America's hospitality industry is suffering one of the worst staffing crises in history, and there seems to be no end in sight. During the pandemic, 3.5 million Americans left the workforce to find more independent means. And of that 3.5 million, one-third of them came from the hospitality industry.
When the grand re-opening of our economy really began to take hold – there were no staff members available to serve diners or assist guests. For the most part, those staff members still haven’t returned. And the few who are willing to work in the hospitality industry have zero prior experience working in what can often be a fun, rewarding and chaotic (read: stressful) environment. This can often lead to a very high turnover rate with new employees quitting before their first week is up.
One way hoteliers and restauranteurs can prevent this high rate of turn over is to adapt their training processes - specifically when it comes to onboarding new employees.
Traditional digital learning generally consists of poorly designed PDF handbooks or in-house training videos, similar to self-paced learning, and has a failure rate of 50%. Instead, hospitality brands can work closely with companies that specialize in immersive tech and HR onboarding processes. It's been proven that human beings learn better when genuinely immersed in an activity or learning environment.
Imagine telling an employee that they can "enter" the restaurant and simulate the customer service process prior to showing up for their first shift, so that they can get a feel for what it's like. How is this possible? Companies specializing in creating these immersive training modules simply scan the workplace with 360 degree cameras, consult with owners/manager on the day-to-day processes, and then create an entire module system for future and current staff members to train on.
By offering these modules to staff craving more interesting training opportunities, hospitality and tourism owners can create immersive experiences tailored to their specific environment so their employees can understand the basics before dealing with customers face to face.
Owners and managers can alleviate stress and pressure off new hires and existing staff by allowing them space to run through the basics of the hotel or restaurant environment comfortably.
Learning where the cutlery goes, how to operate the POS, or how the tables are numbered might seem simple to a veteran employee, but they make a huge difference for new hires to learn before their first shift. This kind of training before can also boost employee relationships, and help build a tighter team with less tension and stress.
All in all, hospitality and tourism owners can tackle the great resignation by offering a comfortable learning environment for newcomers and existing staff yearning for more training, which is specially tailored to a real-life work service on the floor with customers at your establishment.
The numbers aren't showing signs of change anytime soon. Adapting to a modern approach shows you're an employer worthy of a shot and an employer willing to change for the better.
If you're struggling to maintain or retain staff, look towards implementing workplace simulations to gain a further opportunity to connect more in-depth with the current employment market in the state it's in.