Already Missed It; Hotels Facing a Severe
Shortage of Reliable Workers
Is there a bigger challenge than designing the Guest Room of the Future, building the most extraordinary mixed-use resort facility, identifying the dining trends of the rich and famous or creating the next terrifying yet exhilarating theme park ride? Might we posit, there is.
Who, in five years will deliver on your Brand promises, for Hospitality, in particular, and all businesses will be facing a most severe shortage of labor and certainly talent. In large part due to the aging of the workforce, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a shortfall of 10 million workers in the US in 2010. Western Europe will experience a more dramatic deficit. We are already relying on skilled labor from developing countries, such as India and China. The Hospitality Industry does not have the option to move operations offshore or to outsource service. We, just like our colleagues in Health Care and others in the semi and non-skilled arenas, are stuck here, all competing for that rare commodity – reliable labor.
We have not paid close attention or merely accepted long ago a bogus management imperative. We in Hospitality live with a turnover rate of 100%; we spend a mere pittance on training and development. We fight for minimum wage status and minimal benefits, if any. In short, we will be short, and that does not even indulge that spectre of Immigration, which globally has already created massive concerns, social and economic. So, expect significant restrictions and constriction within the labor force. To be candid, enforcement of current Immigration laws would close the doors of many light manufacturers, agriculture, and, you know it, some of your colleagues. Also, keep in mind the general profile of our employees: primarily female, immigrant, not highly educated, and pronounced disenfranchised by many, certainly prime prospects for Organized Labor, whose presence shall become more prominent, because we have not been doing our job. We have effectively neglected the greatest threat to our competitiveness – the dwindling Labor Pool, and we have been averse to take a leadership role as an industry, even as a business. The acquiescence is a shame!
The numbers usually get some attention, spurring some to action, or at least discussion:
Let’s talk Strategic Manpower Planning!
What are your plans?
There will be “Wars for Talent”, and you must adapt your philosophies to retain older workers and attract new talent. Those who win the battles will be those wrested in progressive workforce development strategies. You do not have to be a huge corporation to make ready, but you will need to target your workforce and maximize your human capital. We know this argument is unpleasant for many in a labor intensive business, but this is the reality. Choose or close!
Our Template for this mandated change in direction, philosophy and operation is the following, at minimum:
So, what will the Workplace of the Future look like? As we know from above, the term Future is relative.
About the authors:
Brecca Loh is an advocate of promoting "Human Capital" as one of the strongest assets of any organization. Please learn more on www.cobaltsp.com
John R. Hendrie believes that Remarkable Hospitality is the portal to the Memorable Experience. Review the resources on: www.hospitalityperformance.com
|Also See:||Hotel Industry Leaders Urge Senate to Pass Historic Immigration Bill; Hoteliers Seek Adequate Guest Worker Program with a Fast and Reliable Employment Verification System / May 2006|
|Seasonal Worker Visas Capped Restricting Young Employees from Jamaica, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic From Taking Summer Positions at New England Resorts / April 2004|