How Engaged are Hospitality Workers Right Now?

Harri surveyed over 1,600 hospitality workers to get a picture of how they are fairing and what the future looks like for them; because let’s face it, no-one actually knows right now. What we do know is that there is light at the end of the 2nd-quarter-of-2021 tunnel, which will hopefully be vaccination rife.

A staggering 43% of our respondents are currently unemployed due to Covid-19. With furlough as a safety net, do employers have no choice but to let their staff go?

If UK Hospitality’s latest Future Shock report is anything to go by, with 30% of licenced premises closing at the end of October and an annual loss of £53.3B overall sales in 2020 with a predicted rise in unemployment to 7% later in 2021, it seems that the hand has been forced. It’s not the prettiest of pictures for hospitality.

How do Hospitality Workers Feel About Returning to The Industry?

Well, 78% of respondents said they would return to hospitality when lockdown eases which sounds encouraging. Of the 22% who said they wouldn’t return, retail, office and healthcare environments are appealing to them.

With that in mind, the importance of attracting talent back to the industry is paramount. We need to keep up momentum and think long and hard about our employer value proposition for those people preparing to bounce back. 

Another encouraging stat is that 76% of our respondents said they felt confident to return to work and face customers. With 95% of consumers feeling safe in hospitality venues last year (CGA), it would seem that employees feel safe to return to work. In saying this, employers shouldn’t ignore the 24% of workers who will feel anxious. This could be attributed to not working for so long; mental health is real and is something which will need to be addressed on the people agenda.

So How do People Actually Feel?

Communication hasn’t been great for 34% of furloughed staff so there seems little wonder that mental health could be at risk. There have been some really good news stories around engagement though, like Honest Burgers flying the flag for pulling together their teams and involving them in all company-wide initiatives. You can listen to our webinar here to find out more.

Keeping staff will be key when the industry rebuilds itself. Let’s not underestimate the impact of Brexit when we have a national shortage of chefs later next year. We know that retention is an ongoing challenge in hospitality and 31% of respondents said that flexibility of rotas wasn’t given to them historically, with 38% saying their manager didn’t give them the flexibility they needed. Harri has a tool for that; flexibility of rotas given at the click of a button along with revenue and labour predictions. It isn’t rocket science, it’s actually a very simple solution to our future predicted turnover challenges.

9% of respondents said that Brexit will affect their ability to work in the UK — attribute that to the hospitality workforce in 2019 (UK Hospitality) and we’re talking 270,000 employees overall. 75% of the London workforce were EU nationals and 24% nationwide according to Hospitality and Catering News. A potential talent shortage we predict will become apparent later this year after hospitality is back up and running.

So in summary — there is an opportunity to plan for the return of your workforce, get your business in shape and practice what you preach by fostering a great place to work once those doors fly open again.

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