Relationship Between Salary and Working Motivation in the Hospitality Industry Essay

Relationship Between Salary and Working Motivation in the Hospitality Industry


Employee motivation, in majority of modern organizations is the key component of HRM (Human Resource Management) that aids in promotion of performance among employees. Motivation, according to Koch and McGrath (1996) is vital in HRM as it determines how an organization functions. Staff motivation is what facilitates satisfaction and makes it possible for employees to love their work. Cetin (2013) indicated motivation boosts the morale of employees to work, makes it possible for individuals to deliver at their best and complete tasks assignment to them. There are varying kinds of motivation companies’ offer to employees which are either financial or non-financial. Employee motivation differs on the basis of different variables such as personal needs, external rewards, self-actualization and self-esteem. In a world that is very competitive, attracting and retaining competent staff is a great 2 (2)challenge faced by most companies. Igalens and Roussel (1999) noted some motivational strategies used to retain employees comprise good bonuses, salary packages as well as other rewards of a financial nature. This leads to the question on whether a link exists between salaries and employee motivation to work. Therefore, the aim of this study will be determination of existence of such kind of relationship in the hospitality industry.


Primarily, this study aims to establish whether there is any relationship between salaries and employee motivation to work in the hospitality industry. The study evaluates existence of a relationship that is positive between these two variables, instituting whether the salary an employee receives from their employer can lower or boost the motivation to perform better. The findings are going to offer insights into the matter and make it possible for companies operating in the industry to be aware of the importance of adoption of a salary strategy as a means of boosting the morale of employees’ and encouraging them to deliver their best while at work.


Workers motivation is deemed as the core factor to building power that makes it possible for employees to enjoy job satisfaction. Employers alone can motivate employees by building work conditions and environments that keep workers satisfied and happy. In consequence, motivated employees will give the best to assigned work and jobs towards company success. Moreover, employees’ contributions are the major determinants of an organizations success. Though money is not always the only motivator for employees or the primary motivator, the evidence that proves it is actually a motivator for a large percentage of people is overwhelming. Majority of organizational managers take into consideration financial and non-financial tools for purposes of attracting, motivating and retaining employees. Nevertheless, it is misleading to conclude monetary rewards are not significant to employees. Research in this area is of great importance to unravel the mystery through presentation of facts.

Literature Review

Human Resource Management

Snell et al (1996) describes human resource management as processes of management of people within organizations. HRM is the strategic and coherent approach for management of valuable assets in an organization which is the human resources. HRs are people who work in an organization individually and collectively in order to accomplish certain objectives. The major purpose of HRM is that of ensuring organizations enjoy success through employees. HRM systems form the root of organization capabilities that companies can capitalize on and explore new opportunities. HRM is an important component in any organization as it boosts effectiveness (Ferligoj et al, 1997).

HR practices that are distinctive shape core competencies which in turn determine the manner in which companies compete. Extensive research demonstrates such practices can cause a huge impact over the performance of a company. The main aim of HRM strategies is supporting programs enhancing organization effectiveness through the establishment of policies such as management talent, creation of great work environment and knowledge management. Human capital comprises people working within companies or organizations and on whom the businesses depend to succeed.

According to Lewer and Waring (2004), human capital is the representation of human factor in companies. They refer to the joint skills, expertise and intelligence that provides every company with its own unique character. Organizational human elements comprises people with the ability of learning, innovating, changing and offering a thrust that is creative and which can effectively motivate employees to ensure a company survives for the long term. HRs are key assets in an organization and businesses should invest on them to ensure there is survival and growth. HRM ensures organizations secure as well as retain a workforce that is properly skilled and motivated (Anderson, 2006). The HRM practices and processes involve adopting actions that satisfy and evaluate future needs of the people while developing and promoting capabilities that are inherent in employees in relation to innovativeness, employability and potential through progressive learning and development opportunities. Further, HRM incorporates operations like thorough recruitment and selection procedures, systems of contingent –performance incentive training and compensation activities as well as management development based on the needs of the business. The concept also includes the management of talent which involves process of acquiring and nurturing talent by applying various practices and policies of HRM in areas like performance management, succession planning, development and learning as well as resourcing.

Therefore, HRM as a concept is very broad and varies from one business to another in terms of academic literature and practical perspective. HRM aspects include but they are not limited to employee recruitment, appraisal, rewarding, training and screening. According to Marrewijk and Timmers (2003), the practices and policies include carrying out job analysis, choosing required and ideal candidates, orientation of new employees, salaries management, and provision of benefits and awards to the employees as well as development and training process of employees. HRM is defined by others as the decisions, strategies, operations, practices, factors, methods, functions and principles that are linked to management of people within an organization. The varying HRM definitions demonstrate the concept of multiple aspects blend. Within an organization management of HRs has increasingly become fundamental. An HRM team that is effective should be well organized with each individual obligated with different responsibilities like job recruitment, evaluation, training and analysis etc (Muse et al, 2005). Job analysis is a procedure used to determine job descriptions as well as traits people in such positions should possess. Job analysis acts as the foundation for other activities of human resource department. This is attributed to the fact it clarifies every job’s responsibilities, duties and tasks. Individuals with the responsibility of detailing job specification therefore should be clear in relation to the form of abilities, knowledge and skills that suit certain jobs.

