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An Investigation On The Impact Of Employee Retention On Customer Service: A Case Study Of KFC, UK.

ABSTRACT

Due to the high competition in business and high cost of recruiting new staffs, most of the organizations use effective employee retention strategies. Retention of potential workers in the organization helps to improve the quality of services of the company. Effective customer services have an important role in retaining customers in the fast food industry. However, frequent changes in employees, poor services, etc adversely affects the quality of services. In this context, the present study analyses the significance of employee retention on enhancing customer services by taking the case of KFC, one of the leading fast food industry in UK. For investigating the research problem, the researcher has used positivism paradigm, deductive approach and exploratory research design. The researcher collected both primary and secondary data for the study. The researcher conduct interview with 4 managers and survey with 40 customers of KFC for collecting primary data. Through interview method provides qualitative data and survey method provides quantitative data required for the study. Tables, bar charts and pie charts are used by the researcher for evaluating the quantitative data and the researcher used MS Excel for drawing the charts. The research findings revealed that, KFC uses effective training and development programs, reward and recognition programs, etc for retaining employees in the organization. With the help of these strategies, KFC is able to improve job satisfaction and it leads to retention of workers in the firm. Due to the retention of potential workers in KFC, company was able to improve the customer services. However, company faces many issues related to disinterested behaviour of employees, poor customer services, etc. The researcher recommended that, KFC need to provide good working atmosphere, effective relationship between employee and employer, competitive wages, etc for enhancing retention of workers in the firm and thereby to improve customer services.


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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

1.1  Introduction

Employee retention has a vital role in the performance of an organization as well as contributions to the national economy. In view of McCooey (2009) organizations are investing more on training and development and they have been offered highest priority for employee retention. This research study will investigate the importance of employee retention and its relation with customer service in fast food industry, especially KFC, a leading fast food industry in UK. This introduction chapter covers research background, research purpose, significance and rationale of the research study. Besides from these topics aim, objectives and research questions are also include in this section. This chapter will wind up with a brief idea about the dissertation structure.

1.2  Research background

The employees in a service organization are of greatest role and their services to customers are the solid evidence and through this quality of a firm can be measured, reports Payne and Frow (2013). It is the responsibility of an employer to provide a good climate in an organization in order to craft employees to be more productive in their service area. The employer has to train their employees to offer good quality services to customers. Customers will become happy only when employees are capable to provide high-quality services. In view of Vasquez (2014) firms with less quality services have high rate of employee turnover.

According to Roberts (2009) effectual employee retention strategies and meeting of diverse needs of employees by an employer has found to foster the organizational culture and encourage employees to remain in their current workplaces. On the other hand, Scott, McMullen and Royal (2012) opine that those organizations which do not practice the organizational culture to value needs and demands of its employees will eventually result in lower organizational performance.

Customers act as backbone to organizations and companies are competing to retain their customers through various offers and services. In the present day customers’ have more choices and organizations are struggling to sustain in the changing market place by providing various services. The changeability of employees is a serious issue in industries and it will adversely affect the service quality to customers, reports Roberts (2009).

The employers are investing more on employee training programs and it is essential for the organizations to retain their employees. In view of McCooey (2009) through employee retention the quality of customer service will be improved, moreover it enhances the job satisfaction. On the other hand the employee retention supports to boost up the reputation and image of the company. Therefore organizations practice employee retention strategies such as rewards and recognition policies, motivation, coaching and mentoring etc. in various forms to improve the customer service of the employees and in turn the organizational practice.

One such organization where employee retention has been reported deficiently is the KFC. It is one the most leading fast food industry in UK, reviews Scott, McMullen and Royal (2012) and employee turnover is a serious issue in KFC. According to Payne and Frow (2013) good management support and the comfortable working atmosphere are main ingredients for retaining employees with the company. According to the reports from Conerly (2013) frequent organizational changes in KFC has created great threat to the employees’ retention and has negatively affected KFC’s performance during the past few years. Hence, this study intends to analyze the impact of employee retention on customer service by taking the case of KFC in UK.

1.3 Rationale

  • What is the research issue?

Based on Conerly (2013), in UK fast food chain, companies like McDonald, Pizza Hut etc have adopted effective employee’s motivation strategies and this has helped them to increase employee’s retention, service quality and profitability. But in the opinion of Rashid, Sajjad and Bhai (2009) not much fast food industries in UK, are aware about the role of employees’ retention on enhancing the customer service. In this context, this research will investigate the impact of employees’ retention rate on customer service in UK, considering KFC as the case study.

  • Why is it an issue for KFC?

In the opinion of Scott, McMullen and Royal (2012), KFC is considered as one of the best fast food industry in UK, which has a major market share in the UK market. At present, more than 24000 employees are employed in KFC and which provides better training and development program for the employees. But, on the other side, it was found that the turnover of employees’ in KFC is increasing day by day (Roberts, 2009). Turnover of experienced and efficient employees’ negatively affected the performance of the company and on the other hand, due to the increased demand of KFC products, the organization had to hire new laborers, which created high hiring cost and training cost (Kukreja, 2011). All these have negatively affected the performance of KFC in terms of customer service in the UK and hence, this research study will examine the factors that were responsible for reduced employees’ retention and performance in KFC.

  • Why is it an issue now for KFC?

According to Hossain and Hossain (2012), frequent ownership changes in KFC have negatively affects the employees’ retention and the company faces some issues with the turnover of workers. Inefficient way of working and the behaviour of late turning up and early turning off of employees also considered as a major issue for KFC. Customers of KFC often complain about the late serving attitude and poor service quality of the employees. Another issue is that, some workers are resigning from job without having informed (Kukreja, 2011). Frequent change in employees of KFC has created dissatisfaction among the customers and it has negatively affected the sales of the company. Therefore, this study will analyze the impact of employees’ retention on service quality of KFC.   

  • What would this research shed light on?
  • Analyse the impact of employees’ retention on service quality and customer satisfaction at KFC.   
  • Analyse the reasons for increasing employees’ turnover in KFC, UK.
  • Provide recommendations for improving employees’ retention strategies of KFC, UK.

1.4 Research purpose

The only tangible activities of service organizations that can be measured by customers, is through the employees’ customer service. This is the only way through which the employer – customer interactions takes place.  Now a -day employee retention is a great challenging issue for service organizations and the firms are competing to provide high- quality services to customers. From various research studies it was evident that the customer service and employee retention are mutually dependent, reports Payne and Frow (2013). The employer has to focus more on employees up gradation in relation with the change in work culture and to be up to date in the dynamic competitive world. The main purpose of the research is to analyse the effect of employee retention on customer service, KFC a leading fast food chain will be considered for the case study.

1.5 Significance of the research

The employee retention has a great influence on customer service and the retention of employees is challenging issues to organizations for their smooth business activities, reports McCooey (2009). From the observations it was evident that a happy employee can be able to make the customer happy. As a leading fast food chain in UK, KFC faces issues in employee retention. The turnover rate in KFC is high and they are hiring new employees in every year. This in-turn adversely effect the customer service of KFC. The fast food restaurants have great significance in the changing busy world, the researcher considers this research as a better chance to acquire more details related to the importance of retention of employees in relation with the customer service. Hence this research will be helpful for the improvement for the organization as well as for the researcher.

1.6 Problem statement

Employee turnover is inevitable and the present scenario it is increasing gradually. According to Conerly (2013) the employee turnover rate in fast food industry is high, compared to other industries. In the fast food industries most of them are temporary employees and they may jump to other firms when they got better offer. The same situation exists in the case of KFC. The repeated change in employee creates a negative impact on the customer service.  Then the customer become dissatisfied and the performance of the organization will be declined. Hence it is essential for the firms to retain its employees to improve the customer service.

1.7 Research aim

The aim of this research is to investigate the impact of employee retention on customer service. In order to achieve this aim a case study will be conducted on KFC, UK.

1.8 Research objectives

The major objectives of this research are:

  • To analyse the factors affect employee retention in fast food industry.
  • To analyse the effectiveness of employee retention strategies of KFC.
  • To analyse the impact of employee retention on customer service.   
  • To provide recommendations to KFC to improve the employee retention so as to enhance the customer service.

1.9 Research questions

  • What are the employee retention strategies of KFC, UK?
  • What are the factors that affect the employee satisfaction?
  • What is the relation between employee retention and customer service?
  • How effective is the employee retention strategies of KFC in augmenting the customer service?
  • How does the employee retention influence the service quality and customer satisfaction at KFC?

1.10 Summary

Employee turnover was the critical issue in fast food industries and it was more expensive for the company. On the other hand the employers were striving to retain the employees through various programs. KFC was also facing the employee turnover and struggling to retain their employees with them. From the background study, it was clear that the retention of employees has a direct impact on the customer service. This back ground analysis supported the author to formulate the research questions relevant for the analysis. The aim, objectives and the rationale of the research was illustrated in this chapter. Moreover the structure of the dissertation was also included in this section.

