According to the Global Travel Staffing Barometer, due to the pandemic, travel companies around the world have laid off or furloughed over half a million people, and the number of LinkedIn users in the hospitality space applying the #opentowork hashtag to their profiles grows day after day. Most hotels are struggling to run operations with skeleton crews only, yet they do not have any real alternative. In some countries, in fact, the financial help coming from governments is close to zero, so the only option for these hotels is to get rid of "superfluous" staff and try to run their businesses with a fraction of their employees. This forced most properties to heavily concentrate and focus on productivity, trying to get the best out of dire circumstances. How will this situation affect hotels? Can a global reset actually be a good thing, after all, forcing the industry to get more done with fewer resources? Or will this trend damage the guest experience in the long run?
Hospitality organizations throughout the world took drastic measures to cut down costs to survive through the pandemic crisis. As hotels open and demand returns, many are struggling to provide a consistent level of service. Hotel companies are realizing that they cannot afford to charge a fair price to their products and services if the latter is missing.
It is also true that the companies were able to get the most out of their current bench strength in these times. The question one must ask is;
- Was it efficient?
- Were employees stepping up to compensate for future furloughs?
The fact remains that companies were not strategic in their decision making as the focus was survival. Now is the time to take a step back and think of the long-term strategy and efficiencies companies want to build in the post-pandemic world.