19 January 2013

Rwanda: Laziness, Low Motivation Dog Hospitality Sector ? New Survey

Laziness and low motivation among hospitality sector staff are impeding the growth of the services sector, a new study has indicated.

Poor service delivery in the industry would hurt the tourism sector if it is not addressed, it added.

The survey, by the Tourism Chamber, noted that laziness was part of the negative mindset, leading to poor customer care that has dogged the entire sector.

"People do not appreciate their work nor do they have a competitive spirit," Jean Baptiste Kanyangoga, a researcher said on Thursday.

Kanyangoga said most hotel staff do not understand the need to treat clients well.

"If you want a good salary and don't treat customers well, where do you think the money to increase your pay will come from?" he wondered.

The survey also noted that lack of motivation among staff was fuelling poor hospitality "since someone cannot go an extra mile to provide quality services when they are not happy".

"In some places, employees aren't given food at work when they serve food, but the boss expects them to smile when receiving customers," the report noted.

It added that some companies force employees to work for long hours on empty stomachs.

Celine Niyomufasha, a waitress in Remera, disagreed with the report on laziness, saying managers were adamant and ignore problems faced by other workers.

"When you fall sick at work and inform your supervisor, he cannot allow you to go for treatment. If you insist and go, they fire you. Is that laziness?" she wondered.

The report indicated that unprofessionalism and lack of creativity and innovation, as well as lack of job security have greatly contributed to poor hospitality.

Bart Gasana, the tourism chamber chairman, however, said as investors, they were working to solve these challenges to make the local hospitality sector more competitive.

"We are working out mechanisms to solve these issues. The survey results create a common understanding of stakeholders in the industry, which will help us find solutions to the challenges," he added.

Rica Rwigamba, the head of tourism at the Rwanda Development Board, was optimistic the survey results would help improve the industry and urged hotel owners to address the problems it raised.

"The governement is happy that the private sector is taking the lead in looking for solutions to the challenges facing our hotel industry. It is through such initiatives that we can solve our problems," she noted.

The report called for the establishment of a national hospitality forum to address issues of poor service delivery in the sector. It also recommended the setting up of a hospitality improvement fund to train staff, managers and hotel owners in best practices.

"There is also need to encourage information exchange and enhance institutional support," the report added.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, recently flagged off a three-month campaign to boost service delivery across the country.

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