According to Miller and Lee (1999), recruitment is another practice/aspect of HRM. Individuals with the obligation of recruiting are supposed to know who needs to be hired and the number. Recruitment is broken down as internal and external recruitment. Internal recruitment is where the department of HR recruits employees internally which means transferring them from one department to another or promotion. External recruitment involves hiring of new staff outside the company. Training is an important part of HRM as well. After choosing new employees successfully and carefully, new staff requires proper and adequate training so they can be equipped with the skills needed to carry out tasks assigned to them. Normally, orientations are organized at the beginning of their work duration while other training that is relevant follows shortly afterwards. Evaluation is a fundamental aspect in HRM. What is more, it is important for organizations to carry out performance appraisals for employees appropriately. Evaluation comes from feedback offered by the representatives of a department, colleagues and training processes. The process motivates and enhances employees’ skills and abilities by compensating and rewarding excellent performance as well as other motivation process.

HRM should have a focused aim or target to meet. What is more, people differ from one another in different ways (Mirvis, 1997). They bring with them different knowledge, abilities and skills which might align or fail to align with the needs of the organization. Some employees are also devoted in their tasks while others view work simply as an income source. Others are underutilized leading to performance levels that are not balanced among employees. Therefore, HRM purposes to bridge existence between real performance and perfect requirements for business to facilitate organizational effectiveness and success to a greater level. HRM makes it possible for organizations to attain objectives through development, training and utilization of employees. Amaanda (2011) observed the process helped in motivation of employees while maximizing the abilities and potential of employees for increased productivity and returns. HRM makes it possible for companies to create environments that are conducive for staff promoting team work, creativity, abilities development as well as innovativeness. Through HRM, employees are able to identify with the success of a company by integrating HR policies and improving performance with business plans and strategies.

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Employee motivation

The concept of motivation explains energy that makes it possible for an individual to advance towards accomplishing a specific goal (Kalleberg, 1997). The concept defines the behavior of an individual that leads to specific interrelated factors which can be maintained at a constant including abilities, skills as well as knowledge. In the same manner, motivation is associated with physical and psychological human needs. Physical needs might include hunger and safety while psychological needs might compromise aspirations directed towards accomplishment of certain goals that appear ideal. Motivation is also defined as a set of internal and external forced that trigger behaviors that are work related which determine its direction, intensity as well as form. Influences are generated from personal internal thoughts and forces of the environment on the work behavior of an individual.

According to Igalens and Rousel (1999) employees who are highly motivated enjoy high job satisfaction which in essence is an individual’s overall performance at a task. Further, job satisfaction is further defined as the summary of attitudes a worker has towards any complicated job. The concept is also used to describe the assessment of an individual regarding their job against matters and concerns relevant to them. The involved sentiments and emotions substantially influence the attitude of an individual towards work either negatively or positively. Murhadi (2003) added employee motivation is deemed to have great influence on the level of job satisfaction enjoyed by an employee. In consequence, this contributes towards a workforce that is of high quality and committed to an organizations profitability and performance. The perceptions and attitudes of employees at the workplace can be based on satisfaction that is accorded to their varying personal needs as well as their judgment in relation to a couple of aspects that can be linked to their jobs. The theory of expectancy suggests every employee has needs that are personalized. With proper motivation as such, satisfying these needs can alter the attitude and behaviors of employees towards work expectancy in relation to a certain outcome. Every company interested in excelling in business is supposed to examine the link between employee job satisfaction and motivation (Rynes et al, 2004). Such knowledge is effective in making it possible for them to motivate employees through different means both financial and non-financial. This is due to the fact varying aspects on the lives of the individual employees exert great force that demotivates or motivates employees to improve work performance. Without question, this can be linked to either the success or failure of an organization. An individual’s own motivation should not be looked upon as the only justification of isolation and should be incorporated in the surrounding work environment and their process of intervention. Moreover, motivation is a ‘cognitive process’ which is determined by the behavior of an individual and is not related to causes of behavior (Lawler, 2005).

Importance of Employee Motivation in Hotel Business

Hotel business involves provision of services to different kinds of guests. Such businesses have great value for quality and not quantity services as they do not have any physical measure and quantitative tools cannot be used to make measurements. Mitra et al (1998) states the output of quality, in a similar manner is established through the perception consumers have regarding services they are offered. Absence of motivation for employees in the hotel or hospitality industry has effects that are adverse. Employees who are demotivated might fail to enjoy tasks assigned to them. Other outcomes that arise among the staff in the industry include reluctance, discontentment, desire to quit and failure in completion of assignments. Koch and McGrath (1996) observed under these circumstances, the productivity and performance levels of the employees might drop.

