Hospitality Professionals Rate Learning During Lockdown

Our latest survey highlights the importance of learning and development for hospitality professionals during lockdown. Find out more about the impact of lockdown learning on team members right here.

Training specialist CPL Learning have joined forces with insight and data consultancy CGA to provide a unique perspective on the impact of lockdown on front line hospitality team members with our most recent survey.

Over 500 hospitality professionals from the across the sector where surveyed revealing how team members feel about reopening, the extent to which team members have been supported through lockdown and their thoughts on their future within the sector.

We’ve broken down the data to show you what impact learning and development has had on your teams, and how investment in personal and professional development helps to build a strong and supportive team for your business.

Learning during lockdown  

Hospitality professionals surveyed highlighted the importance of learning and development. Team members whose opinion of their employer have significantly improved during lockdown were more likely to have been provided with a wealth of learning and development resources.

The graph below shows the direct correlation between employee satisfaction and the availability of learning and development resources provided. A huge 54% of those who’s employer satisfaction has worsened reported being offered no learning and development resources, while those who reported their opinion had improved were offered a wide range of resources.

Survey graph 1

High demand  

The survey indicates that hospitality professionals have been keen to train during lockdown, with 64% actively looking for ways to complete personal and professional development. But with only 30% completing professional development it looks like many team members did not find the resources to meet the demand.

Satisfaction with learning and development opportunities from employers has also been lower during lockdown, with many surveyed reporting having to seek learning and development opportunities themselves. 35% of hospitality professionals received no learning and development resources from their employer during lockdown, despite the fact that under the Government Job Retention Scheme employees could complete training provided by their employer.

Career Progression

As operators begin to reopen, it’s important to understand how team members feel about working in the sector. They may be feeling the effects of being part of one of the worst hit industries, or fearful of redundancy. One of the aims of the survey was to broach these issues and find out how team members are feeling about their prospects in hospitality.

Overall, perceptions of the hospitality industry as a viable long-term career are high, with three quarters of hospitality professionals feeling the industry offers good career opportunities. However, there is a disparity between front-line workers and Business Leaders as to how clear the career pathway within the industry is, indicating that a greater transparency and investment in providing clear and accessible career pathways to team members from the top down is needed.

The appetite for career progression support was also reflected in the desired learning topics that team members would like to be made available to them in the future. 53% stated they would like to access career progression programmes and 49% stated personal development. These results clearly demonstrate an opportunity for employers to focus on these areas and retain talent within their business.

Survey graph 2

Meeting your team’s needs  

Our survey respondents indicated that a blended approach to learning and development is preferred, with 51% of hospitality professionals stating a mixture of methods is how they would like to learn and complete training.

Another key area of interest for our hospitality professionals lies within skills and product training. The desire for product knowledge training is particularly linked with drink-led venues with this choice being popular within pub and bar team members. By providing learning activities that align with the demand and personal goals of your teams, operators can improve employee satisfaction and build a workforce that is more knowledgeable about the products they are .

Having knowledgeable and engaged staff is also more likely to resonate with consumers too. A quarter of GB consumers believe that knowledgeable and engaged staff contribute to a good experience when visiting a pub, bar or restaurants (CGS BrandTrack Feb 2020).

Support and Engagement

Our survey highlights the benefits of holistic, as well as professional development. We have seen positive engagement with our range of well being courses that have been offered over lockdown with over 13,000 team members completing our Mental Health Support Champion course and 13,600 completing our Personal Resilience course. It is the personal touch that helps build relationships with your teams and the net results of lockdown efforts generally mean a more engaged workforce. 35% of our hospitality professionals stated their opinion of their employer had improved and of that number, 22% stated their opinion had significantly improved. This is an extremely positive result and shows that employers who have been invested in engaging with their workforce during lockdown have benefitted. This is further evidenced by 44% of individuals whose opinion of their employer has improved stating that they are very satisfied with the level of support provided by their employer.

Over half of our professionals felt their wellbeing had been prioritised by their employers and this once again has had a positive impact on creating a more engaged and supportive workforce. This means that your teams will be more committed to your recovery and the businesses success and more confident on their return to work.

Survey graph 3

The Hospitality Professionals Survey has given us a unique insight into what team members are looking for from their employers post-lockdown. The reopening of venues in a new social environment can be nerve-wracking for front line workers but providing training can help improve your team’s confidence as they navigate the new challenges. And future development into career progression will help your teams feel motivated about providing service in challenging times and positive about working towards their future goals.

Operators who have kept open lines of communication between themselves and their teams will reap the benefits of a positively engaged workforce. That communication will remain an important part of the reopening landscape, and your teams will feel more confident in fulfilling their roles if they are well trained and motivated.

It’s not too late to build this confidence within your business. CPL Learning have developed a range of cost-effective resources to suit your operation. Whether you have a small team on one site or you’re a multi-site operator, we can help.

If you’re already a CPL Learning client, speak to your client manager about what’s available to give your teams the confidence and knowledge to work in a changed environment. And for new service users, check out some of our offers such as Ready to Serve – a comprehensive learning programme designed to get your teams ready for driving sales and service when you reopen.

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