The hospitality industry and the aging workforce

Published April 2, 2018

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The war for talent remains top of mind for the hospitality industry. As the Bureau of Labor & Statistics (BLS) has projected, thousands of jobs will continue to be available for the retail and hospitality industry. Consumer demands for outstanding customer service continues to make attracting and retaining top talent for the industry critical to its success and growth.

BLS Employment Projections for the Retail and Hospitality Industry: 2014-2024

That talent comes with a price as industries face many challenges, including an aging workforce. In a recent SHRM study, companies were asked how they were preparing to handle the demands of an aging workforce. The survey results show that companies are just now becoming aware of this potential change and beginning to examine their internal company policies and management practices in light of these changes.

When outlining the main advantages of older workers, the survey reported that these workers have greater work experience, knowledge and skills. More maturity and professionalism were also noted. As we read articles about today’s millenial, Gen Y & Gen Z generations, what is often lacking is a strong knowledge base as well as the maturity and professionalism that the older workforce exemplifies. Perhaps companies can consider working with their aging workforce to ensure that they are imparting their experience, knowledge and skills every day with current staff. Starting an internal mentorship program may also be helpful along with creating a solid internal succession plan to help workers grow within the organization and to see how critical more experienced team members are to their company culture.

Company engagement surveys and focus groups with the current staff would also be helpful in examining the current state and future needs of the organization. For more information, please contact Tiffany Cardwell, SHRM-CP, PHR, CCP, HR Consulting Principal, via e-mail or phone (502.882.4660).

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