BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Human resources are easily recognized as the most important resources required for the production of goods and services, as well as the key to rapid socio-economic development and efficient service delivery.
According to (Barney, 1995:50), human resources include all the experience, skills, judgments, abilities, knowledge, contacts, risk taking and wisdom of individuals and associates within an organization. Without an adequate skilled and well motivated work force operating with a sound human resources management programme, there will be no development.
Any organization that underrates the critical role and under plays the importance of people or human resources in goal achievement can neither be effective or efficient.
The realization of the value of human resource in any organization has in recent times led to a more human focused approach in managing organizations. Thus, human resources management has gained prominence in business management. Human resources management is a modern term for what has been traditionally referred to as personnel management. A strong tendency to adopt the term ‘human resources management’ as a substitute for ‘personnel management’ has developed and grown stronger (Ikeagwu, 1998:96). Human resources management embraces those activities designed to provide for and coordinate the human resources of an organization. It involves management decisions and practices that directly affect or influence the people who work in the organization (Ugbaja, 2007:78).
The burden of human resources management rests squarely with line and functional managers who as departmental heads, design and utilize the elements of human resource in their departments and units.
Indeed every manager should be well acquainted with human resources management process and procedures should not only co-operate maximally with the director of human resources, as a specialist but also apply relevant elements and procedures of the process, in most effective manner, at various levels of organization. This is the only way the work force can be effectively engaged for the achievement of organizational goals (Eze, 2002:33). They are particularly keen to employing individuals who can operate flexibly and adapt to different tasks as opposed to keeping rigidly defining job demarcations. They must also be able to adapt to rapidly changing work arrangements.
Some of the human resources challenges that face most organizations are in recruitment, performance appraisal, training and development, motivation and compensation management, etc. Recruitment has become and important element in human resources management. The challenge does not end with recruiting the right people but hoe to ensure effective appraisal of employee’s performance. With respect to training and development, the challenge is developing and implementing suitable training programmes so that the employees are well equipped to handle challenges ahead (Nelson, 2005:2). Offering the best possible compensation package is in itself a challenge. But, the real challenge is how to incorporate all these elements in human resources management and use them in achieving the ultimate goal of the organization, which requires exceptional performance. Many hospitality industries have one or a few of these elements but very few operate the whole package. So completely developed human resources management remains an unusual management style. It is against this background that this study will emphasize on human resources management practices in the hospitality industry.
PROTEA HOTEL, ENUGU (NIKE LAKE RESORT)
Protea Hotel (Nike Lake Resort) is a three star international party government owned hotel. The land on which the hotel is situated is owned by Nike people. The hotel was built during the regime of Governor Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, the first civilian governor of Enugu State who ruled from 1979 to 1983. At the onset, the original name of the hotel was not Protea Hotel but Nike Lake Resort.