A corporation, no matter how successful or prominent, is built on the foundation of its employees and can face devastating consequences if they’re not kept satisfied. As the travel industry slowly rebounds from stagnation caused by the pandemic, the challenges of recovery is higher than ever with one of the largest staff shortages it has ever encountered.
The Downward Spiral
The main cause for this shortage is due to dissatisfaction with salaries. With COVID- 19 as the backdrop, workers are now demanding higher pay and refusing to settle for the same salaries they had previous to the pandemic; pilots, for example, are seeing their pay increase by over 50%, while union workers in London’s Heathrow Airport were given an 8% pay rise after threatening to strike.
With that weighing down its budget, the industry is now unequipped with hiring a large number of employees and giving them sufficient benefits, which leads to further dissatisfaction among their workers. Employees now had to work more days, spend less time with families, or even have nowhere to sleep if the company oversold tickets or didn’t get them hotel rooms. Some workers are responding by going on strikes while others are exiting the airline or hospitality sector altogether, which worsens the issue and rolls the industry up in a never-ending loop of shortages.
Swissport, one of the leading corporations in ground handling, is a trademark example of this issue; with a need for 17,000 more workers, the company is struggling to return to its full service capacity of 65,000 workers in early 2020. Other companies such as IHG Hotels & Resorts are facing up to 25% staff shortage, and some are recruiting people who are completely new to the industry: Accor, for example, needs 35,000 new employees and are currently testing initiatives to train inexperienced workers. Customers feel the impact of shortages with cancelled flights and hectic hotels, all further decreasing the companies’ credibility and likeability among the public.
A few strategies stand out, then, as the best potential solutions to the current staff shortage challenge. For one, increasing presence of technology can significantly efficiency, from streamlining the hotel check-in process to automating communication and troubleshooting centers. On the other hand, implementing strategies such as competitive salaries and flexible work hours can attract potential employees on a much larger scale. Another widely supported solution is increasing the wellness benefits of employees in order to have better chances at retention; a positive work environment and closer-knit relationships between workers make them more likely to stay. Examples include developing management and career programs so employees can sharpen their skills for their particular job, creating a more welcoming workspace, or enacting digital tools to further simplify their day-to-day processes.
Jack & Ferdi has excellent resources specifically designated towards employee retention and making sure workers have exactly what they need to perform their jobs in the best environment possible.
More specifically, the J+F Web App is one of the best software available to increase employee efficiency and satisfaction; with personalized bleisure recommendations, health tips from professionals, and detailed information surrounding local activities or wellness, employees can greatly reduce their time on searching for guidance and have a better work experience with their tasks clarified to the essentials. The increase satisfaction and productivity will then stimulate positive impacts in retention and the long-term success of the company, with more stable workers and a healthy work environment.
In the case of employee shortages, corporations in the travelling industry should examine current mechanisms of salaries, benefits, and wellness for their workers. Consequently, improving these conditions and providing employees with the necessary technological tools they need to maximize efficiency might be the answer to better satisfaction and employee retention.