The biggest issue our industry has faced in recent years, faces now, and will face for many years to come is the issue of people and skills shortages. The volume of people needed, with the skills and experience to match vacancies is simply not available. So, what can businesses do?
The issue of people and skills gaps across our industry as a whole and as individual businesses of course varies enormously.
The nature of our business, H&C News, is to facilitate communication and in so doing we get to meet, speak and communicate with a wide cross section of our industry.
People and skills shortages and human resources are subjects that we discuss enthusiastically, and as such we try to gauge which businesses are coping with these issues most effectively.
Leading by example
When we meet people in our industry, both formally where it may be an interview for instance, and informally at industry events, the example they set with their colleagues often says as much if not more than they vocalise. Their colleagues also say much through how they engage with them.
Where we see the least impact from people and skills shortages, we also see leadership by example, leadership that recognises the team of people working alongside them as their most valuable asset and treating them accordingly.
The result of this is unsurprising, fewer people leave the business and as such a lesser need to bring in new people to replace them is enjoyed. Businesses that enjoy high levels of staff retention also grow and that requires new people. New people gravitate to working at these businesses as their reputation as good employers travels, so the policy of treating team members well benefits recruitment also.
It is also interesting to see that many of the people we refer to here, leading by example within their businesses, are visible within the wider industry as they are often passionate about the industry as a whole and contribute to it. We are intentionally not naming names but as you read, we are sure many will come to mind. The good guys and girls, those that give back to an industry they see as having been good to them.
You get back what you put in
You get a few grey hairs when you have earned them, life experience grows with time and hopefully teaches us all as we go along. One lesson that is hard to avoid, or easier to understand as time marches by being, we all pretty much get back what we put in.
Having invested time in people, giving them an opportunity, training and developing them is in most situations repaid through loyalty. It’s an ongoing two way process, not always perfectly balanced as that would be too easy, a risk and reward equation that in the fullness of time generally balances out.
So, what is available from these musings?
There are live case studies all over our industry where we can all see that hospitality leaders are setting an example. These examples can be followed, if we have the humility to do so, and they can reduce the impact of people and skills shortages in hospitality.
The more business leaders that set such an example the greater the overall effect is in hospitality being an industry people aspire to work in. It’s a collective responsibility and benefit.