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Management Assignment: Performance Issues of Cavendish Hall Hotel



Consider the case of Cavendish Hall Hotel and prepare a detailed management assignment report analysing the indicators and possible causes of poor performance levels at the Cavendish Hall Hotel. Advice the HR manager how they can build an effective High Performance Work System to address the performance issues you have identified.


Executive Summary
This management assignment is based on Cavendish Hall hotel that is facing a lot of performance issues from the side of workers. The report consists the answers to various questions like the indicators of poor performance at hotel, the causes of the problems, and what would HPWS bundle include for the hotel.

The report shows that the indicators of poor performance are the lack of professionals and standardization in the activities of the hotel. The reasons of the poor performance were the absence of motivation and incoherent performance appraisal which demotivated employees to not to work with enthusiasm. High Performance Work System is the set of practices which keep employees motivated at workplace. These activities include Training, skill development, programmes of career development and performance management system which would help the leaders and managers of the Canvendish Hall Hotel to direct well and transform into good leaders.

The assignment report has also discussed the dark side of HPWS which can lead to anxiety, job burnouts or role overload on the employees. To overcome this limitation, the report has suggested few measures which includes communication, psychological contact with each other and increased participation at the workplace.

The assignment is concluded with the idea of implementing HPWS with the increased participation of line managers and the employees so that the dark side of HOWS cannot occur. It is also suggested to improve the employee performance with motivation, ability, and opportunity settings. These can be balanced to improve the performance of the employees at the workplace.

Introduction to the Assignment
The assignment here is based on the case study of Cavendish Hall Hotel, which has been facing plethora of challenges especially in the form of performance issues of the staff. The performance issues are mostly owing to lack of T&D, growth and learning opportunities, lacklustre performance management system and many more. The assignment aims to identify the indicators of poor performance, the underlying reasons for the same, identifying the elements of HPWS to be implemented at the hotel, linking and implementation of the same and lastly understanding the dark side of HPWS.

Indicators of Poor Performance at Cavendish Hall Hotel
There are no two doubts on the fact that Cavendish Hall Hotel is struggling to live onto its expectation of being a 4/5 star hotel owing to its dismal performance which is quite evident from the case study, reviews on trip advisor and the employee engagement survey. According to the review of trip advisor, below mentioned are the indicators of poor performance:

  • Lack of Professionalism, owing which the customers are looking for other options, which provides value for money.
  • Lack of standardization in product and services, which is evident from no fresh juices in the breakfast.
  • Un-friendly service from the staff and issues not resolved during the stay of customers, this is evident from a customer review on trip advisor regarding flickering light in the bathroom.

All of these have resulted in poor reviews showing high level concerns of customer service and room cleanliness. Owing to this, the occupancy rate of the hotel is also decreasing with each passing day resulting in lesser revenue and receiving backlash from the head office. From the employee engagement survey, a couple of things can be pointed out, reflecting poor performance:

  • Rooming staff not aware of what is expected from them.
  • Lack of recognition for the good work, or constructive feedback from the line managers.
  • Lack of empathy in the line managers for the staff.
  • Zero evidence of T&D of the employed staff.
  • Zero evidence of career progression talks with the staff.
  • Lesser opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Increasing absenteeism in rooming and reception department.

In a nutshell, it can be said that lack of employee centric policies, which includes T&D, Feedback system, and healthy appraisal process, lack of communication and inability of the staff to comprehend the service standards of the hotel is leading to poor performance of the hotel.

Reasons for Performance Problems
In continuation to the problems identified above with regards to indicators of poor performance at Cavendish, the answer here aims to unearth the reasons for the performance issues. Before leveraging the AMO framework of individual performance, some of the reasons for the performance problems can be figured out directly from the analysis of the case study, and are:

  • Absence of motivation in the employees, which can be further attributed to many reasons such as lack of career progression, no goal setting for the employees, lack of empathy of line managers towards the employees, lack of communication, lack of training and development and many more. In the absence of all these factors, the employees feel demotivated at work, thus resulting in poor performance in all the departments(Idowu, 2017).
  • Another reason for the performance issues at Cavendish can be attributed to incoherent performance appraisal process. Just giving one percent increase to all the employees, besides additional interim appraisal and performance appraisal by the line managers on the basis of the performance, is quite lacklustre in appeal, especially to the employees who are working in an industry which is customer centric in nature(Farrington, Antony & O’Gorman, 2018).

