Keep your staff motivated and inspired through lockdown 2.0

The hospitality industry has faced some of its toughest challenges amid the pandemic. With a second lockdown in England, operators are once again forced to either close their doors or revert to a takeaway only option at what is typically one of their busiest times of the year.

Despite a magnitude of challenges presented by COVID-19, it is inspiring to see how much the hospitality industry has adapted this year. From taking on social distancing measures, revising business models to supply takeaway meals, as well as rallying around to help those in need, it highlights just how resilient, passionate and agile the industry is.

However, now that businesses have no choice but to close or limit their services and, with many workers furloughed during this time, it can lead to feelings of frustration and demoralisation among the workforce.

As with the first lockdown, now is the time for hospitality leaders and managers to rally around their teams and boost morale. Jill Whittaker, Managing Director of HIT Training, offers some advice on how businesses can keep momentum going in the face of lockdown 2.0 by supporting their workforce through this challenging time.

  • Look ahead with your team

By sharing your contingency plan for the future, hospitality businesses can showcase how they are thinking ahead and considering the needs of the workforce. Of course, this projection will need to be flexible and include a range of possible scenarios, however, the end goal is to help employees to visualise the future and offer them clarity on how their role fits within this. It will also help to drum up excitement about what’s in store when the business is able to reopen safely or return back to normal service.

  • Keep conversations going

Even if your business isn’t in full operation, it’s important to bring the team together for regular catch ups. This will give team members the opportunity to voice any concerns and be kept up to date with new developments or changes. On top of this, it is a great way to ensure everyone feels involved and part of the bigger picture. After all, a big motivator at work is being given the chance to input into decisions or help make a difference to the overall business’ success. 

  • Prioritise learning and development 

No matter what industry you’re in, during periods of lockdown nobody wants to feel as if elements of their life are being put on hold. When it comes to our careers, learning and development is a big motivator and helps us to continue pushing ourselves. However, with many workers taking a step back from their day-to-day roles over the next few weeks, it doesn’t mean that their training has to wait until the lockdown restrictions are lifted. As many apprenticeships or training courses can be carried out online, businesses can ensure their employees continue their learning journey. Gaining new skills is a hugely positive step in our careers and it will help teams feel inspired to put their knowledge and skills into practice once the restrictions are lifted.

By Jill Whittaker, managing director of HIT Training

At HIT Training, we’re doing everything we can to make sure that not a single hospitality worker misses out on their training and qualifications due to lockdown.

We’re fully equipped to continue delivering live, online training to our learners on a one-to-one basis. If you’re interested in enriching the skills of your workforce during lockdown and into the future, HIT Training has a full suite of short courses tailored to the particular needs of hospitality employers, staff and managers.

This includes a range of courses developed specifically to help the sector to work safely and effectively post-COVID-19, from mental health awareness, infection control and safe working, as well as building resilience and customer service in the world of now.  

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