It’s hard to believe we’re at that time of year again when many tourism and hospitality businesses begin planning for their next summer season. We know that planning for staffing levels in the busy season can be challenging at the best of times and this year is no exception. As many employers must do more with fewer resources and people, this is a crucial time to look inwards to understand and provide employees with upskilling needs and opportunities.
What is Upskilling?
Whether you’re teaching employees additional skills or providing training to employees to supercharge their existing skills, you’re upskilling your team. As a result, employees will have a greater wealth of knowledge, allowing you to leverage your workforce through these difficult times and most importantly, be ready when demand picks back up when life resumes normalcy in the summer.
So, where do you begin? Start by taking a few moments to consider what your business will look like next season, and whether or not the skillsets of your current workforce will help meet the organization’s goals. Then, ask yourself a couple questions:
How will our business, service offerings or service delivery change next season? Will menus change? Health and safety protocols? Will customer servicing move to a virtual platform? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it’s time to take a look at how these changes may affect your staff. Do your employees have the training and skills required to deliver these new offerings? If yes, great. If not, what specific training do they need?
Do our current employees have the skills needed to perform to their full potential? If yes, great! You’re set for the next season. But if not, then it’s time to assess what specific training is required, and who on your team needs it.
Where to get Upskilled
Upskilling can be done either internally or externally. Tap into your internal resources to find training opportunities between employees and find out from your staff what they would like to learn. There may be opportunities you’re not tapping into for cross-training and upskilling. Perhaps someone working front desk may want to learn more about becoming a concierge. Or, your lead host might be interested in learning more about restaurant management.
Looking ahead and planning to address your team’s training needs will not only help your frontline employees sharpen their skills during the slower season, it will also help you retain top talent. When the season arrives and the business volume increases, your team will be ready and able to scale up as quickly as possible.
If you have questions about providing upskilling opportunities, or would like to discuss training opportunities for your team, contact Andrea Hinck, Director, Industry Training at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.