Future planning is important in any industry, but with youth unemployment at an all-time high, and accommodation having one of the highest employee turnovers of any industry, it’s important for hotels to consider who will be managing and working in the hotels of the future – and how to train, support and retain them.
How to prepare
Here are just a few ways you could consider recruiting, supporting, training and retaining young staff members:
- Offer apprenticeships where appropriate. While a number of hotel or food service positions don’t require formal training or qualifications, apprenticeships are an option for some roles. Consider offering apprenticeships to kitchen staff, or having a management cadet program for those seeking management experience. Internships are another great way to give young workers a taste of the industry.
- Offer training for unskilled positions. Just because a position doesn’t require a qualification or training doesn’t mean it’s not helpful. Training is an integral part of not only welcoming a staff member to the team, and settling them into a new workplace environment, but also in assisting them to perform to the best of their ability for the benefit of your hotel. Training can get a bad wrap, and a reputation for being boring – so ensure that it’s interactive, empowering and motivational for trainees.
- Set employment standards and stick to them. Staff retention comes down to a number of factors, with one such factor being the employment of suitably skilled staff members. Due to limited transferability of some skill sets, or lack of employee options, accommodation and food service providers often settle for an employee with a skillset that is not ideally suited to a position. While this is necessary in some cases, ensure that you set and keep employment standards for important positions. For example, if you require an apprenticeship-trained chef, don’t settle for someone who has completed a string of short courses in lieu of a full qualification.
- Offer mentoring to new staff members. Mentoring is a cheap and efficient way of checking in with new or young staff members and ensuring they are coping in the workplace. Ensure you provide them with a safe space to express any concerns, ask questions, or provide feedback on their position.
- Value wellbeing. According to a Year 13 and YouthSense report, it’s important for youth to enjoy their chosen job or field, and to feel supported in it. The study states that one 18-year-old female said: “People aren’t going to support you as much as they did in school. Employers are generally cold and apathetic and don’t cater to those with mental illness.” Retaining staff, and having staff who are willing and excited to participate in staff training and development exercises, comes down to employees’ job satisfaction. By valuing employees physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace, they are likely to feel more valued as members of staff.
How do you ensure you’re recruiting, training and retaining young staff to the best of your ability? Tell us in the comments below.