Why do employees respond to hospitality talent management : an examination of a Latin American restaurant chain
Murillo Othón, Enrique
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Purpose: In consideration that the purpose of talent management is to attract and nurture productive employees for the benefit of the hospitality organization, this study aims to examine why employees respond in such favorable ways. Recognizing beneficial employee behavior advances a hospitality organization through their ability to deliver an experience that aligns with the promoted brand promise, inspiration is drawn from both the strategic human resource management as well as the internal brand management literature. The power of this approach is illustrated through a survey of employees of a Latin American restaurant chain with a long-standing policy of values-based recruiting, inclusive talent management and progressive people management practices. Design/methodology/approach: Informed by literature, employee perception of their relationship with the organization (i.e., relationship orientation) and alignment with the brand’s values (i.e., brand fit) were considered drivers of favorable employee attitudes and behavior as a result of hospitality talent management practices. These were hypothesized to positively influence employee confidence and motivation as reflected in organization-based self-esteem (OBSE) and brand motivation, which in turn drive employee brand-aligned behavior. A survey measured the variables of interest with the same employees over two time periods, matched using employees’ identification code, resulting in 199 complete surveys. The structural model was estimated using partial least squares (PLS). Findings: Relationship orientation and brand fit were significant drivers of OBSE and brand motivation, respectively. In turn, they had a significant effect on employee brand-aligned behavior. Model estimation complied with all PLS quality criteria. Research limitations/implications: Traditional talent management practices that tend to focus on the transactional benefits of the job/career can be strengthened by leveraging strong organizational relationships as well as engagement with the hospitality brand. In turn, employees have the confidence and motivation to exhibit brand-aligned behavior, a path to competitive advantage, which may also act as a buffer helping employees manage the stress of hospitality jobs. Originality/value: Understanding why employees respond favorably to hospitality talent management practices, beyond simply transactional, monetary reasons, is important to designing relevant and timely initiatives that have the potential to enhance organizational performance. © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited.