There are several global, decades-long trends at play here, for which COVID -19 wasn’t the cause but an accelerant. The industry is traditionally not very well paid. Working hours are often unsocial. There is a big gap between senior staff and the “normal” workforce, and at the property level it’s quite hierarchical.
According to BCG, employees who’ve left the industry also quit for reasons related to self-development, workplace climate, and work-life balance.
Many hospitality professionals who were furloughed or laid off during the pandemic also remain angry about how the sector treated them, according to a just-published study by researchers at the University of Houston
And as Larry Mogelonsky argues forcefully here “Hotels are guest-centric businesses and now we need to become employee-centric in order to drive team retention by providing a handful of incredible non-wage incentives”
What does this mean for the industry and for the world of hotel distribution in general? Well, this is a macro issue that affects us at all levels. At the executive level, leaders need an excellent understanding of technology-enabled efficiencies and talent management supported by a mix of technology-enabled rapid recruitment and retention models.
I can also see the structural silos of the traditional commercial organisation in sales, marketing and revenue management being shaken up to allow more team members to try their hand at areas they’re good at! Curiosity is the key…
Distribution education is hard to come by – just as with revenue management education 20 years ago. So, there is work to be done to attract new talent.