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Introduction

According to Jesson, Matheson and Lacey (2011) literature review explores on implicit and explicit knowledge about the research topic, further the analysis will be implemented to meet up the objectives and goals of the research study. Therefore in this literature review chapter the researcher includes knowledge about employee retention, customer service and the relationship between these two variables. Finally this chapter winds up with conceptual frame work based on the literature review.

2.2 Employee retention

According to Scott, McMullen and Royal (2012), the ability or skill of an organization to maintain its employees is known as employees retention. The organizations are investing carefully on human resources as they are the life blood for smooth functioning of the business process. In the opinion of Conerly (2013), employees’ retention refers to the efforts of the employers to preserve the workforce in the company.

 It is beneficial for both the employer and the employee to retain the talented employees. The retention of key employees enhances customer satisfaction, implementation of successive business plans and   increases the production sales. In view of McCooey (2009) the health and the long term success merely depend on the retention of employees and to a great extent the employers are encouraging their employees to retain in the organization.

In view of Souza (2010) the employees are triggered by various factors to stick on or leave the organization. The employer has to analyse the requirements of employees and then plan for the retention strategies.

2.3 Importance of employee retention

In each and every business process the manpower is one of the main factors in the 5M’s (Man, Material, Money, Machines and Method) for a successful business firm (Souza, 2010) and retaining the skilled employees are competitive advantage for the firm over other organizations. According to Roberts (2009) the happy and satisfied employee will be more dedicated in the work place and put their maximum effort in delivering high quality customer service. The traits of man power working in the organizations are altering and they are getting more opportunities to switch over to other companies. Hence it was more challenging for the organizations to keep most dedicated and dynamic manpower with them. The employee retention is not only the maintenance of human resources but also the withholding of skills and values to the organization. In general a talented and skilled employee is an asset to the organization, affirmed by Hossain and Hossain (2012) in base with the above explanations.

In a view of McCooey (2009), an employee has to update their knowledge and skill to cop up with the change in business environment and to enhance the productivity and the profitability of the organization. For this purpose the firm’s are investing more on training and development programs to motivate the employee through which the organizations can attain the competitive advantage over their rivals. Therefore it was clear from the Oki (2014) posits, if the skilled employee left the organization, it is a direct loss to the organization and further the organizations are very careful in retaining their employees with minimum cost.

Employee turnover, in which the employers failed to retain its employees and there are numerous reasons for employees to quit the job. Rai (2012) research studies shows that it was so risky, when the talented human source leaves the job and it may effect business operations of an organization. Inadequate grievance procedures, poor personnel policies, inefficient supervisory practices and lack of motivation are the main reasons for employee turnover.

From various research studies it was proven that employees’ turnover will negatively affect the performance of the company. The induction programs of employee utilized a huge part of resources in financial terms and the employers made them to be competitive in the dynamic business world. Thus, if an efficient and skilled worker resigns from an organization, appointment of new workers and their training program will create extra cost and burden for the company (Kukreja, 2011).

 Every business organization contains top performing and poor performing workers. The companies always try to retain the top performing employees within the firm (Bersin, 2013).  The employee retention will enhance the performance of an organization whereas employee turnover will generate burden for a company and it will negatively affects performance of the firm (Florentine, 2015).

In view of Ukandu and Ukpere (2011) the unsafe work condition, unrealistic expectation, challenges and job dissatisfaction etc cause various issues in employee-employer relationship and which in turn contributes on high rate of employee turnover. From the research reports it was very clear that the employee turnover is very critical issue and the management should take proper care to handle this issue in most careful manner. The recruitment cost, training cost etc. will be reduced by low employee turnover. Hence every organization will focus mainly to reduce the employee turnover.

2.4 Employee retention strategies in fast food industries.

In view of Rai (2012), the workforce in the fast food industry is the most crucial factor in contributing the productivity and the profitability of the organization. In this situation employee retention is very critical for the fast food industries. According to Bersin (2013) there are various reasons for employee retention, in this context the human resource management in the organization has to pay more attention to scrutinize the reasons for employee turnover and adopt suitable strategies to retain the employees with them. The following are the strategies adopted for employee retention in the fast food industry.

2.4.1 Motivation

It was very disadvantageous for the organization, when the company losses a talented employee, review Ukandu and Ukpere (2011). To retain an employee, motivation is one of the significant strategies and the management has to take suitable steps to motivate their employees. From Oki (2014) forwarded view, employees’ performance at the work place can be enhanced through motivation. Also motivated employees are more dedicated and committed to their work place. Supported to this argument, Ukandu and Ukpere (2011) report that motivations to employees are more important and it was the main factor for employee retention. The internal and external factors to the company trigger the motivation to employees. But as per Herzberg’s Motivator- Hygiene theory the internal factors are more motivating compared to the aspects external to a company.

  • Herzberg’s two factor theory (Motivator- Hygiene theory)

Based on Herzberg’s Motivator- Hygiene theory, certain features in the work place leads to job satisfaction where as some different factors cause dissatisfaction to the employees (Oki, 2014). The motivation factors are those which enhance the job satisfaction to the employees and these are generally, achievement, responsibility, recognition and the growth. The factors which develop the job dissatisfaction are salary, working conditions, company policies, job securities are the hygiene factors. In general in an organization the satisfaction level of the hygiene factors are from high to low and for the motivating factors it was from low to high.

Fig 2.1:  Herzberg’s two factor theory

Source:  Oki (2014)

2.4.2 Training

According to Mathis, Jackson and Valentine (2015) the training consists of systematic activities through which the individual can alter the knowledge, skill and attitude (KSA). On-the job and off-the job are two kinds of training to improve the performance of an employee. Training is acts as a tool used to satisfy the current and future needs of an organization. Through the systematic training the fast food industries can mould their employees in an effective and efficient manner. The training programs will be planned based on the vision and objectives of the organizations. Oki (2014) posits that, with suitable training process the employees will be motivated and the management can attain the employee retention and customer service.

2.4.3 Job satisfaction

According to Jauhari (2013) the job satisfaction implies one’s attitudes and views about a particular job. Various factors influence the satisfaction of employee’s job and these are: working environment at the workplace, relationship between the co-workers and the salary. In Oki (2014) opinion the creativity and the productivity of the employee will be enhanced and it will be evident only when the employee becomes satisfied in their job.  The satisfied employees are more dedicated and committed to their job as compared with the dissatisfied employees, observes Souza (2010).

 2.4.4 Incentives

Jacobs (2014) opined that, wages and salary based on the work load of the employee will create job satisfaction to the workers. Incentives are the motivation factor for employees as well as it is an instrument for employee retention. For the retention of employees the monetary payment plays a significant role, moreover the employee commitment will be improved.

2.4.5 Rewards and recognition

Rewards provided by the company for great talent of workers will motivate the employees to work and they feel satisfaction through that job (Watts, 2013-a). The recognition is significant for the employees and work done to be appreciated and recognized by the organization. Moreover the reward system in the organization offers a great impression to employees and they are motivated to perform in their job.

2.4.6 Working condition

Friendly and comfort working climate provide satisfaction to customers and security measures for the workers to do hard jobs will reduce the fear of employees. In view of Ukandu and Ukpere (2011) employees are interested in working with a good environment. By providing suitable working climate the employer can retain their employees in certain extent.

2.4.7 Motivation from senior staffs

If the senior staffs are not ready to appreciate the workers for their good performance it will reduce the confidence of the employees and it will reduce job satisfaction and performance of the staffs (Scott, McMullen and Royal, 2012). Friendly relationship with managers and co- workers provide a comfort atmosphere for work and it enhances the satisfaction of employee.

2.4.8 Stress level and work load

Florentine (2015) states that, the huge work load and higher work pressure reduces the performance of staffs and they treat the job as a burden for them. In contrary to this statement Rai (2012) argued that the stress at a particular level improves the productivity of an employee.

2.4.9 Participation in decision making:

In modern era, the organizations will update its facts and affairs with their employees and made them to involve in various decision making process, reviews McCooey (2009). In line with this report, Rai (2012) reported that the employee involvement in the work place improves the work –climate and the employees are more dedicated and committed to their job.

2.5 Importance of employee retention in fast food industry.

As employees are the inevitable part of an organization, it was very critical issue for the management team to retain their employees. They are the main representatives of the firm and through their service the customer can perceive the quality and health of an organization. According to Ukandu and Ukpere (2011) the employees are more significant in fast food industry as they are the pillars for the smooth business process, therefore the employer should mainly focus to offer a good ambience to employees for their cooperation and dedication through various company policies. Rai (2012) argued that the employee traits in fast food industry are challenging and they have numerous opportunities and better offers to quit the present firm. Supporting to this statement Vasquez (2014) argued that when a skilled employee leaves the job, it is a direct loss to the firm and hence it is necessary for the firm to retain the employee.

Souza (2010) mentioned that the changing business process and global competitions requires to retain more talented employees who is able to offer better service to the customer. On the other hand McCooey (2009) clearly mentioned that the workplace should not have any sort of role conflict or role ambiguities and the employer has to support their employees to control their working atmosphere. In the research study Vasquez (2014) emphasized that the retention of employees improves the organizational performance through their effective and efficient performance.

