Finally found a solution against labor shortage in tourism

first_imgLack of manpower is a problem that has been screaming for years and it was only a matter of time before that bubble burst and when we would find ourselves in the current situation. The consequences will be felt for a very, very long time, and if we take the whole issue seriously, we must urgently adopt concrete measures and a plan on how to arrive at a quality and sustainable solution to the problem. And not only the Ministry of Tourism, but the whole country because the problem is very complex and starts from primary school to the labor market.But why did the balloon burst?Simple – the whole system was not self-sustaining. Everyone knew that and they were very well aware that it was not a question of whether the balloon would burst, but it was only a matter of time – when? Nonetheless, no one reacted or prepared, in fact, because of the short-term run for profit for today, and not looking beyond tomorrow, no one cared. The whole system not only examined the last limits of extensibility, but consciously, with all the alarms and alarms, squeezed the gas to the end.The worker, ie the man who is the most valuable resource as well as the key to success in tourism, was at the very bottom of the value. Consumer goods. The mantra was simple. It doesn’t matter if the employee returns next year, there is a high demand for seasonal jobs, so let’s squeeze every person over the endurance limit as well. A new one will come tomorrow and so on in a circle.Today, when the problem has escalated, and will only escalate in the coming years, everyone is pretending that no one knew anything and at the very least as if they were hit by a meteor. But even today, when everything is clear, there is still no real solution or strategic planning and thus no sun at the end of the tunnel. Only some firefighting measures are looked at, but the whole paradigm is still the same.But let’s go in order…In Croatia alone, this tourist year alone, according to some estimates, there was a shortage of about 2.700 workers in tourism, although these are mild estimates, while there are announcements that the jazz will be even higher for next season. As the vice president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Želimir Kramarić, recently pointed out, in 2018, Croatian tourism will need about 15 workers, which we do not have. “The education system produces people for the stock market or going out. It’s not just about brains, ‘hands’ are also leaving Croatia. That is why it is necessary to introduce a dual system of education – learning in the workplace”Said Kramaric.How to most simply define the process of dual education – a combination of theory and burst during education. For years we know, see and talk about how it is needed, but again there are pictures but no tone.As if it is a scientific fiction and I guess even the sparrows know that dual education is the only real way of education because students through schooling, in addition to theory, learn to work practically and after completing the educational program are ready for the labor market and have such valuable practical experience by the most valuable because one is a theory and quite another a practice i.e. a market. Especially in Croatia where the level of professionalism is very low, ie we have too few markets that operate on a market basis and where the world business rules do not apply, nor those well-known sayings of successful entrepreneurs or various strategies and concepts from foreign books.But again we knew everything and again we know everything, but there are pictures but no tone. No one reacted to all the warning signs, the tourism industry most often used cheap labor from Slavonia, they didn’t care about education, or whether they would come back again next year when there was high demand. We even introduced the term permanent seasonal! So who can plan life, future or family as a permanent seasonal? To make the situation better, the seasonal workers were hired through employment agencies, which logically led to an even lower salary of the seasonal workers, because normally the agency has to earn its commission and charge for its service. Of course, this situation was great for tourism employers, because they could change workers whenever they wanted or they had no obligations to them, since the seasonal workers were employees of the employment agency.On the other hand, working conditions, accommodation, food provided, working hours were, to put it mildly, outside all norms. However, the escalation of this problem will only be felt in the next many years, and according to the announcements that another 50 hotels on the Adriatic will be opened in the next year or two, the logical question is who will work in these hotels when I already have a shortage of manpower. ?Is tourism a highly profitable or a low-profit business? If we compare the profits of hotel houses as well as various catering facilities with the cost of workers’ salaries, something doesn’t “fit” us at first, you know the feeling when you immediately see a big mistake in the mathematical equation. I don’t know how it is at all possible to expect in 4 * or 5 * star hotels where service and performance could be at a high level to be low wage workers. A quality, experienced and educated worker who can