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ON THE LEFT: Don’t skimp on staff development

Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association

ON THE LEFT: Don’t skimp on staff development

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How key is training to the success of the tourism sector?

One of the key factors of any business, particularly those in the hospitality and tourism industry, is human resource management.

A hotel’s staff is inextricably linked to its success and profitability. Unfortunately, according to the International Society of Hospitality Consultants, labour and skills shortages are among the top ten challenges faced by the industry.

The report identifies a lack of focus on employee satisfaction and training as major factors influencing this challenge.

What motivates an employee? The answer is not always obvious and it is not always directly related to compensation. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, these are the top ten most influential factors which contribute to job satisfaction and lower turnover (in order of importance): respectful treatment of all employees at all levels, compensation/pay, benefits, job security, trust between employees and management, opportunities to use your skills and abilities at work, financial stability of the company, relationship with immediate supervisor, feeling safe in your work environment, and receptivity by employer to your ideas.

The hospitality industry is notorious for the high turnover rate of employees.

You Are Hired. Now What?

Continual professional development for all employees regardless of the size of the company helps maintain service standards and positions staff and employer for continued success.

Not every hotel is in the financial position to offer continuous educational opportunities. That is why partnering with local companies, schools, associations and vendors can also enhance training opportunities.

The most significant source of future leaders are line level employees or people moving into the hospitality industry from others.

This means that training programmes and on the job training are key to developing managers with technical and leadership skills that will contribute to the success of the organisation.

Mentoring seems to be of particular importance when hiring millennials. Bud Nolan, in his article Making Millennial Mentoring Actually Work, noted that good mentorship is now coming to the forefront as more and more millennials reach a point in their 20-something lives where they have to choose a career and stick to it.

Sharing the experiences that your professional staff with years of experience have garnered, will make your hotel that much stronger and consistent. By mentoring, you are in fact cloning your operating philosophy and your system of shortcuts to success.

Good mentoring programmes attract the best candidates for a job, reduce turnover of quality talent, help employees achieve their optimum potential and productivity, assure a smooth transfer of leadership from one generation to the next, and encourage communication up and down the organisational hierarchy. One of the most surprising results may be improved retention among your entry level managers and the line staff that works for them. What better assets could a hotel have than high employee retention with outstanding job skills and great loyalty?