2.6 Importance of customer service in fast food industry

The fast food industry is a rapid growing sector in which the competitions among the firms are high, reviews Jauhari (2013). Along with the quality of food, the customer service is also important in fast food industry. In this sector the management has to provide high quality customer service through various attributes. The best customer service implies the customer satisfaction, loyalty to the firm and the recommendations to others by word of mouth. Ukandu and Ukpere (2011) forwarded a view about the customer’s perception that if the entire dining service is good then the customers’ have a good opinion about the restaurant and will become more happy. This in turn increases the number of visits and the profitability of the fast food industry.

Jauhari (2013) mentioned that the customer view about the fast food company starts from their service quality mainly the entire dining process.  The customer expects the quality and the best services from the management that is particularly from the employees those who are in direct interactions with them, which enhances the brand loyalty and satisfaction to that particular fast food company.

2.7 Impact of employee retention on customer service

In the opinion of Parvin and Kabir (2011), retention of employees is a strategic business issue and it will provide several advantages and benefits for the organization.

Through employee retention program, the employers can retain the talented human resource and can improve the profitability and productivity.

 If the employees are working in an organization for long period of time, then they are able to achieve high level of skills in that job. These skilled laborers are considered as the asset of an organization and their skilled performance will generate a positive impact on the customer services provided by them (Scott, McMullen and Royal, 2012). Good performance of workers will enhance the service quality of the organization and it will leads to an increase in customer satisfaction, positive word of mouth, higher productivity, higher market share and higher efficiency of the organization.

2.8 Link between the existing literature and researcher’s own work

The researchers like Roberts (2009), Ukandu and Ukpere (2011), Rai (2012), etc. have conducted research study on customer retention strategies in fast food industry, improving the level of motivation through various strategies in fast food firm and customer retention in fast food industry respectively. In these research studies the researchers mainly focused on various strategies for customer retention and not given more concern on the relationship between employee retention and the customer service. Therefore this research study will analyse the impact of employee retention on customer service by considering the case study of KFC in UK.

2.9 Conceptual framework

Figure 2.2: Conceptual framework

Source: Prepared by the researcher

The development of conceptual frame work was based on the literature review in which the customer service is manipulated by various factors. The diverse factors in the fast food industry especially KFC in UK has a direct influence on job satisfaction and retention of employees. This in turn affects the quality of customer service.

2.10 KFC, UK case study

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is a leading fast food chain in UK head quartered in Kentucky in the United States. In case of KFC, the employee retention has a direct impact on the customer service and it was evident by their motivational strategies. With the support of motivational strategies the KFC enabled to retain 24000 employees in UK and thereby the firm was able to improve the customer service. Through the retention of employees there was an increase in sales and has generated a revenue of £684.5 million. The “Development champion” training program in KFC helped to provide training to employees and enabled them to get promoted from restaurant team member to general manager (KFC, 2014).  Whereas the frequent changes in the leadership have resulted in more employee turnover. This inadvertent changes in the employees develop an irregularities in the restaurant and prone to develop more dissatisfaction among the customers. This in turn adversely affected the customer service of KFC.

2.11 Major employees’ retention programs of KFC

Employee turnover is a serious issue in fast food industry, especially in KFC. According to Jacobs (2014), a centralized HR system was adopts by the KFC for retaining its skilled workers. KFC‘s human resource department has a significant role in preparing its employees in line with the business strategies of the company.  KFC’s HRM is highly concentrated on the retention of employees and they provide a comfort atmosphere for the laborers to work. The major employee retention strategies of KFC are;

  • Motivation strategy:

In the opinion of Watts (2013-a), KFC has adopts motivation strategy for retaining employees. This strategy of KFC encourages the staffs and it enhances the performance of the workers. Motivation strategy helps to increase retention of employees from KFC.

  • Reward and Recognition:

Providing reward and recognition to employees is the one the key role of KFC’s HR section. Bonus, compensation and promotion are offered to suitable employees as a measure of their job performance and their efforts to be recognized (KFC, 2014).

The senior staffs of KFC try to provide recognition and value for the good performance of the employees. Reward for great works also generates a positive impact on customers and it leads to retention of workers in KFC (Kukreja, 2011).

  • Personal development and leadership program:

The efficiency and capability of employees of KFC was enhanced through various development and leadership programs offered by KFC’s HR team, reports KFC (2014). KFC have a “Development champion” training program, which moulds the employees of KFC from Team member to Restaurant general manager. After completing the training program the KFC employees are offered by a nationally accredited qualification.

This program of KFC develops the personality of the workers and it provides a learning experience for all workers. This helps the workers to improve the knowledge and it will leads to retention of workers.

  • Maintain good relationship with workers

Mathis, Jackson and Valentine (2015) have mentioned that the employee- employer relationship plays a key role in the retention of employees. On the other hand absenteeism and turnover are main two issues of bad employee- employer link. This will adversely influence the retention of employees. Maintain good relation with employee creates a good impact on workers and it leads to retention of workers.

2.12 Impact of employee retention on KFC’s customer service

Jacobs (2014) opined that, employees’ retention program of KFC plays an important role in enhancing the customer service of KFC. From the analysis of various studies on employee retention on KFC, it was found that, retention of skilled employees of KFC positively affected the performance of the company (Woods, 2009). Motivational strategies of KFC results to high retention of employees and in 2013, the company was able to retain 24000 employees in UK and thereby provide better customer service. Watts (2013-a) states that, high retention of employees also generated £684.5 million revenue in 2013 and each outlet of KFC in UK is able to maintain an average of £1 and £1.5 million turnover in each year. But on the other hand, frequent ownership changes in KFC have negatively affected the employees’ retention and the company faces some issues with the turnover of workers (Watts, 2013-b). Rude behaviour of employees on customers, poor service quality, frequent changes in employees, etc resulted to high number of complaints from the customers. These issues have created a negative impact on KFC’s performance. So, the company has to concentrate on the retention of skilled workers. This will increase the customer satisfaction and thereby performance of the company.

2.13 Conclusion

This literature review chapter explained theories and the importance of employee retention on customer service in the fast food industry. The strategies for employee retention adopted in KFC, UK and the conceptual frame work related to the present research topic were enclosed in this chapter. 

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLGY

3.1 Introduction

According to Payne and ‎ Frow (2013) the employee retention has a significant role in the quality of customer service. This chapter includes the research design and methodology for the accomplishment of objectives and goals of the present research analysis. For this research study, the systematic or the scientific approach was carried out in the research methodology. Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2011) opine that the Saunders Onion model is the suitable model to explain the research process in a systematic or the scientific manner. This onion model consists of different peels; each peel represents a particular stage in the research process. Saunders onion model starts from the research philosophy as its outer peel and traverse across different stages then wind up with data collection and data analysis.

This methodology chapter covers the research philosophy, approach, research strategy ,etc in relation with the research process, moreover justifications for the adopted methods also covers along with the explanations.

Figure 3.1: Saunders’ Onion Model

Source: Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2011)

3.2 Research philosophy

The research philosophy involves the collection of background knowledge about the research topic in an effective and efficient manner. According to Collins (2010) there are three types of research philosophies as Positivism, interpretivism and realism.

3.2.1   Positivism

Positivism philosophy generally executed in natural science and based on the objective method (Wilson, 2010). It is the stem stage in the research methodology. With the support of positivism philosophy the researcher was able to collect facts about the research topic through various sources.

3.2.2   Interpretivism

According to Yin (2009) interpretivism converses how humans generate and retain a social world with respect to their observation of people in natural settings. In this research philosophy the researcher interact with the research participants and understand the events or phenomenon through interpretations.

3.2.3   Realism

Realism proposes the existence of a reality which is independent of the senses, reports Collins (2010). This philosophy focuses the reactions of individual towards the real world situation. Critical realism and empirical realism are the two kinds of realism philosophy. Critical realism focuses the identification of elements which forms the real world. Through suitable methods the reality can be analysed in the empirical realism.

Justification:

The researcher selected the philosophy of positivism for obtaining the results of the relationship between the employee retention with the customer service in the KFC, UK. Based on Johnson and Christensen (2010) the positivism philosophy supported the researcher to analyze the empirical data and also facilitated an objective approach to the present research study. As positivism philosophy was a structured method, which enabled the author for the generalisation of observations and analysed these results with the statistical methods. By adopting this philosophy, the researcher collected the details of employee retention and its influence on the customer service without intervening with the research participants. Moreover this research philosophy has been aided in the formation of unbiased results.

3.3 Research approach

A suitable research approach supports the researcher to meet the objectives of the research study. The two main research approaches as per the observation of Flick (2014) are deductive approach and inductive approach.

3.3.1 Deductive approach

According to Wilson (2010) the deductive approach aims on the development of hypothesis based on the existing theory consecutively this can be tested with the obtained data. The deductive approach is more inclined in to quantitative research and it moves from more general to more specific.

3.3.2 Inductive approach

The inductive research approach involves the collection of data and analyse those data to develop the theory, mentions Johnson and Christensen (2010). This research approach was closely related with qualitative studies. It mainly concentrates on the research questions and interprets the situation through the research analysis.

