Guest blog from Simon Tarr, chief executive, People 1st
Lost productivity is costing the hospitality industry a huge amount – not only in monetary terms, but also staff turnover and people hours. In this SiteMinder guest blog, Simon Tarr, chief executive for workforce development charity People 1st, looks at how you can improve productivity at your hotel…
Here at People 1st, we recently released an eye-opening report showing just how big the hospitality industry’s productivity challenge really is.
Our research found that by improving productivity just 1%, the hospitality and tourism industry could contribute an additional £1.43 billion to the UK economy. One alarming statistic reveals that 870,000 of the 993,000 new staff needed over the next seven years will simply replace existing employees – creating a ‘revolving door’ culture.
It’s easy to view these significant figures as a broader industry problem, and it can be tricky putting them into perspective when it comes to running your own hotel.
So how can you tackle your hotel’s productivity problem and improve the way you operate? Some of the feedback coming through from our initial research and consultation suggests there are several ways employers in our industry can begin to boost productivity.
Motivate and value your employees
It’s advice that business owners have heard time and time again. But the key to staff retention is working hard to truly value and motivate your staff. Many employees will look for new roles when they believe there is no further growth in their current job. Ensure your hotel’s employees are engaged and feel connected to your hotel. By making staff retention a priority at your property, you’ll improve the guest experience and your productivity. After all, the UK hospitality industry will need 164,000 replacement managers by 2020 – how will you demonstrate that opportunities are available at your hotel?
Look beyond young workers…
Maternity returners and older workers are two key groups that offer an alternative to employees who are only available in peak seasons, for example, the summer holidays. These groups often need flexible working hours and are well-suited to the hospitality industry and its trading times. Consider creating job share opportunities within your hotel and be open to more flexible options.
…but don’t completely ignore the young ones
Apprentices provide a great return on investment for employers. They develop skills in a way that promotes commitment to your hotel and encourages apprentices to consider a long career path in hospitality. Figures show that apprentices in hospitality can improve your bottom line by £5,200 each. Research also shows 80% of businesses that employ apprentices say they make the organisation collectively more productive, and 92% believe they have seen an improvement in staff retention.
Assess the skills among your hotel’s workforce
Benchmarking and reviewing the skills that exist within your hotel’s current workforce is a great way to establish where the gaps lie in your team. It also helps you figure out how to make better and faster gains. People 1st can help in many ways with these types of assessments and a good place to start is our 360 degree appraisals.
Alternatively we can help with training needs assessments. It’s important to think about the skills of your workforce – 5% of hospitality employers believe their managers lack the skills the business needs. That figure might not seem a lot at first glance, but it’s 2% higher than the average across the UK economy.
Use hotel technology to free up your time
Raising productivity levels takes time and a commitment of your team’s resources. And in our fast-paced industry that might feel like a tall order thanks to the high demands of your hotel’s day-to-day operations. Technology that alleviates elements of process saving you valuable time is a crucial tactic for winning back vital man hours. Emerging technology is seen as a key driver for growth according to 11% of hospitality employers, so it’s important to consider how it can help you refocus on staff growth and retention.
People 1st is continuing its research into this issue and would love to hear from hotels that have implemented solutions to help tackle their staff turnover and productivity challenges, so that they can share solutions with the whole sector. To get in touch contact firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @p1stgroup