An employee app is the missing piece to the talent crisis– currently aggravated by Omicron – and it is something that can help hoteliers retain talent in the long run
By Andrada Paraschiv
2022 is well underway but attracting job seekers to fill vacant hospitality positions is getting more difficult by the day. Those previously employed have moved on, either because they lost confidence in their employer, or they opted to work in less demanding environments. With employment priorities changing and people rethinking their options, research shows that former hospitality workers do not plan to return.
A recent survey polling 30,000+ job seekers found that “many are avoiding work in the restaurant, bar, and hotel industry and nothing can change their minds.” Sixty-nine percent said, “nothing could make them want to work in the hospitality industry (even with higher pay and creative incentives). The labor shortage of 2021 has now turned into the Great Rehire and Resignation Crisis of 2022, and to emerge from this with new talent eager to embrace hospitality, hoteliers must act swiftly, in ways that are different from the past. The focus should be on enhancing the end-to-end employee experience and technology can help here.
Before hard-working HR executives can even hope to attract new talent, they should understand what is important to the talent. They don’t mind working hard, but they want to feel part of the success and be recognized for their loyalty. Most people come to work wanting to do a good job and so they want to know that their employer has their back and gives them the training and tools needed for that. The only way to rebuild the hospitality workforce in a sustainable manner — avoiding staff burnout and lesser training — is to work differently. Technology is complementing the human aspect, and digitalizing enterprise communication is proving to make a big difference in the onboarding and retention process. By giving employees real-time digital communication and collaboration tools that they are already familiar with — such as mobile apps they comfortably use in their daily lives and hope to leverage at work to make their jobs easier and tasks more efficient — hotels and restaurants are empowering their people to become effective and integral members of the organization.
Digitalizing employee communication and collaboration does two important things: 1) It gives employees a voice and connects them to the company and its core values; having a culture that employees believe in builds retention, and 2) It gives employees the information they need to do their jobs, such as managing an in-house group via a chat group with all relevant parties. This type of digital communication facilitates better coordination of tasks between workers and departments. In the end, guest satisfaction and operational efficiencies soar.
Here are eight ways digitalizing employee communications and collaboration can help hotels and restaurants tackle the Great Rehire and Resignation Crisis:
- It Adds Differentiation — Flexible hours and signing bonuses are nice, but digitalization is critical. According to PWC, 59% of Millennials say that employer-provisioned, state-of-the-art technology was important to them when considering a job. It’s all about being connected to the entire organization and giving employees a platform where their voices are heard.
- It Incentivizes Internal Referrals — A great way to promote open jobs within an organization is to ask associates for referrals. Asking loyal workers to recommend a friend or family member is the most desired way to fill that opening.
- It Complements In-Person Onboarding — Technology ensures that onboarding is completed in a consistent and efficient way, and that is critical to organizations that need to onboard thousands of employees. Getting administrative tasks out of the way digitally — before an employee’s first day on the job and when they are eager to learn and engage — is key to a frictionless employee experience.
- It Provides Consistent Training and Retraining — If an employee fails to remember how to do a new task, posting a quick video as a reference can save time and effort. The more visual tools provided to all employees remove any doubt as to how to properly complete a task and maintain brand standards, without having to involve a manager’s help
- It Keeps the Masses Informed and Engaged — Imagine you have an important announcement to send out to all employees regardless of shift or location. With a digital platform, management writes the message and then pushes a button. That’s it. Instantly, management can see who received the message, opened it, read it, and even acted on it.
- It Provides a Great Forum for Employee Recognition and Rewards — Being able to recognize team members in real time and reward them in front of their peers is powerful when it comes to retention. Whether it is birthdays or after a wow moment with a guest, acknowledging a job well done gives employees the feeling that this organization cares about them and they are valued.
- It Promotes Wellness — Operators wanting to keep the valued and trusted talent they already have for the long run, must ensure that they do not burn out, move to the competition, or migrate to a different industry altogether. Technology removes friction, which reduces unnecessary stress, at the same time engaging the employees into the benefits and wellness initiatives.
- It Supports COVID Compliance — It’s already difficult dealing with an unprecedented hiring and resignation crisis. Add to that the need to take care of administering daily health questionnaires or complying with a potential vaccine mandate. The same tool that facilitates employee communication and collaboration will enable hoteliers and restaurateurs to track who is vaccinated and who is not and collect weekly test results. There is no need to buy another tool to manage the process and expect employees to get familiar with it. It’s one stop for complete COVID compliance.
By shifting focus to the employee experience and equipping the hospitality workforce with digital tools that are easy to implement, require no training from end users, and can be rolled out quickly and cost effectively, operators can tackle the Great Rehire and Resignation Crisis more efficiently.