My Social Blog

----Dr. J.K. Mangaraj1   Dr. Salla Vijay Kumar2----

Background

The traditional classroom education and the teaching methodology has been obsolete even in the standard schools in India. Especially after the pandemic, almost all the general schools and the professional schools in India have shifted to the online/digital platform and education. We are moving with the world of digitalization in education and in the professional front. The digitalisation has taken a giant step in different educational media, Journals and different digital devices. The students of this generation are finding it inconvenient to study without a laptop/Desktop/Smartphone. This generation can’t work, can’t write& can’t study without a Computer and the Internet. The Internet and the laptop/smart phone has become their life line in their personal life and professional world. It is clear that social networking and social media have a large influence on the way people think and behave and on their daily working style. The students’ fraternity is no exception in the present age. The students (youngsters) in the age group (18-24) have become more vulnerable to the influence of the Smartphone and the internet. Generally, the youngsters at this age prefer to spend their spare time in games and sports (outdoors primarily). But it is observed that majority of the youngsters are staying far away from the outdoor games and physical works frequently. The physical /real friend circle is shrinking day by day and the virtual friends circle is increasing day by day. The face to face interaction and meet with friends is drying up. A dominant environment of smart phone use is prevailing everywhere which drags the attention of the students undecidedly. This environment in many occasions disturbs the learning in the professional schools and colleges.

 

Significance

As the facilitators of the sectoral professional educational Institute, we come across many directionless students using social media every day in hospitality management schools. When we try to understand the behaviour of such students it puzzles us regarding their approach towards their academic learning life and their social life. Such attitude has been found among the youngsters in recent decade. This behaviour is primarily due to their close involvement with the social media. The social media engage these youngsters actively on daily basis for few hours. During this period, these youngsters do not focus properly on their academic learning in schools and colleges. In many instances these youngsters fail in their assessments. Few youngsters do not attend their classes and become busy with social sites. Gradually these youngsters keep themselves aloof from the schools and colleges also from the academic activities. Social media has started creating a negative impact by permeating into today's society and millions of us are in the trap, unproductive time. The social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. have so diffused into the thought process of the students that it disturbs their daily time table. But the students do not accept that their time is wasted. Hence it was decided to conduct a survey regarding the use of the social media by the students of hospitality. This scoping review will help provide an understanding of the research within the field of social media.

 

Investigation

In a pilot study, a survey was conducted in a hotel management degree institute. In a population of 770, we managed to get 351 responses from the target clientele (students) the students were asked to fill up few structured questionnaires through Google form online. The responses were found very quickly, within 03days and it was felt that probably this topic is very much relevant to the present generation.

 

Inference Drawn

• 91% users say smart phone is best device to access Social media.

• 40% users spend (3-5) hours/daily in social media

• 90% respondents use Mobile App to access Social media

• 70% use Social media during leisure time and 30% during travelling

• 51% check Social media immediately after waking up in morning

• 49% check Social media as the last act before retiring at night

• 81% users tried to reduce their time spent in social media use

• 42.9% users were not successful in quitting the social media use

• 39.7% users were partially successful in quitting the social media use

• 17.4% users were successful in quitting the social media use

 

These inferences are drawn from an exercise through questionnaire and the respondents were students of a Hospitality Management Institute. These findings are limited to the pilot study only. Generally, the Hospitality management institutes are located in the urban areas. With a bigger sample size, the findings may vary with different locations.

 

Suggestions

• There should be emphasis on the mandatory Yoga class in the time table for the students.

• There should be a pre notified compulsory black out of the internet services for at least 03 hours in the nonacademic hours in a week.

Jagatmangaraj.in

 

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---- A Critical Observation ----

Background

The star hotels in India have been a curiosity and an attraction for the common people. The disposable income of the middle income group has increased over the years. They too have started visiting the star hotels and staying there for holidays. The affluent society is more fascinated towards the star hotels for their regular social functions and entertainments. The middle income group have started travelling in air frequently which resulted in the growth of the star hotels in different cities in India. The customers/guests, who stay in these star hotels regularly, though liked the infrastructure and the facilities are not thoroughly aware of the criteria/standards which are prescribed for the accreditation of such stars Hotels. It is pertinent to mention that these star hotels charge a higher price for the products and the services that they offer to the guests/Costumers in comparison to the ordinary hotels. The prices for everything in star hotels are beyond the reach of the common man in our quantity society, still the star hotels are now growing all over the country in a rapid pace. The star hotels too are doing good business.

