The 2020 pandemic forced the tourism industry to shut down and reduced international trips by one billion. Nonetheless, after two years, the sector’s recovery is on the rise, yet not still the same as in 2019. According to the European Aviation Assessment released by Eurocontrol in July 2022, “air travel in Europe was back to 87% of 2019 levels.” However, the post-COVID challenge is hiring the staff required to keep the tourism service going, but apparently, that is the new issue to overcome.
Why has it been so difficult for the tourism industry to recover? Which are the possible solutions? This and other questions will be unveiled in this article.
It’s time to rethink your hiring strategy.
There is no secret that the hospitality, tour, and travel industries used to suffer from a high staff rotation due to lower wages, increased working hours, unpaid overtime, and often weekend and night shifts.
During the pandemic, most workers felt uncovered and unprotected after being fired, forcing them to move forward and work in other industries. Therefore, many are unwilling to return to tourism after tasting better working conditions and higher salaries in other sectors.
- Evaluate your competitors’ wage and benefits packages within the industry and other sectors to offer a competitive salary package.
- Offer a retention bonus that encourages people to build a medium-long relationship with the company.
- Offer professionalization opportunities through regular training sessions for a company’s benefit.
- Engage your workers with the company’s culture and values to establish long-lasting relationships with those who match your organization.
Offer a win-win work environment.
Retaining best performing workers can be tricky, especially nowadays when other sectors blink in front of people’s eyes. Hence, the main challenge is building long and productive relationships that nurture our staff’s professional, personal, and emotional side while we keep or enhance our quality of service. Hence, devising a motivational strategy is a must, and for doing so, keep reading.
- Recognize their hard work, respect their needs, and offer them opportunities to grow.
- Recognize and encourage hard workers and let them transfer their knowledge by establishing an in-house training program led by your top achievers.
- Offer opportunities to develop their soft and hard skills, for example, by giving them access to online courses or flexible study programs.
- Encourage managers to know and get involved with the staff as part of an organizational recognition and commitment policy.
Let them have a healthy work-life balance.
Nowadays, a high salary is not enough to catch the attention of high-skilled and professional workers. Due to the pandemic, people are more aware of the importance of having a healthy work balance. But what can you do to ensure that balance for your staff?
- Re-evaluate your company structure and identify which positions can be eligible for implementing a home office or hybrid working option.
- Improve the communication and processes within the company and offer your staff resources to access information through automated tasks, communicate effectively and deal with the stress of providing face-to-face services.
Become in a dreamed workplace
In addition to all the previous aspects, creating an enjoyable and livable work environment is also a must for retaining your staff because it lets them feel valued, so you can consider the following treats for pampering them.
- Celebrate your staff and their milestone, so a birthday is always a great excuse to gather the whole team.
- Organize team-building parties or happy hours
- Negotiate with your partners within the industry to get treats or benefits for your workers, such as free tours, spa treatments, free dinners, or discounted trips, for example.
- Offer them resources to take care of their mental health and deal with the stress of their work by giving them counseling sessions and wellness treatments, for instance.
A bonus with more advice to consider.
Managing staff has become in this modern era as challenging as rewarding for both the recruiters that are looking for the most capable team and for people that are looking for the best place to work, where they can develop and grow professionally and personally. Hence, we’ll be naïve if we think that the last four pieces of advice will be enough to catch the attention of the best staff to guarantee a high quality of service. That’s why we give you these final aspects to consider.
- Hear consciously their needs
- Avoid micromanagement at all times.
- Build up a managerial strategy based on confidence
- Invest in preparing your leaders
- Prepare a memorable farewell to thank them for their time and hard work. In the end, they can become your best ambassadors.
Without a doubt, these pieces of advice are not the only ones, but certainly are some of the more challengings that require us to change our mindset as tourism business owners or decision-makers to hire and retain high-skilled workers that can help us offer an excellent service to our travelers, guests, or commensals.