The role of human resource management is often understated in businesses. But, if the business wishes to hire and retain good employees, an efficient human resources department is necessary. HR support is a crucial part of the hospitality industry as it thrives on its customer service as part of its unique selling propositions.
The hospitality sector is dependent on its employees as a source of competitive advantage. The quality of customer service in the hospitality industry and the approachability of the employees have a direct impact on its success. Hence, the importance of human resources in the hospitality industry is high. HR manages the employees and keeps up their productivity. They try to hire and retain the best ones. As it is clearly said, a happy employee ensures a happy customer.
HR Challenges In The Hospitality Industry
Here we will talk about six major HR challenges in the hospitality industry.
1. Staff Attrition
Attrition is the term for a scenario when a staff member leaves and their position is unfilled. Hence, the hospitality sector has several unfilled vacancies. It affects customer service because of lower responsiveness and a shortage of expected services. In the hospitality industry, employees are the face of the company. In the state attrition, the customers do not get the promised service. It creates a challenge for HR to hire new talents immediately. The staff attrition is because of lower growth opportunities, inefficient communication, hazy job expectations, etc. Because the hospitality industry works on a seasonal basis, and because of this reason, employment is also seasonal.
2. Retain Qualified Talent
The expense of just labour accounts for 40% of the hospitality industry. It creates a new challenge for HR in terms of retaining qualified talent in the business.There are two issues because of which retaining staff is difficult in the hospitality industry. The first is that the maximum number of employees in the hospitality industry is students, part-time workers, or seasonal staff. They have not been there for a long time. Hence, retaining them is difficult. Secondly, the high-skilled employees have lower wages, and hence, they leave for a higher salary at places where they can apply their skills.
3. Training And Development
A reason for the higher percentage of attrition in the hospitality industry is lack of development. The employees are not shown a clear path of growth. There is even a broken thread of proper training programmes in the industry. This results in the growth of business as the inexperienced employee base acts as an obstruction. The lower retention percentage has forced the management to put ill experienced employees in a critical situation. This in turn affects customer satisfaction and the overall organization. HR also faces another challenge with the implementation of training programs. Soft skills like critical thinking, communication skills, and cultural competency. The employees can grow through training programmes to develop these skills.
4. Satisfaction & Morale
Another one of the HR challenges in the hospitality industry, is keeping employee morale high. As also stated above, in the hospitality industry if the employees are happy and professional, the graph of customer service is also high. In the present times of pandemic as well, maintaining the morale of the employees is important. The pandemic has not spared anyone, and the hospitality industry is one of the worst affected. The lower morale might be a reason for work stress, unskilled labor, lack of training, lower wages, or lackluster rewards. The hospitality staff consider themselves underutilized. This is an alarm for the management to work towards the satisfaction and boosting the morale of the employees.
5. Culture & Ethics
One of the most critical HR issues in the hospitality industry is maintaining a healthy and ethical work culture. Unethical business practices can ruin your brand image, future viability, and employment. The unhealthy work culture has a direct impact on employee satisfaction, which in turn affects customer service. The hospitality industry is said to have the most workplace harassment cases. These harassment cases are due to an unskilled workforce, job stress, unclear work expectations, and low salary. This is a result of a lack of care and support for the workforce. HR is expected to improve an unhealthy work culture and to tackle unethical practices for better industry growth.
6. Shifting To Remote Work
The pandemic has certainly increased the HR challenges in the hospitality industry. While other industries and institutions could adopt a virtual mode, hospitality experienced lower occupancy. It is hard for hospitality employees to work remotely, even if their role is flexible. HR has to take care of shifting the mode of work to remote without affecting the productivity of the employees. They need to keep employees well equipped and might also introduce the newer technological tool. Keeping the communication effective is another challenge. In remote working, the employees can’t interact face-to-face. Hence, more communication is required.
HR Practices in Hospitality Industry
The hospitality industry is one with the most multicultural and diverse workforce. This diversity, if not maintained, can affect the productivity of employees, which lowers the customer service performance. Hence, it all affects the development of the industry. After all, the growth and profits of the industry are dependent on the efforts of its employees. The HR practices in the hospitality industry go around taking care of the employees. They ensure high performances, cultural development, and staff satisfaction to achieve top-notch customer service for the company.
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The HR practices in the hospitality industry include creative turns at every step. It mainly works on hiring and retaining the best of talents in the industry. They take steps like developing the internal talent pool with leadership skills. Instead of external hiring, they introduce training programs for the working employees themselves so that they take up the responsibility whenever required. They try to eliminate information silos to maintain open and effective communication within the organization. The HR practices work towards increasing the customer value systems for better service to the customers. They take up different strategies like goal alignment and transforming at every stage for better performance of the employees, and ultimately of the business.
The growth of the hospitality industry depends on the reviews of its customers. The HR issues in hospitality are highly challenging. The HR managers have to face umpteen challenges to keep up the employee productivity and satisfaction. The practices are ideal in theory, but have to tackle many obstacles during implementation. How human resources face these challenges ultimately determines the development of the industry.