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Cavendish Hall Hotel Case Study On Performance Management Process


Task: Discuss the rationale for using EITHER “performance related pay” OR “performance appraisals” to improve performance levels at the Cavendish Hall Hotel and the role of the line manager in achieving this successfully.

Assignment Case Study
Daphne Jones has recently been appointed as HR manager of the Cavendish Hall Hotel, a 200 bedroom, four-star county house hotel, located in rolling hills a few miles south of a major northern industrial conurbation. The hotel provides a wide range of conference and banqueting facilities and is a popular wedding location. It employs a range of full time, part time and temporary seasonal staff across 5 departments: Events and Banqueting, Rooming and Reception, Housekeeping, Food and Beverages, HR and Administration. The organisation aims to be “The region’s number one venue choice for events and conferencing”. They aim to deliver through a strategy of personalised customer service experience, bespoke events packages, competitive pricing and an outstanding accommodation and restaurant experience.

The hotel operates a formal annual appraisal scheme which, as part of a new performance management system, has been linked to an individual performance related pay scheme. Each member of staff receives a one per cent salary increase irrespective of performance to take account of the increased cost of living. The hotels line managers must then assess each member of staff in their team as either Excellent, Good, Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory based on their individual performance over 12 months and this is used to determine any further pay rises.

An interim appraisal review is also conducted after six months. The purpose of this review is to focus on the career aspirations and learning and development requirements of employees. These are conducted by the same line manager who is responsible for feeding back relevant information to the HR department to help form the hotels talent development strategy.

Despite the scheme the hotel manager has discussed ongoing performance problems with Daphne. The hotel has received some poor reviews from guests concerning levels of customer service and room cleanliness on Trip Advisor UK:

  • The staff try hard but lack the professionalism of a 4/5 hotel to compete. I will stay in the hotel over the road next time as much better value for money in my opinion.”
  • “Yesterday I forgot my key. After running miles to the reception, they gave me another key which still didn’t work. No fresh orange juice at breakfast.”
  • “Booked four nights for a very special occasion but checked out after two truly disappointing days. Service was not friendly or prompt. Our room had a flickering bathroom light that was never replaced.”
  • “I was surprised that standards have slipped so much. Staff are no longer friendly and ’on the ball’. I couldn't relax in my room as I was repeatedly interrupted by staff checking the room. Indifferent service in the bar, very slow checkout caused by only one member of staff being available to serve many customers. When an extra member of staff did appear to help with checkout and I mentioned the long delay she commented that she was busy on the phone.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly given these reviews, the hotel is also suffering from declining room occupancy rates which is now attracting negative attention from head office.

As a starting point to her investigations, Daphne has reviewed the latest employee engagement survey and has noted some apparent problems. In particular, Daphne has noticed that the engagement scores from the hotel rooming and reception department are lower than in the rest of the hotel. The scores for this departmentare also worse than in the previous year’s survey.


Rooming and Reception



% agree

% agree

1. I know what is expected of me at work



2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right



3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day



4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work



5. My supervisor, or someone at work seems to care about me as a person



6. There is someone at work who encourages my development



7. At work, my opinions seem to count



8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important



9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work



10. I have a best friend at work



11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress



12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.



The divisional manager tells Daphne he was involved in the appointment of an ambitious new manager to Rooming and Reception approximately 3 months ago. They have good hotel experience, working previously as a receptionist for three years, followed by 2 years as a team leader/supervisor in events and banqueting. He tells Daphne he has been pleased with this new manager’s progress. They are able and energetic and have already improved the efficiency of their work section by quickly re-organising some of the procedures and improving the methods used in the department.

Daphne checks the HR records and sees that paperwork has been returned indicating that this manager has completed the annual appraisals on all of his staff on time and she notices that they have all been set the same objectives around accuracy on paperwork and computer booking processes. While there are entries in the appraisal paperwork in the section on development there have been no requests for training and development from the department according to her training administrator. Checking the key HR metrics for the department she also notes that sickness absence in this department has increased well above the hotel average. On average the department has lost 8 days per year to sickness absence compared to 5.3 in the hotel as a whole.

