The Impact of Management Training on Employee Performance

Abstract

The research study explores the impact training has on the employee’s performance and attitude. It was carried in the department of F&B in City and Dreams Macao. The aim of the research study was to investigate the impact management training has on the employee’s performance and attitude in the F&B department of City and Dreams Macao. Basically, training employees equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge required to perform a particular task better. It is also carried to change the attitude of the employees in the workplace. Quality services and customer satisfaction are essential in the hotel and the hospitality industry. The research used both qualitative and quantitative research study methods and analysis. Questionnaires were distributed to 80 participants were the success rate was 87.5%. Most of the participants (over 80%) agreed that employee training improved their performance level and attitudes. Also, 90% had positive attitude towards employee training process. The results indicated that the Department of F&B City and Dreams Macao trained employees and their performance and attitude were improved as a result. The main conclusion is that training instills knowledge and skills which influence the employee’s performance and attitude. Employees should be informed on the benefits associated with training process. This would change their attitude hence high performance levels and development of positive attitude corporate culture.

Introduction

Background of the Topic

The hospitality and the hotel industry in which City and Dreams Macao operate from rely heavily on customer service. Employees especially the ones in the customer services should be in a position to satisfy the numerous demands of the customers. This brings in two important attributes which a customer is definitely attracted to. These are excellent performance and positive attitude at the workplace especially towards the customers. These two attributes form the core of a successful and flourishing business in the hotel and hospitality industry. To have a workforce that has positive attitude with excellent performance, management training is emphasized. The demands of customers are getting complicated on a daily basis and so is the hotel and hospitality industry.

Training has been described by Durai (2010, p210) as “a short-term development exercise for non-managerial employees” with the aim of overcoming employees’ performance deficiency or aid in learning a new job. Drawing reference from the description, training can be described further as a learning process which equips employees with new skills and knowledge. The new knowledge and skills would be essential in aiding the employees perform efficiently. The training process may contain various predetermined programmes that aid in achieving the anticipated performance efficiency (Durai 2010, p210; Shelton 2000, p269-270). Training makes the difference between an outstanding and performing employees and organization to less performing and outstanding one. The exercise adds value to the employee and the organization itself (Shelton 2000, p270). For a training sessions or program to be successful, the management should emphasize on the importance of the training sessions. Generally, training involves upgrading of skills, knowledge, and attitudes of the employees. For a company to be successful in the current industry, training is an essential undertaking that need to be carried more often. Depending on the level of the employees, training programs are necessary to organizations. A highly motivated and competent workforce can be created only if an organization emphasizes on occasions training (Durai 2010, p210). Employees training should be seen as a part of the organizational strategic plan rather than a liability. The efficiency of employees and the effectiveness in performance is improved hence the need. Generally, training process on employees is geared towards the acquisition of knowledge and additional skills required in performance of the employees.

Cooney, Terziovski and Samson (2002, p2) note that training of the employees forms an integral part of quality management. Performance of employees depends heavily on training which in turn promotes the quality of the services offered. According to Cooney, Terziovski and Samson (2002, p2) employees training is required as their roles in the workplaces are being enlarged. The enlargement of the employees’ roles has been as a result of responsibilities delegation. Employees have been given overall mandate to work without much emphasizes on supervision.

Training employees adds a competitive advantage to an organization (Brum 2007, p1). The aspect of added competitive advantage in the hotel and the hospitality sector is achieved through increased performance and changed attitude. Employees are the largest assets that need to be recognized and improved. The value of an employee added in an organization can be measured through the performance and the commitment indexes. Upon the completion of a training program, the employees output increases which act as competitive advantage (Brum 2007, p1). Output increase results from an efficient performance by employees in the workplace.

Performance can be described as the degree at which an employee’s executes their duties relative to a particular job specification, or responsibilities. Based on the simple definition, training develops employees to become “more aligned for career growth” (Truitt 2011, p1). The career growth and the alignment as a result of training promotes positive attitude thus increased performance level. It should be noted that the performance of employees depends on many elements. For instance communication skills which are gained through training aid the employee in relating with the management and workmates. The relationship that exists between the employees and others in the workplace determines the level of the performance of the employees.

Attitude is the negative or the positive feeling towards an individual, identity or an action. An attitude can be positive or negative. In reference to the research study, the attitude of the employees should be positive towards the customers, fellow employees, management, and the workplace itself. Instilling positive attitude on the employees is only achievable through training process. Based on this statement, job training has the capability of influencing the attitude of the employees. Training employees increases the knowledge and skills required in an organization. It also promotes the socialization process. When individuals have the required skills, the attitude towards the job is also improved.

To sum up the introduction, the research study supported by literature review will be in a position to ascertain whether training of the employees has a positive impact on the employees’ attitudes and performance levels.

Relevance and importance of the study

Organizations in the hospitality industry have become very conscious on the services they offer to their clients. This has made them realize the need for training employees with the aim of improving their performance and attitude especially the ones in customer service. The biggest assets of a modern organization are trained employees who have the capacity of satisfying various customers. The research study will have a greater influence in the hotel and the hospitality industry as it would evaluate and showcase the need for employees’ trainings. In the academic field, the research will broaden knowledge on the employees training and their performance and attitude. Lastly, it will act as a guideline for students aspiring to get engaged to know the impact training employees has over the organization and the overall industry.

