March FOCUS: Hotel Human Resources

March, 2023

Hotel Human Resources: The Great Resignation

Hotels have always struggled with the task of attracting and retaining qualified employees. At any given moment, hotels are consistently understaffed which makes providing quality guest services a persistent challenge. Additionally, as a consequence of the pandemic, there has been a mass exodus of workers who left their employers and haven't returned. This phenomenon has become known as the Great Resignation. In one month alone last year, over 900,000 employees left hospitality jobs, affecting all areas of operations including frontline workers,  restaurant and housekeeping staff, and hotel management. To overcome these challenges, Human Resource departments are implementing a variety of solutions. First, they are reassessing their wage and benefits guidelines in an effort to become more competitive. They are also leveraging digital technology to attract and retain talent, and to improve the employee experience. The goal is to centralize communications, enhance employee engagement, empower independent decision-making, and expand educational opportunities. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these critical employment issues in their respective departments.  

This month's feature articles...

Geri Williams-Fitts

Highgate's "People First" philosophy has led to some of the highest retention and lowest turnover rates in the industry. Chief People Officer Geri Williams-Fitts shares three core tenets that can help hospitality companies refocus their priorities to future-proof and advance the hospitality industry as a whole. READ MORE

Frank Speranza

If you are left scratching your head as a result of the demand for talent and the short supply of it on this side of the Covid pandemic, this article is for you. What are the key factors that will help you survive in these tough times and be able to gain your fair share of the available leadership talent base? Read on to find out! READ MORE

Mia A. Mackman

Lessons of history and innovation anchor the premise of this article. As the hospitality market struggles with ongoing staffing and labor challenges, the terms of service have changed dramatically. This article highlights patterns of transformation and the urgency for brave-hearted organizational innovation. Not only are employees seeking versatility and flexibility, but many people are also seeking significant improvements and changes to their quality of life. READ MORE

Susan Sanders

While the hotel industry has long since passed COVID-19 fatigue, there have been some incredibly powerful lessons to come out of the pandemic. From the talent perspective, we have to be innovative, proactive, and empathetic in order to succeed. By focusing on talent retention, talent acquisition, and talent development, hotel companies can position themselves for post-pandemic success. READ MORE

Ann Christenson

In response to the pressures of the Great Resignation, human resources professionals, hotel owners, operators, and even professional organizations are coming up with inventive new ideas, practices, and creative ways to effectively change the hospitality game when it comes to strategies such as employee experience and engagement, talent recruitment and retention. READ MORE

Rohith Kori

There is a world of difference between service and hospitality. Having staff capable of delivering guest hospitality is critical to zero disappointment guest stays that earn five-star reviews. Management focused on hospitality must provide staff with the training and tools necessary to exceed guest expectations. This High Return Hospitality not only benefits guests, but also elevates staff experiences leading to fulfilled staff with a higher intent to stay. With staff shortages across the industry, a property's ability to attract and retain high-performing staff is critical to providing exceptional experiences that delight guests. READ MORE

Amanda Gray

The global labor shortage has continued to create challenges at every level of the hospitality industry and hotel operations. As a result of the ongoing talent shortage, hotel owners and operators have had to find creative solutions to recruit and retain employees. Continuing to adapt and adjust to this changing landscape is every company's best way forward. READ MORE

Mark Alvarez

Labor, its availability, costs and productivity, are essential factors that significantly impact operating expenses and a hotel's return on investment. After the challenges of the pandemic, now is the time to stop talking so much about labor and, instead, do something about it. This means building one's staff of the future through training, mentorship and a positive organizational culture. READ MORE

Aimee Mangold

The Great Resignation refers to a growing trend in the United States that was witnessed after the impact of COVID-19. The phenomenon entailed many workers quitting their jobs to reassess their lifestyles in the wake of COVID-19. Many industries were affected by COVID-19, and the hospitality industry was among those adversely affected. As companies are still recovering from the impact, this article will address what was great about the Great Resignation. READ MORE