Justification:

The researcher adopted the deductive approach for achieving the objectives of the current research study. Based on Wilson (2010) opinion the deductive approach is more suitable with the positivism philosophy, as it was selected in the present analysis. By adopting deductive approach the researcher was able to link the relationship between the existing theories and the importance of employee retention on customer service in KFC, UK. This approach helped the researcher to reach at judgments based on the findings and also enhanced the development of more observations related to the research topic. Moreover this approach enabled the researcher to test and find out the validity of the assumptions calculated by the researcher (Flick, 2014).

3.4 Research purpose

The research purpose enhances the easy comprehension of the research problems. Also the selection of appropriate research purpose enables the researcher to meet the objectives of the research study. In view of Yin (2009) the research purpose is of three types as exploratory, descriptive and explanatory.

3.4.1Exploratory Research

Exploratory research is carried out to acquire more knowledge on the background of the study (Yin, 2009). This research purpose is generally considered, when the information about the research topic was very less and it was the basic stage in the research process. The relationship exist between the variables contained in the research topic was investigated through the exploratory research.

3.4.2 Descriptive Research

In view of Salkind (2010) the analysis of social problems and issues was implemented in the descriptive research purpose. This research purpose refers to the method of study adopted to explain the situation with respect to the time. On the other hand this research involves the in depth analysis of charecteristics and behaviours of a group of individuals engaged in the research study.

3.4.3 Explanatory Research

The explanatory research entails in the analysis of causal relationship exist between the variables enclosed in the research topic, reports Salkind (2010). The existing theory has been tested with the help of explanatory research, moreover the invalid interpretations from the research analysis was eliminated through this research purpose.

Justification:

The details related to the relationship between the employee retention and customer service in the fast food industry was very less and as per Salkind (2010) report exploratory research was the suitable research for the purpose of better understanding of information related to the less known research back ground knowledge. Hence in this present research process the researcher adopted exploratory research method. By adopting this research purpose the researcher was able to analyse the relationship between the employee retention and the customer service in the fast food industry, especially KFC in UK. This method allowed the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data related to the research study. Also it offers a chance to explore the research questions. Moreover this research method permitted the use of interviews, trial studies, discussions etc. to gain more knowledge on the subject (Mertens, 2009).

3.5 Research strategy

Research strategy refers to the tools and techniques used by the researcher to collect relevant data related to the research topic. The suitable research strategy provides a great support to formulate inferences between the variables included in the research topic. Experimental, case studies, survey, grounded theory, action research and ethnography are the different kinds of research strategies (Tight, 2012).

3.5.1 Experimental

The relationship between the independent and the dependent variables are examined in the experimental research strategy. The research participants are randomly assigned in the experimental strategy and it supports the researcher to neglect the issues which influences the outcomes of the research process (Salkind, 2010).

3.5.2 Case study

In view of Tight (2012) case study refers to the descriptive method by which an in-depth study is conducted on a real life context. The case study utilizes both qualitative and quantitative data for the research analysis. The main purpose of the case study is to focus on a particular event or a phenomenon.

3.5.2 Survey

Survey strategy is used to collect data from a large population by using questionnaires, reviews Creswell (2013). The survey strategy is the widely used strategy for the acquisition of data from the research participants with in short time. By asking a series of questions the researcher was able to gather the attitudes and opinions from the respondents. The survey strategy is the better method to gather the relevant information in an effective and efficient manner. The systematic data collection in the survey strategy can be accomplished through survey interview and survey questionnaire.

  • Survey interview

The verbal questioning of respondents was executed in the survey interview. The investigator delivers the questions to the research participants and gathers their views and opinions with in short duration (Tight, 2012).

  • Survey questionnaire

The survey questionnaires consists of the questions are in the written format. Through this method the researcher could be able to collect relevant information from the large group of people. According to Creswell (2013) structured, semi-structured and unstructured are the different sorts of questions in the survey questionnaire method.

3.5.4 Grounded theory

In view of Punch and Oancea (2014) the collection and the analysis of the relevant data was carried out in grounded theory. It is mainly focused on the qualitative and interactive research analysis for the development of new innovative theories.

3.5.5 Ethnography

Ethnography involves in the analysis of culture and people engaged in the research study, reports Flick (2014). This research process was executed in natural settings and took more time for the completion of the research analysis.

3.5.6 Action research

Action research is a research strategy which gives more important for the analysis of a social reality than concentrating on the traditional practices, opines Collins (2010). The research process may be participatory and practical.

Justification:

For the effective collection of relevant data for the present research analysis the researcher adopted survey strategy. In survey strategy the researcher utilized both survey interview and survey questionnaire. The researcher gathered the views and opinion about the significance of employee retention and the customer service by delivering interview questions with managers of KFC, UK. Also the point of views about the quality of customer service in KFC, UK was gathered from a group of customers by survey questionnaire method. In survey questionnaire the questions were printed in paper and collected the details after a short duration. For the preparation of questions in both survey interview and the survey questionnaire the researcher utilized the secondary source to acquire more background knowledge about the research topic. The author conducted a face-to-face interview for the managers and this method helped the author to collect data directly from the respondents by clearing the doubts efficiently (Dawson, 2009). The researcher has prepared a questionnaire and distributed it among the employees of KFC for conducting the survey. As survey strategy was an efficient and effective method for data collection, helped the researcher to collect data from a large population within a short span of time (Creswell, 2013).

3.6. Data collection methods

Data collection methods refer to the methods by which the necessary data are collected in order to develop the research study. The accuracy of data has s significant role in the formulation of inferences about the relationship between the variables involved in the research topic. According to Bryman and Bell (2015) the data collection methods are broadly classified into primary data collection methods and secondary data collection methods.

3.6.1 Primary data collection methods

In Creswell (2013) forwarded message, the original data that are collected directly from the research participants referred as the primary data. This method is expensive and consumes more time for the collection of relevant data in relation with the research topic. Observations, qualitative and quantitative are the different methods for the acquisition of primary data (Bryman and Bell, 2015).

  • Observation

In observation method the researcher absorbs the charecteristics and behaviours of research participants by the natural settings. In this method the inferences about the research topic was depends up on the interpretations of the researcher, mentions Collins (2010).

  • Qualitative method

Through the qualitative data collection method the attitudes and explanation about the research parameters are gathered from the research participants.  According to Bryman and Bell (2015) without the statistical support the qualitative data was interpreted by the researcher. Individual in-depth interview and focus group discussions are the various sources for qualitative data.

  • Quantitative method

The quantitative data were collected from the large respondents involved in the research process and the obtained information expressed in numbers. Further those collected details were analysed with the support of statistical method. Survey methods, hall tests, panels and simulated test markets are the different tools used for the collection of quantitative data (Creswell, 2013).

3.6.2 Secondary data collection methods

The data which was already developed and available through various sources are referred as the secondary data. According to Collins (2010) compared to the primary data collection methods the secondary data collection was affordable and economical. Through internal data sources and external data sources, the secondary data can be collected. The data has been obtained from within the organization is the internal data and these are sales report, financial reports, etc. Books, journals, websites etc. are the external secondary data sources.

Justification:

For the precise and reliable interpretations of the present research topic, the researcher used both primary and secondary data. The primary data were obtained through the qualitative and quantitative method. The author conducted an individual in-depth interview with managers of KFC and collected necessary qualitative data. By executing individual interview the author was able to collect opinions and details about employee retention strategies directly from the managers of KFC. The quantitative data was gathered from the customers of KFC through self administered survey method. The questions were printed in paper and distributed among the customers to gather more details about the quality of customer service provided by KFC in UK. For the preparation of survey and interview questions and the better understanding of background details about the present research topic, the researcher utilized the secondary data especially through organization reports, books, journals and websites (Bryman and Bell, 2015).

3.7 Sample selection

For the conduction of research analysis on the large group of individuals, the research analysis was a complicated job. Thus the researcher selects the particular number of elements from the huge group which represent the whole and referred as the sample selection. In view of Flick (2014) the sample selection plays a vital role in the research process and influences the findings of the research topic.

3.7.1 Population

The large number of individuals involved in the research study is depicted as population. The elements for the research analysis were selected from the population and the target and audience population are the two kinds of population, mentions Tight (2012).

3.7.2 Sample size

According to Sekaran and Bougie (2010) the number of elements present in the sample referred as the sample size. The sample size was decided by the researcher based on the budgeted cost and the estimated time duration. Moreover the sample size should be enough for the accurate inferences about the research topic.

Justifications:

For the research analysis of the influence of employee retention on customer service, the author selected a sample size of 4 managers and 40 customers of KFC in UK. The individual in-depth interview was conducted in 4 managers and self administered survey method in 40 customers. The field research study was limited to a particular demographic area and these selected samples were good enough for the formulation of reliable inferences of the present research study.

3.8 Sampling techniques

Sampling refers to the study of representative items of a population. The sampling methods reduce the effort, time and cost related to the research analysis. Olson (2011) has classified sampling into probability sampling method and non-probability sampling method.

