Implementing the cycle of success A Case Study ielts reading

Implementing The Cycle of Success A Case Study

Implementing The Cycle of Success A Case Study IELTS Reading Passage with Answers

Implementing The Cycle of Success: A Case Study

Within Australia, Australian Hotels Inc (AHI) operates nine hotels and employs over 2000 permanent full-time staff, 300 permanent part-time employees and 100 casual staff. One of its latest ventures, the Sydney Airport hotel (SAH), opened in March 1995. The hotel is the closest to Sydney Airport and is designed to provide the best available accommodation, food and beverage and meeting facilities in Sydney’s southern suburbs. Similar to many international hotel chains, however, AHI has experienced difficulties in Australia in providing long-term profits for hotel owners, as a result of the country’s high labour-cost structure. In order to develop an economically viable hotel organisation model, AHI decided to implement some new policies and practices at SAH.

The first of the initiatives was an organisational structure with only three levels of management – compared to the traditional seven. Partly as a result of this change, there are 25 percent fewer management positions, enabling a significant saving. This change also has other implications. Communication, both up and down the organisation, has greatly improved. Decision-making has been forced down in many cases to front-line employees. As a result, guest requests are usually met without reference to a supervisor, improving both customer and employee satisfaction.

The hotel also recognised that it would need a different approach to selecting employees who would fit in with its new policies. In its advertisements, the hotel stated a preference for people with some ‘service’ experience in order to minimize traditional work practices being introduced into the hotel. Over 7000 applicants filled in application forms for the 120 jobs initially offered at SAH. The balance of the positions at the hotel (30 management and 40 shift leader positions) were predominantly filled by transfers from other AHI properties. IELTSXpress.com

A series of tests and interviews were conducted with potential employees, which eventually left 280 applicants competing for the 120 advertised positions. After the final interview, potential recruits were divided into three categories. Category A was for applicants exhibiting strong leadership qualities, Category C was for applicants perceived to be followers, and Category B was for applicants with both leader and follower qualities. Department heads and shift leaders then composed prospective teams using a combination of people from all three categories. Once suitable teams were formed, offers of employment were made to team members.

Another major initiative by SAH was to adopt a totally multi-skilled workforce. Although there may be some limitations with highly technical jobs such as cooking or maintenance, wherever possible, employees at SAH are able to work in a wide variety of positions. A multi-skilled workforce provides far greater management flexibility during peak and quiet times to transfer employees to needed positions. For example, when office staff are away on holidays during quiet periods of the year, employees in either food or beverage or housekeeping departments can temporarily The most crucial way, however, of improving the labour cost structure at SAH was to find better, more productive ways of providing customer service. SAH management concluded this would first require a process of ‘benchmarking’. The prime objective of the benchmarking process was to compare a range of service delivery processes across a range of criteria using teams made up of employees from different departments within the hotel which interacted with each other. This process resulted in performance measures that greatly enhanced SAH’s ability to improve productivity and quality.

The front office team discovered through this project that a high proportion of AHI Club member reservations were incomplete. As a result, the service provided to these guests was below the standard promised to them as part of their membership agreement. Reducing the number of incomplete reservations greatly improved guest perceptions of service.

In addition, a program modeled on an earlier project called ‘Take Charge’ was implemented. Essentially, Take Charge provides an effective feedback loop from both customers and employees. Customer comments, both positive and negative, are recorded by staff. These are collated regularly to identify opportunities for improvement. Just as importantly, employees are requested to note down their own suggestions for improvement. (AHI has set an expectation that employees will submit at least three suggestions for every one they receive from a customer.) Employee feedback is reviewed daily and suggestions are implemented within 48 hours, if possible, or a valid reason is given for non-implementation. If suggestions require analysis or data collection, the Take Charge team has 30 days in which to address the issue and come up with recommendations. IELTS XPRESS

Although quantitative evidence of AHI’s initiatives at SAH is limited at present, the anecdotal evidence clearly suggest that these practices are working. Indeed AHI is progressively rolling out these initiatives in other hotels in Australia, whilst numerous overseas visitors have come to see how the program works.

[This article has been adapted and condensed from the article by R. Carter (1996), ‘Implementing the cycle of success: A case study of the Sheraton Pacific Division’, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 34(3): 111-23. Names and other details have been changed and report findings may have been given a different emphasis from the original. We are grateful to the author and Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources for allowing us to use the material in this way.]

