Hospitality Professionals: Career Concerns Show Need for Engagement

Our latest Hospitality Professionals pulse survey reveals growing career concerns amongst frontline teams. 

In the December 2020 pulse survey of our Hospitality Professionals panel, respondents reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased their anxiety about long term career prospects in the sector.

The survey, from CPL Learning in conjunction with market data consultancy CGA, is made up of a panel of people working in a variety of frontline roles and sectors and found that only a fifth (21%) were optimistic about the industry’s prospects for the next six months. More people (36%) are optimistic about the 12 months to come, but both numbers are down by 20 percentage points from a pulse survey conducted towards the end of the UK’s lockdown in June.

With market pessimism and job instability rising, there are widespread worries about prospects for progression in hospitality. Around a third (35%) of professionals say they are now concerned about their long-term job security – up 13 percentage points since June.

Hospitality Professionals: Career Concerns Show Need for Engagement

Shifting perceptions

The pandemic has also triggered a shift in perceptions about hospitality as a place to work. More than half (59%) of professionals still think the sector offers good career opportunities, but this figure has fallen by 15 percentage points since June. People likely to recommend the industry to friends and family as a place to work has tumbled too, from 61% in June to 36% now.

The sentiments point to possible retention and recruitment issues in 2021. While redundancies have deepened the pool of talent available to businesses lately, job security fears could turn some people away from the sector as a place to build their career.

Business leaders’ perspective

Business leaders’ fears about staff availability could be exacerbated by the UK’s transition from the EU at the end of this year. CGA’s Business Leaders’ Survey at the start of 2020 found that nine in ten (90%) of industry leaders thought immigration levels and controls would be a major issue for the sector this year, and two thirds (66%) considered it their biggest recruitment challenge. With all leaders citing staff availability as important to the success of their business, the importance of good recruitment and retention is obvious.

“Many operators across the sector have done an amazing job so far to protect their teams as well as their businesses, but it has no doubt been challenging at all levels,” says CPL Learning’s COO, Jamie Campbell. As we start to tentatively hope for fewer restrictions over the course of 2021, it will be important to continue to engage teams and build their confidence through clear communication about the business, the sector and ultimately their jobs. Investing in training and development pathways and communicating with them effectively, will be an important part of operators’ retention strategy proving to teams that they are worth investing in.” 

The insights from this survey can help operators understand the general feelings of their frontline teams and consider how this might impact their recovery efforts in 2021. The data can also serve as a benchmark for individual businesses who can measure their own team sentiment against the Hospitality Professionals’ responses.

To find out how CPL Learning can help you in measuring team sentiment, running your own pulse survey or engaging teams in 2021, talk to us today.

Check out the Hospitality Professionals Pulse Survey infographic here.

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