Organizational Socialization Tactics and Learning in the United States Hotel Industry
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Employee turnover is widely recognized as a concern for hospitality employers. Therefore, strategies are needed to attract and retain workers. Organizational newcomers are vulnerable to job stressors that lead to burnout and turnover. However, organizational socialization facilitates employee learning and adjustment, which subsequently reduced turnover intentions. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of organizational socialization tactics on the domains of socialization learning and on organizational commitment in the hotel industry. The study also investigated the influence of socialization tactics and learning on turnover intentions. Additionally, the study explored content, context, and social aspects of organizational socialization tactics used by hotels to facilitate employee learning. The study utilized a mixed methods approach including survey data from employees of upper midscale and upscale hotels in the Midwest, and interviews conducted with a convenience sample of survey participants. Empirical analyses were conducted using descriptive statistics, t-tests, analyses of variances, and regression analyses. Thematic analysis was used for interview transcripts. Findings indicate higher perceived levels of institutionalized organizational socialization tactics do positively impact the four domains of socialization learning – training, understanding, coworker support, and future prospects. Higher levels of two socialization learning domains, coworker support and future prospects, positively impacted organizational commitment. Institutionalized socialization tactics and the socialization learning domain of future prospects were negatively associated with turnover intentions. Interview findings enhanced survey data on organizational socialization tactics in the hotel industry. There was a higher prevalence of individual and informal learning, and employees have limited awareness of sequential steps or fixed timetables. Employees engaged in observational learning related to job duties from coworkers, and observation of customer service skills from their supervisors. The study also found employees are learning interpersonal skills from guest interaction, including how they can integrate guest feedback into their organizational roles. The study demonstrates the positive influence of institutionalized organizational tactics on employee learning in the hotel industry and provides further context on socialization tactics from an employee perspective. Implications, limitations, and recommendations for future study are discussed. Practitioners are encouraged to engage in institutionalized socialization activities. Employers can also cultivate an organizational climate that enhances hands-on learning by adopting socialization activities that enhance employee self-efficacy and encourage relationship building between coworkers.