Questions 1-5
Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 1-5 on your answer sheet. ielts xpre ss

1. The high costs of running AHI’s hotels are related to their ______

A. management.
B. size.
C. staff.
D. policies.

2. SAH’s new organisational structure requires _________

A. 75% of the old management positions.
B. 25% of the old management positions.
C. 25% more management positions.
D. 5% fewer management positions.

3. The SAH’s approach to organisational structure required changing practices in __________

A. industrial relations.
B. firing staff.
C. hiring staff.
D. marketing.

4. The total number of jobs advertised at the SAH was ___________

A. 70
B. 120
C. 170
D. 280

5. Categories A, B and C were used to select _________

A. front office staff.
B. new teams.
C. department heads.
D. new managers.

Questions 6-13
Complete the following summary of the last four paragraphs of Reading Passage using ONE OR TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 6-13 on your answer sheet. IELTSXPress

WHAT THEY DID AT SAH

Teams of employees were selected from different hotel departments to participate in a 6. __________ exercise. The information collected was used to compare 7. __________ processes which, in turn, led to the development of 8. __________ that would be used to increase the hotel’s capacity to improve 9. __________ as well as quality. Also, an older program known as 10. __________ was introduced at SAH. In this program, 11. __________ is sought from customers and staff. Wherever possible 12. __________ suggestions are implemented within 48 hours. Other suggestions are investigated for their feasibility for a period of up to 13. ___________


Implementing The Cycle of Success A Case Study Reading Answers

1. C

2. A

3. C

4. B

5. B

6. benchmarking

7. service delivery

8. (performance) measures

9. productivity

10. Take Charge

11. feedback

12. employee

13. 30 days

Also Check: Company Innovation IELTS Reading Passage with Answers


Implementing The Cycle of Success A Case Study Reading Answers Explanation

1. The high costs of running AHI’s hotels are related to their …

Answer: staff
Supporting Sentence: Similar to many international hotel chains, however, AHI has experienced difficulties in Australia in providing long-term profits for hotel owners, as a result of the country’s high labour-cost structure.
Keywords: high cost, running, AHI, hotels
Keyword Location: Paragraph 1st, 5th line
Explanation: This is the correct option as it is mentioned in the passage that one of the reasons that AHI fails to give maximum profit is due to its high pay staff members. ieltsxpress.com


2. SAH’s new organisational structure requires …

Answer: 75% of the old management positions.
Supporting Sentence: Partly as a result of this change, there are 25 per cent fewer management positions, enabling a significant saving.
Keywords: SAH, new, organizational, structure
Keyword Location: Paragraph 2nd, 2nd line
Explanation: The passage mentions that AHI’s new policy changed the organizational structure at SHI according to which the management position was cut down by 25 per cent. This means that SHI would operate with 75 percent of the old management positions. Therefore, it is the correct option.


3. The SAH’s approach to the organisational structure required changing practices in…

Answer: hiring staff
Supporting Sentence: The hotel also recognised that it would need a different approach to selecting employees who would fit in with its new policies.
Keywords: SAH, approach, organizational, structure, changing
Keyword Location: Paragraph 3rd, 1st line
Explanation: This is the correct option as the passage mentions that due to implementation issues issued by AHI, SAH had to follow the guidelines which included changes in the working staff capacity of the hotel and a different approach in the hiring process of working capacity. The new staff recruitment focused on prior service experience.


4. The total number of jobs advertised at the SAH was …

Answer: 120
Supporting Sentence: Over 7000 applicants filled in application forms for the 120 jobs initially offered at SAH.
Keywords: jobs, advertised, SAH
Keyword Location: Paragraph 3rd, 4th line
Explanation: This is the correct option as the passage states that over 7000 applicants applied for 120 recruitment vacancies at SAH.


5. Categories A, B and C were used to select…

Answer: new teams
Supporting Sentence: Department heads and shift leaders then composed prospective teams using a combination of people from all three categories.
Keywords: categories, select
Keyword Location: Paragraph 4th, 5th line
Explanation: This is the correct option as the passage mentions that the new recruitment process divided the candidates into three groups based on their leadership skills, following abilities and a blend of both the qualities. A new team was established drawing candidates from all three categories to create a balance.


