Purpose – The aim of this paper is to explore the extent to which employee welfare and human resource management impacts on customer service. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from a number of operational staff of the Mount Kosciusko ski fields in Australia. The staff was selected at random and comprised both permanent local staff and seasonal staff, and completed a self‐administered questionnaire. Findings – The results highlight the challenging living conditions of many seasonal workers on whom the industry depends and at the organizational level this research demonstrates a need for effective management skills and employment strategies that reflect the needs of seasonal staff. As was shown, there is a relationship between staff satisfaction, camaraderie and customer satisfaction. Research limitations/implications – To better gauge the extent to which this research is applicable to all “front line” employees this study could be replicated in such locations as islands or isolated resorts with comparisons made with the same labor in established tourism resorts. The limitation of this study would be the specific mountain location in which it was conducted, and the size of the sample. Practical implications – This study clearly identifies an area of human resource management which needs to be considered. When a region relies heavily on seasonal staff their welfare should be of prime consideration, because disgruntled staff translates directly into disgruntled customers. Originality/value – This paper adds a clearer understanding to the body of knowledge surrounding staff retention in the service industries.
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 7, 2008
Keywords: Competitive advantage; Tourism
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