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Hotel Industry's Proper Email Communication With Furloughed Employees during Covid Pandemic

Daniels College of Business

The Covid Pandemic has forced many hotels in the hospitality industry to furlough employees. The furlough deteriorates employees’ trust, commitment, and impression towards their employers, leading to higher turnover. However, while hotels maintain email communications with their furloughed employees, there is little information about how hotels could optimize the content and phrasing of their emails to maintain positive relationships with their furloughed employees. This study selects 269 U.S. citizens older than 21 years old to fill out a 15-minute online survey that asks them to read one of the four furlough announcement emails. The four emails vary in tone and content. After reading the emails, the participants are examined of their feelings and perceptions towards the company. Currently, the study is still at the stage of pilot testing. The result indicates that hotels could show empathy in their emails to optimize their relationships with furloughed employees. Hence the introduction of the concept “Organizational Empathy”, signifying that an organization could be perceived as empathic, just like a person. By improving the relationship with furloughed employees, against crises like the Covid pandemic, hotels could still establish more long-term relationships with their employees, while reducing the turnover rate and cost of acquiring new recruits.