3.8.1 Probability sampling

Probability sampling is unbiased sampling technique where all the elements have equal chances to be selected in the sample. In probability sampling all the elements were selected through the random process. According to Sekaran and Bougie (2010), Simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified random sampling and cluster sampling are the different methods in probability sampling.

3.8.2 Non-probability sampling

In non probability sampling the elements drawn from the population does not have equal chances to be selected in the sample and are biased in nature. In this method, by researcher’s judgement the elements were selected and may or may not represent the whole population. Moreover this method was more suitable for the unknown population. The various non probability sampling techniques are snow ball, judgmental and quota sampling, classifies Olson (2011).

Justification:

The researcher adopted probability sampling for the present research analysis, especially the simple random sampling technique. In this the researcher randomly selected 4 managers and 40 customers of KFC for conducting the individual in depth interview and the self administered survey respectively. This sampling method was most suitable sampling for the research study as it offered the collection of unbiased data. Simple random sampling creates an equal chance of selection for each subject of the population (Mennen, 2010). Moreover this sampling technique also facilitated the accuracy and validity of results.

3.9 Data analysis plan

According to Merriam (2009) the data analysis was carried out after the collection of related data for development of findings of the research study. Both the qualitative data and quantitative data collected through individual in-depth interview and self administered survey respectively for the research purpose were analyzed according to the descriptive analysis. The quantitative data collected through survey has been entered in tables, pie charts and bar charts for easy analysis. On the other hand the qualitative data were analysed manually. Finally the qualitative data and quantitative data were cross-verified to find out the similarity and the reliability.

3.10 Accessibility issues

Every research study has to face accessibility issues, especially in the beginning stage of the research analysis (Merriam, 2009). This research study also faced accessibility issue in collecting the primary data, specifically the managers and customers of KFC found insecurities or difficulties while participating in the interview and survey. The researcher also faced complexity in accessing the secondary data.

3.11 Research ethics

Wilcox (2012) opined that a research must be done complying with the research ethics. So, the researcher primarily approached the superiors of KFC, UK and got permission to conduct the interview and survey for the managers and employees. Before the onset of the research analysis the researcher briefed the details about the research process   and provided comfort to the research participants. The researcher ensured the confidentiality of the participants’ identity and data throughout the research process and also avoided the unethical questions related to the research process. Moreover the researcher not at all forced anyone of the research participants to take part in the data collection process.

3.12 Research limitations

During the research process the researcher has to met different sorts of limitations for the successful completion of the research study (Olson, 2011). Time and cost act as the major limitations for this research study. Also the limited knowledge about the research topic reflected on the findings of the research analysis.  Because of the time and cost constraints the researcher reduced the sample size to 4 managers and 40 customers. This also limited the inaccuracy of data as the sample selected by the researcher was considerably low.

3.13 Summary

The appropriate results of the present research problem was analysed by the support of research design and the methodology. For the analysis of relationship between the employee retention and the customer service in KFC, UK the author adopted Saunders onion model. All the stages in the onion model and the justifications for the adopted methods were included in this chapter. For the development of background knowledge about the research topic the researcher selected positivism philosophy, deductive approach and the exploratory purpose. Through simple random sampling the researcher selected 4 managers and 40 customers of KFC, UK and consecutively conducted individual interview and self administered survey respectively. Apart from these explanations accessibility issues, ethical issues and the limitations during the field research analysis were enclosed in this dissertation chapter.

CHAPTER 4:  DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION     

4.1 Introduction

For obtaining suitable interpretations of the relationship between variables included in the research analysis, data collection should be executed in a systematic manner. This dissertation chapter entails the collection of relevant data, presentation, analysis and interpretation on the analysed data. It is essential for the fast food industries like KFC in UK to retain their employees in order to enhance the customer service. To analyse on this the researcher will gather data from managers and customers of KFC, UK through individual in depth interview with managers and self administered survey with customers of KFC respectively.

For carry out in-depth interview and self- administered survey, the researcher has prepared to types of questionnaires. After preparing the questionnaires, the researcher pilot tested the relevance of questions for reaching at research objectives. The researcher has taken permission from KFC for conducting in- depth interview with the managers of the organization. For conducting self- administered survey, the researcher has visited KFC restaurant in London. With the help of interview and survey strategies, the researcher was able to collect qualitative and quantitative data required for carry out the present research study.

4.2 Qualitative analysis

In qualitative research analysis the researcher can be able to interact with research participants and absorb opinions and observations directly from the individuals. In the present research analysis, for the collection of qualitative data the researcher executes individual in depth interview with 4 managers of KFC, UK and has been collected valuable responses from them within the stipulated time. The questionnaire used for interview and the important responses of the managers of KFC are explained in this section of study. 

1.    In your opinion what are the important factors which affects the employee retention in the fast food industry?

Manager 1 and 2

In our view the employee- employer relationship has a significant role in retaining employees with the fast food industry. The skilled employees are valuable asset to the firm. Moreover lack of motivation to employees also will negatively affect the retention of employees. Reward and recognition programs played a vital role in motivating workers and it helps the company to retain employees in the organization”.

Manager 3 and 4:

“Retaining an employee in a firm is very challenging and especially in the fast food industry. Generally in our observation the lack of scheduled training program has an impact on retaining employees with the firm. On the other hand working atmosphere and salary are the major factors influencing the employees to stick on to the firm”.

2.    In your view, does the retaining of good employees lead to an enhancement in the customer service?

Manager 1 and 4

Yes, skilled employees are asset to the organization and they are good in dealing with customers. The key employees are more dedicated at their work place and put their maximum effort to improve the customer service”.

Managers 2 and 3:

“Retention of efficient and potential employees in the company is essential for the smooth functioning of the business. Selection of new employees and providing training for the new workers will be an expensive task for the company. The skilled customers of the firms are able to build a strong relation with potential customers of the company and it will be helpful for providing better services for the client and leads to customer satisfaction. In our opinion, retention of potential employees is a key factor for providing better services for the customers”.

3.    From various reports, it has been observed that frequent changes in the ownership of KFC have adversely affected the retention of employees. Could you please elaborate on this?

Manager 2 and 4

Yes, what you observed was correct, due to frequent ownership changes the employees are bit confused and working culture at KFC has been altered, this encountered an uncomfortable working place to the employees. When the ownership changes frequently thereby policies of the organization altered and the employees become more dissatisfied. This reflects on the performance of employees and they are not at all interested to stay at KFC.

Manager 1 and 3

“In our opinion, employee turnover is not influenced by the frequent changes in ownership of the company. Even though, ownership is frequently changing, KFC provide good incentives and rewards for the employees. The motivational and training programs of the company also positively influence the retention decision of workers. KFC always provides comparatively higher wages for the employees. So, most of the employees were highly loyal towards the company and ownership change will not alter their retention decision.”     

4.    Does your firm offer rewards or recognition to the employees as a measure of good job performance?

Manager 1 and 2

Yes, our HR team took care about this area. We are very good at offering rewards and recognitions for excellent employees. The firm has been providing bonus and compensation for our employees for their good job. In order to avoid any loop hole in this we are continuously monitoring our employees’ performance and the good one to be recognised.”

Manager 3 and 4

We are offering rewards or recognitions for our employees for their good job performance. Mainly we are offering promotions with all benefits for our employee for their better performance.”

5.    Do you have any personal development and leadership training programs in your firm for the employees?

Manager 1, 2, 3 and 4

Yes, we have a scheduled development and leadership training program which enhances the ability and performance of the employees and our HR team has the entire control over these programs. The one such program is Development champion program; this program creates an opportunity for a Team member of KFC to become the restaurant general manager.”

6.    In your observation does the employee enrichment program influence the employee retention at KFC?

Manager 2 and 4

Yes, employee enrichment program has a great influence on the retention of employees with the organization. Mainly the employee enrichment programs offer an opportunity for employees to learn new things and assist to enhance their knowledge. Moreover we observe that through these programs the rate of employee retention also enhanced”.

Manager 1 and 3

“In our observation employee enrichment has a great influence on motivating employees and also good at their work place. Through these programs the personality of employees become more and their presentation will enhanced. This results a good feedback from the customers and employees are happy at their place. Moreover this in turn encouraging the employees and also to retain with our firm”.

7.    Did you face any bad experience from customers regarding the customer service?  If yes, could you please shed light on how the situation is tackled at your end?

Manager 1:

Yes, during some occasions we met difficulties in handling customers. Usually in these sorts of situations the employees inform us and we patiently listen about the happenings. We try our level best to solve the issues and make the customers happier before leaving our firm”.

Manager 2:

“Recently, many customer of KFC complained about the poor services of the company and also about the ineffective and less impressive behaviour of the workers. The company provide quick solution for the grievances of customers and the company conduct effective training and development programs for improving the performance of the workers and to alter their attitude towards customers”.   

Managers 3 and 4:

“Majority of the customers of KFC are highly satisfied with the services of the company and they provide positive feedbacks about the customer services of the firm. Due to the quality of our customer services, majority of the customers frequently visits KFC”.

