The tourism industry is one of the most developing and popular industries worldwide as it is in Turkey. However, it has permanent problems in it, which can be solved with a little human touch of professionals who are working in the sector such as; gender structure, continuation at work which means career development, working conditions, and perspective – recognition by management in the name of leadership style and training.
Firstly, gender structure and demographics distribution is an important point for the sector that; 29% female and 71% male manpower are included respectively. 43% of employees that are working are less than 30-years-old. These employees are inexperienced within the sector. Also, 33% of staff works seasonally in a company which means they have to be led by management and seniority have to be defined well starting with job objectives to the employees. Starting with orientation, training development programs should be done effectively.
Demonstration of the tourism industry in Turkey is growing cumulatively. Entirely it seems that we cannot introduce our sector to the world even to our citizens who are studying in that branch. They do not take the sector as a serious profession, mostly due to lack of training and not practicing sufficiently. Chain hotel groups should increase the Task Force and cross-exposure facilities for employees in order to teach our culture and hospitality approach. Besides, trainees should have a field experience with an appropriate program in order to assume themselves as permanent staff.
The number of permanent and experienced staff is another big issue for tourism sector who knows the sector well. According to the researchers; employees working in the sector less than 1 year the rate is 33% when it is compared with permanent staff 8%.
Job satisfaction is also a significant topic for tourism employees that includes salary, colleagues, and positive emotions towards the company. Each property should make benchmark concerning of salary to equalize the terms. Widely, ‘Y’ generation is populous in the sector who gives importance to working environment and colleagues that should be prized to handle the employees. Emotional engagement is also important for staff, they would like to see visible management team who respect them and their performance and situation.
67% of employees consider management as team-oriented, 36% guiding, 31% democratic, 27% charismatic and empowering. Unfortunately, it is observed from the surveys that controlling manager’s rate is 18% and lack of management style is 13%. Thus, staff’s view of the supervisor should be improved in the sector that influence employer’s behavior, motivation, performance, availability, care about staff and also has an impact on turnover so that staff can see the manager as a role model for themselves who treats people kindly.
Training is the most important part of development in Tourism sector both for employees and managers. For the purpose of management, team training is essential in order not to lose well qualified, guest-oriented staff and get maximum performance from them. Training is also important in terms of employees, since, they should have in-house training in order to improve behavioral skills and performance, also for growth within their career.
Education should be turned into a format which is contrasting to theoretical on-the-job training. In every level, what we give to our employees differs. Instead of loading the knowledge, teaching how to reach the known methods. Chain of command, reason conclusion relationship between superior-subordinate should be taught. Moreover, while all of these are being done, the culture of hospitality is able to be lived for a long time. In this situation, top managers have to take some special duties. They should be opened to improve continuously. We can summarize it like this; the reason for the explosion in modern science is due to turning “I know everything” into “I know anything” philosophy.
This principle brought a new perspective to science and it rescues science from dogmas. In addition, it brought questioning process for opening new horizons. Therefore, pioneers of the sector are the managers who are responsible for being improved. Managers, especially senior managers and human resource specialist will come into prominence if they manage to maintain this change.
Lastly, in Tom Cruise’s Last Samurai film there is a scene; before he went to the war a sword had given him as a present and that sword it was written: “a warrior who matches himself with old and new methods.” From my point of view, this quote summarizes the process effectively.
Dr Barbaros KON, Founder of HUMANICA, Turkey