The reason for the performance issues are further understood and analysed using the AMO framework below:

Figure 1: AMO Framework


(Source: Pak et al., 2019)

The image above shows the AMO framework, which stands for ability, motivation and opportunity and is used to improve the employee performance of an individual. Most of the companies tend to neglect the well-being of the employees, which results in employees not performing well in their work, leading to poor performance of the employees, which is also the case with Cavendish (Al-Tit, 2020).

Ability- This refers to creation of practices and policies which ensures that employees in the organization receive the best and have the skills to do their job, even if it’s challenging (Beltran-Martin & Bou-Llusar, 2018). Now, using the employee engagement survey, only 67% of the staff fells they have the material and equipment to do their job effectively. And only 46% of the employees feel they have the opportunity to learn and grow. This is absolutely a dismal state of affairs when half of the staff feels they do not have the tools, or are trained on the skills to perform well, leading to poor performance.

Motivation- This implies that organization must have both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors to keep its employees driven, and make them perform exceptionally well in their department(. Intrinsic motivation comes from within when the employees feels the work is enjoyable and interesting. In order to do this, the managers needs to give employees autonomy, mastery and a sense of purpose in doing their respective jobs. However, from the survey findings only 29% of the staff feels that their opinions count and 35% of the staff fells that their line managers appreciates or recognizes them for their work. This again is a poor state of affairs at Cavendish, due to which there are issues related to performance of the employees.

Opportunities- This implies providing employees with the opportunity to contribute towards the development of the organization or to achieve its goals(Kellner, Cafferkey & Townsend, 2019). In order to do this, besides the points mentioned above, the employees must be trained on new skills, must be conditioned to leadership and other T&D programs. They should also be vested with the power of decision making, but all of these are absent from the culture of Cavendish, which results in poor performance of the employees.

Hence, this section can be concluded by pointing out the fact that absence of ability, motivation and opportunity are the pivotal reasons for poor performance of the employees, thereby that of the organization.

Rationale and Elements of HPWS Bundle
Every business needs to create high performance work practices that keeps the employees motivated and on the track to work, as well as to improve their performance. High performance work systems (HPWS) on the other hand can be visualized as a combination of HR practices, processes and work structures which accentuates the knowledge, skill, commitment and adaptability of the workers, thus making it pivotal to the success of the organization as well as that of the employees. The beauty of HPWS is that all of its components are closely intertwined with each other, which in turn helps to attain the goals of the organization (Caldwell, 2014). There are plethora of practices which constitute HPWS, but within the purview of the case study, the following would come to advantage:

Training and Skill Development- This is one of the most important element that is a part of a highly functional and effective HPWS (Kashika, 2021), and is clearly lagging from the hotel in the case study. According to the survey, the staff feels a clear lacunae in the skill development through training, owing to which customer service and other department struggled. Even in one of the Trip advisor’s survey, it was pointed out that the customers did not find the services and the staff to be professional. Hence, by conducting a skill gap analysis and making it a ritual, the hotel can arrange for training and skill development session for the staff in which they lag clearly. This way the indicators of poor performance can be removed. In accordance to the AMO model, this will help to increase the ability of the staff members.

Career Development Opportunities- In accordance to the AMO model, this would serve as a motivation technique for the workers (Lumen, 2021). The rationale here is that the employees besides being driven by money, as most certainly driven by the need to learn and grow. However, this has been absent from the culture of the hotel, owing to which it has been facing problem of poor performance. This can be improvement by HR assessing the performance of every employee bi-annually, understand their passion, take the internal and external environment into consideration and accordingly provide the employees with career development opportunities.

Creating a coherent performance management system- In the case study of Cavendish, there is a mention of the performance management system, which has component in the form of annual appraisal process for all employees, interim appraisal process and appraisal after rating the performance of the employees. This is quite average and does not yield the benefits of a performance management system holistically, hence, there is a need to design a new performance management system which contains the following:

  • Goal Setting- Line managers along with the HR manager and the respective employees must sit together and create goals for the employees to be attained in the year. This further needs to be reviewed, monitored and given a feedback from time to time to understand the gap in the performance of the employee and also to keep a track of goal completion(Islami, Mulolli & Mustafa, 2018)
  • Reward and Performance Review- A Peer to Peer feedback performance review system is proposed here, as it will not only make the employees more accountable towards their job, but would make them more accountable towards the goals of the team. This will also set the foundation of increased cooperation amongst the workers and excellent teamwork, while ensuring the performance review is going in the right direction(Panadero & Alqassab, 2019).