Obtaining the star accreditation for a hotel is the process of evaluation by an authorised Committee. The committee evaluates the existing infrastructures and facilities on a given day against the guidelines and the checklists issued by the Government. The committee consists of seven members from the tourism relevant fields. Though the hotel star classification is a voluntary scheme, many hotels prefer the star Tag from the government HRACC committee as an Indicator of the classified standard in India. But it is a fact that the star tag accreditation only focuses on the infrastructures and facilities, not on the services provided in the hotels. Hence the regular hotel goers have many complaints regarding the services provided in the classified star hotels in India. It is a known and common fact that maximum complains in hotels are recorded concerning to the services. Most importantly the services are carried out by the human beings.

 

Understanding the evaluation of hospitality services

The Hospitality/hotel industry is perhaps the brightest example of the service industry. Food and beverage is the core of the service area in a hospitality unit and food & beverage department employs majority of the manpower in the hotel and provides the majority of the services to its customers. The manpower works 24/7 in a hotel. The service provider is expected to be in its hygienic grooming, presentable posture & smile while delivering the services which is probably a challenging act.

Several efforts have been made to evaluate the service quality in the hospitality industry. But a little has been achieved in finding a correct evaluating method of the hospitality services. One of the notable models to measure the service quality in general is servqual. This model focuses mainly on five dimensions such as Tangibility, Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance and Empathy. Few of these factors can be applied selectively and occasionally to the hospitality services.

I feel few of the factors can be considered partially & occasionally to evaluate the quality of the Food & Beverage services and the House keeping services in the hospitality sector or the hotels specifically.

 

Responsiveness — Intangibility

• The common customer complaints are the lukewarm reception that they receive in the front office as they enter the hotel lobby. In some instances, the front office people do not provide adequate information regarding the rooms, other functions/meeting going in the hotel. Sometimes the receptionists respond late &do not pick up the telephones.
Evaluation of the warmth in hotel reception is very complex
Evaluation of the customer’s mind-set is very complex

 

• In some occasions the customers in the restaurants do not receive warm greetings by the hostess. This creates unusual impression in the guest’s mind. Attending quickly to the guests inside the restaurant by the waiters creates a positive impression on the guest’s mind. Quick and efficient food service creates a satisfying and tangible feeling within the guests. Further the timely and quick clearance of the used crockery and cutleries from the guest’s table creates appositive impression in guest’s mind. The appropriate and relevant communications with the guests during the food service creates a sense of comfort among the guests.

• Room service of food & beverage has always been in the complaint list of many hotel customers. Especially the timely service with right food temperature is the key.
Evaluation of (prompt & efficient food service) is complex
Evaluation of (quick clearance of the used crockery) is complex
Evaluation of (foodservice temperature) is complex.

• The House keeping services such as clean, hygienic and odourless linens in bedroom affects the guest’s mind for the evaluation process.

• The cleanliness and the odour in the guest’s bathroom also affects the guest’s mind for the evaluation.

 

Reliability – Assurance (Intangibility)

• The Reliability of the hospitality services is based on the competency and responsibility. The reliability includes factors like the timely food services and clearance of used crockery in restaurant & room standardised recipes, specified brand of crockery and cutlery, safe & hygienic food.

• The Physical safety of the guests within the premises.

It is observed further that similar cases emerge while one tries to evaluate and grade the house keeping services in a hotel. The intangible aspects of the house keeping services make it difficult& complex to grade. While we think about, grading the Hospitality services of the classified star hotels in India, I encounter few issues which need to be addressed in favour of the customers. The issues are mainly as below,

• The 5star hotels of each brand has a specified SOP in food and beverage services and in housekeeping services while the standalone 5 star hotels have their own SOP in services. The training module for the hospitality services vary from brand to brand.

• The quality of manpower in hospitality services vary from brand to brand and the services vary too in the same star category. The amount of funds invested in quality service training too makes the differences.

• Majority of the star hotels too are understaffed, which lead to dilution in quality hospitality services.

• The attrition and the untrained manpower too cause the substandard hospitality services in the star hotels.

Under such circumstances, I feel it will be a challenge in evaluating the hospitality services in the star hotels and grading them as per their allotted star category. I would However I would invite suggestions from the Hospitality service brains to work on this direction so that the confusion and complexity regarding, grading of the hospitality services in the star hotels can be sorted out.

Dr. Jagat Mangaraj

Jagatmangaraj.in

 

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