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Utilisation of Human Resources post COVID-19 in Hospitality Industry: Nihar Mehta, GM-HR, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts

Challenges, approach and trends in the hospitality industry

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 11:18 Hrs  [IST]

By Nihar Mehta, GM – HR, Sarovar Hotels & Resorts

The pandemic has radically changed the world as we see it. Major transformation has taken place in workplaces across the hospitality industry as well and the crisis pushed expectations over the cliff. As organizations re-evaluate their operating models, how HR balances productivity with employee welfare has become imperative. 

Post COVID 19, there is definitely a requirement for optimum utilization of Human Resources. There will be an increased need for new skill sets to be developed for employees. The learning will have to be increased for all concerned. In the future there is a good possibility of less manpower required for certain industries, and the roles at certain positions shall increase and there shall be multi-tasking.
The meetings, whether with guests, employees, subordinates shall be done more and more from digital networks, and this trend shall increase only in coming times. Hospitality Industry will have to work around ways to deal with this trend as well and that much more effort will be required to get customers.
Human resources aspect shall now require a new approach. We shall have to look at optimum utilization of manpower in various unique ways. Some ideas to go ahead with:

-   People will have to work on developing / acquiring new skills to learn for the future job market. This shall require time and investment in many courses

-   Active interest in the many happenings in the industry / whether hotels or in business in general. The new mantra and trend is going to be business growth, but in new ways

-   Human Resources should be included as Business partners, which many companies are already working on. The HR Business partner shall also work in company profitability as well as ensuring smooth operations for the company, and shall be overall responsible for the working of the department but shall support the other business operations also, through HR Initiatives

-   HR department shall have to make processes simpler, and smoother for employees, for the employees to have a good time at organizations without any delays or hiccups at work places

To keep the best resources and make sure that the performance is also used to the optimum, the motivation level for the resources shall also have to be kept high. There will have to be other benefits and appreciation also given to employees apart from monetary benefits only.
Additionally, the emotional wellbeing of employees would also be required to be seen surely so that they can cope up with the changing requirements, performance from companies and industry in general.
Focus on small but important aspects such as alignment of employees goals with the organizations visions at the starting itself will play a big part for motivation and stability. A virtual atmosphere and good understanding of the medium will also be required to be enthused to one and all.

Currently, apart from the pandemic, there is the problem of apprehension in travel overall. Even though this challenge can be overcome as people are travelling, it is still a problem. Since there is a limit to seating, movement and functions at hotels and travel, there is a challenge for business which shall remain till pandemic is there. Another challenge currently shall remain manpower numbers at every level, as well as remuneration considering the current times in the hospitality industry. 

There should be overall more benefits included for the hospitality industry as it has been the worst affected and would require immense support from all quarters and government. The hospitality industry is the face for global movement, and for travel to stay, it has to be supported

Some key strategies to adopt in the post covid world

One of the most significant steps is to adapt itself in the current scenario, which has changed the way things are done. Now the foremost strategy is to get people learning on board. Employees have to be brought on board to learn new skills and adapt themselves according to the new way of doing business and functioning. New ways to motivate employees has to be adopted and developed for employees to stay enthused for their work and roles. HR needs to develop ways to keep employees engaged and involved in their work. Build a culture of life and work balance to help employees lead a balanced life during these difficult times

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