Effect of business soft skills on service delivery in the hospitality industry in Harare, Zimbabwe

20 Feb 2015

pace of change has changed tremendously as the business world becomes global. Since the dollarization of the Zimbabwean economy in 2009, the service organisations have been facing challenges in terms of managing fluctuating demand. In particular, many companies in the hospitality industry were still using a ?hit and miss? approach to handle their service. As such, business soft skills have become indispensable in the hospitality industry in the enhancement of service delivery. The study, therefore sought to examine the effect of business soft skills on service delivery in the hospitality industry in Harare. Specifically, the research sought to establish the knowledge levels of business soft skills in the hospitality industry; establish the impact of training on business professional skills in the hospitality industry on employee service delivery and identify the extent to which business soft skills have enhanced service delivery. A survey research design was adopted and survey questionnaires were sent to respondents who are implicitly and explicitly involved in business soft skills activities. The study?s sample size comprised of 150 part time and permanent employees from selected hospitality companies. The research questionnaires were tested for reliability and validity through a pilot test. All the collected data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS) version 20.0. The findings revealed that soft skills such as interpersonal skills, communication skills, strong work ethics and team work skills were deficient. In addition, respondents also showed difficulties in leadership and decision making skills. The findings revealed that business soft skills were low among all the types of employees. The findings also revealed that companies do have challenges with soft skills training. The study concluded that soft skills are of paramount importance in meeting customer needs. Thus, soft skills are important in showcasing hard skills. The study recommends future research to focus on the demand side of the skills equation by looking on how the designs of organisations and jobs do impact skill requirements and performance in the hospitality service sector.