Nicole Dehler

Although travel demand has increased, hoteliers are still experiencing a protracted labor crisis, complete with simultaneous labor shortages, high turnover, and increased labor costs. Fortunately, technology can help. This article will explore how mobile platforms can boost team productivity through automation, mitigate the negative effects of high turnover, and increase ancillary revenue generation to accommodate higher wages and benefits. READ MORE

Alan S. Gregerman

Finding, keeping, and inspiring the best people is even more challenging in our post-pandemic world. Talented people have more choices than ever given the possibilities afforded by technology and remote work. While travel and hospitality is compelling, we need to take a new and more innovative look at what it really means to connect with and unlock the genius in all of our people. To do this we must be even more dedicated to helping everyone to belong, learn, grow, make a difference, have fun together, and achieve some degree of work-life balance - as they deliver compelling value to our guests. READ MORE

Cara Silletto

If you are finding that people are frequently quitting after day one, week one, or month one, it's time to reexamine your onboarding approach. So much of a company's problem with high employee turnover can be alleviated in the early stages if we create a better new-hire experience for team members. But how can you make the days after day one count? READ MORE

Joyce Gioia

The Hospitality Industry on land - and sea - is in the process of rebuilding from COVID as well as The Great Resignation. It may take years to return to full staffing. In the meantime, service suffers, employees struggle, and leaders feel frustrated. This article will provide you with insights and suggestions including what has already worked for hospitality professionals both in the US and globally to help them recruit, engage, and retain the talented people they need to serve guests and drive profit. READ MORE

Cynthia Schuler

Although millions of Americans have left their workplace since April of 2021, and the hotel industry remains one of the hardest hit industries, "The Great Resignation" has presented opportunities. Senior leaders in the hotel industry should use "The Great Resignation" as an opportunity to take advantage of creating or rebuilding healthy organizational cultures to attract and retain employees. READ MORE

Arte Nathan

Everybody's talking about the Great Resignation as if the causes are a surprise. While there are many, I believe a big one is that employees don't know their purpose or how it fits into their company's plans. This article suggests that better communications and participation in your company's plans will inspire them to be more connected and less likely to leave. READ MORE

Cleo Clarke

To fill job vacancies left in the wake of the pandemic and "Great Resignation" and keep hotels fully staffed, hospitality HR professionals must think differently about recruiting and retention while helping property managers cultivate teamwork and a positive workplace culture. Along the way, HR professionals can help restore the industry's passion and heart for serving others. READ MORE

Robert  O'Halloran

The hospitality industry was hit hard during the pandemic on all fronts, including human resources. It is no secret that industry and its lodging, food service, meeting and events sectors continue to be challenged with identifying, recruiting and retaining employee candidates in the hospitality workforce. The "Great Resignation," as it is referred to, has caused organizations and their HR units to rethink the HR processes. This article will discuss current HR issues, offer suggestions and recommendations for HR practices and operations in industry working as "Academies of Learning". READ MORE

Merrick Dresnin

The Great Resignation – no one wants hospitality work and current employees want to leave. Less experienced candidates are demanding more money, more flexibility and weighing you against your competition. How do we successfully attract and retain in this environment? Know thyself! Understanding who you are as an organization will allow you to attract and retain people in any challenging period. READ MORE

Coming up in April 2023...

Guest Service: Exceeding Expectations

When guests check into a hotel, they have expectations of quality customer service. They expect to have their needs met in a professional manner, they desire a certain level of comfort, and possibly even made to feel a little special. This is important because satisfied guests are more likely to return and to become true brand ambassadors. But what if instead of merely meeting expectations, hotels created a culture of service that was intent on exceeding expectations in every conceivable way? What if frontline staff were trained and empowered to provide guest services that demonstrate a willingness to always go the extra mile in order to please their guests? This culture is exactly what some hotels are creating in their operations. From helpful, smiling, welcoming staff to the quality of  a room's comfort and conveniences. From discovering a guest's special needs and enthusiastically fulfilling them, to making some amenities free of charge and offering random upgrades. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to enhance and enrich their guest services.