Hence, in a nutshell, with regular feedback, which has to be constructive in nature, creation of a performance management system including goal setting and performance review, the HPWS will yield great results for the hotel.

Linking elements of HPWS
In the previous section, the elements which would go into the HPWS bundle has been identified keeping in mind the reasons of poor performance and indicators of the same. Now, identifying the elements in one thing, but integrating and implementing the same comes with a number of challenges that needs to be taken care of, besides this, the system approach as mentioned above differs from what has been into existence at the Hotel. Thus, in order to ensure a seamlessly linking of the elements of HPWS, the following has to be done:

  • Role of Leadership and Line Managers- Leaders are the ones who give the direction to the managers, and it is the managers who in turn guides and does the execution according to the vision of the leaders. Hence, in a way this can be seen as a downward flow of communication, where leaders sit at the top and the employees or the staff at the bottom. Now, in order to link the elements of HPWS in the existing system, it becomes imperative for the leadership to have a buy in on the process and the fact that it would improve the performance of employees and that of the hotel. It is only then the change can be implemented in the organization. Thus, the need here is for the leadership to get involved in the process, address the resistance of the employees, communicate effectively with the team and create a change agent for the proposed transformation(Pak & Kim, 2018).
  • Managing the perception of the employees towards HPWS- Resistance is the most common reaction when it comes to change for an individual, thus employees are no less. They see change as a threat to their job, and in turn their stability. Hence, it becomes important for the line managers, leadership and the HR team to break this stereotype engraved in the minds of the employees. This can be done by open and two way flow of communication, involving employees in the process, giving them authority and autonomy and others. It is then Cavendish can alter the perception of its staff, and easily link the elements of HPWS. Besides this, it is also important to build trust with the employees, make them realize that this change will do them well, through establishment of fairness in the systems and the performance management system. It is only then the elements can be glued to each other, effectively(Xi, Chen & Zhao, 2019)
  • Psychological Contract- This is term used in HR which is to be understood as a set of promises or expectations which are exchanged between the parties involved in employment relationship. These parties include employers, managers, individual employees and work colleagues. This contract is different from formal contract, as it is implicit or tacit in nature(Soares & Mosquera, 2019). For example, a promise made to the employee, such as providing constructive feedback every quarter, on the basis of which T&D needs to be identified. This is something which is not mentioned in the terms of employment, but is the implicit in nature for good work practices. Breach of this contract could yield to trust issues with the employees, and thereby once the trust breaks, their performance goes for a toss. Thus, the promises or expectation from the Psychological contract must be fulfilled, else it breaks the trust of the employees and thus the entire HPWS goes for a toss.

A cognizance of the above mentioned point by the leadership, line managers and the HR will ensure seamless interlinking of the elements of HPWS in the system, and also manage the resistance and perception of the employees.

Limitation and Dark Side of HPWS
This answer here would provide an understanding of the limitation of HPWS and its dark side, as well as the implementation issues from line managers for the same. From the study of HPWS conducted in the earlier section, a couple of things are summarized below for quick understanding of the readers and role of line managers.

  • Line managers ensure congruence of goals at both organizational and employee level. It implies that are the middlemen in this entire ecosystem and act as a golden thread connecting the employees to the management/organization. Thus, without their support, the HPWS cannot be implemented(Behravesh, Tanova & Abubarkar, 2020).
  • HPWS containing T&D, performance linked management system and others is effective only and only if there is a buy in from the leadership and line managers and the evidence of psychological contract.

Dark Side of HPWS

Figure 2: Study on the Dark side of HPWS


(Source: Behravesh, Tanova & Abubakar, 2020)

The dark side of HPWS as can be seen from the image above reflects that employee perception matters a lot due to which counterproductive work behaviour can be expected from the employees.