Organizations in this industry therefore should devote to employee motivation as it increases business value. With employees who are motivated, the quality of services in hotels significantly improves. According to Herzberg (2003), one strategy of promoting motivation if through provision of working environments that are conducive recognizing employees have great concern for the clients and managerial support to satisfy the expectations and needs of employees’. Organizations interested in developing motivated and productive personnel should also motivate their employees by satisfying their varying needs. This kind of attention creates employees who are enthusiastic (Guthrie, 2000). Generation of high service value also requires that organizations should moyivate employees for specific purposes such as adding value to business. Excellent delivery of service through a workforce that is highly motivated can earn the company’s loyalties from clients who in turn recommend others to the business. Apart from getting competitive advantage, increase in customer loyalty facilitates healthy growth and increases company profitability.

Possible Delimitations/Limitations

There is one possible limitation that might arise from the size of sample. A sample size that is extremely small makes it a challenge to secure relationships that are secure (work motivation and salary). This is due to the fact statistical tests demand a sample size that is bigger in order to facilitate generalization that is effective. Unavailability of data that is reliable limits this study as it limits scope of study analysis, sample size as well as finding a relationship that is meaningful. Use of questionnaires and interviews to gather data can be a limitation as well in conducting assessment that is rigorous. Self-reported data in such research is a limitation as well as it makes it hard to verify information as the researcher is only able to pick what respondents are saying through questionnaires and interviews (Brutus, 2013).

This study is not reliable since the researcher selected employees from the hotel industry only to evaluate the perceptions and attitudes of employees’ regarding their company’s compensation system as well as the manner in which it influences how they work. Additionally, the study is limited to one organization yet results will be applied in generalization of importance of a good package salary across the organizations (Brutus, 2013).


The experiential section of the study will use mixed method comprised of quantitative and qualitative methods. The approach of the study will be applicable on Marriot International (American based company). The primary instruments used to gather data will be questionnaires. The questionnaires will randomly be sent to employees in the company.


The study is going to involve participation of a large number of respondents. Participants will comprise of company employees randomly selected across all the departments and managers in diverse departments (Marriott International). The sample will comprise of one hundred and twenty employees who will fill the questionnaires and 10 managers who will respond to interviews.

Research Design

The research is going to follow case study design to facilitate in-depth evaluation of research problem (relationship between employee motivation and salary). The design of research will be effective as it will allow use of different methodologies (qualitative and quantitative) while at the same time relying on different sources to evaluate research problem. Through the design, it will be easy to carry out an evaluation of real-life contemporary situations.


4Initially, the researcher is going to pinpoint the case to study and establish the techniques of data analysis and data gathering to be used. Participation letters will also be sent through mail to the company, to seek approval of individuals who are qualified and willing to take part in the study. The study date will then be set and research team will start on the field on specified time/date. The questionnaires are going to be distributed, interviews carried out and the data collected. After the data is gathered, the researcher is going to analyze the data then prepare as well as present the findings of the report.

Data collection and Instrumentation

Data in this study is going to be collected via a survey technique through use of interviews and questionnaires as the major instruments for collection of primary data. All the employees in the company will be targeted and constitute a sample group that will be used in the study. The questionnaires are going to be structured and designed in a manner that derives information on the compensation system of the company and subsequent impact it leaves on motivation of employees to complete their assignments. The questions are going to gauge their perceptions and attitudes regarding salary packages, willingness to carry on working with a company as well as the morale of working. The questionnaires are going to be randomly distributed to employees in all the departments.

Data Analysis  

SPSS (statistical packages for social sciences) will be used to analyze data for quantitative data which is going to be supplemented by qualitative data. SPSS is going to be effective as it involves application of advanced techniques for analysis of typical data survey. The study is going to gather bivariate statistics which will aid in assessment of relationship between the 2 variables (Salary and motivation to work). The cross tabulation and chi-square are going to be used in facilitation of the bivariate analysis so as to determine frequency of some numbers and categories. Central tendency measures are going to be observed and will include means, medians and the modes for variables that are under investigation. This kind of analysis will be very effective in assessment of the relationship between these two variables as well as strength of association.

Implications for Professional Improved Practice & Link to Possible Funding

Information gathered is going to be used in the study with various implications especially in relation to improved professional performance. Organizational managers and executives, for instance are going to gain deeper insight on reasons they should consider offering employees better compensation. Moreover, the study is going to demonstrate whether boosting motivation of employees through better packages will have influences that are positive on the performance of an organization. This is due to the fact the study demonstrates clearly how salaries are related to the work motivation of employees. The findings of the study can stimulate the managers of the company to heavily invest on improvement of compensation system for benefit of their business (Cetin, 2013). The study is going to be critical in provision of essential information to demonstrate companies in hospitality industry like hotels and other industries can boost competitiveness in the market and maintain survival. It will ensure relevant professionals acquire HRM information to acquire a deeper understanding and knowledge of secret towards sustainable and successful business. The study also implies organization executives are supposed to invest in their HRs heavily as well (through competitive salary packages) regardless of heavy costs that are involved.

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