Psychological Empowerment and its Influence on Job Satisfaction of Guest House Supervisors in Mombasa County, Kenya
Kivuva, Alex Kyalo
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Psychological empowerment and job satisfaction are critical human resource issues in guest house operations. Compared to classified hotels, guest houses have a larger percentage of untrained personnel. Employees who might have some hospitality training are usually the supervisors. However, the owners of guest houses tend to dictate and control almost all the operations, thus low employee empowerment. Lack of empowerment is a major cause of job dissatisfaction and eventually high staff turnover. Hence, this study sought to determine the influence of psychological empowerment and extrinsic factors on job satisfaction among guest house supervisors in Mombasa County. The study used a descriptive survey study design. The research focused on the seventy-six registered guest houses in Mombasa County. The study utilized census, where all the supervisors in all the registered guest houses in Mombasa County were included. Secondary data was collected by reviewing documented information concerning the study variables. Primary data was collected through a semi-structured questionnaire and an observation checklist. Pre-testing was done in three guest houses and the remaining seventy-three were included in the study. Data analysis utilized quantitative tests such as means, percentages and standard deviations. Pearson correlation coefficient, linear and multiple regressions were used to establish the relationship between the study variables. The response rate for the supervisors‟ questionnaire was 94%. Findings from the questionnaires revealed that there existed a positive and significant influence (p< 0.05) of „competence‟ on job satisfaction (r= 0.554); „impact‟ on job satisfaction (r= 0.868); „meaning‟ on job satisfaction (r= 0.765); and „choice‟ on job satisfaction (r= 0.734). The overall job satisfaction was mean rated at 3.52 out of a total score of 5. From the model, (R2 =.857) showed that the overall psychological empowerment accounted for 85.7% variation in job satisfaction of guest house supervisors and hence there was a positive relationship between the variables. The age of supervisors had a weak positive relationship with job satisfaction (β= 0.054, p> 0.05) while gender (β= -0.151, p< 0.05), number of years worked (β= -0.140, p< 0.05) and education (β= -0.063, p> 0.05) had negative relationships with job satisfaction. Results from the observation checklist revealed an above average level of the dimensions of „meaning‟ and „impact‟ at 65% and 69% of the guest houses respectively. However, observations for „competence‟ and „choice‟ were below average at 49% and 24% of the total number of guest houses respectively. The major extrinsic factors identified to affect job satisfaction were salaries, working conditions, terms of employment and employee welfare. This study would be of critical importance to the various stakeholders of the hospitality industry. For instance, it would be of great help to guest house entrepreneurs and managers who would be able to formulate and implement empowerment strategies for their supervisors and other staff. In addition, this study would be helpful to organizations such as Federation of Kenyan Employers, Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers and Pubs Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya in sensitizing their members on the importance of employee psychological empowerment. The study recommends that guest house supervisors should be accorded necessary support in terms of empowering them in their work tasks. This would go a long way in enhancing their job satisfaction.