Tourism Seminar: Associate Professor Swathi Ravichandran

6 June, 2018 - 10:00 to 12:00
General Purpose North (39A), Room 209

Two ends of the age spectrum: Why hiring and retaining millennials and older workers in the hospitality industry matters

The current American workforce reflects a significant mix of genders, race, religion, age, and other background factors.  The hospitality labor force is a reflection of this diversity mix especially in terms of age, constituting 11.5% Baby Boomers, 27.9% Generation X, 44.6% Generation Y and 15.8% Generation Z.  This research presentation will focus on two generations: Baby Boomers and Generation Y or Millennials.

Research Study 1: This study explored older workers’ perceptions of the training they receive in foodservice establishments, including perceptions of training methods, pace, and the use of technology in training.  Participants, 55 and over, responded to semi-structured questions about their training experiences.  Analysis of the focus group data revealed three overarching themes: (1) need for better leadership, (2) training structure, and (3) pride and enjoyment at work. Recommendations are made for training practices endorsed by older workers that organizations could adopt to improve the retention and performance of older workers, who are increasingly becoming important to the hospitality industry.

Research Study 2: The purpose of this study was to examine if perceived stress moderated the relationship between both adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism and two main outcomes, job satisfaction and burnout, among a sample of 131 Millennials in the hospitality industry.  Millennial students enrolled in various hospitality management programs in the U.S. and employed at least part-time in the hospitality industry completed self-administered questionnaires on their perfectionism, perceived stress, job satisfaction, and three subtypes of burnout (personal, work-related, and customer-related).  The results of this study indicated that while perceived stress did not have a moderating effect in regards to either dimension of perfectionism and job satisfaction, perceived stress did moderate the relationship between adaptive perfectionism and all three subtypes of burnout.  The implications for hospitality employees with high levels of adaptive perfectionism are discussed

Associate Professor Swathi Ravichandran

Swathi Ravichandran received an MBA in Marketing and a PhD in Foodservice and Lodging Management from Iowa State University.  She is an Associate Professor in Hospitality Management at Kent State University (KSU) and served as the Provost Fellow during the 2017-18 academic year.  In 2015, Dr. Ravichandran was recognized as a Meetings Trendsetter by Meetings Focus.  In 2014, she received the Distinguished Educator of the Yearaward from Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).  Following this recognition, she received a commendation from the 131stGeneral Assembly of Ohio, naming her one of “Ohio’s finest educators.”  Dr. Ravichandran teaches a variety of classes including Hospitality Human Resources Management, Hospitality Legal Issues, Hospitality Practicum, and Hospitality Meetings Management and also advises for the KSU Chapter of PCMA.  Her research focuses on hospitality human resources management and marketing and has been published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals such as International Journal of Hospitality Management, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education, Journal of Foodservice Business Research, and Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism.  Dr. Ravichandran also regularly writes blog posts focusing on human resources and legal issues for Restaurant Hospitality titled Foodservice @ Work in addition to contributing to on similar topics.