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Navigating Labor Challenges: A Guide for Revenue Leaders

The hospitality industry is an especially dynamic and varied one. But, across countless property types, business models, and markets served, there is a shared challenge most are currently facing: a major staffing problem. According to a recent article by Hotel Business, 67% of surveyed hotels report labor shortages, highlighting the urgency of the situation. While the bulk of those numbers reflect in-hotel operations (for example, 48% of hotels report housekeeping as their most critical staffing need), the impact is also being felt by revenue leaders who are tasked with finding and retaining talent in an increasingly competitive environment. 

There are industry-wide conversations to be had around things like higher wages and increased flexibility for employees. But as a leader, and as an individual, it can be difficult to identify what you personally can control to try to address the issue. We’ve identified a few areas that revenue leaders can prioritize to aid in recruiting, developing, and retaining good talent.

A harsh reality 

It's becoming increasingly difficult to recruit skilled individuals willing to join revenue management teams. And even when talent is found, the demands of the industry often lead to burnout, resulting in high turnover rates. Additionally, the complexity of revenue operations means that new hires require extensive training, adding another layer of complexity to the recruitment process. 

But in the face of these challenges, revenue leaders must adopt a strategic mindset. While they may not have the power to single-handedly change industry compensation bands, they do have the ability to influence factors that directly impact employee satisfaction and retention. Leaders must focus on setting their employees up for success by providing them with the tools and support they need to excel in their roles.

How you can help

One crucial area where we can make a significant impact is by streamlining processes and implementing technology solutions that enable their teams to work more efficiently and strategically. Too often, employees find themselves burdened by manual tasks, leaving little time for strategic decision-making. By investing in systems that align with their workflow and empower them to make data-driven decisions, you can alleviate the burden of mundane tasks and free up valuable time for strategic thinking.

It's also essential to ensure that the reality of employees' experiences aligns with the vision that is painted for them. Avoid creating false expectations and instead focus on delivering on promises. This means providing the necessary training and support for teams to thrive and grow within your organization.

Table stakes

At the heart of it all, the objective should be to make employees' jobs less frustrating and more fulfilling. By addressing the fundamental challenges they face and equipping them with the tools and resources they need to succeed, you can improve morale, reduce turnover, and ultimately drive better business outcomes.

Not sure where to start? Here are the top 3 things we suggest revenue leaders prioritize: 

1.    Give your team systems they can understand. 
2.    Provide them with the ability – and the autonomy – to make strategic decisions. 
3.    Set realistic expectations of what their day-to-day job will be and find ways to make it less painful. 

These may seem like table-stakes, or things that should be a given for any revenue management team. But in our experience, even these basic needs aren’t being met for some employees.  

As revenue leaders, this is an opportunity to lead by example and transform your organizations for the better. Focus on what you can control and take proactive steps to address the labor challenges facing the hospitality industry. 

If you want a sounding board to talk through how to do this, let us know. Our team has practical experience helping companies facing these issues. 


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