Daphne presses the Divisional Manager for more information about the young manager and he tells her that, on reflection, he walks around the department whenever he is in the hotel and on several occasions he has passed by the manager talking to staff members and noticed the tone of their voice was sharp. Now he thinks about it, on a couple of occasions he thinks some of the staff members might actually have looked upset. He has also over-heard conversations between staff members where the manager’s name has been mentioned in connection with bad attitudes. Just the other day an accounting clerk made some harsh comments about the manager’s attitude and complained about the way he had spoken to her when he identified an error in her banking paperwork. He says he has observed the manager holding morning meetings with his team but these seem to be quite short and focused on the allocation of tasks for the day.


Cavendish Hall Hotel is one of the leading four-star county house hotels that have the provision of conferences, banquets as well as wedding. There are different types of event packages as well as competitive pricing and the employees are provided with appraisal schemes accordingly. This performance appraisal scheme helps to review the skill of the employees, the achievements and the growth in a systematic way. The performance appraisal scheme has been introduced in the Cavendish Hotel in order to improve the performance of the employees and to enhance their future growth and development.


Role of performance appraisals in improving organizational performance

The performance appraisal schemes assist the employees and the supervisors to find out the strength and the weakness of the employee's performance. The development of the key performance criteria will be based on a comprehensive level of the job description and thus it should be done in consultation with the employees (Brown and Benson 2003). In Cavendish hotel, the employees are provided with an annual appraisal scheme of 1 % irrespective of their individual performance or the cost of living. However, this is not considered to be the most appropriate scheme of improving organizational performance in an effective way. It is the responsibility of the hotel authority of Cavendish hotel to provide appraisal schemes on the basis of individual performance. This is possible if there exists an open line of communication between the employees and the supervisors. The performance appraisal scheme in the organization where I am employed in varies from person to person. The employees are paid appraisal depending upon the service delivered by us to the organization. This provides motivation to the employees and thus we can contribute our best for the growth and development of the organisation.

The goal-setting theory of performance appraisal will help in improving the performance of the employees in a systematic way (du Plessis and van Niekerk 2017). The goal setting theory makes the perception of the employees clear about the organizational objectives. On the other hand, the best-performing workers can be regarded as goal-directed and thus it will be easier for them to fulfil the aims, objectives and the visions in a proper way. The staffs at Cavendish hotel must try to follow the goal-setting theory of performance appraisal and thus they can improve their performance accordingly. Further, another performance appraisal theory that can link to the case scenario at the Cavendish hotel is the Behavior Maintenance Model (BMM). This model is related to the goal aspiration results in the motivation as well as the goal attainment process (Boachie-Mensah and Seidu 2012). It will lead to job satisfaction and thus this will improve the organizational performance accordingly.

Characteristics of effective and ineffective appraisal

An effective appraisal system must have clear objectives and it should be beneficial for the growth of the individual employees. The appraisal system must be framed in such a that it is reliable and valid so as to keep the employees motivated to work effectively in the organization (Van Niekerk and Du Plessis 2017). In case of Cavendish hotel, the appraisal system can be considered to be effective to some extent as the appraisal system is reliable and valid i.e. the employees are provided with a minimum appraisal of 1% irrespective of their performance. On the other hand, an appraisal system also includes effective training process and mutual trust and thus it focuses on the job-related performance behaviour of the individuals. The appraisal process of Cavendish hotel is not judgmental and all the employees are provided with the same performance appraisal rate irrespective of their performance. This will remove the differences among the employees and thus it has some merits as well as demerits. The higher-performing employees will not be willing to perform more if they are paid the same level of performance appraisal like the low-performance employees. On the other hand, feedbacks and participation is also an important characteristic of an effective appraisal system and thus it is applicable in the case of Cavendish hotel. The customers have provided poor rating to the service provided by the staffs and thus it is the responsibility of the higher authority to take proper steps in order to improve the service and thus keep the employees motivated in the organization (du Plessis and van Niekerk 2017). The company where I work adopts an effective appraisal system. I as well as my colleagues are satisfied with the terms and conditions that are framed by the organization in relation to an appraisal system.