8.    Do you agree with the statement: “The employee turnover results in more negative impacts on the customer service?” If yes, could you please provide your recommendations in overcoming such a situation?

Manager 2 and 3

Yes, from the clear evidence we can say that the employee turnover has a negative impact on the customer service. It was very challenging for an organization to retain the skilled employees with them. From our point of view we are recommending to motivate employees by offering them with rewards and recognition for their good work. If the company is able to provide good working atmosphere for the employees, it will be helpful for increasing employee retention in the organization”.

Manager 1 and 4

“Especially in the fast food industry employees are getting more opportunities with better offers, therefore the turnover rate is high and it reflects on the customer service. From our observation, the employee- employer relationship should be improved and the good work has to be recognised and rewarded. Each employee placed on the basis of their qualification and skill. The company should provide competitive wages for retaining employees in the company”.

4.3 Quantitative analysis

For collecting quantitative data for the present research study, the researcher conducted self administered survey with customers of KFC. The researcher has visited KFC restaurant for conducting survey with customers. The researcher selected 40 customers of KFC for conducting survey and major findings of the study along with survey questionnaire are explained below.

1.    Please mention your gender

Pie chart 4.1: Gender of the respondent

Source: Prepared by the researcher

The researcher thought that gender is the main factor to analyze the quality of customer service at KFC. Therefore equal percentages of male (50%) and female (50%) participants were involved in the research analysis.

2. Please mention your age.

Pie chart 4.2: Age of the participant

Source: Prepared by the researcher

Fast food industries are more attracted by youngsters and they were best appropriate to disclose relevant information in connection with the KFC’s customer service. Hence 50% of the participants were from the age group of 18-24 years, moreover 24-40 age group (30%) and participant’s age more than 40 years were also engaged in the research analysis.

3. Marital status

Pie chart 4.3: Martial status of the respondent

Source: Prepared by the author

In the present research analysis the researcher identified that majority (62%) of the customers were unmarried and a frequent customer of KFC, whereas as only 40% of the respondents were married individuals and were ready to interact with the researcher.

4. Please mention your occupation

Pie chart 4.4: Occupation of the respondent

Source: Prepared by the author

The occupation of respondents was significant for the present research analysis. Therefore respondents from various statuses were involved in the field research study. Most of the respondents (50%) were from the student category and 30% were self employed. On the other hand 15% were professionals and a few percentage of respondents were belongs to retired personnel.

5. Please mention your income (in £)

Pie chart 4.5: Income of the respondent (in £)

Source: Prepared by the author

The researcher wanted to know the income level of respondents for the better understanding of views and opinions about the customer service of KFC. In this present field analysis half (50%) of the respondents with the income level of less than £ 50000 were took part with more enthusiasm and 40% were with the income range in between £ 50000 and £ 100000 and very few were with more than an income of £ 100000.

6. How frequently you visit KFC, UK

Pie chart 4.6: Frequency of customer visit

Source: Prepared by the author

To get more details about the customer service of KFC, the researcher gathered information about the frequency of visit from respondents. From those responses of KFC customers, the researcher identified that most of them (40%) were visiting KFC weekly twice and 35% were visiting weekly once in a month. Whereas 20% were visiting monthly once and rest of them were rarely.

7. Are you satisfied with cleanliness and ambience of the restaurant?

Pie chart 4.7: Cleanliness and ambience of KFC

Source: Prepared by the researcher

Cleanliness and ambience of the restaurant were one of the crucial factors which have been influencing the customer service. In this present research study most of the respondents (65%) were dissatisfied with the cleanliness and ambience of KFC restaurant and rest of respondents (35%) were satisfied.

8. Please rate the satisfaction level of quality of service offered by KFC employees

Pie chart 4.8: Quality of services offered by KFC

Source: Prepared by the researcher

The researcher collected level of satisfaction of customers about the quality of service offered by KFC. From the responses the investigator realized that only 30% of the participants were satisfied with the quality of service of KFC whereas 35% were dissatisfied. On the other hand 20% and 10% of the respondents were very much satisfied and very much dissatisfied respectively with the service quality. However 5% did not turn up to this question and stand neutral.

9. Are you satisfied with attitudes of employees at KFC?

Pie chart 4.9: Attitude of KFC employees

Source: Prepared by the researcher

The attitudes of employees have a critical role in the analysis of customer service. In regard to this question the researcher obtained varieties of responses from the customers those who all involved in the research process. Each 30% of the respondents were satisfied and dissatisfied respectively with the attitudes of employees at KFC. On the other hand 10% were very much satisfied and 20% were very much dissatisfied about the attitudes of employees. Whereas 10% of the participants were not responded to this question and stand silently.

10. Based up on the acceptance level please rate the factors influencing the customer service of KFC employees on a scale from 1-5. [1- Strongly agree, 2- Agree, 3- Neutral, 4- Disagree, 5- Strongly disagree].

Category

Influencing factors

1

2

3

4

5

1

I felt that employees are kind and friendly

4

10

4

14

8

2

I am happy with on time service

4

12

2

12

10

3

I realise that employees are good enough to solve issues quickly

2

12

4

18

4

4

I am happy with the responsibilities of employees in attending customers

4

18

0

16

2

5

I feel employees need more training in customer service

18

12

2

4

4

6

I am satisfied with the presentation of food at KFC

6

12

2

18

2

7

I have a good experience when I go to KFC

4

12

4

16

4

Table 4.1: Influencing factors

Source: Prepared by the researcher

Bar chart 4.1: Influencing factors

Source: Prepared by the researcher

For developing a clear picture about the customer service at KFC, UK the researcher included a series of influencing factors in the questionnaire and the respondents rated the parameters based on their experience at the restaurant. 35% of the respondents were disagreeing with the friendliness and kindness of employees at KFC and 20% were strongly disagreed. Whereas 25% were satisfied and 10% were strongly agreed. However 10% not responded for this question.

For the influencing factor of on time delivery each 30% of the respondents were agreed and disagree respectively. 5% were not replied for this factor but, 25% and 10% of the participants were responded extremely contrary (strongly disagree and strongly agree respectively) regarding the on time delivery of employees at KFC.

45% of the respondents were disagreeing with the problem solving ability of employees at KFC whereas 30% were agreeing for the same. For the responsibility of attending customers 45% of the participants were happy to agree with this factor and 10% were strongly agreeing. Whereas 5% of the participants had been strongly disagree with this factor.

45% of the respondents strongly agree that the employees of KFC require a scheduled training program to improve the quality of customer service. But 10% were happy with the employees’ current service quality and strongly disagree for the same factor. Majority of respondents (45%) were disagreeing with the food presentation style at KFC whereas 30% were agreeing with the same. All together most of the participants disagree with the factor of good experience at KFC and 30% were agreeing for the good experience at KFC. 

11. For improving the customer services of KFC, what all changes should be adopted by the company?

Pie chart 4.10: Suggestions for improving customer services of KFC

Source: Prepared by the researcher

From the survey analysis, researcher understood that, for improving the customer services of KFC, majority of the customers suggested that, employees’ attitude towards customers should be changed. 25% of the respondents opined that, the company should provide more preference to customer needs. 20% of the customers’ suggested that, good offers and discounts will be helpful for improving the customer services of the company. 15% opined that, the company should provide quick solution for the grievances of the customers and the remaining customers recommended that, fast delivery of orders is necessary for improving customer services of KFC. 

12. Will you suggest your friends to visit KFC?

Pie chart 4.11: Readiness to recommend KFC to others

Source: Prepared by the researcher

Based on the survey report 70% of the participants were happy to recommend KFC to others whereas rest of them were not happy to recommend KFC to others. Even though in average the respondents were not happy with the customer service of KFC they were ready to recommend to others.

4.4 Discussion of research findings

One of the major objectives of the present research study was to analyze the factors affecting employee retention in fast food industry. For achieving this objective, the researcher has conducted interview with managers of KFC and the researcher found that, motivation, job satisfaction, training and development programs of the company, reward and recognition programs, etc played a vital role in influencing employee retention.  Another main objective of the study was to identify the impact of employee retention on customer service. From the interview analysis, the researcher understood that, employee retention programs of KFC played a vital role in influencing the employees of the organization and it helped the company to retain its customers. However, from the survey analysis, the researcher found that, even though the company is able to retain its employees, majority of the customers of the firm were dissatisfied with the services of the company and employees attitude towards the client. Another major objective of the study was to examine the effectiveness of employee retention strategies of KFC. From the study, it was found that, with the help of employee retention programs, KFC was able to reduce employee turnover rate from the company. Even though, the company was able to retain potential workers in the company, rude and unfriendly behaviour of employees generates dissatisfaction among customers. 

From the interview analysis, the researcher understood that, the major factors that affect employee retention in fast food are employee- employer relationship, employee motivation and training programs, working atmosphere, salary and incentives, etc. In the literature review, similar factors were mentioned by Watts (2013-a), Scott, McMullen and Royal (2012), Rai (2012), Florentine (2015), Ukandu and Ukpere (2011), Jacobs (2014) and Mathis, Jackson and Valentine (2015). So, it can be inferred that, interview finding was matched with literature review finding.

