PhD research investigates transient NT hotels 


New research is helping Territory hoteliers to cope with high staff turnover by going beyond the well-trodden retention strategies that demand large investments of time, money and effort.

Dr Kalotina Chalkiti, who will receive a PhD from Charles Darwin University at its upcoming mid-year graduation ceremony, investigated the knowledge-drain that Northern Territory hotels experience when staff leave, and how this knowledge can be retained.

“The need to move away from stagnated research on people-retention strategies and move towards such things as knowledge sharing and management is the key to addressing this issue,” Dr Chalkiti said.

Her research is based on studies that reveal high staff turnover is a global feature of the hotel industry, despite decades of effort to stem the tide.

“Labour instability in the hospitality industry of the Northern Territory warrants the need to understand how knowledge is shared in hotels,” she said.

Dr Chalkiti’s PhD research focused on three local hotels over an eight-month period.

The findings revealed that a combination of hotel and employee-related factors enabled hotel employees to share knowledge in this context.

“The hotel chain offered a supportive structure, infrastructure and practices for knowledge sharing,” she said.

“In addition, the employees used a multi-adaptation strategy to promote knowledge sharing within their teams.”

The findings have the potential to raise management awareness of the necessary conditions for knowledge sharing in light of inevitable labour changes.

“It is important that when someone walks out the door, they don’t take their knowledge with them,” she said.