Article: Managing the new-age workforce in the hospitality industry

Talent Management

Managing the new-age workforce in the hospitality industry

Here's how organizations in the hospitality industry can tackle talent challenges.
Managing the new-age workforce in the hospitality industry

With a continually changing business environment and emerging strategies in technologies, there is a need for organizations to attract and adapt as per the new-age workforce. Historically, the hospitality industry hasn’t enjoyed an employee-friendly reputation due to the long working hours and erratic schedules, which are required to support a business that operates 24/7.

The rise of ‘urban millennials’ has revolutionized the entire gamut of industries all over the world and in our country as well. Millennials demand to be heard and expect an engaging, relevant, and accelerated career progression. As a result, they must be furnished with customized career maps that outline their respective journeys across the length of their career. Hospitality organizations need to think big and create a workplace that is conducive to all generations currently in their workforces, helps employees excel in their roles, cares for customers in the best possible way and anticipates the challenges of the future.

Redesigning recruitment for better candidate assessment 

The search for talent in hospitality should be guided by the belief that hiring individuals with a tremendous passion for caring for others will produce better results than merely focusing on prior experience. Leaders with the ability and experience in training can play a pivotal role in ensuring that recruitment processes identify a candidate’s natural ability and willingness to learn. The selection process should ideally begin with attracting and engaging candidates who share the company's core values. Once selected, it is essential for managers to identify positions which are suitable to their prospective colleagues’ passion and skill set.

While it is vital to explore ways to streamline recruiting efforts across geographies, honoring the local culture and customs of prospects is of equal importance. Attractive internships and programs which provide individuals with quality practical experience and relevant training opportunities are yet another way of creating a stronger connection with young applicants. This will help them understand and appreciate what working in the industry entails.

Ensuring retention with evolved engagement

Several practices in the hospitality sector seem outdated to the active and new-age workforce and their well-defined expectations. Employees today expect regular and formal feedback, rapid career progression, and breadth of career experiences. Compared to previous generations, new-age employees demand to be heard and expect a faster career trajectory. Organizations need to focus on empowering their workforce to take charge of their careers. Assessments which gauge the personality and aptitude of individuals, alongside 360 degrees feedback can help employees in discovering their talents and identifying their areas of strength and improvement. 

Accepting and embracing the new age values and work culture

Engaged and motivated employees provide better customer service, which enhances guest loyalty and in return, the overall business. However, for work to be motivating, it has to be both meaningful and engaging. Meaningfulness refers to the larger purpose that connects employee growth to that of the organization. On the other hand, engagement means allowing colleagues to do what they do best; or in other words, providing them with enough challenges in their role, while at the same time helping them develop their skills and knowledge. 

Organizations in the hospitality industry should induce a strong sentiment of engagement amongst employees by assigning challenges that urge them to utilize the maximum potential of their skill sets. This process culminates into a highly encouraging environment for employees, allowing them to maintain a healthy attitude to work. Finally, organizations must also gain transparency and trust with their employees through measures that celebrate empathy, compassion, and understanding.  Another significant feature for attracting and retaining the new generation of employees is helping them nurture life outside of work. This helps in increasing productivity and motivation.

To sum it up, organizations need to help assimilate new employees into the organizational culture seamlessly and invest in them to retain them. While attrition continues to remain a significant challenge for the hospitality industry, the evolution of the human resources function is making huge headway in curbing high attrition and turnover rates. By continually fine-tuning HR initiatives and practices to meet the needs of the changing times and our workforce, we can develop a robust reputation for sustainable employability amongst competing industries.

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Topics: Talent Management, #GuestArticle

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