work at that level costs and is worth it, just like the prices of accommodation in these hotels.But not everything is in financial terms, there is something in the work environment, the attitude towards workers, working hours, the quality of accommodation of workers and ultimately respect for the man himself.Of course, this is not a problem for the hotelier himself, but it is much broader and more complex. From seasonality, high levies to the State, VAT, catastrophic education system, degradation of professions such as waiters, cleaners, chefs… tourist land, poor infrastructure, strategic non-development of tourist destinations and much more. However, tourism is not one industry, but it is extremely dynamic, complex, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary and vertically and horizontally connects all other various industries. That is why it is complex and must not be developed by inertia or accident, but only strategically and sustainably.We have destroyed the profession – waiters, cooks, anyone can be a waiterToday is World Waiters and Chefs Day. Who are the waiters in today’s job market? Everyone, so anyone can be a waiter, right?Because of this whole story, the bad position of the market and the education system, the degradation and underestimation of the whole profession of waiter and chef is not an interesting occupation among young people. Admittedly, in the past couple of years through various TV show programs the interest in chef has risen to a well-deserved position and that being a chef is not easy, but also that good chefs are appreciated and paid, and even stars. But again, it was not strategic or systematic, but a product of the media. On the other hand, the waiter is still such a degraded profession that it has been reduced to very low branches. Being a good waiter needs to know a lot, especially when talking about a higher level of service through the HoReCa channel. One should know how to talk to guests, one should know how to make good coffee, twice in a row, know the philosophy of wine and how it blends with food, one should know how to sell wine as well as all the manners of a good waiter.Salaries for waiters are usually minimal, and the rest again on the black market or on hand. Quality is not looked at, and any effort invested in additional education, the waiter can not charge. And finally, can any waiter or chef work in a top hotel or restaurant. Not everyone can be a waiter, we need quality and experienced people, who we must also pay well.Trust is the key, and trust is lost We all know that it is three times harder and more expensive to bring a dissatisfied guest back. So it is when we talk about workers. The tourism sector has lost confidence. That is why there was a reverse effect or phenomenon, as this tourist season various employers offered excellent conditions, from salary to accommodation, three meals, etc.… still could not find workers.Everyone is familiar with various stories about how the working conditions agreed over the phone are one thing and the reality is another. As the reports of workers in most cases were minimal, and the rest were black or handy. And for stories about accommodation we can write a special book, as well as “secured” meals.This year, a lot of tourist employers gathered at the Days of Jobs in Tourism in Osijek, “everyone” came to the sports hall and went on a “hunt” for workers and “poor” Slavonians. What bothered me the most was the relationship and the picture of the whole story. So, in the hall there were those classic white square stands, ie boxes, and no one bothered to actually present themselves as an employer. Present what it offers, who it is, what the job description is, what the conditions are, etc.… than it all seemed out of the question as a hunt for filling out forms. A mass of young people in the hall just stand in lines in front of each stand and wait to just fill out the form and hear the well-known sentence: “Thank you, we will get back to you. ” And that’s it. No one has bothered to present themselves in the slightest to attract quality workers, pure hunt for cheap labor… It is a tourism industry. I just felt miserable when I saw it all. Passionately. What message are we sending? Where is she known as the key to success in tourism? And all hoteliers want Slavonians and appreciate them the most because they are hard workers.However, the whole situation has forced the big ones to change out of necessity, so today the largest hotel companies are “competing” to provide better conditions, build accommodation for their employees, invest in education, promote themselves as the best employers, etc.