Aim and Objectives of the study

The aim of the research study is to investigate the impact management training has on the employee’s performance and attitude in the F&B department of City and Dreams Macao. The identified aim will assist in answering the research question “Does employees’ training have any impact on their performance and attitude? For successful undertaking of the research study, the following objectives have been identified in reference to City of Dreams Macao F&B department.

  • To investigate the impact of training on the performance of employees
  • To evaluate whether training employees has any impact on the attitude of the employees.
  • To develop recommendation that would be essential in improving the performances and the attitude of the employees in the workplace.
  • To ascertain the general impact training has on employees in the workplace.
  • To evaluate the different training methods used on employees in the workplace.

Literature Review

Introduction

This chapter of the dissertation paper will give a detailed review using existing literature on the impact of training on employees’ performance and attitude. This will form a platform from where the research topic will be evaluated. Literature from past research or that has relevance to the topic will be applied.

Overview of training

Different definitions have been given on what the term ‘training’ in the human resource means. According to Backeberg (2000, p10) and Wentland (2007, p81) training is different from career development as it instills employees with required skills and aids in correcting any deficiencies that may be related to the employees’ performance. The enhancement of skills is meant to improve the writing and the reading abilities, provide ethics, solve problems, improve interpersonal skills, and improve technological know-how (Wentland 2007, p81). Durai (2010, p210) describes training as an exercise carried to develop the skills of employees in a short-term. The addition of the skills is carried to overcome employees’ performance deficiency or prepare them for a new job. The training process is comprised of predetermined programmes geared towards the achievement of anticipated performance efficiency at organizational, group or individual levels. Training can also comprise addition of knowledge and skills (Callahan 1997, p1; Kleynhans 2006, p115; Wang & King. 2009, p67). The preceding statement has been supported by Durai (2010, p210) sentiments that training is like a learning process which is meant to aid employees gain knowledge and skills necessary for performing jobs more efficiently. It is an unending process that is carried occasionally to promote the organization strategic development goals. To sum it up, training is meant to create a difference between the present value of an employees and their value after the additional knowledge and skills. It can be formal or informal process which improves the employees’ performance (Afaq, Yusoff, Khan, Azam & Thukiman 2011, p149)

Employees especially in the hospitality industry have been regarded as “an organization’s most valuable resource” (Lawson 2002, p1). Despite the fact that in the past organizations neglected training of the employees, they have currently adopted training as a part of organizational strategic plans. The turn has been as result of change in the platform from where organizations conduct their businesses. Increase in competition, change in technology, change in consumers preferences and tastes have definitely been some of the change causes. To reduce the effect, organizations have resulted to employees training through established training programmes. Although many organizations see training as a cost venture, it is an investment that an organization makes. The results of the training are reciprocated in the long term. The relevance of this to the research topic is that training has the capacity of improving the performance of employees and their attitude.

Based on the various fashions of training it is imperative to note that training is a must have program for every organization more so in the hotels and hospitality industry. This is because it depends very much of the employees for customer attraction, satisfaction and retention.

Applied theory on Employees motivation

Different theories have been applied in the workplace to try to explain the relationship that exists between training and its various impacts on employee performance. Basically, the employee training process is one of the numerous motivational approaches that the HRM use as part of the reward system. The expectancy theory better explain and showcase what the employees and the employer expects and how it influences workplace attributes like job performance, satisfaction, job satisfaction, and attitude.

The expectancy theory

Like the title, employees and the employer expects something from a particular action. The theory is used to give an explanation on why some behaviors are portrayed in the workplace (Koontz & Weihrich 2007, p293; Redmond 2011). The rational of the theory is that people will do what they can to get the anticipated outcomes (Dubrin 2009, p389). For example, training of employees is a motivational approach that is used to increase performance and attitude. The employer’s expectancy is that the employee with have a positive attitude, and perform as expected. On the other hand, employees expect that training will boost their career and lead to promotions. Redmond (2011) note that there exists a positive link between performance and efforts. In this case the efforts are the training that is offered to different employees. Employees believe that if they perform well the likelihood of being rewarded is great. The theory according to Victor H. Vroom is based on the notion that pleasure will be maximized while pain is being minimized (Redmond 2011). Negative attitude is a pain, therefore employees will try their best to avoid negative attitude after the training (Dubrin 2009, p389-391). The theory is explained better in the illustration below.

Flow Chart of the Expectancy theory
Figure 1: Flow Chart of the Expectancy theory

As noted by Dubrin (2009, p389), Koontz and Weihrich (2007, p293) and Pride, Hughes and Kapoor (2012, p288) expectancy theory is essential to organization as it enables the HRM determine what employees expect. The authors argue that organization should know what valences are attached by employees. The organization should reward the employees on the areas which they see as valuable to the organization (Griffin & Moorehead 2012, p104). For instance, if it is customer relations and satisfaction, the organization should concentrate on influencing the attitude of the employees. This can be achieved through training and it impacts the customer care services. For the organization to benefit from good performance, “employees should be given the appropriate training and encouragement (Dubrin 2009, p391). Training strengthens any weaknesses on the employees and aids in improving their performance. Upon the training the employees, the organization should recognize the employee performance and reward the employees. This motivates the employees to the extent of changing their attitude on customers and fellow employees. In respect to the hotels and the hospitality industry, organizations using this theory should train their employees to improve performance and attitude as suggested by Dubrin (2009, p391) and Logue and Yates (2001, p63)

