The management of human labor is crucial to any organization. Lack of good management has lead to a lot of loss due to sabotage, strikes, go-slows and low quality of services due to employee de-motivation. This paper is a case study for the needs of the employees of Melbourne Aquarium, measured against what the aquarium requires of its staff.
To carry out the study, three main methodologies were used. The first step was touring the aquarium and making eye observations. This was important as it gave the research team first hand information about the aquarium.
The other second hand information was got from an interview on one of the staff. Though it was hard to get an interviewee, the research team eventually got a security guard to interview. The interviewee sought anonymity.
The above information was compared with the materials available from online sources and materials. From these, the research team came out with some findings.
The areas covered in this paper include the needs of the Melbourne Aquarium: education, experience, flexibility as well as personality as well as those of the employees; security, contract needs among others.
The research team recommended arrangement of seminars where the employees could be informed of the employers requirements and separate seminars where the Melbourne Aquarium management could be informed of the needs of the staff. Increment of the staff was also recommended.
As the name suggests, the aquarium is located in Melbourne along the southern ocean. It borders Yarra River and Flinders Street.
The aquarium is one of the biggest in Australia and attracts thousands of tourists annually to it. The aquarium that is owed by the MFS Living & Leisure Group was renovated in 2004 which lead to increase in the labor need of the aquarium.
The needs of an employer
The first basic need of an employer in the tourism industry is relevance education. Academic excellence in most cases is a proof of the ability of an employee to perform in the required levels of professionalism.
It is in this line that the company is thought to have placed its advertisement for personnel including academic qualifications as one of the primary requirements. In a recent advert, Melbourne Aquarium announced the post of a financial controller of its system accounts records.
In the announcement, the Melbourne Aquarium stated that a person with a master’s degree in finance management and an international certification in the same discipline would have an added advantage in the selection of the qualified candidates (Mylne, Llewellyn, Crittall, 2011, p23).
This case is common in all the departments of Melbourne Aquarium. Other departments include human resource management, tour guidance, the crowd control, lifesaving, and strategic managers.
However, qualifications in each department vary. For example, a good certificate in life saving skills can earn the favor of the human resource team in Melbourne Aquarium.
Apart from academic qualifications, Melbourne Aquarium gives preference to an employee who has an experience and exposure to the field of work.
This makes the recruitment and the training to be easier less costly and also less time consuming. Thus, an application in any position needs to have the required experience in the various departments of the aquarium (Torrington, Hall, Taylor, 2008, p31).
In the strategic management, the firm requires a minimum of five years experience. This is the department that ranks highest in the organizations and controls all other department. Thus, the company need not make any mistake in the kind of personnel that are recruited in the department.
In other departments, the minimum requirement is three year of experience while the crowd management requires four years (Torrington, Hall, Taylor, 2008, p31).
However, the firm gives attachment and internship to graduates from high education institutions. These persons are put under the supervision and control of highly trained and experienced staff so that the quality of work is not compromised.
Flexibility of language, culture and religion
The thousands of tourist who trickle into the banks of Melbourne Aquarium daily are drawn from various points of the world. These customers are also drawn from a variety of traditions, and religions and use different languages in their countries.
Melbourne Aquarium thus prefers personal who is flexible to deal with all this kind of customers. In Australia, Australian English is the national language. While most of the staff is drawn from the country one of the qualification is the ability to converse in different languages (Mylne, Llewellyn, Crittall, 2011, p23).
In the last two decades, Melbourne Aquarium has increased the percentage of international labor considerably. One of the main reasons of this move was to make sure that the personnel are fluent with as many languages as possible. In their advertisements, the firm quotes conversancy with other languages as a requirement.
Though not mentioned, these languages are those that are commonly used including British English, French, Chinese, German and Arabic languages (Mylne, Llewellyn, Crittall, 2011, p23).
The needs of an employee
While it is easy to know the requirements of an employer though the advertisement that they make, the needs of an employee may be harder to be known. In this regard, I carried out an interview with an employee in the Melbourne Aquarium so as to measure the situation (Page, 2009, p147).
