A COVID-19 update: Read more…

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The hospitality industry has seen its fair share of upheaval in the last couple of years, starting with lockdowns and continuing into the “new normal” of life during a persistent pandemic. Even before COVID-19 hit, the hospitality industry expected a lot from their workers. Employees constantly have to keep a polite face while dealing with a general public who isn’t always at their best while still handling all of the ins and outs of their jobs. Including recent events and all the obstacles experienced in our industry, it’s easy to see why even the best in the business are having a hard time staying focused and motivated every day. Follow these tips on how to keep going when you feel like giving up. 

What Prevents Hospitality Pros From Feeling Focused and Motivated? 

The hospitality industry is uniquely exposed to issues that create a sense of directionlessness among its professionals. Understanding these issues, along with why and how they may impact you, will help you recognize and mitigate the effects as much as possible. 

Staffing Issues

As a direct result of the ongoing pandemic, almost every industry has suffered staffing issues. The hospitality industry continues to see its fair share of staffing shortages, creating logistical nightmares that leave heavy burdens on everyone’s shoulders. A high turnover rate combines with a lack of qualified applicants to generate tension from the top down. For some hospitality niches, like restaurants or spas, such shortages mean closing operations down completely. It would, of course, be impossible for hotels and similar businesses to do the same. Instead, available staff might be stretched thin and overworked, making teams feel less focused and ready to handle the demanding job at hand. 

Management and Customer Expectations

It’s easy to feel like giving up when confronted with constantly changing and competing expectations from various stakeholders. From corporate management teams to the customers you interface with daily, expectations are bound to fluctuate. Often, it seems like established policies can change instantly when management expects more from their staff, especially in circumstances where there are not enough human resources to go around. Customer expectations are also an omnipresent challenge, as many customers demand more from hospitality staff. Some customers even act unpleasant or disrespectful because of other issues and challenges they experienced. Facing fluctuating expectations from both management and customers, it’s easy to feel unfocused.

Booking Challenges and Seasonal Peaks

After almost two years into the pandemic, some people are ready to get out and have a vacation or go on business trips. Others, meanwhile, still want to stay relatively close to home. For an already overworked and understaffed company, seasonal peaks and valleys (from the pandemic or elsewhere) add additional pressure. Altogether, seasonal changes can leave you high-strung and burnt out.

Safety and Security Challenges

Pre-pandemic, the hospitality industry already had its fair share of safety and security challenges regarding threats of violence against staff and guests. Beyond these issues came other challenges more specific to the hospitality industry, such as sex trafficking. When it comes to these types of threats, you have to be aware of your surroundings for both yourself and your guests. Hearing news stories about violence perpetrated against a hotel, spa, and other hospitality business staff can make it hard to focus on regular daily duties. Even a feel-good story about how a vigilant restaurant worker or hotel clerk who noticed the signs of something wrong in a situation can up tensions; you don’t want to be that person who missed the signs of a troubling situation. All of these concerns can escalate your anxiety and stress levels.

Strategies on How to Stay Focused and Motivated At Work

Considering all of the stressors and challenges that exist within the hospitality industry, it’s clear why employees struggle to stay focused and motivated while at work. Below are various strategies to channel a better experience at work, from blocking out distractions and setting goals to improving your focus and keeping your mind from wandering.

It’s normal for hospitality professionals to struggle with motivation throughout the entire day. Even within one shift, a lot of challenges can be thrown your way, especially among staffing shortages where you have to cover several people’s duties. Even an uneventful day can turn unfocused when you haven’t devoted enough time to self-care outside of work. Remember that everyone needs different accommodations to  find the strength to stay motivated in the hospitality industry. By following these strategies, you can discover which works the best for you when getting back into a ready-to-work state of mind.

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