Employee Empowerment and Customer Service Delivery in Selected Small and Medium Size Restaurants in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Nekesa, Tabitha Brenda
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In the global market today, competition between various providers of service is brutal and firms in the service industry continuously endeavor to create, manage and maintain healthy relationships with customers, to gain competitive advantage over the others. When services are inappropriately handled and coordinated, the outcome is wrong perception of service quality, client‟s complaints, staff turnover, low sales and customer dissatisfaction. This study investigated the effect of employee empowerment on customer service delivery and the following specific objectives guided the study: to investigate the effect of training, leadership, employee involvement and incentives on customer service delivery. The study was guided by Resource based view theory, the SERVQUAL model and the Kanter‟s theory of empowerment. Descriptive research design was adopted. This study targeted 50 full-service restaurants in Nairobi city. Six workers were then selected in the category of operational staff, supervisors and senior management. This formed a total population 740 respondents. The study adopted multistage sampling technique and obtained a sample of 216 respondents. The study used self- administered questionnaires as the major instrument for data collection. Pretesting the validity of the questionnaires a pilot study was done. Reliability of the questionnaire was evaluated using the Cronbach alpha test, which provided an acceptable threshold of 0.7. Descriptive statistics (in form of means, percentages & measures of dispersion) and analysis of inferential (multiple regressions) were applied to show the level of the association between the dependent and independent variables and the effect of the independent variables on dependent variables. The study findings were displayed in pie charts and frequency tables and a brief explanation provided for each. This study may be beneficial to employers in the hospitality industry who require an in depth knowledge on how to empower employees for better service delivery, entrepreneurs who may want to venture into restaurant business and academicians who may want to broaden their knowledge and understanding on employee empowerment. The study findings indicated a positive correlation R (coefficient of correlation) of 0.79 signifying that there was a strong relationship between employee empowerment and customer service delivery. The results indicated that there was a significant statistical relationship between the independent and the Customer service delivery, training R=0.082, leadership R= 0.054, employee involvement R=0.212 and incentives R=0.518. There was also a positive association between the dependent and independent variable of 0.792, the study therefore rejected the null hypotheses (H0) and accepted the alternate hypotheses (HA) ,that there is a significant relationship between Training, Leadership, Employee Involvement and Incentives as measures of Employee empowerment and Service delivery based on the correlational analysis and regression analysis results. The study concluded that it‟s important for restaurants to consider training, leadership, providing attractive incentives and involving employees in decision making in order to create competitiveness in service delivery so as to achieve maximum customer satisfaction.