In the literature review, Watts (2013-a) states that, due to the effectiveness of employee retention programs, KFC is able to retain workers in the organizations and it increases quality of services of the company. From the interview analysis also, researcher found that, customers of KFC were satisfied with the services of the company. But, on the other hand, survey report revealed that, majority of the customers of KFC were dissatisfied with the services of the company. So, the findings show a gap between survey findings and existing literature and also exists a gap between interview finding and survey finding.

From the interview analysis, researcher understood that, company provides promotion, bonus, compensation, etc for potential employees as a part of its reward and recognition programs. In the literature review, these reward and recognition programs were mentioned by KFC (2014) and Kukreja (2011). So, it can be inferred that, interview findings were matched with existing literature. 

The survey report revealed that, most of the customers of KFC were disagreed that, employees of KFC are kind and friendly. In the literature review, Watts (2013-b) states that, many customer of KFC complained about the rude behaviour of its employees. So, it can be conclude that, survey finding was matched with literature review of the present research study.

In the literature review, Parvin and Kabir (2011) and Scott, McMullen and Royal, 2012) observed that, employee retention and customer services are directly related. From the interview analysis also, researcher found that, retention of skilled workers in organization will be helpful for improving the customer services of the organization. So, it was clear that, interview finding was matched with existing literatures of the study.

From the survey analysis, it was understood that, majority of the customers were dissatisfied with the employees attitude towards the client. But the interview report revealed that, due to the effective of employee training and development programs, KFC was able to improve the attitude of employees towards customers. So, it can be inferred that, there exists a gap between interview findings and survey findings.

The interview report revealed that, KFC conducted ‘Development Champion’ training program for improving the performance level of the employees. In this literature review, KFC (2014) also reached at same finding. So, it can be inferred that, interview findings are in agreement with literature review.

From the interview report, it was understood that, employee retention programs of KFC played a vital role in influencing the retention of employees in the organization. Jacobs (2014), Woods (2009), Watts (2013-a) and Watts (2013-b) also reached at the similar finding. So, it was clear that, interview report was in agreement with existing literature and the finding was true.

In the literature review, Watts (2013-b) reported that, frequent changes in ownership of KFC adversely affect employee retention and it generates many issues in the company. From the interview analysis, researcher understood that, employee turnover decision was not due to frequent changes in ownership and the company provides attractive strategies for retaining customers in the organization. So, it can be conclude that, interview finding was contrary to existing literature and there exists and gap between the two findings.

From the interview analysis, researcher understood that, major employee retention programs of KFC are reward and recognition programs, motivation strategy, personal development and leadership program, maintaining good relationship with customers, etc. The similar findings were mentioned by Mathis, Jackson and Valentine (2015), KFC (2014), Kukreja (2011) and Watts (2013-a) in the literature review chapter. So, it can be inferred that, interview findings were matched with existing literature.

From the interview analysis, researcher understood that, Development champion program of KFC provides opportunity for the workers to become general manager of KFC restaurant. KFC (2014) also reported similar finding in the literature review chapter. So, it can be conclude that, existing literature finding matched with interview findings.

In the literature review, Watts (2013-a) opined that, motivational strategy of KFC helps the firm to improve the performance of workers. But from the survey analysis, majority of the customers disagreed that, the employees of KFC are kind and friendly towards the customers. So, it reflects the gap between literature review and survey findings.   

From the interview analysis, researcher understood that, majority of the customers of KFC were satisfied with the services of the company and they frequently visit KFC restaurants. The survey report revealed that, most of the customers visit KFC restaurants once or twice in a week. So, it can be inferred that, interview finding was in agreement with survey findings.

4.5 Identifying gaps

This section of the chapter examines the identified gap between existing literatures and the findings of the study. This segment also deals with the gap between interview and survey findings.

From the survey analysis, researcher understood that, majority of the customers of KFC were dissatisfied with the quality of services of the organization. But on the other hand, in literature review, Watts (2013-a) found that, KFC adopts effective employee retention programs for retaining potential employees in the organization and it help the company to improve the customer services. The interview result also supports the finding in literature review. So, it can be inferred that, there exists a gap between existing literature and survey findings and a gap between survey and interview finding.

From the interview findings, it was understood that, KFC conduct effective training and development programs for the employees of the organization and it helps to improve the performance of the workers and their attitude towards customers. Whereas the survey findings revealed that, most of the customers of KFC opined that, they were dissatisfied with the attitude of workers. So, it can be inferred that, interview finding was contrary to survey finding and there exists a gap between the two.

The interview findings revealed that, frequent changes in ownership of KFC were not a reason for employee turnover. But in the literature review, Watts (2013-b) mentioned that, frequent alterations in KFC’s ownership create dissatisfaction among employee and it leads to employee turnover. So it can be inferred that, the researcher’s finding was not matched with existing literature and there exists a gap.

The survey report revealed that, majority of the customers were disagreed to the statement, employees of KFC are friendly and kind. But in the literature review, Watt (2013-a) mentioned that, motivational strategy of the firm improves the performance of the workers. The two findings of the study are contrary to each other and it shows the gap between two.

4.6 Judgment of findings

The most important aim of the present research study was to analyze the impact of employee retention on customer services of KFC in UK. To achieve this research aim, the researcher has conducted in-depth interview with 4 managers of KFC and self- administered survey with 40 customers of KFC. While analyzing the results of survey and interview, the researcher found that, motivation, training and development programs, incentives, employee- employer relationship, reward and recognition programs, etc are the major employee retention programs of KFC. The researcher also found that, retention of potential employees will be helpful for the organization to improve quality of services. However, the researcher also found that, with the help of training and development programs, incentive strategies, etc, KFC was able to retail potential customers in the organization. Even then, most of the customers of the company were dissatisfied with the attitude of workers and quality of services of the company. The researcher also understood that, frequent ownership changes in KFC, poor service quality, rude behaviour of employees; etc generates many issues in the firm.

Based on the major information of literature review, the researcher has prepared a conceptual framework for the present study. Based on that conceptual framework, good relationship with workers, personal development program of the organization, reward and recognition programs and motivational strategies generates job satisfaction among employees and it leads to retention of workers in the organization. Finally, the retention of efficient and potential employees in the organization positively influences the customer service of the company.

From the interview analysis, the researcher understood that, personal development and leadership programs, rewards and recognition, motivation strategy, good employee- employer relationship, etc in KFC helps the company to motivate employees and it also leads to job satisfaction and retention of workers in the firm. But on the other hand, from the survey report, the researcher found that, even though the company is able to maintain efficient workers in the firm, major portion of customers were dissatisfied with the services of the company. So, it can be inferred that, the present research study do not disclose the link between employee retention and customer services. It was clear that, the present study shows a different relationship between employee retention and customer services and which opposed the conceptual framework of the study.

4.7 Summary

The present chapter of the study deals with analysis and interpretation of collected data. For analyzing the research problem, the researcher selected interview and survey strategy and with the help of these strategies, the researcher collected qualitative and quantitative data for the present study. For analyzing the quantitative data collected through survey method, the researcher utilized tables, bar charts and pie charts. After analyzing the collected data, the researcher evaluated the link between collected data and existing literature. The similarities and dissimilarities in survey and interview findings and also between existing literatures and findings of the present study were also discussed in this chapter. The researcher also cross checked the results of the study with the conceptual framework of the research.

CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Introduction

The final chapter of the research study deals with conclusions and recommendations of the research problem. The present chapter conclude this study by considering the primary and secondary data collected by the researcher. Based on these data, the researcher was able to enhance the knowledge in the research topic and it also helped to study the research problem effectively. For collecting primary data, the researcher has conducted in- depth interview with 4 managers of KFC and self administered survey with 40 customers of KFC in UK. This chapter of the study will evaluate the major results of the study and limitations of the research through this chapter. The present chapter will also provide recommendations for KFC for improving its employee retention strategies to increase customer services. Recommendations for future studies will also include in this chapter.

5.2 Conclusions

For analysing the relationship between the retention of potential employees in the organization and its impact on customer services, the researcher has conducted interview with the managers and survey with customers of KFC in UK. This section of the chapter concludes the major findings of the study on the basis of research objectives.

Objective 1: To analyse the factors affect employee retention in fast food industry.

From the interview analysis, researcher understood that, major factors that affect employee retention in fast food industry are employee- employer relationship, motivation, reward and recognition programs, effective training and development program, good working atmosphere, effective payout policies, etc. In the literature review chapter, similar factors were mentioned by Ukandu and Ukpere (2011), Mathis, Jackson and Valentine (2015), Jauhari (2013) and Watts (2013-a). So, it can be inferred that, existing literature matched with the findings of the present research and the researcher successfully achieved the first objective of the study.

Objective 2: To analyse the effectiveness of employee retention strategies of KFC.