Overview of the different training methods

There are different training methods that are adopted by organizations to train employees at the workplace. Some of the commonly applied traditional methods are on job training, online training, job instruction, lecture cases, role playing and behaviour modeling. On the other hand, the modern methods include the Computer-based instruction (CBI), video, Interactive Video training (IVT), and Web-based. The major advantage of the traditional methods is that they are cheap and easy to foster. However, it is time consuming and costly given the time it takes to carry. On the other hand, the modern or new technology training methods are beneficial as they are cost effective if the infrastructure is well laid. It offers a conducive environment for employees in the hospitality industry, ensures sharing, employees can get training on their own pace, and offers the chance for improving the capabilities of the employees and that of the organizations.

Impact of training on employees’ job performance

It is of sheer knowledge from different scholars, human resource managers, and supervisors that employee training improves their performance level (Pynes 2008). As mentioned earlier, training increases the skills and the knowledge required by employees to perform a particular job or improve their performance. Farooq and Khan (2011, p24) concur that employees with a particular level of knowledge are able to accomplish assigned tasks in a successful manner. They also add that the completion of the task is accompanied by high levels of autonomy. Modern technology training methods equips employees with adequate skills and knowledge which improves the competencies of the employees (Farooq & Khan 2011, p25; Logue & Yates 2001, p63). With high levels of competencies, employees are able to wholly showcase their prowess in activities they do. Subsequently, the performance levels are increased. Training improves the self efficacy of employees (Farooq & Khan 2011, p25). This pushes the performance of the employees to an effective level. Employees with less knowledge as well with many skills are all trained with the expectation that they will perform better than prior performance. In their study Farooq and Khan (2011, p25) it was found that indeed training employees increased the performance of employees as well creating an environment that would allow performance increment.

Backeberg (2000, p4) stresses out that organizations have to spend more in training employees for empowerment purposes. Employees empowered with skills and knowledge are able to perform better than their counterparts (Carter & Mcmahon 2005, p95; Kleynhans 2006, p115; Shelton 2000, p270). Backeberg (2000, p4) argues further that for the customers to be fully cared for and satisfied, the customers’ attendees should be fulfilled first. The preceding statement is more applicable in the hospitality industry where the organizations heavily depend of the employees to attract, satisfy and retain employees. Training employees makes them gain self efficacy which is essential in retaining the learned skills and knowledge. Basically, employees in the hospitality industry like the case of the research study requires self efficacy for improvement of their performance levels. Improved performance is essential attribute to an organization as it attracts more customers.

The performance capabilities as a result of knowledge and skills acquisition are essential to any organization (Kleynhans 2006, p115). Performance revolves the relationship that exists between the employer and the employees. A positive relationship has to be established to foster maximum performance of the employee. Truitt (2011, p1) note that training is an integral practice that boosts the relationship. Subsequently, the positive relationship encourages performance in the workplace because training improves the level of harmony in the workplace. In other words employees can easily relate to each other and to the management thus increased production. Training is a remedy to conflict management in the workplace (Consumer Dummies Staff & Scott 2009; Truitt 2011, p2). Therefore training employees on conflict management are vital to an organization (Hellriegel & Slocum 2007, p500). With low levels of conflict as a result of training, performance levels of the employees are boosted hence high productivity and autonomy. Communication skills and interpersonal skills play integral part to the success of a business (Logue & Yates 2001, p63), in the hotels and hospitality industry. Employees need to relate positively and communicate perfectly with customers. Training and educating employees fosters the required communication skills thus promoting high performance levels (Truitt 2011, p2). Training employees ensures job commitment and engagement, job satisfaction and job involvement. All these positively relate to the performance of the employee. For instance, when an employee is commitment, satisfied, and involved, definitely, their performance is increased. In the research conducted by Truitt (2011, p9) it was found that a mutual relationship existed between the performance of employees and training. It also showed that employees who were trained were less likely to get involved in workplace conflict. This increased the level of harmony hence high performance levels as a result of job satisfaction.

One of vital aspects required in the modern hotel and hospitality “industry is employees‘acquaintance with new methods and techniques of Hotel management” (Ul Afaq, Yusoff, Khan, Azam & Thukiman 2011, p149). These methods as well as techniques can only be realized through training process. In most cases, training is carried with the aim of improving the employees’ performance. Based on this, then, a well planned and effective process of training improves the employees’ performance significantly. To ensure that employees perform well, organization should initiate learning and training process at all levels in an organization (Ul Afaq et al. 2011, p149). It has been suggested by for employees to offer satisfactory results in the workplace, continuous training is required (Armstrong 2000:543). Training employees acts as a strategic plan where the production resources are value added. This value is reciprocated through high performance in the organizations. Training employees is some investment that an organization carries through empowerment and knowledge addition. In a study carried by Ul Afaq (2011, p150) in Pakistani on the Pearl Continental hotels, it was found that indeed training improved the performance of the employees. Some areas like interactions with customers, hygiene, and work safety improved drastically as the employees had the required skills and knowledge. The study also revealed that during the training process, the customers reported a change in the quality services offered.

