Hotel leadership, staff loyalty and team spirit support the resilience of the hotel industry in the face of crises.
During the pandemic, the hotel industry in Indonesia was gripped by a deep crisis that forced many hotels to stop operating. Some tried to survive by cutting employee salaries by up to 50 per cent or paying permanent employees based on working hours. Employees were asked to do physical tasks far from their competencies, such as maintaining a garden, being a waitress or cleaning the hotel.
Such measures were revealed in research by Dr Paulina Lo, SE., M.M. titled Building Hospitality Business Resilience Based on Crafting Strategy Resources. She presented it during the Open Senate Session for the Doctoral Promotion Examination of the Management and Entrepreneurship Doctoral Program at Prasetiya Mulya University, South Tangerang, Indonesia.
Paulina conducted research involving hundreds of independent hotel managers and owners in Bali. She found many hotel managers worked hard to keep their hotels open, even though there was no financial support from the hotel owners. There were five-star hotels that sold bento to swimming pool packages and three-star hotels that were used as boarding houses.
“When Bali suddenly reopened to tourists, the hotels that forced themselves to continue operating managed to profit earlier than those that closed and had to scramble to begin operating again after the pandemic. In terms of infrastructure, hotels that remained open throughout were well-maintained because during the pandemic, the workers were still taking care of the buildings, air conditioning and other facilities,” she said.
Hotels that remained open also managed to cover their losses in just nine months after experiencing a lack of visitors during the pandemic.
“Meanwhile, hotels that chose to close during the pandemic had to deal with various problems of physical and equipment damage in the hotel. Some hotels even admit that preparing to open a hotel after not operating for two years required funds of up to 80 per cent of the initial investment. Not to mention that many employees have resigned, returned to their hometowns or moved to other hotels,” she added.
Paulina’s research also recommends that hotel industry players strive to have as many human resources as possible to adapt to changes and challenges.
She found that human resources are considered the most important by hotel managers. During the pandemic, the role of hotel leadership, staff loyalty, and team spirit of sharing burdens and concerns for the economic conditions of hotel employees greatly contributed to the hotel’s resilience in facing crises.
“Hotels need resilience to face disruptions and increase competitive advantage. Human resources are resources that adjust to face challenges because they can contribute to efforts to build hotel resilience,” Pauline said. Meanwhile, other resources, such as financial, physical, natural and some cultural factors, cannot adapt when hotels face disruptions.
Visionary Business Leaders
Paulina is an entrepreneur and the first graduate of the Doctoral Program in Management & Entrepreneurship at Prasetiya Mulya University, the first doctoral programme in entrepreneurship in Indonesia.
“As a businesswoman, I used to think that the decisions we make in dealing with problems in the company depend solely on intuition. After taking the doctoral programme, I realised there is a theory,” said Paulina. By understanding the theory, she also feels that she can develop the process so that it becomes more robust and can even be used to support the training of staff in her office or other research.
Fathony Rahman, DBA, Dean of the School of Business and Economics, Prasetiya Mulya University, acknowledged that practitioners dominated the Doctoral Program on campus. “We understand the needs of practitioners in this uncertain era. Those who choose the Doctoral Program are visionary business leaders who are expected to be able to solve major problems faced by companies and industries significantly,” he said.
To support programme participants from a scientific point of view, mentors are assigned at the start, involving them in research with mini-surveys to interact with researchers from other campuses in various countries.
Prasetiya Mulya was founded in 1980 by a group of prominent Indonesian business leaders. The first MBA programme in Indonesia was established in 1982 with assistance from prestigious international scholars and experts.
Today it remains the leading private business education programme provider in the country, upholding the original aims of the founders to offer the highest standards in business management education and training.
For graduates wishing to build upon their business knowledge, Prasetiya Mulya offers full-time (MM Regular) and part-time programmes (MM Business Management and Strategic Innovation).