  • Employee perception of HPWS leads to anxiety, leading to counterproductive behaviour.
  • Employee perception of HPWS leads to job burnout, again resulting in counterproductive behaviour(Behravesh, Tanova & Abubakar, 2020).
  • Employee perception leads to role overload, leading again to counterproductive behavior.

Thus, in order to summarize the dark side of HPWS it has more to do with managing the perception of the employees with regards to HPWS. In order to overcome the limitation and dark side of HPWS the following has to be done:

Overcome limitation of HPWS

  • Role of Line managers- It is the line managers who act as force of congruent for the goals of organization and that of the employees, thus playing a pivotal role in the system. It is recommended that Line managers must and should be made well aware of the rationale of HPWS, their contribution to the system and increased participation with the employees (Chillakuri & Vanka, 2020). At the very same time they must abide by the Psychological contract and adhere to the performance management systems.
  • Communication- Communication is a major issue at the hotel, owing to which the employees develop a perception regarding any kind of changes in the organization. Thus, in order to mitigate the same or to manage the perception of the employees, the line managers must address all the resistance and put an end to the perception by clearly communicating with them on the rationale of HPWS, their benefit in adhering to the same and the achievement of organizational goals(Han, Sun & Wang, 2020).

The management report on Cavendish Hotel can be concluded by identification of the indicators of poor performance, the reasons for the same, bundling of elements included in HPWS and finally understanding the dark side of HPWS. Holistically speaking, implementation of HPWS and increased participation of both the line managers and employees in the same would ensure removal of the performance issues at the hotel.

Al-Tit, A.A., 2020. The impact of AMO-HR systems on proactive employee behavior: The mediating contribution of leader-member and team-member exchange. International Journal of Engineering Business Management, 12, p.1847979020947236.

Behravesh, E., Tanova, C. and Abubakar, A.M., 2020. Do high-performance work systems always help to retain employees or is there a dark side?. The Service Industries Journal, 40(11-12), pp.825-845.

Beltrán-Martín, I. and Bou-Llusar, J.C., 2018. Examining the intermediate role of employee abilities, motivation and opportunities to participate in the relationship between HR bundles and employee performance. BRQ Business Research Quarterly, 21(2), pp.99-110.

Caldwell, C. 2014. High performance work systems [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on 18th April 2021]

Chillakuri, B. and Vanka, S., 2020. Understanding the effects of perceived organizational support and high-performance work systems on health harm through sustainable HRM lens: a moderated mediated examination. Employee Relations: The International Journal.

Farrington, T., Antony, J. and O’Gorman, K.D., 2018. Continuous improvement methodologies and practices in hospitality and tourism. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

Han, J., Sun, J.M. and Wang, H.L., 2020. Do high performance work systems generate negative effects? How and when?. Human Resource Management Review, 30(2), p.100699.

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.

Islami, X., Mulolli, E. and Mustafa, N., 2018. Using Management by Objectives as a performance appraisal tool for employee satisfaction. Future Business Journal, 4(1), pp.94-108.

Kashika. 2021. High performance work systems[Online]. Available at: [Accessed on 18th April 2021]

Kellner, A., Cafferkey, K. and Townsend, K., 2019. Ability, Motivation and Opportunity theory: a formula for employee performance?. In Elgar Introduction to Theories of Human Resources and Employment Relations. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Lumen. 2021. Designing a High-Performance Work System[Online]. Available at: [Accessed on 18th April 2021]

Pak, J. and Kim, S., 2018. Team manager’s implementation, high performance work systems intensity, and performance: a multilevel investigation. Journal of Management, 44(7), pp.2690-2715.

Pak, K., Kooij, D.T., De Lange, A.H. and Van Veldhoven, M.J., 2019. Human Resource Management and the ability, motivation and opportunity to continue working: A review of quantitative studies. Human Resource Management Review, 29(3), pp.336-352.

Panadero, E. and Alqassab, M., 2019. An empirical review of anonymity effects in peer assessment, peer feedback, peer review, peer evaluation and peer grading. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.

Soares, M.E. and Mosquera, P., 2019. Fostering work engagement: The role of the psychological contract. Journal of Business Research, 101, pp.469-476.

Xi, M., Chen, Y. and Zhao, S., 2019. The Role of employees’ perceptions of HPWS in the HPWS-performance relationship: A multilevel perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, pp.1-26.


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