The hospitality and the hotel industry is a competitive business which relies on services for competition (Cairncross, Wilde & Hutchinson 2008, p150). Customers expect quality services to be availed to them in the exchange for the money they give. So organizations operating in this sector have to put into consideration quality services. To achieve this, the HRM has to consider training employees as part of the strategic plan. According to Cairncross, Wilde and Hutchinson (2008, p151) most successful organization put a lot of concentration on the quality of services and those who offer the services. Motivation and training employees plays a great role in ensuring that the anticipated customer demands, preferences, and expectations are met. Training employees acts as an armoury to organization in the hospitality industry. Quality services delivery is associated with great employees’ performance thus making training necessary. This has been supported by Ul Afaq et al. (2011, p157) that “employees’ training has significant relationship with the performance”. High levels of training translate to high levels of performance and quality services.

Accuracy, effectiveness and efficiency are the three major attributes in contemporary hotel and hospitality industry organizations. These trends call for the employees training in the workplace so as to increase performance levels (Ul Afaq et al.2011, p157; Hai-yan &Baum 2006, p516). Based on the findings of the study carried Ul Afaq (2011:156) employees who had high score marks during the training and examination session showed high performance levels. This indicates the correlation that co exists between performance and training. Lastly, training employees is essential as it offers them with the required skills which are notably vital in improving employees’ performance (Hai-yan &Baum 2006, p516).

Impact of training on employees’ attitude

Attitude is a psychologically related attribute that may be positive or negative. According to Truitt (2011, p2) there is a relationship that exists between employees training and their attitude. Attitude relates on how an employee works and interacts with the customers. When an employee is trained on issues like teamwork, respecting each other, and having positive attitude performance is increased. Employees who have positive attitudes are more likely to become the organizations stakeholders hence job accomplishment (Truitt 2011, p2). In support of this sentiments, Truitt (2011, p10) research indicated that employees who had undergone training had positive attitude thus a high level of job proficiency. To sum the research, the researcher summarized there was indeed a positive relation between job proficiency, job training and positive attitudes. In relation to the case study, this is positive as the hotel and hospitality industry is more concerned with the attitude employees have on consumers, employees, management team, and the job itself.

According (Saari & Judge 2004, p396) the human resource management can have great influence on the attitude of employees. Employees have attitudes especially on job satisfaction. In this context, job satisfaction is applied to mean the pleasurable experiences or any positive emotions that accrues as a result of job appraisals (Saari & Judge 2004, p396). Through the initiation of management practices and programs, the human resource management teams have the capacity of influencing the attitude. Some of these practices that the HRM usually carry on their employees are training and development. Training has been defined earlier has the capacity of influencing the attitude of employees. The way the employees perceive the work or the work environment influences their relationship with management and fellow employees (Cooke & Meyer n.d, p1-2).

A different definition of training is a “systematic development of the attitude/ knowledge/ skill/behavior pattern required by an individual to perform adequately a given task or job” (Yin & Ming n.d, p818). Based on this definition, it is clear that training does not only develop the skills and the knowledge of an employee, it also impacts the attitude aspects of the employee’s behaviour. This has been supported by Shelton (2000, p269) who note that training equips employees not only with skills and knowledge but also with attitude change. When employees are effectively trained, they are more likely to transfer their experience and attitude to the working environment. Past studies have suggested that employees who undergo motivation usually transfer their skills to work place (Yin & Ming n,d, p819). Based on the statement, training acts as a motivational factor to the employees where attitudes are passed from trainer to trainee to the working environment. As seen earlier, there is a correlation between job training and job satisfaction which is the attitude bit of it. Based on the preceding statement and the research conducted by Yin and Ming (n.d, p821) the responses from the employees showed a degree of job satisfaction after effective training. The attitude of the employees was improved by the training classes and was able to generate job satisfaction. Generally, if employees have positive attitude on the training process then positive results in the workplace are portrayed.

Summary

To sum it up, employee training is vital to employees in the hotel and the hospitality industry. This is because skills and knowledge required for improving the performance and attitude are acquired during the training process. As seen in the literature review, employee training may be either formal or informal which is based on predetermined programmes. The training process can sometimes be adopted as an organizational strategy geared towards increase in production. Quality services are essential in the hotel and the hospitality industry. The performance of the employees ensures quality services which lead to customer satisfaction. All this is achieved through employee training. Attitude plays an important role in hospitality industry as it is related to customer satisfaction. The employees’ attitude can be influenced by the trainings the employees undergo. In relation to the research paper, it is vital to note that the literature review justifies the study. Organizations in the hospitality industry need to carry occasional or continuous training process to improve the employees’ attitude and performance. The expectancy theory gives the organization the opportunity to carry training programs where a mutual relationship is forged. In return, the performance and the attitude of the employees are improved.

Methodology

Introduction

Methodology involves the several approaches, processes and procedures used during a study so as to answer the research question and objectives. This section of the dissertation paper provides the research design and methodological approach applied. It looks at the data collection methods like primary and the secondary data collection methods. The research strategy, instrumentation, and the mode of administration were put into consideration. The strength and weaknesses of using a case study, primary and secondary data are expounded in relation to the research objectives and aims.