6. Teams of employees were selected from different hotel departments to participate in a _______ exercise.

Answer: benchmarking
Supporting Sentence: SAH management concluded this would first require a process of “benchmarking”.
Keywords: teams, employees, hotel, department, participate
Keyword Location: Paragraph 6th, 2nd line
Explanation: The passage mentions that the most helpful technique for cost-cutting at SAH was to offer better customer service and for this a benchmarking exercise was conducted by selecting teams of employees from various departments of the hotel and were asked to interact amongst themselves to measure and enhance the performance.


7. The information collected was used to compare _______ process

Answer: service delivery
Supporting Sentence: The prime objective of the benchmarking process was to compare a range of service delivery processes across a range of criteria using teams made up of employees from different departments within the hotel which interacted with each other.
Keywords: information, collected, used, compare, process
Keyword Location: Paragraph 6th, 3rd line
Explanation: The passage mentions that the benchmarking exercise was carried out by SHA primarily to check upon the service delivery for the customers to improve it. Hence, it is the correct answer.


8. in turn, led to the development of ______

Answer: performance measures
Supporting Sentence: This process resulted in performance measures that greatly enhanced SAH’s ability to improve productivity and quality.|
Keywords: development, process, information
Keyword Location: Paragraph 6th, 5th line
Explanation: The passage mentions that the benchmark exercise which was carried out by teams of employees of the hotel through interaction was done to bring changes in the customer service which in turn improved the performance of the hotel. Therefore, it is the correct response.


9. that would be used to increase the hotel’s capacity to improve ______ as well as quality.

Answer: productivity
Supporting Sentence: This process resulted in performance measures that greatly enhanced SAH’s ability to improve productivity and quality.
Keywords: increase, hotel, capacity, improve, quality
Keyword Location: Paragraph 6th, 5th line
Explanation: The passage mentions that the benchmark exercise which was carried out by teams of employees of the hotel through interaction was done to bring changes in the customer service which in turn improved the productivity of the hotel. Therefore, it is the correct response.


10. Also, an older program known as _____ was introduced at SAH.

Answer: ‘Take Charge’
Supporting Sentence: In addition, a program modelled on an earlier project called ‘Take Charge’ was implemented.
Keywords: program, introduced, SAH
Keyword Location: Paragraph 8th, 1st line
Explanation: To improve and generate profits, SAH has followed the policies and measures implemented by AHI. One such measure was ‘Take Charge’ which is based on a feedback mechanism from both employees and customers to enhance performance and therefore profit. Hence, this is the correct response.


11. In this program, ______ is sought from customers and staff.

Answer: feedback
Supporting Sentence: Essentially, Take Charge provides an effective feedback loop for both customers and employees.
Keywords: program, introduced, SAH
Keyword Location: Paragraph 8th, 2nd line
Explanation: The passage mentions that the ‘Take Charge’ program is based on receiving feedback from both employees and the customers and the suggestions are taken into consideration to improve the quality of the services offered by SAH. ieltsxprss.com


12. Wherever possible _____ suggestions are implemented within 48 hours.

Answer: employee’s/ staff
Supporting Sentence: Employee feedback is reviewed daily and suggestions are implemented within 48 hours, if possible, or a valid reason is given for non-implementation.
Keywords: suggestions, implemented, within, 48 hours
Keyword Location: Paragraph 9th, 1st line
Explanation: The passage mentions that the new program launched at SAH includes seeking feedback and suggestions from the customers and employees. The suggestions are then implemented on a fast-track basis wherever possible to improve overall functioning. Hence, it is the correct response.


13. Other suggestions are investigated for their feasibility for a period of up to ______

Answer: 30 days
Supporting Sentence: If suggestions require analysis or data collection, the Take Charge team has 30 days in which to address the issue and come up with recommendations.
Keywords: suggestions, investigated, feasibility, period
Keyword Location: Paragraph 9th, 2nd line
Explanation: The passage mentions that one of the ways to improve SAH functioning includes the implementation of the ‘Take Charge’ program which seeks feedback and suggestions from customers and employees and implements them at the earliest. In cases where implementation can not take place within 48 hours, the team members of the program have to suggest alternatives within 30 days. Therefore, “30 days” is the correct option.


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