From the research study, it was found that, KFC conduct various kinds of reward and recognition programs, leadership training programs, personal development programs, employee enrichment programs, etc for retaining potential workers in the organization. With the help of these strategies, KFC was able to improve the employees’ performance and as a result, majority of the customers of the company are satisfied with the attitudes of the employees towards the customers. Jacobs (2014), Watts (2013-a), Kukreja (2011) and Mathis, Jackson and Valentine (2015) also reached at similar findings in their studies. Existing literatures are matched with the findings of the present research study. So, the researcher was able to attain this objective of the study effectively. 

Objective 3: To analyse the impact of employee retention on customer service. 

From the interview analysis, researcher found that, retention of potential employees in the organization improves quality of customer services of the company and it will positively influence customer satisfaction and customer retention. The researcher also understood that, skilled workers are efficient to maintain good relation with customers and they make maximum efforts to improve the customer services of the firm. Similar findings were also mentioned by Ukandu and Ukpere (2011), Rai (2012), Vasquez (2014) and Scott, McMullen and Royal (2012) in literature review chapter. The interview findings were matched with existing literatures. So, the researcher successfully attained this objective of the study.

Objective 4: To provide recommendations to KFC to improve the employee retention so as to enhance the customer service.

From the research study, the researcher understood that, for improving the employee retention, KFC should provide rewards and recognitions for the potential workers. It was also suggested that, good working atmosphere will improve the employee job satisfaction and it will leads to employee retention. The researcher also recommended that, effective and friendly relationship between the employee and employer will positively influence employee performance and it improves the customer services of the company. The researcher suggests that, for retaining potential workers in the organization, company need to provide competitive wages for the workers. Detailed recommendations for improving the employee retention strategies of KFC are provided in the later section of this study.  

5.3 Evaluation of results

This section of the study evaluates the major findings of the study by considering the findings of interview and survey.

From the interview analysis, it was understood that, due to the frequent changes in the ownership of KFC, employees are not satisfied with the jobs in the firm and it resulted to employee turnover. It was also found that, poor customer services, less impressive behaviour of employees, etc creates bad impression among the customers. The study also revealed that, KFC conducted effective training and development programs, reward and recognition programs, employee enrichment programs, etc for retaining employees in the company. The researcher understood that, scheduled development and leadership training program of KFC improves the ability and performance of the employees. It was found that, KFC’s employee enrichment programs provide opportunity for the workers to enhance their knowledge about the work and this program plays an important role in retaining potential employees in the organization. It was also noted that, recently, customers criticised about the poor customer services, ineffective and less impressive behaviour of employees of KFC, etc. It was also found that, KFC provide much attention to solve the grievances of customers.

The survey findings revealed that, majority of the customers of KFC were belonged to 18 to 24 years age group and most of them were students. From the study, it was also found that, 50% of the customers of KFC were belonged to less than £ 50000 income category and most of the customers of KFC visit the company outlets twice in a week. The researcher also found that, majority of the customers of KFC was unsatisfied with the cleanliness and ambiance of the restaurants. The researcher also observed that, most of the participants of survey were dissatisfied with the quality of services offered by KFC’s employees. It was also found that, 30% were dissatisfied and another 30% were satisfied with the employees’ attitude towards the customers. Most of the customers disagreed that, employees of KFC are friendly and kind and they were good enough to solve the issues quickly. Most of the customers of KFC suggest that, employees of the organization should improve their attitude towards the customers for improving service quality. The researcher also found that, majority of the customers of KFC is ready to recommend the company to their friends and families.       

5.4 Recommendations

From the research study, the researcher understood that, recently KFC faces many issues in relation with the employee retention in the organization. So, through this section of the study, the researcher provides recommendations for retaining employees of KFC to enhance customer services.

  • Provide good working atmosphere

The researcher suggests that, for retaining employees in the organization, KFC needs to provide pressure free working atmosphere for the workers. This will improve the workers interest in job and it will enhance quality of customer services.

  • Good employee- employer relationship

The researcher recommended that, the senior staffs and managers of the organization should maintain a friendly relationship with employees. This will improve employee job satisfaction and it reduces the chance of employee turnover and it positively influence the quality of customer services of the company.

  • Effective Reward and recognition programmes

From the study, the researcher understood that, for retaining potential customers in the organization, KFC should provide effective reward and recognition programs for the customers. This will improve employee retention in the organization and it will enhance quality of customer services.

  • Provide competitive wages for the workers

From the study it was understood that, lack of proper payout will adversely affect employee retention decision. The researcher suggests that, the company need to provide competitive wages for the workers for improving their performance and to retain the workers in the firm.

  • Provide accidental protection measures

Due to the busy working schedule, chances of occurring accidents in the restaurants are very high. So, the researcher recommended that, KFC need to adopt accidental protection measures in the restaurants. This will positively influence employee job performance and it will improve customer services.

5.5 Limitations of the research

Strict time schedule for carry out the study generates many difficulties for carry out the present study. Due to time limitation, the researcher was not able to select adequate number of samples for analysing the research problem. So, chances of occurring errors in this study are very high. Another major limitation of the study was that, it considered only the case of KFC for analysing the relationship between employee retention and customer satisfaction. So, this study failed to provide a general result on the research problem. For collecting data for the study, the researcher has used only interview and survey strategies and avoids other major kinds of research strategies. So, the researcher was not able to collect adequate amount of data for the study. By using survey and interview methods, the researcher has collected data from participants at a particular time period. So, the researcher was failed to include changes in opinion and experience of managers and customers of KFC in this study.   

5.6 Recommendations for future research

Due to time constrain, the present study selected only 40 customers and 4 managers of KFC for analyzing the research problem. So, the researcher recommended that, for obtaining more reliable and accurate results on the research problem, the future researchers should consider more samples for the study. For analysing the relation between employee retention and customer services, the present study considered only the case of KFC in UK. So, the results of the study may reflect only the case of KFC. For getting a generalized view on the research problem, the future studies should consider more fast food industries in UK. The researcher also recommended that, selection of two or more organizations will be helpful for making a comparative study on the research problem. It was also recommended that, instead of using interview and survey strategies, the future researchers can select other effective research strategies for collecting more data.  

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APPENDIX

Questionnaire for interviewing the managers of KFC

9.    In your opinion what are the important factors which affects the employee retention in the fast food industry?

10. In your view, does the retaining of good employees lead to an enhancement in the customer service?

11. From various reports, it has been observed that frequent changes in the ownership of KFC have adversely affected the retention of employees. Could you please elaborate on this?

12. Does your firm offer rewards or recognition to the employees as a measure of good job performance?

13. Do you have any personal development and leadership training programs in your firm for the employees?

14. In your observation does the employee enrichment program influence the employee retention at KFC?

15. Did you face any bad experience from customers regarding the customer service?  If yes, could you please shed light on how the situation is tackled at your end?

16. Do you agree with the statement: “The employee turnover results in more negative impacts on the customer service?” If yes, could you please provide your recommendations in overcoming such a situation?

Questionnaire for surveying the customers of KFC

2.    Please mention your gender

  • Male
  • Female

2. Please mention your age.

  • 18-24
  • 24-40
  • >40

3. Marital status

  • Married
  • Unmarried

4. Please mention your occupation

  • Students
  • Self employed
  • Professionals
  • Retired

5. Please mention your income (in £)

  • <50000
  • 50000-100000
  • >100000

6. How frequently you visit KFC, UK

  • Weekly once
  • Weekly twice
  • Monthly once
  • Rarely

7. Are you satisfied with cleanliness and ambience of the restaurant?

  • Yes
  • No

8. Please rate the satisfaction level of quality of service offered by KFC employees?

  • Very satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied
  • Very dissatisfied

10. Are you satisfied with attitudes of employees at KFC?

  • Very satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied
  • Very dissatisfied

11. Based up on the acceptance level please rate the factors influencing the customer service of KFC employees on a scale from 1-5. [1- Strongly agree, 2- Agree, 3- Neutral, 4- Disagree, 5- Strongly disagree].

Category

Influencing factors

1

2

3

4

5

1

I felt that employees are kind and friendly

 

 

 

 

 

2

I am happy with on time service

 

 

 

 

 

3

I realise that employees are good enough to solve issues quickly

 

 

 

 

 

4

I am happy with the responsibilities of employees in attending customers

 

 

 

 

 

5

I feel employees need more training in customer service

 

 

 

 

 

6

I am satisfied with the presentation of food at KFC

 

 

 

 

 

7

I have a good experience when I go to KFC

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. For improving the customer services of KFC, what all changes should be adopted by the company?

  • Employees’ attitude towards customers
  • More preference to customer needs
  • Fast delivery of orders
  • Quick solution for customer grievances
  • Provide good offers and discounts

13. Will you suggest your friends to visit KFC?

  • Yes
  • No

Thank you,

I convey my heartfelt thankfulness to all the participants of interview and survey analysis for helping me to collect relevant data for completing the research study. I also extent my gratitude to each and everyone for spending your valuable time for gaining success in the research study. I also hereby ensure you that the data collected will be treated with confidentiality without revealing the respondents identity in the research study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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