What has the Olympics got to do with recruitment or inspiring the next generation?
OK, despite my comments at the start of the Olympics, I tune in every evening. Apart from watching our amazing Team GB, I loved seeing the video clips of kids having a go, and improvising with various household props.
A couple of weeks’ ago I wrote about some of the lessons I believe we can take away from the Olympics, or sports, in general and apply in business. If you missed this, you can read the blog post here: https://www.naturallyloyal.com/encourage-your-team/
Now the games are over, there are more lessons to learn relevant to so many industries right now, not least hospitality.
At nearly every meeting and on every discussion for hospitality lately the number one topic has been the challenge of recruiting staff. And I don’t believe hospitality is alone in struggling to find good people to recruit.
So many people have got used to the idea of having complete flexibility in their day, so the thought of returning to a full-time role and potentially unsociable hours has been far from attractive. People’s time on furlough or working from home has also given them plenty of time for reflection, and consider what’s really important to them. Even some of your most loyal team members may have had other thoughts about their career.
This coupled with Brexit has left many businesses so short staffed they’ve had to rethink some of their offering.
So, what lessons can we take from the Olympics to help with recruitment?
When you hear interviews with any of the competitors, so many of them refer back to someone or something that inspired them. And their enthusiasm and success has a knock-on impact on inspiring others. Just look how popular cycling has become since the London Olympics.
So what can we be doing to inspire others? If not for today, for the future?
It might be an entire team, or just one or two individuals who inspire others. So, who are the role models for the positions you find so challenging to fill? Gordon Ramsay as portrayed in Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares probably isn’t the best role model nor the best advertisement for encouraging youngsters to train as chefs! If you can’t think of any inspiring role models, why not become one yourself?
Many (but certainly not all) medal winners have been pursuing their dream for a very early age. Trying to get someone to change their ideas about the type of career they want to follow when they’re about to leave school is probably leaving it too late. The earlier we can engage people and open their eyes to the possibilities in the industry the better.
Getting into schools and educating, not just the pupils, but teachers and parents alike, with inspiring stories of people’s career path and experiences. Getting kids into the workplace to see for themselves. Involving kids in industry related projects.
Shout about success
The lap of honour, the medal ceremony, the hero’s welcome home, don’t just impact the winners, they make us all feel good and inspire others too.
What is your business doing to shout about your successes; whether it’s winning awards, or simply receiving some glowing feedback from a customer?
Do you share your successes in your local paper? Do you recognise individuals within your team, so they feel proud of what they do and share this with friends and family?
All this adds up to impacting, not just your employer brand, but boosting the spirits of your existing team too, and helping turn them into advocates.
Long term future
In most sports people can see a progression; what’s the next level to aspire to.
Demonstrate there’s potential to grow and develop in your business, so you’re more likely to attract people who see this as a potential longer-term career move, rather than somebody who is simply desperate for any job or sees it simply as a fill in until they get a ‘proper job’.
Share case studies and success stories from your team, their career journey and what it’s mean to them.
The full spectrum
Most sports have more than one category. A good runner isn’t just a runner; are they better suited to the marathon, 1500m or 100 meters? And every sportsman or team has an entourage behind them.
Just because someone doesn’t see themselves as the next Raymond Blanc or Tom Kerridge, shouldn’t be a reason not to consider a career in hospitality. Promote the potential breadth of careers available, apart from operational roles. E.g., marketing, finance, HR, training, sales, etc.
If you only do one thing:
Let’s be honest here, this is a not short-term solution, but even if the best time to have done this was 20 years’ ago, the next best time is now! What can you do this week to towards inspiring the next generation, or simply getting one person inspired to consider a career in hospitality (or your industry)?