Research design

The dissertation paper uses both investigative and descriptive research designs. These have been selected because of the required investigative and descriptive nature of the research topic. They also allow in-depth analysis which ensures credibility, validity, and reliability. Qualitative and quantitative research methods will also be applied for successful research study.

Research strategy

A multi-research strategy has been adopted because of the complex nature of topic with the aim of achieving that stated research aim and objectives. A multi-research strategy has been selected because of the need to have collected data which is reliable for the support of reliable findings. Primary and secondary data collection methods were used for qualitative analysis purposes. The combination is essential has it aids in the eradication of any chances where biased data and information would be collected. The strategy combines the use of primary and secondary data and data collection methods as well as the use of a case study.

Case study

By definition, a case study is basically a qualitative descriptive research used to assess a group of people in a restrained setting. Usually, a case study involves the “identification of the problem, the collection of data, and analysis and reporting of results” (Thomas, Nelson, & Silverman 2011, p195). For relevance and in-depth purposes a single study has been applied. The research investigates the impact of training on the performance and attitude of employees in F&B departments of City and Dreams Macao. Being involved in the hotel and the hospitality industry, the case study gives the best opportunity to investigate the role training plays in organization. The City and Dreams Macao located in Macau is categorised as a leading tourist destination in Asia for its services, serenity, and competent employees. It receives a huge number of tourists on annual basis who enjoy their vacations and holidays in the organizational premises and other facilities. The reason why the organization has been chosen as a case study is because of its vast growth, high customers’ turnover, and the quality services offered in the organization. This would offer an opportunity to investigate on the impact employees training has on their performance and attitude.

Advantages and disadvantages of using a case study

One of the benefits associated with the use of a case study is that it allows a researcher to focus on a particular group in a holistic situation (Thomas, Nelson, & Silverman 2011, p 297). This provides a chance where a researcher can accumulate more reliable and viable responses. Because of its flexibility, a researcher can interact freely with the targeted subject. A case study provides great deal of detail and descriptions, making it possible to answer more than one question. According to Blaxter, Hughes & Tight (2006, p74) the method allows in-depth explorations especially when real life responses and experiences are involved. Despite the numerous benefits, a case study is associated with some notable limitations. For instance, the results of a case study cannot be used for generalization purposes. This is because different people give different opinions, have different attitudes, perceptions, and ethics that control them. However, despite the critique, case study has still remained as an important research method applicable in social sciences.

Sample and sampling strategy

The study used 80 participants who were drawn from the F&B department of the City and Dreams Macao. The participants comprised male and female staffs who were supposed to have been working in the organization for at least 3 years and above.

Prior to the final study, a reconnaissance was carried in the City and Dreams Macao specifically the F&B department. This allowed the researcher get the required consent from the organizational management. Also, a list of the employees was sought after it was emphasized that the research was for academic purposes and anonymity and employees rights would be observed. Upon the explanation on the intention of the study, the employees and management accepted to give out their names. The list consisted of two hundred and forty employees whose names were alphabetically written. A symmetric random sampling was applied where the number of employees (240) was divided by 80. When 240 is divided by 80 we get 3, so the third name on the list was the first person. The sequence was followed until a sample of 80 participants was reached. Given that hotel and the hospitality industry are largely populated with women, the participants were 50 females and 30 males. Purposive sampling was applied to collect the attitudes, perception, and opinions of the participants. Purposive sampling strategy was applied because it allows in-depth understanding that is applicable in the work organisations.

The common features of the participants were that they should have worked for at least three years and above, over 25 years, of age, and undergone extra training and seminars other than college and university training. The limitation with the sample is that it is small, biased and with specific restrictions. This would result to data and information that is not adequately reliable and dependable affecting the general outcome of the research.

Instrumentation

A 20 item questionnaire was designed where multiple copies were distributed to the various indentified and selected participants. The questions where designed by the researcher putting into consideration the ethical issues and with in mind the aim and the objective of the research study.

The research study adopted self administered questionnaires which the participants are given and allowed to fill with the researcher’s absence (Mitchell & Lolley 2010, p263; Moore 2001, p27). Basically questionnaires can be administered through the use of mail, emails, and face to face among other means. In this case, the questionnaires where send through mail with a stamped envelope for reply purposes. The questionnaires were designed using the most understandable and direct English language to avoid ambiguity. The structured questions were both open ended and closed ended form for easy answering. They were structured in such a way that the questions started with general to sensitive or personal to get the investigative purposes. 80 questionnaires were mailed to the participants on the same day.

The participants were given a period of two weeks to go through, answer the structured questions and mail them back. 10 participants did not return their questionnaires in time hence nullification. This made the response rate to be 87.5% success.

The benefits of using questionnaires in the research were; they are a cheap method of collecting information which according to Mitchell and Jolley (2010, p263) can able one to get honest answers from many people. Another advantage of using questionnaires is that it was not time consuming because, the questionnaires were just mailed to the targeted sample of population (Cargan 2007, p117; Czaja & Blair 2005, p41). According to Mitchell and Jolley (2010, p263) “self administered questionnaires often allow anonymity”. This was the case because the respondents addresses and names were not required thus increasing the degree of getting honest answer. Questionnaires can be customized to fit the stated objectives at a particular study (Mcnabb 2010, p109). This has been the case with the research study.

