Hospitality Landscape: Remodeling Processes To Tackle The Aftermaths of Outbreak

Software, AI, and robots undoubtedly became a part of work but also gave us a chance to revisit our practices and eliminate those which weren’t in sync with the new norms.


The current landscape of the hospitality and travel-tourism industry has been carved by the drastic aftermath of the virus outbreak. While other sectors are making the shift towards digitization for smooth operations, travel & tourism is essentially a people driven industry and could face challenges in its effective functioning.

Although the industry has been quick to adapt, the CHROs and HR heads received two important added responsibilities such as ensuring uninterrupted employee output from remote locations, as well as maintaining frequent communication between the top management and its employees, to keep the momentum going and the morale high. With the pandemic taking a toll on everyone, it eventually became crucial for HRs to keep a tab on the staff’s mental health too.

A major challenge for the travel & tourism industry in the foreseeable future could be the increased cost of revised operations. The new safety norms of hygiene, redesigning the in-room and outdoor activities, sanitization and a contactless experience could put a strain on the already shrunken revenue until the travel demand is back.

As a part of the HR ecosystem, the pandemic prepared us better for similar circumstances and gave us a fresh perspective. For example, a few years ago, who would have thought that remote working was possible where the employees can contribute as much as they did when they worked from offices. Software, AI and robots undoubtedly became a part of work but also gave us a chance to revisit our practices and eliminate those which weren’t in sync with the new norms.

We at Sterling anticipated the second wave and focused our efforts to learn from our experiences in the first wave and what we could do better. Some Industries, like ours will have to be contended with the stop-start nature of the economy for the next few months or atheist until the vaccinations are done for all.

A few practices adapted by the travel & tourism industry such as remote working policies were redrafted, digital ecosystems were enhanced, and effective communication became key factors in improving efficiency. Even though the second wave made everyone work from home, it was vital for us to create a flexible environment and a better culture of recognition. Further, adopting a supportive management approach would help organisations transition smoothly. The focus remains a lot on the mental health of employees, as the world is going through a pandemic. Time-to-time conversations with them and understanding their issues is still a primary agenda for HRs. We value the outcome of these practices and want to continue some of them in the long run.

As the sector, remains cautiously optimistic about the revival of the travel & tourism industry, the focus points for the way forward would be:

● Reflecting on the hits and misses - Understanding what worked and what didn’t, eliminating redundant practices, simultaneously bringing new perspectives and voices.

● Refocus priorities - To help employees through the recovery process, organisations should reinforce their commitment to well-being. Further, there should be a focus on all aspects of their professional life such as physical, psychological and financial concerns.

● Rebooting people operations - The HR will have a redefined role, one that anticipates and orchestrates the organisation’s new priorities in terms of strategies, digitisation, teams and ever-changing business requirements.

Furthermore, many psychology studies have shown that people under “stressful” situations extending for 6 months or more fundamentally recalibrate themselves. Employees, customers and partners are going to be very different in terms of what they value when we return to “normalcy”. As HR leaders we need to prepare our organizations to face this reality for which there aren’t any ready answers. If you consider the post-pandemic era, the organisations having the courage to experiment with new ways of working, engaging and partnering with the ecosystems are the ones that will win.

((The article has been attributed to Mr. Jacob Peter, CHRO at Sterling Holiday Resorts Ltd. and has been solely created for BW People publication) 


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