Contract of work
An employment contract in Melbourne Aquarium is composed by an offer by the prospect employee and an acceptance or a counter offer by the Melbourne Aquarium. This is valid in labor contracts; a labor contract involves an offer and acceptance where the parties are employer and employee.
According to our source –a security guard at the Melbourne Aquarium- who sought anonymity, the staffs that do have a contract in the tourism sector are oppressed by their employers. Even though these cases are few in Melbourne Aquarium the victims cry foul of not being treated as equals in the firm as other employees (Bohlander, Snell, 2009, p12).
The motivation of any worker is first drawn from the environment that is sounding the work place. This case applies across the industries including the tourism industry.
Conducive environment includes terms that are favorable to the employer, the intercalation between the employees, freedom of interaction and converging, the provision of basic necessities and also the recognition of an employee as a person.
After several visits to Melbourne Aquarium I noted that the population ratio between the employees and the tourists who visit the aquarium is so small that the staff at times is not able to control the crowds. This was drawn from an observation during a visit the research team paid during a peak season.
The case is especially so during the peak periods. It was my view that their low delivery at such times may be blamed without regard to the situation on the ground. Cases of customer bearing the burden when they are overloaded are not uncommon in tourism companies (Egger, McClymont, 2004, p56).
The employment contracts include the payments tat each person receives. The employees of the tourism industry cry foe due to the major variances in their terms of payments. The knowledge that one is working at the same level yet he or she is being remunerated better that you is so de-motivating.
According to our source, the staff at Melbourne Aquarium has been demanding for this right which is yet to be met satisfactorily. The more experienced and connected staff is more remunerated than those with less experience. The motivation of staff is affected when the knowledge of such comes to their attention (Weaver, Lawton, 2010, p80).
Safety and confidentiality
The mind of person operates in a way that when it is unsure of the security of the surrounding, it responds by reducing the productivity of other body organs. Thus the employees of any industry need to ensured of their safety.
This especially goes to the life sabers. They need to be ensured that there are no sharp objects and other things that may harm them in their duty off saving other lives. However, even the other personnel need to be sure of their security. (Woodside, 2007, p90).
Apart from the safety from physical danger, the staff also needs to be ensured that the information about their relationship with the 3mployer is kept confidential.
This means that while giving the tourists who visit the aquarium details about the staff, personal data should not be revealed. Instead, the management should give general data (Ashworth, Bain, Smitz, 2004, p128).
The understanding of the requirements of both the employer and employee is a basic requirement in the study of human resource management. The above mentioned issues are so intense and need to be rectified to improve the relationship between Melbourne Aquarium and its staff.
This analysis leads to the conclusion that, each of the parties has to be well informed before entering into a contract so that the decision made may not be regrettable. The employer should be aware that the employees require security and good working conditions while the employees should realize that service delivery is the top requirement of Melbourne Aquarium.
As we have seen through the paper, there the requirements of Melbourne Aquarium and those of its employees are different. Therefore it is recommendable that both the employees and the strategic managers be educated more on the rights of each other.
Thus education seminars should be held differently and also is consistent. Any new employee or a member of the directing board should be given the information that is required without bias.
In rectifying some of the cases, it is recommended that the ratio of the staff and the tourist population be increased. This should be done by recruiting of new staff. This will in response create a better environment to the employees.
In their part, the employees should not be contented by their levels of experience and expertise. Addition of education skills and other tourism based education is a necessity tat can increase employer satisfaction. This two are just but examples of areas that need rectification.
Ashworth, S., Bain, C., Smitz, P., 2004. Lonely Planet Australia. Australia: Sage.
Bohlander, G., Snell, S., 2009. Managing Human Resources. New Jersey: John Willey & sons Inc.
Egger, S., McClymont, D., 2004. Melbourne. Melbourne: ICI.
Mylne, L., Llewellyn, M., Crittall, R., 2011. Frommer’s Australia. Australia: Frommer.
Page, S., 2009. Tourism Management: Managing for Change. London: Sage.
Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S., 2008. Human Resource Management. Australia: Cengage Brain.
Weaver, D., Lawton, L., 2010. Tourism Management. Australia: ICI.
Woodside, A., 2007. Tourism management: analysis, behavior and strategy. New York: Cengage Brain.