The drawback of questionnaires use during the research was, it was expensive to administer the 80 questionnaires with stamped mails through postal mailing. The suggested limitation of use of self administered questionnaires by Mitchell and Jolley (2010, p263), Moore (2001, p27) and Westenholz-Bless & Achola 2007, p121) is the low return rate. As earlier indicated, 10 questionnaires were not applicable in the research study. Questions formulation was a hard task and so was the interpretation of some of the participants’ feedbacks. This has been supported by Seale and Barnard (1998, p 52) who suggest that some the responses may be superficial and need probing before analyzing which is impossible. Lastly, as experienced questionnaires can “be insensitive to complex issues where a detailed explanation may be necessary in order to make a response understandable” (Seale & Barnard 1998, p52). Lastly, unlike interviews, questionnaires do not allow probing for more answers from the employees (Hartas 2009, p227).

Ethical considerations

For professionalism, ethical issues were considered. Consent from the participants and management was sought where each was handled with a drafted and signed letters that showing that confidentiality and anonymity would be ensured. Issue of privacy was also addressed and employees were informed that any disturbing question that may seem inappropriate would be left blank. Generally, informed consent was sought and ethical issues discussed with the participants. The participants were informed that they would have look at the results if need be. The acknowledgement of copyrighted information has also been observed and so is the 1998 data Act. All these have been in accordance to the ethics in research to ensure professionalism is practiced.

Analysis

Introduction

This part of the dissertation paper mainly addresses three main issues namely: data presentation, data analysis, and data interpretation. The data has been presented in the form of table, charts, and graphs. The results of the questionnaires will be presented using these data presentation methods. The discussion of the results will aid draw a correlation and relevance from the discussed review to answer the research questions.

Findings/ Results presentation

The research data and information has been presented based on the methods aforementioned in introduction paragraph above. As discussed earlier, the research used 80 questionnaires with a success rate of 87.5%. The response rate was above the expected mark of 80% making it dependable for the research.

Table 1: Employees responses on impact of training on attitude and performance

Measure Strongly agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree
Variable
Performance 50 10 0 6 4
Attitude 40 20 1 7 3

The high levels of positive responses by some of the employees may be as a result of awareness on the role employees training plays. The responses were formulated from the questionnaires and presented in the pie charts below for easy interpretation.

Employees Training and performance responses
Figure 2: Employees Training and performance responses

From the pie chart above, it is evident that at least 71% of the employees strongly agreed that training improved their performance levels on the organization. They believed that training equipped them with the necessary skills and knowledge required at the workplace. Some other responses on the questionnaires were like “I can now perform better and the employer has even rewarded me”. This implies that indeed training employees was necessary. 14% of the employees agreed that training was necessary. Those who saw that training had impact on their performance were 85% (71% and the 14%). 15% was the combined responses of those who strongly disagreed and disagreed. They reported that training was only carried on the interest of the organizations and it was not necessary that that it would improve their performance. It can be concluded that the majority of the employees at the F&B department in City and Dreams of Macao concurred with the claim that employee training improves performance.

Employees training and attitude
Figure 3: Employees training and attitude

The presentation in figure 3 depicts that 56% of the employees strongly agreed that trainng played a great role in influencing their attitude. They agreed that through self awareness courses they were able to change their personality, attitude, and perception. The negative attitide they had towards their fellow employees, customers and management was impoved. 21% agreed that on training having have a positive impact on their attitude. However, 2% were not sure whether their attitude had been impoved. They believed that their attitude had not been improved or decresead because of undergoing training. 14% (10% dsagreed and 4% strongly disagreed) believed that training had nothing to do with their attitude. They said that attitude was a pesonality attribute that was as a result of interaction, socialization, but not training. Generally, most of the employees concured that training impacted them positively either towards employees, customers or management.

Table 2: Employees combined response on impact of training on attitude & performance

Measure Strongly agree Agree Neutral disagree Strongly disagree
Variable
Performance 35 3 0 2 2
Attitude 25 2 1 0 1
Total 60 5 1 2 2
Combined responses
Figure 4: Combined responses

Figure 4 above showed that 60 of the employees agreed that training and positive impact to the employees performance and attitude. They acknowledged that training increased their skills and knowledge. Some of the gained skills and knowledge were on communication, self awareness, interpersonal skills, socialization, and how to increase their performance. The combined responses are indicative that training of employees was necessary.

Attitude of employees towards training
Figure 5: Attitude of employees towards training

Based on figure 5, 90% of the participants had positive attitude towards training process while 8% had negative attitude and 2% were neutral. What this means is that the 90% were aware of the impacts of training process while the rest were not. Having negative attitudes towards training may be as a result of poor communication between the management and the employees or as a result of ignorance.

Discussions and Analysis

This section discusses the relation between the research findings and the literature review. It also analyses the results by showing their meaning and what they imply to the research.

