Sustainability Gives Hotels An Edge In The War For Talent. Or Does It?
— 12 experts shared their view
The hospitality industry has long been suffering from failing to attract and bind talent. The labour turnover rate is shocking: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospitality employees quit their job two to three times more often compared to other industries. Researchers have painted a similar picture with employee turnover rates of anywhere between 60% to 300% across the hospitality industry. A stressful work environment, low wages, stringent rules, and hierarchies, as well as a lack of identification and purpose, might be some of the reasons behind this situation. With a new generation entering the labour market, can sustainability be a determining criterion to attract talent? And if so, what kind of sustainability commitment are young people looking for in their prospective employer? New talent will inevitably impact the existing workforce and is as such an opportunity to manifest sustainability further into the corporate culture. Workforce cooperation and cultural integration are vital factors for a thriving sustainability engagement. What steps can be taken to turn employees into sustainability ambassadors? Ultimately, how can a culture of sustainability be achieved in hotels?
Co-Founder at TUTAKA
When working with hospitality clients on sustainability we found one key success factor: a healthy organization. Without an healthy organization, sustainability cannot be embedded into the corporate culture. This might then keep efforts narrow and superficial. Which is why, before turning to energy, water, waste, purchasing, product design, communication and other arenas, the focus should lie on removing organizational weak spots such as long working hours and a stressful work environment from the process.
All of this might seem obvious, but the reality shows it is not. What will influence new talents decisions to onboard and make existing talent stay in an organization will be whether the organization is healthy or just pretends to be. Symptoms of the latter are not too difficult to detect. How is the communication flow after having sent the application documents? How does the employment ad look like? Does the organization have a defined purpose on their website? Do social media postings, press releases and internal communication feature their team and purpose? How is the organizations rating on dedicated employer assessment websites?
Obviously, each organization has to find its unique path to organizational health, depending on its structure, characteristics and processes. The task is a challenging one. What healthy organizations do often have in common is this: they put human potentials in the center of their business models and ensure a resilient communication flow. Healthy organization will both attract and maintain talent as well as be able to integrate sustainability into their corporate culture.