Posted on March 3, 2020 by staff

Tech can help hospitality industry meet Brexit challenge


For the UK hospitality industry, recruitment was already a challenge even before Brexit.

While the UK has officially left the EU, new UK immigration laws are still in development. This means that the outcome of current Brexit negotiations could create even bigger staffing and recruitment issues for the industry in 2020 and in the future.

The hospitality industry is already feeling the heat, with results of the 2019 HBAA annual Brexit survey showing that 18.7% of the industry had seen a major impact on recruitment because of Brexit, and 19.3% had changed their recruitment policies.

These figures underline how crucial it is for hospitality companies to invest in the right technology to successfully manage and retain frontline workers. Here’s a breakdown of how hospitality companies can leverage some of the most innovative technology trends to overcome staffing and recruitment challenges in 2020.

This year more hospitality companies are investing in a mobile, real-time operational communication platform. This type of technology is essentially digital workplace software that can be accessed via an app on any mobile device, PC, or desktop. Platforms like these can help hospitality operators with all types of internal communication: peer-to-peer, top-down, and bottom-up.

Perhaps once considered optional, investing in a centralised digital workspace has become a mission-critical tool for fostering employee engagement across the hospitality landscape. It allows hospitality operators to communicate directly with their frontline teams in real time, and streamline their internal processes to operate more efficiently.

Operational communication platforms empower workers, making them feel valued and like they have a voice within the organisation. This technology can also help staff provide better service for customers. Information can be instantly shared so issues can be resolved quickly and changes made swiftly. Workers can also access best practice guides or procedures, which helps them perform better in their roles.

For international, diverse hospitality teams, more inline translation tools will be introduced across mobile internal communications strategies in 2020. Inline translation uses artificial intelligence to instantly translate content, ensuring that all employees are able to fully comprehend, respond to, and post their own important messages in the language they feel most comfortable speaking.

Did you know that 50% of hotel employees don’t feel like their career in hospitality is something they can be proud of? As part of a holistic employee retention strategy that includes hotel leadership, more hotels will launch internal marketing campaigns this year to help their employees feel more engaged and enthusiastic about their workplace.

Hospitality companies will invest heavily in recruitment in 2020 to manage the predicted labour shortages in the hospitality industry after Brexit (depending on subsequent new UK immigration laws). In an effort to fill open jobs, hospitality companies are going above and beyond simply posting a job online to find new employees.

This year will see a rise in hospitality companies recruiting employees through hospitality job fairs and hospitality-specific recruiting agencies while also offering more competitive pay and benefits to retain their workforce.

Along with renewed efforts on recruitment, retaining employees through initiatives like digitising shift scheduling for hourly employees will be just as important as attracting employees for the hospitality sector in 2020. Using digital and mobile scheduling services saves time, minimises confusion, and makes it easier for employees to request time off or swap shifts.

Being able to access schedules on demand and on-the-go leads to more agile, efficient, and productive team communication, and it makes staff more likely to stay with their employer. This matters greatly because research shows that being able to access a shift schedule at least two weeks in advance makes a huge difference in the quality of life for shift workers, especially those in hospitality.

As artificial intelligence continues to replace repetitive, manual tasks, it will be up to HR departments in 2020 to both ensure that their workforce is properly trained on the new tech, as well as find ways to expand or elevate current roles that will be impacted by automation.

With proper training programs in place, building a successful digital workplace will become a more intuitive, integrated tenant of company culture. In 2020, many of these training programs could have the capacity to become more immersive due to the proliferation of virtual and augmented reality (AR) technologies.

Ultimately, hospitality companies can leverage operational communication technology in 2020 to make their employees more engaged, happier and more likely to stay with their employer. This can in turn help organisations deal with the impact of Brexit in a way that allows them to thrive and outshine their competitors.