"Are hospitality employees equipped to hide their feelings?"
It has been a debatable question. However, there was a time when working for hotels was one of the most aspirational things to do. But for the last few years, the management of human resources in the hospitality industry has faced some critical challenges.
One fundamental rule in the hospitality industry is that if your staff isn't content, you can't expect your guests to have a positive experience. The success of businesses, such as; hotels, tour operators, restaurants, and resorts is closely tied to 'customer satisfaction.' The behavior of your staff and the organizational culture, values, mindset, and beliefs they all embody directly, and influence the perspective and satisfaction of every individual guest.
So, what are the major concerns of the hospitality industry, and how can an empathetic Employer Brand address them?
In the hospitality industry, HRM is responsible not only for attracting and hiring top talents but also for engaging and taking care of their well-being. So, we recognize the unique challenges faced in acquiring, retaining, and motivating employees within the hospitality sector.
In this blog, we will dissect these concerns and explore how an empathetic employer brand can help overcome the challenges faced by hospitality employees, who thrive on human interactions and exceptional service.
Concern 1: High Turnover Rates
Employees who have been tuned to the high stresses of the industry then get attracted by competition with incremental salaries. And those looking at the industry as a stepping stone also move on to different industries. So, reducing job hopping is a big challenge.
High turnover rates, frequent job-hopping, unfilled vacancies, and staff shortages lead to extended waiting times and overburdened existing employees. Several other factors contribute to elevated staff attrition, including unclear job expectations, limited growth opportunities, and a disconnect with managers.
Solution: Explore an expanded talent pool to control high attrition.
Are you offering the opportunity for diversity hiring? LGBTQAI+/specially-abled, etc.? For instance, a retail company was able to fill front-line staff with people of special abilities – by giving them the desired infrastructural support and also sensitizing mid-level managers & even customers towards them. Opening the doors for diverse hiring and creating a culture of a welcoming and motivating environment can make a difference. By offering competitive salaries, benefits, training, and career development opportunities, companies can reduce job-hopping, resulting in higher retention and lower turnover rates. Also, foster a sense of belonging by cultivating a company culture that celebrates individuality and teamwork.
Concern 2: Recruiting the Right Fit
The hospitality industry relies heavily on its employees, creating fierce competition in finding candidates who align with your brand values. Hospitality employers not only compete among themselves but also face stiff competition from other employers seeking similar skill sets. When hiring new candidates, HR often defines the necessary skills, roles, and responsibilities but frequently overlooks the core mindset they seek.
Solution: Hospitality is a mindset.
A nursing company revolves around the core mindset of 'care.' Similarly, hospitality suits those who are driven by service and enhanced experiences. To find the right candidate, HR should explore the core mindset they desire in candidates. Develop a strong employer brand identity that resonates with your brand's purpose and commitment to serving people. Launch a talent acquisition campaign that aligns communication and benefits with your brand's culture, expectations, and mindset.
Concern 3: Employee Motivation and Performance
Employee motivation directly influences the enthusiasm and energy they bring to their workspaces, a crucial factor in hospitality. However, motivation in this industry often suffers due to irregular working hours, limited interaction with managers and teams, and lackluster guest experiences.
Solution: Democratize team building and encourage peer motivation.
Emphasize the unifying purpose of your brand. Align your team's roles with the overarching goal of delivering exceptional guest experiences. When employees believe in the brand, they are more likely to operate with empathy, both among themselves and toward customers. Organize team-building activities and ensure recognition for those who excel.
Concern 4: Nurturing Employee Well-being
The long working hours in the hospitality industry pose a common challenge, affecting the mental and physical health of employees. They often work overnight, on weekends, and on holidays, sacrificing personal time with friends and family.
Solution: Along with healthcare, providing mental wellness is key.
Craft the employee value proposition that provides healthcare benefits, insurance, and mental health counseling. By providing access to mental health services, wellness programs, and a healthy work-life balance, you may become the employer of your choice. A brand that prioritizes employee well-being creates a work environment where empathy is not just a concept but a daily practice.
Concern 5: Competitive Edge in a Crowded Market
The hospitality sector in India shall expand at a CAGR of 9.02% from 2022 to 2030, as per the statistics. So, in such rapid expansion of the market, standing out can be a struggle for most of the employees to not only attract the relevant talent but to retain and inspire the hired talent.
Solution: Live and breathe the company's purpose, excellence, and unity.
HR must cultivate a culture where values and purposes are not just content for websites or posters for walls, rather it should be in a way that employees live and breathe company values, purpose, excellence, and unity every day. Give out the symbols as proud badges to every employee. It will engage and inspire your employees and turn them into brand ambassadors.
In the hospitality industry, intangible benefits often differentiate you from the rest. Employees who trust their employer and believe in the brand are more likely to deliver service that exceeds expectations. The heart of hospitality is its people, and your brand's success lies in empowering them to operate with empathy, both among themselves and with your valued customers.
Navigating the challenges of the hospitality industry requires a multifaceted approach that focuses on employer branding and empathetic practices to create a win-win journey for both employees and brands.