Danish working culture is characterised by open and informal dialogue between employees and management. Teamwork plays an important role in many workplaces, and mutual respect is a key term. In many Danish companies, bosses are seen more as “team leaders” than as the key decision-makers. For that reason, during meetings and when making decisions, everyone is encouraged to express an opinion in order to give consideration to many viewpoints. Nevertheless, the final decision lies with a team of top leaders.
Manners between colleagues are informal and relaxed, and a sense of humour plays an important role in everyday life. The Danish leader wishes to appear part of the group, and to express its will. Passionate speeches are rare, disarming jokes are common. Meetings constitute an important part of Danish business culture, and are the most usual way of keeping colleagues and employees up to date. Danes prefer meetings to be short, well structured and with a preponderance of factual information. Paperwork will generally be kept at a minimum.
However, it is seen as a matter of course that meetings proceed according to a written agenda and that they result in a written summary recording the most important decisions and agreements. Social life at work is concentrated around the lunch break. Many Danes prioritize family life very highly and go straight home after work. However, many workplaces have a tradition of meeting with colleagues on Fridays after work to have a beer. The social climax of the year is typically the Christmas lunch in December, and many workplaces furthermore have a party or another social event during summer.
In comparison with other European countries, Denmark is one of the most progressive when it comes to equality between men and women. Moreover, Denmark ranks number one when it comes to the greatest percentage of women working outside the home and many women hold top positions in Danish companies. Denmark is characterised by gender equality and Danish business companies are ” equal- opportunity” employers. Women, both employees and self-employed, are entitled to maternity leave from four weeks before the birth.
With the new rules concerning maternity leave which came into effect on 20 March 2002, parents have the right to a total of 52 weeks leave with full daily cash benefits. Denmark is a social welfare state in which the quality of life and environmental issues are given key priority. Foreigners working in Denmark are usually covered by the Danish social security legislation as soon as they start working. In certain cases, a requirement of permanent residence in Denmark may has to be met.
There are, however, certain fixed waiting periods for the various types of services, e. g. health insurance services, health benefit, unemployment benefit, compensation according to the Occupational Injury Act etc. Under certain circumstances you may apply to be covered by the social security in your home country instead. The literacy rate in Denmark is very high (99%). English is the first foreign language in Denmark, know and practised by 78%of the population older than 16 years. Christianity is practised by most of Danes in Denmark with Islam as a biggest religion for the minorities.
The more we understand and appreciate the diverse individuals and groups, the better we can address their needs-even with things as simple as offering certain amenities foods and services. (Fred Kleisner). Diverse group of customers have diverse needs. The business traveller has different needs such as access to technology, good room service, business facilities and other amenities i. e. child care etc. Family travellers seek for the service concept, which is having fun for the children and suitable to the diet issues of the children i. e. menu for children.
Health and safety is also an important concern for the guests. Properties have to facilitate the guests with their diverse needs i. e. Non-smoking rooms, gyms, swimming pools and spas. Younger consumers are more likely to be concerned with combating stress and enhancing physical performance. Older guests look for medical facilities while choosing a hotel for their stay. Growing interest in the ecological products and Green issues have changed the ways hotel operate. Customer service is considered the life’s blood of the hospitality industry.
Therefore, companies strive to identify the needs of diverse individuals and then design service concept accordingly. A few examples of how companies strive to meet and exceed the needs of the customers and how it makes the difference can be read in the appendix. 12 Denmark welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Tourists mainly come from Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, United States Of America, Germany, Japan and South east Asia. A detailed list of nights spent in Danish hotels by foreign tourists can be seen in the appendix.
Hotel will have to follow the Danish Government’s regulation i. e. equality in gender, when recruiting the staff. What is the sources hotel can use to attract diversity staff? Depending upon the nature of jobs, Hotel can use various techniques to attract the variety of staff i. e. newspaper advertisements, by placing advertisements in the educational institutions (for part-time vacancies), women’s associations public private employment agencies, old-homes and hotel labour unions.
Muslims are one of the biggest minorities in Denmark coming from Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco and Somalia. Putting advertisement in their local language (Arabic and Urdu) newspapers will help the hotel to attract diverse workforce. Similarly, to attract the employee’s form the other immigrants from Sweden, Norway etc. and from the nations, which mostly visit Denmark, hotel can advertise in their home country or in their local language in Denmark as well. Some positions in the Front office are well suited to the employees with physical handicaps or disabilities.
For example, a wheelchair user may be qualified to work as a telephone operator or reservations agent, since such jobs don’t require standing or a great deal of moving within a working area. Hotel can attract this pool of employees by contacting the local Government offices (Komune) or the schools which providing training to disabilities. A big source of recruitment for the hotel can be Walk-ins 17and Write- ins. 18 3. 1. 3 Selection19 Valuing diversity should be a consistent part of the corporate and regional management of the hotel to develop a culture in the hotel where every employee value the differences other employees have.
That’s why selecting a right person for the right job is one of the main management functions. Choosing the applicants from a written test related to the specific job will help the management to check qualified persons for the jobs at the first step. Interview of the chosen candidates again will help to choose a right person according to the nature of Job descriptions and specifications of the job. For example good language, mathematical and keyboard (typing) skills are frequently required in the Front office work.
Checking the employees’ references will provide the hotel with the selection of qualified persons to choose from. Because of high degree of guest contact, managers will seek personality traits i. e. flexibility, professional attitude and well groomed appearance etc. in the applicants for such jobs. Interviewing a diverse pool of applicants, management may use the Hallo effect20 and Stereotyping21 for a quick selection process but the management of the hotel should be aware of the problems i. e. wrong selection associated with such perceptions in the selection process.
Discussion of the “Customer analysis” will make the management think to select persons having different personalities and from various backgrounds. Selecting the persons that can better understand the needs of the community and the clients will help the “Four Seasons” to establish loyalty pool of the customers. For example, if the hotel starts receiving a large number of Japanese tourists, it will be a nice idea to select some workforce in one of the guest-contact jobs i. e. Receptionist at the hotel.