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Retention in times of hardship

Bob Cotton OBE, has spent a lifetime in the hospitality industry and is a member of P&G Professional’s Expert Advisory Council.

The UK hospitality industry is set for troubling times. Hotels are susceptible to economic cycles, geopolitical instability, and unusual events, such as COVID-19. We could see redundancy rates reach significantly high levels, something the industry has not witnessed since the 2008 recession, which will largely impact staffing strategy.

These are unprecedented times. Britain’s £120bn hospitality industry has been among the hardest hit, prompting UKHospitality to call for an immediate emergency package of employment support for businesses to safeguard the sector’s 3.2 million jobs.

Fortunately, the UK government has intervened with the “Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme” which can cover up to 80 per cent of employee salary. This generous move ensures that businesses can emerge from this crisis in a position to rebuild. There is some light at the end of the tunnel.

At this moment in time, nobody can tell just how long this tunnel might be, and the government has clearly instructed all hospitality venues to close their doors.

Interestingly, Chelsea Football Club offered its Millennium Hotel to NHS staff to use during the coronavirus pandemic. Many others followed suit and even allocated their space as emergency hospital beds for virus infection efforts, prompting the need for hospitality workers to diversify their job description. Such unforeseeable events are hard to prepare for but do highlight a need for staff to be trained to adapt. Front of house staff may need to upskill in the kitchen, chefs may need to turn a hand to housekeeping, what is clear is that in order to fight this challenge, everyday preparedness is vital.

With training, it is important to equip your staff with the right products to help them achieve the required standards, especially in times of infection prevention. The importance of cleaning is often overlooked in the disinfection process – cleaning well removes soil where germs can be found and can multiply.

Importantly, cleaning well allows disinfectants to work more effectively. When it comes to cleaning and infection control, I highly recommend the P&G Professional range. Their trusted brands and products are easy to use and several clean and disinfect in a single step – helping staff deliver great first time results with no rework.

By developing innovative products and systems that are simple to use, P&G Professional helps streamline cleaning practices to get the job done right the first time. Ultimately, when the tools are simple to use, even members of staff who are not familiar with hospitality cleaning practices will be more confident in their work.

Each day will see new challenges for the industry and it is important that the sector follows the advice of the industry body. UKHospitality is the primary platform to access all the need-to-know specialist information from the government. Closely monitoring coronavirus developments, their key priority is the future of the hospitality workforce, and their weekly newsletter provides clear information on how to navigate these difficult times.

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