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New resources launched to help frontline hospitality workers

The initiative focuses on the issues for workers in areas such as care, hospitality and retail, which have been “badly hit by the pandemic and face a recruitment and retention crisis”.

A new resource has been launched by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Norwich Good Economy Commission to “help employers and frontline workers” in hospitality and other industries as they recover from the impacts of Covid-19.
The University of East Anglia (UEA) and Norwich Good Economy Commission – a collaboration between Norwich City Council, UEA and other organisations in the local economy – have launched ‘The Good Jobs Project’ to find ways to support managers and employees embed good experiences of work into the way they build back after the crisis.

The project brings together academic findings on what supports wellbeing and performance with first-hand accounts of the challenges and successes facing organisations and their staff.

The results feed into a new resource to help managers and employees influence their own and others’ job quality for the better.

It includes an infographic, handbook and video on ‘4 Boosts for Frontline Workers’, launched by UEA’s research partners at the PrOPEL Hub – a national initiative to help boost productivity, and wellbeing, through supporting the growth of better workplaces in the UK

The ‘Four Boosts’ are:

  • Give frontline workers the time, support and flexibility they need to be able to connect with customers and feel pride in their work;
  • Get to know workers and show care for their needs and goals, e.g. around childcare, working hours or learning;
  • Ensure workers feel safe and are trained and supported to deal with difficult situations;
    Involve workers in discussing decisions that could impact their lives, ensuring managers are open and approachable.

Dr Helen Fitzhugh, who led the team of researchers from UEA’s Norwich Business School specialising in workplace wellbeing and productivity, said: “Working in sectors like retail, hospitality and care has always had its tough moments, but the pandemic has made this even harder.

“Our work at the Good Jobs Project highlights practical ways that employers and line managers can improve the employee experience of work. During the current recruitment and retention crisis in frontline work, employers can really make themselves stand out as attractive prospects in the job market by paying attention to worker needs and goals.

She added: “Fortunately, we know from research that taking action to improve employee wellbeing can be a win-win as it has also been linked to better customer service, performance and worker engagement.”

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