Based on the research findings, it is imperative to note that the research concurs with the literature review. As seen, more than 80 % of the participants have agreed that indeed the training of employees plays a great role in influencing their performances and attitudes. The results have been positive and showed that a relationship co-exists between the training of employees and performance. This has been confirmed by the research conducted by Ul Afaq et al. (2011, p157) that performance was directly proportional to training. The research relates the sentiments of Hameed and Waheed (2011, p224) and Lawson (2002, p1) that employees are an asset to an organization that need to be developed. Developing the employees through training is crucial as it improves the organizational and individual performances. The effectiveness of the organization majorly relies on the performance of the employees. Some of the employees’ responses were that they had gained substantive level of knowledge as well as skills through the organizational training programmes. The subsequent statement has been echoed by Kundu and Cohen (2008, p65) and Wentland (2007, p81) who noted that training played an important role in instilling employees with skills. The authors also noted that training was necessary to improve any deficiencies that employees might have while executing their duties. Thus training has improved their performance levels in the F&B department.

Some respondents from the F&B department of City and Dreams Macao acknowledged that training other than increasing their skills and knowledge; it increased performance which was recognized by the employers. Subsequently they were rewarded for it. According to the expectancy theory, employees act towards something if a reward is guaranteed. Employers use motivational methods and approaches like training to motivate employees. Based on the expectancy theory, if the organization needs to increase performance then it would engage the employees in training programs and processes (Dubrin 2009, p391). For example, the response given by the participants confirms the expectancy theory. The department of F&B City of Dreams Macao is most dependable as through customer satisfaction the organization performs better. So through training processes as witnessed, the employees are expected to perform better. The employees on the other hand, are expected to get rewarded as a result of the better performance. In this scenario, it can be argued that F&B department of City and Dreams Macao was expecting the performance of the employees to improve upon the training session. The hotel and the hospitality industry is a sensitive and complex industry that relies greatly on the service quality. For City and Dreams, the services are excellent given the number of visitors visiting the hotel. Quality services can only be necessitated by trained employees in hotel management, customer service, and internalization. Therefore, the expectancy theory is applicable in the F&B in the City of Dreams Macao as both the employer and the employees expect something like reward at the end of the day.

The intention of any training by an organization is to improve performance as well as the employees effectiveness (Backeberg 2000, p23-24). Training processes are carried on individual where the sole intention is to make them better that their present state. The training process is carried with the expectation that the employees will perform better and showcase a positive attitude to the organization, employees and customers. Dedicating adequate time and training to the employees on a continuous or occasional basis improves the employees’ performance. With the belief that employees are an asset, organizations like City Macao put emphasis on the training process.

The combined response by employees that training had a positive impact of their attitude was 84%. This is an indication that supports the past research and other materials in the literature review. Some employees noted that their attitude had been changed from negative to positive after undergoing the training classes. It is imperative to note that employees undergoing training are exposed to self awareness skills, socialization skills, and communication skills which form the essential part of personality and attitude building. Employees who perceive that training has changed their attitude are more likely to perform better as expected in the workplace. The performance of the employee is increased as they feel appreciated. For instance, the employees being trained makes them feel as part of the organization and appreciated. If the employee had negative attitude towards the employees will definitely change. The expectancy theory also makes substantive evidence in regard to the results finding. Through reward system to employees who perform better as a result of training are likely to change their attitude. Therefore, training in one way or another influences the attitude of the employees.

In reference to figure 5 huge percentage of the population was aware of the importance of training to employees. The assumption made was that there was a high level of communication between the employees and the management team or the HRM department. If an employee has a positive attitude towards the training process, then they are likely to develop the culture of having a positive attitude in the workplace. So, through the positive attitude towards training, the performance of the employees is improved and so is the attitude. If the employees had negative attitude towards training process then their performance may be low compared to employees with positive attitude. Therefore, awareness and communication between employees on the likely impact of training is essential to employees as it influences their attitude.

Limitation of the study

There are some notable drawbacks associated with the research study that can be improved in a future study. The sample is somehow biased has it has more women than men with a ratio of 5 to 3. The sample related bias can be corrected if numerous studies are carried with a relatively balanced sample distribution. The study has used a small sample of less than one hundred. This makes sample less reliable as a large population would be used to make inferential conclusions.

The research study bases its argument on a single case study which may not be enough to generalize that training impacts the employees’ attitude and performance. As noted earlier, the use of a case study use has been criticized that it cannot be used to make generalized remarks or conclusion. This subjects the study to the critique by non case study users. The study concentrated on a single department that is the food and beverage department instead of focusing on the whole organization. The response rate was not 100% thus full data and information was not collected as anticipated during the questionnaires drafting. Lastly, the research used questionnaires to collect the data which can be biased sometimes. For instance, the employees may give wrong information with the fear of not compromising their employment. Also, some responses on the questionnaires were hard to interpret and assumption was used to relate the meaning. This may have altered the intended comments thus making it biased.

Implications for future research

Since there are no much research conducted on the hospitality industry with regard to training impact on performance and attitude, the research forms an important part of the academic field. It offers students, academicians and scholars some academic materials which are reliable for either teaching or referencing purposes. The research study offers a platform from where other future studies could borrow some materials and reference from. To the City and Dreams Macao, the study is important as it showcases the loopholes that can be used to improve its performance, that of its employees, increase quality service, and consumer satisfaction. In future, the organization can carry researches where this particular study could be used as the basis.

