Investing in our hospo staff

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By CASS MARRETT

A survey of 800 New Zealand employees conducted by business culture expert Shane  Green shows more than half of respondents feel employers aren’t prioritising growth and development.

That’s a problem for employers trying to attract, recruit and retain ‘‘the best people’’ in an
increasingly tight labour market, Green says.

In the resort last week, Green says now’s the time to invest in staff and attract young people into hospitality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘‘Now that we’ve got to rely more on NZ workers, I think it’s a perfect time to focus on the learning and development, and specifically soft skills, leadership skills, because someone [who] comes into hospitality might not think it’s a lifelong career,’’ Green says.

He began his career at the Crowne Plaza in Christchurch, formerly Parkroyal Christchurch,
before heading overseas to work with the Ritz Carlton Hotel company in the US and several other hospo businesses — the business performance coach and author now wants to give back to the industry he started in.

Pointing to his recent survey, he says there may have been some hesitancy to invest in such a transient workforce.

‘‘I think part of it is that we become sort of more reliant on our overseas workers, our visa-
holders, we know they’re only going to be here a short period of time.’’

He’s been talking to Hospitality New Zealand about establishing training courses for young
hospo workers.

‘‘It’s about giving young NZ people … a reason and saying, ‘hey, there’s lots of career opportunities for you and hospitality is a great one’.’’

Green acknowledges companies might not have the ‘‘band width, investment or time’’ right
now to implement formal training but says it can be as simple as sharing expertise.

‘‘Our research over the years has found a couple of really important things that are linked
to a young person seeing learning and development.’’

The most important one, he says, is a manager that’s ‘‘invested and willing to share their expert ise and experience’’.

‘‘I think this is important, because it doesn’t cost anybody anything.’’

Making cross-training opportunities more visible can help, too.

‘‘Often people come into hospitality and think of waiters, waitresses, maybe serving at the
front desk, but as we know, in hospitality, there’s finance, there’s marketing, there’s sales,
there’s so many other elements.

‘‘For somewhere like Queenstown, coming out of Covid and seeing what’s happened … this is an opportunity that we need to be louder, we need to be really vocal, we need to give the young people a reason why to come into our industry.’’

cass.marrett@scene.co.nz