… Certainly positive , but there is still no solution to the problem and one swallow does not make spring and it is still far from ideal conditions. The problem is solved when smoke is seen, not when a fire of “biblical” proportions occurs.Fighting on two frontsMany as many are unaware that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that the fight for quality employees will be waged on two fronts. Both for seasonal staff and for highly skilled workers, from sales, marketing to public relations. Because with more and more hotels, and few quality workers at that level, there will be better and more attractive offers, and there will certainly be a fight on the front to keep the existing quality workers.The race started a long time ago, are you ready? Don’t be surprised again.Influence of hoteliers and increase of quotas for import of foreign workers We all know how hoteliers have always had a very big impact, and they still have it today. Instead of directing their influence to increase the quota for the import of foreign workers, which can only be a short-term measure and by no means a solution, it would be good to direct their influence to start changing things for the better, not from political connotations but exclusively from market ones. To start dealing with the strategic development of tourism and tourist destinations in accordance with the trends of the 21st century.In the long run, foreign workers will have a very bad impact on our tourism, because the meaning of tourism is precisely authenticity, and the motive for traveling is to get to know new ways and cultures of living. Also, we will not go so far as to continue to encourage young people to leave, to stifle our local economy and for foreign workers to send their earnings back to their homeland in the context of cheap labor, and not spend it here. I wonder: Can Filipinos sell our authentic story? Of course I can’t.Robots as a solution to the problem quality workforce    I recently had the honor of giving a lecture and thinking aloud at one college to young students and future tourism managers. As I traveled from Vinkovci to Zagreb and got stuck in the crowds of Zagreb, unfortunately I did not arrive at the lecture before me, and I was really interested, but I arrived at the last 5 minutes of the lecture. One tourism expert with a long and enduring career in tourism told young future tourism leaders how Chinese tourists are looking to be served by labor from Indonesia and the Philippines, and how this is normal because of globalization and how we need to make it possible for them.On the other hand, the whole paradigm of cheap labor and the way of thinking of the tourism industry was presented by the former Minister of Economy and later director of INA, and today Honorary Consul of the Philippines, Mr. Davor Stern, who told Poslovni Dnevnik that a quality solution to the burning problem tourism and hospitality imports workers from the Philippines ” Filipinos would, of course, be very happy to come to work on the Adriatic for our average salary, with a balanced diet and accommodation. You need to know that they come exclusively to work, as a rule they do not spend the money earned, but send it to families in the Philippines. They would work for a monthly salary of 500-600 euros net. But accommodation must be resolved. They do not count on being placed alone, but on several of them, but in appropriate conditions. ” Stern told Business diary.Interestingly, it is precisely because of this thinking of the tourism industry, which looks only at short-term profits and only itself, that the whole problem has arisen towards the workers. So, the point of the whole story is that cheaper labor, without any rights and questions, can be accommodated in 10 m2, ten of them on more bunk beds and that is the winning formula.From the above, it follows that perhaps the “right” solution is expected by the hotel tourism industry to replace workers with robots! Robots don’t ask or demand anything, they work 0-24, they don’t eat, they don’t sleep…ConclusionThe whole problem is complex, and there is no magic wand or short-term solution. We need to be honest and start dealing with all the challenges systematically, strategically and in a planned manner and be aware of all the consequences. Because “Mother Nature” has taught us very well and shows us day by day that everything depends on the natural balance and the whole system is perfectly lubricated. If we throw out one wheel, the whole system collapses. It is the same in the economy and in tourism. Plastic example, if we want to have a hotel with 4 or more stars, then we must have a 4-star staff, and also that staff must be paid at a 4-star level. Symbiosis in the true sense of the word.To reveal to you a great secret and solution to the shortage of manpower in tourism. It is around us all the time, it has always been known, even today, and you probably already know it yourself and you have come to a logical conclusion – and that is offer better wages and working conditions.Like all other industries, from the IT industry to banking. Who else asks how they cope with attracting quality workers. A quality graphic artist, programmer, etc. costs money, and IT companies in Croatia, regardless of more than double taxes, ie taxes on salaries higher than 10.000 kn, pay quality workers. And again, not everything is in the salary, but also in the working conditions, atmosphere, business culture, etc.…One of the best sayings for me personally regarding quality employees is that of the famous entrepreneur Richard Branson ” The way you treat your employees is the way they treat your customers ”. To get better quality guests, invest in quality workers, and they will give it back to you many times over.Yes, it’s that simple. Offer better working conditions and you will have no problem attracting quality staff.Related news:DR.SC. MARINELA DROPULIĆ RUŽIĆ: THE STATE “FULL OF LIFE” SHOULD CARE THAT IT HAS EMPLOYEES “FULL OF LIFE”</p>
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