The study research design did not ensure that hypothesis testing was carried as the small sample was used and the study allowed room for determining the impact of the training on the two variables. A much comprehensive research would be carried for validation purposes and support the claims made in the study. It also has a bias on the sample size since a small sample size was used. A descriptive survey research design would be used as it comprises hundreds of participants who would give a data where comprehensive comparison and explanatory data analysis (EDA) would be carried.

Summary

Basically, the results indicate that training process impacts the employees’ performance level and attitude. In reference to the department of City and Dreams Macao, training is important as it equips the employees with the necessary skills and adequate knowledge. This has improved the performance of the employees as well as the attitudes of the employees. Awareness on the importance of training on employees as it gives the employees the opportunity to develop a positive attitude towards the training process. Organizations operating on the hotel and the hospitality industry need to carry occasional training process on their employees. This would ensure that the performance and the attitude of the employees are improved. Quality service and customer satisfaction at the City and Dreams Macao has been attributed as a result of the high training processes carried in the organization.

Conclusions and/or Recommendations

Introduction

This section of the research study gives the conclusions of the research which are based on the literature and the research results. The conclusion is used to give the appropriate and viable recommendations that can be used in a later date.

Conclusions

Generally, training employees is vital as it offers them with the required skills and knowledge. This promotes better performance at the workplace and their attitude towards the employees. However, communication should be made to inform the employees of the important of training. As seen in the study, training employees not only equips the employees with skills and knowledge but also plays a great role in ensuring harmony and a conducive working environment. This in turn makes the employees’ perform better than the rest of the untrained employees. It can be concluded that employees in the F&B department at City and Dreams Macao have improved performance as a result of the training offered in the organization. It is also clear that through training process, the employees have been able to change their attitude to positive. Therefore, training has positive impact on performance and attitude of the employees. This in turn is likely to improve the organizational performance especially the department of F&B in City and Dreams Macao. With reference to the expectance theory, it is important to note that employees and the employers expect something in turn. So by offering training to the employees, the HRM expects the employees to perform better than before and change their attitudes. In turn, employees expect to be rewarded upon better performance in the workplace. Therefore, a mutual relationship exists between the employees and the employers. Lastly, positive attitude towards the training process instills positive attitude culture to the employees. The developed culture is likely to spread in the organisation thus developing a better working environment where performance and positive attitudes are enhanced.

Recommendation

In reference to the conclusions, it is recommendable that the department of F&B in City of Dreams Macao continues with the training process on its employees. The anticipated outcome as a result of the training is increased employees performance as well as a positive attitude towards the customers, fellow employees, and the management team. The combination of these outcomes leads to customer satisfaction as well as high overall organizational performance. The organization should communicate with the employees and create awareness on the importance of training employees. As a result, the attitude of the employees towards training is likely to be changed. This would increase the participation of the employees in the training processes offered by the organization. It is also advisable for the organization to hire consultants who have experience on employees training and development. They would apply training process coupled with the expectancy theory to achieve high employees’ performance and positive attitude among the employees. Lastly, to ensure quality services which results from high performance and positive attitude, the F&B department in the City and Dreams Macao and the organization should carry occasional training processes. This would increase the employees’ performance as well as their attitude.

The study was carried on a small sample therefore it cannot be used for generalization process. It is recommendable that multiple studies be carried in different organizations in the hotels and the hospitality industry. Then a comparison analysis would be carried where similarity would be noted. The multiple studies would also ensure that hypothesis testing is carried to wholly support the claim that management training impacts the employees’ performance and attitude. The study was also biased in a way as it had 50 women and 30 men. Therefore, the multiple researches should have a balanced sample to ensure the biases mentioned above are not experienced. The study can focus in a whole organization in the hotel and the hospitality industry where all departments are studied and evaluated. This would give an overall view on the role training plays in the context of employees’ performance and attitude. A much larger sample could be used in either a descriptive survey where opinions, attitudes, and the perceptions of a larger population would be viable for generalization purposes.

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Appendices

Appendix 1: Questionnaire used

Questionnaire

What is your age? ……………………..

What is your sex? ……………………………..

  • Male
  • Female

For how long have you worked in City and Dreams Macao

  • 1 years
  1. 3 years
  2. 5 years

Have ever undergone training process while working in City and Dreams?

  1. Yes
  2. No

How was it like? (explain briefly)………………………………………………………………………………………

What is your attitude towards training process in the organization? (briefly please) ………………………………………………………………

Does the company reward employees on performance basis?

  • Yes
  • No

How is the training process conducted?………………………………………………………………………………………..

Has your performance increased as a result of the training process?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Has your attitude changed as a result of the training process?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Do you think training employees adds skills, increases knowledge, and changes attitude?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Has training improved your performance?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Has training changed your attitude towards employees and customers?

  1. Yes
  2. No

What have you achieved through the training process?…………………………………………………………………….

How often does the organizations carry the training process

  • Often
  1. Occasionally
  2. I don’t know

In your opinion why does the organization carry occasional training?………………………………………………………………………………………………

Do you feel appreciated in the workplace?

  • Yes
  • No

If given the chance would you change to another department? If Yes why? ……………………………………………………………………………………………

Does training motivate you?

  1. Yes
  2. No

What are your closing remarks on training in the context of improving performance and attitude (be brief)………………………………………….

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