The characteristics of ineffective appraisal include a biased process which is not easily acceptable by all the members in an organization. Moreover, an ineffective appraisal fails to distinguish between an effective and ineffective employee and thus it is likely to create instability in an organization (Idowu 2017). The performance appraisal system of Cavendish hotel can also be regarded as ineffective to some extent as all the employees are paid with the same level of appraisal i.e. 1% and it demotivates the skills of the higher-performing workers. The performance criteria of the employees of Cavendish hotel is not well defined. It is the responsibility of the higher authority management to recruiting the employees in such a way that they have proper experience and skills to provide their best for the growth and the development of the organization.

The reaction of the employees to the performance review

The employees who demonstrate a higher level of commitment perceives performance appraisal in association with employee development. The performance appraisal process can be regarded as the most essential and vital process in the creation of positive work environment and thus it is related to different types of attributes such as feedback, equity and fairness, conflict attitude as well as in social context (Ahmad and Bujang 2013). The employees of Cavendish Hall hotel are not satisfied with the performance review as well as their appraisal system. The higher authority management of the hotel does not take any further initiative in reviewing the performance of the employees and all the employees are paid with the same appraisal bonus irrespective of their performance and designation. The employees are unsatisfied with the behavior of manager as he talks to the employees in harsh voice. The manager has also made harsh comments on the employee’s performance and the meetings carried out in relation to performance review seemed to be very short. This has laid no effect on the employees working in Cavendish Hall Hotel. As per the survey results, it has been found that only 70% employees of the hotel had the opportunity to learn something new and grow. The remaining employees were deprived of any training opportunity or getting a chance to improve their performance. In this situation, it is the responsibility of the hotel line manager to provide accurate grading to the staffs on the basis of their performance over a period of 12 months. This will help them to focus on career aspirations and thus they can carry out further growth and development in a systematic way.

The organization where I am employed conducts performance review after six months and appraisals are provided to us accordingly. My colleagues and other staffs are satisfied with the appraisal provided to them and thus it motivates them to perform in an improved way. The customers are also satisfied with the service level and thus this assists us to perform better and work for the development and the growth of the organization.

Ability, motivation and opportunity of the line managers to design and implement the appraisal effectively

It is the responsibility of the line managers or the higher authority managers of the organization to design the appraisal process in an effective way. The line managers must discuss the issues raised by the customers and try to find out relevant solutions to such problems. The solution must be framed into rules and regulations and thus it must be provided as guidelines to the employees so that they follow it and thus improve the organizational work process (Brown et al. 2010). In framing the guidelines, different types of incentives and motivations must be provided in such a way that the employees feel interested and thus they will work for the further growth and development of the organization.

The line managers must have the ability to enact the activities in such a way that it is involved with the performance management process in the organization. This will assist in the fulfilment of the activities and thus the demands of the customers will be solved out in a systematic way. An example can be cited of the role of line managers in the organization where I am engaged in. The line manager in consultation with the higher authority manager assists us to understand and carry out the task in a better way. Moreover, the line manager also motivates us and improves our confidence level so that we can work more dedicatedly in the organization. Therefore, it can be said that the performance management system is positively associated with the satisfaction level of the employees across different organizations.

It can be concluded that the Cavendish Hall Hotel must try to improve the employee appraisal process that is related to the payment scheme and the individual performance of the employees. It is the responsibility of the higher authority manager to carry out a regular discussion with the line managers and thus improve the organizational performance in a systematic way. This will benefit the individual as well as the company and thus it will be easier to increase the rapport between the employees and the management. ?

Ahmad, R. and Bujang, S., 2013. Issues and challenges in the practice of performance appraisal activities in the 21st century. International Journal of Education and research, 1(4), pp.1-8. Retrieved from

Brown, M. and Benson, J., 2003. Rated to exhaustion? Reactions to performance appraisal processes. Industrial Relations Journal, 34(1), pp.67-81. Retrieved from

Brown, M., Hyatt, D. and Benson, J., 2010. Consequences of the performance appraisal experience. Personnel review. Retrieved from

du Plessis, T. and van Niekerk, A., 2017. Factors influencing managers’ attitudes towards performance appraisal. SA Journal of Human Resource Management, 15(1), pp.1-10. Retrieved from

Idowu, A., 2017. Effectiveness of performance appraisal system and its effect on employee motivation. Nile Journal of Business and Economics, 3(5), pp.15-39. Retrieved from

Van Niekerk, A. and Du Plessis, T., 2017. Factors influencing managers' attitudes towards performance appraisal. Retrieved from


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