The Evolution of HR in the Hospitality and Restaurant Industry:
12 Sep 2023
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The past decade has been transformative for the hospitality and restaurant sectors in India. With booming urbanisation, increased globalisation, and the advent of digital platforms, the dynamics of this industry have undergone significant changes. Naturally, the role of Human Resources (HR) in this domain has largely evolved in tandem.
A decade ago, the HR’s role in many Indian restaurants and hotels was largely administrative, focusing on tasks like payroll, hiring, and regulatory compliance. Fast forward to today, and HR plays a more strategic role. They’re involved in shaping company culture, devising retention strategies, and aligning talent acquisition with the brand’s vision and long-term goals.
With India becoming a preferred destination for international travellers and hosting global events, there’s been a push for world-class service standards.
HR teams now place a significant emphasis on regular training and development programs, ensuring staff members are equipped with the skills, behaviour, and knowledge needed to meet global benchmarks.
The rise of digital platforms and AI-driven tools like Recipeat has profoundly impacted HR functions. Job portals, LinkedIn, and even social media platforms have become talent hunting grounds. HR analytics tools help in understanding employee behaviour, predicting attrition rates, and formulating strategies to enhance job satisfaction.
Historically, the focus was predominantly on physical well-being and medical benefits. However, the recent years, influenced by global conversations, have seen Indian establishments recognizing the importance of mental health. HR now orchestrates initiatives that address employee stress, burnout, and other mental health concerns, fostering a more holistic approach to well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic tested the mettle of HR professionals across industries. In the hospitality sector, they played a crucial role in navigating lockdowns, managing layoffs or furloughs with empathy, and implementing health and safety guidelines during phased reopenings.
India’s rich tapestry of cultures requires HR in hospitality to be adept at understanding and managing diverse cultural nuances. With increased global interactions and a more vocal dialogue about inclusivity, HR initiatives now actively promote diversity and ensure a respectful environment for all employees.
Given the historically high attrition rates in the hospitality sector, HR now employs innovative strategies to keep employees engaged. This includes rewards and recognition, clear growth paths, team-building activities, and feedback mechanisms. Moreover, the HR is also responsible for creating employee-referral programs and other systems to ensure the staff is operating at optimal levels.
The evolution of HR’s role in India’s hospitality and restaurant sectors reflects broader shifts in the industry and society. As the next decade unfolds, HR will continue to be pivotal in navigating changes, ensuring that establishments not only survive but thrive amidst evolving challenges and opportunities.
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