How to prevent tourism/hospitality workers from leaving

by Adelle Chua19 Oct 2017
Employers should communicate their workers’ roles as a “job landscape” instead of a mere job description, an expert for an HR think tank suggests, to address recruitment and retention challenges in the tourism and hospitality industries.

“Tourism and hospitality employ a combined 1.4 million workers and tourism alone is worth $40 billion to the Australian economy, so it is too important to get this right,” said Dr Lindsay McMillan, lead researcher for Reventure.

Aside from the skills shortage that has been responsible for a combined vacancy of 38,000, the two industries are also plagued by low employee satisfaction and high turnover.

“A job landscape is a list of end goals that are intertwined with the goals of other employees,” McMillan said.

“Something that the sector is not doing well is demonstrating that employees have purpose and are valued. As a result, employees feel expendable and find another job as soon as they feel unhappy.”

To arrest this, employers must demonstrate how a role prepares an employee for the future, whether they want a career in the industry or want to gain transferable skills.”

Reventure, a not-for-profit organisation, recently launched A Future That Works – a national workplace renewal campaign after it found that 49% of Australians were likely to look for a new job in the next year.

This campaign is aimed at highlighting effective and practical solutions so that workplaces can more actively engage with modern challenges.

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Four ways to create an outstanding workplace


  • by Tanya R 19/10/2017 11:57:56 AM

    This is an interesting article and I agree with it wholeheartedly. To increase engagement & reduce turnover in the industry, employers have to have a 'what about me' discussion with their employees & ensure they develop the skills of their staff. Staff have to see they're going to benefit, grow & develop in their jobs - & employers have to work with their staff to explain how these skills will benefit both the organisation & the staff member. But, this is where the challenges begin. In my experience, there is an endemic culture in hospitality, which doesn't deviate too far off the old 'dark satanic mills' belief of call centres 20 years ago, where many managers (& organisations) push their employees as hard as they can to get what they can while they're there! This is about culture, but industry culture as well as organisational culture. Until the Industry fully recognises where they are in the whole people management spectrum, the changes that are needed are going to be very slow.
    Large organisations can invest in the support services of HR & training , the SME's more often that not, don't have the resources to do that. The SMEs often also don't have the profit margins (or want to share their profit margins) to spend on 'developing & supporting' their staff & they don't have the management skills on the front line who believe nor have the ability to develop their people for better results.
    I have a sign on my wall in my office - CFO asks CEO "What happens if we invest in developing our people & then they leave us?" CEO responds "What happens if we don't and they stay?". I know I'd rather develop someone and get high engagement & performance for a period of time than not develop them and have them stay !