In a tight market, people make the difference

As the world grapples with the flow-on effects of lockdowns and the spread of the coronavirus, smart businesses should prepare to use their best asset — their people — to bounce back stronger, writes Planday’s industry expert Oskar Karlsson.

When writing the word crisis in Chinese, there are two characters: one for danger and one for opportunity. As the outbreak of COVID-19 challenges the way we work and interact, we understand that once we move past the initial dangerous period, new opportunities will present themselves.

Once the situation improves, consumers will be even more discerning about where they choose to go, and outstanding customer experiences — delivered by the best asset in your business — will be what sets you apart from your competitors.

So to help our customers get a better understanding of what their staff expect, and how to keep them happy, we partnered with our friends at the HRC Show to undertake the UK’s largest hospitality worker survey. We spoke to 1,822 people from around the UK, across all parts of the hospitality sector, with more than half of them having worked in the industry for more than a decade.

Based on their feedback, here are my three key tips to make the most of your best asset now so your business can bounce back stronger.

  1. Pay people properly

More than ever, the impact of shift cancellations means those who work in shift-based industries like yours are struggling to get by. You can’t work behind the bar, give customers a memorable experience or make a Michelin Star meal for hundreds of people from home.

For 70% of those we surveyed a “fair salary” is the most important factor at work. Paying people properly not only means abiding by the minimum wage, it’s a smart investment on your part to reward and incentivise above it for the people who make your business work.

2. Invest in training and development

The world’s best chefs, concierges and sommeliers didn’t get there by chance and nor will your staff grow and develop without your ongoing investment in making them better at their jobs.

50% of the hospitality workers we spoke to think more training and development is important and will help them grow their careers — and your business — along with it.

3. Flexibility is your friend

With more demands on people’s time through multiple shift-based jobs, family commitments or study, it’s not surprising that 41% of those we spoke to think flexibility is something businesses like yours should embrace more. A recent HSBC study shows 89% of workers think flexible working can motivate them to be more productive.

Flexibility is more than a buzzword — it’s a smart business decision that can keep your staff motivated and more likely to grow your business for longer as we all come together to help business get through and bounce back from COVID-19.

What does this mean for you?

Smart operators must change the way they work to keep good staff for longer by understanding that better customer experiences go hand in hand with better staff experiences. You can’t have a good business without good staff. In order to bounce back stronger, people will be your best investment.

To learn more and get a deeper look at the UK’s biggest hospitality survey, get in touch with the Planday team today.