formal structure and/or informal one will help smooth the behavior is very important.
Indeed, when the standard Novotel hotel chains, Hyatt and Marriott , were created, it responded primarily to the financial interests of economies of scale. However, throughout their development, has emerged a new factor was that of securing the customer. The potential customer will hesitate less to book a chain hotel because he knows in advance what services it will provide with what level of quality and at what price around.
In a hotel, beyond the physical facilities, the human factor produces the most value-added services for the customer and the hotel and reduces the variability of behavior of employees; this has become a strategic issue for the hotel chains. This analysis, in addition to the theoretical contribution to the literature, is also based on a telephonic interview, on June 2, 2005 with Mr. G.Fontagne, Assistant General Manager of the hotel.
Tags: Accor group, Organizational model within the Novotel London Tower Bridge,
[...] Thus we do not find any research on "best practices" or any benchmarking, including with other hotels in the chain or the Accor group. This is reflected in practice by very fragmented teams (e.g. catering and booking or reception) which communicate almost solely on a professional basis and refuse any interference in the field of competence. On this basis, the testing of management aims to develop more transverse training programs, or so-called "cross-training", which would allow a receptionist to help his colleagues in the restaurant in case of an emergency and thus improve flexibility. [...]
[...] Similarly, this structure could not function in other conditions as it might create some dissonance between the various players in the organization. On the other hand, training or at least encouragement by the company with a strong culture of "service" which already seems to be present at Novotel can be leveraged to further set up within groups, themselves having a subculture, and as we have shown, sometimes a common cross-cultural one. Culture is another element of action to reduce the variability of behavior. [...]
[...] However if these factors are too low, they will not meet their goal of reducing the variability of behavior. We also identified points for potential improvement: Firstly, in a slightly paradoxical move, we have shown that a reduction of rules and a loosening of the control function of the structure by increasing the autonomy would balance the need for smoothing behavior with increased flexibility for employees in an industry that is constantly changing. This may be extended by a change in leadership style that would then play its "real" role in making and sharing a vision for the company. [...]
[...] In the model described above the leadership of Novotel seems to have the sole purpose of commanding and controlling individuals (this is also true leadership?). The leadership should depart to make way for a leadership to focus on the ideas, information, inspiration and teamwork. By the admission of Mr Fontagné "Hotels which fail are often too rigorously managed without a large vision which emerges because no one dares take the risk. It is easier to control than point the way". [...]
[...] Some areas for improvement with the objective of limiting the variability of behavior Patterns and management practices are evolving at a very high rate due to market dynamics and uncertainties that are inherent in forcing hotels to adapt quickly and almost continuously. This according to Mr Fontagné, is the resistance to change which is a major cause of failure or success of a hotel. For him, the future success will be decided first by the ability of a manager to anticipate change and capitalize on it. Phases of chaos that the hotel industry has suffered in past years (September 11, Iraq war, etc . [...]
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