There are plenty of issues that comes with labor in the hotel industry right now, so make sure the people you do have know they are appreciated.
One was a more comprehensive look at how tight labor conditions—i.e. low unemployment—are making staffing more difficult. The other, which I wrote, keyed in on the discipline of revenue management and how the hotel industry isn’t pushing hard enough to get the best talent in that arena, according to experts.
Both of those stories had a shared unifying theme: The hotel industry is facing steep competition for talent from other industries.
So, on the heels of Thanksgiving and heading into Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays wrapping up the year, this should serve as a reminder to hoteliers to value your people. The hotel industry is a remarkably complicated business with an incredible amount of moving parts at all times and at all levels, and the only thing that’s keeping it (both collectively and on an individual property level) from descending into complete chaos on a day-to-day basis is the unrelenting hard work of countless people of different backgrounds and disciplines.
It’s likely that you, as a business person with a full plate, don’t take a significant amount of time out of your day to reflect on that fact or to pay homage to those you work with that keep your life from devolving into insanity. But in the spirit of the season, I’d suggest that we all do exactly that.
This might seem like a bit of a silly exercise, but I think it can be an important one, especially at a moment like we’re at right now.
Like I mentioned earlier, the hotel industry, along with the larger U.S. economy, is at a point where labor conditions can be difficult. That can make it easier to revert to a mindset where you don’t think of people as much as you think about their positions and the salaries they command.
While it’s definitely true that labor is growing increasingly expensive and it behooves all smart business people to do what they can to stay on top of that and maintain the profitability of their businesses, it is also the time for goodwill among all people as well. So devoting some time and energy into making a conscious effort to recognize your employees as not just cogs in a machine or numbers in a spreadsheet could go a long way for both you and them.
Efforts to show they’re valued and appreciated are key, especially around this time of year when they’re looking for a human connection and taking stock of the year that has passed. That validation can come in the form of some sort of monetary compensation like a bonus (believe me, I’m never going to argue against paying your people more when you can), but I think it’s equally important that it also come in the form of you trying to make an honest, human connection with them to let them know you recognize them as fully formed human beings with hopes, aspirations, challenges and frustrations of their own.
We live in a crazy world right now where people look for any excuse they can to reduce others to something they can easily deride and dismiss. Showing your people you’re willing to put in the effort to do the exact opposite could do a lot in terms of maintaining their mental and emotional wellbeing, along with boosting their desire to stay on with your company or property.
A little appreciation can go a long way.
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