Mentoring in hospitality industry - a cure for the shortage of professionals?

Because of COVID-19 the hospitality industry has lost many professional managers. 

Skilled people that were able to find alternative jobs during that hard period, today, are not willing or planning to go back into the hospitality industry. 

The result is that with the reopening of the hotels and the return of the business, is hard for an owner to find a candidate to fill the general manager position. The few people that are available on the market, have very high salary expectations, often above owner financial possibilities.

So, what are the alternatives?

Personally, I believe that, if there is no sufficient budget to hire an expensive ready-made general manager, the solution is to hire talents with the right attitude and then, invest in mentorship. 

When talents are hired, it’s not enough to just onboard them, give them a company handbook, and expect them to perform their jobs correctly and stay motivated. Mentorship is crucial to truly empower employees and help them advance in their careers. 

I achieved what I am today, because I did work for international companies that offered training and set development plans for me, and thanks to general managers that took over the role of mentors. 

With all that knowledge and experience made, I feel ready today to be a mentor for a talented person, that was offered the position of hotel manager. 

I truly enjoy spending hours with mentees and help them to leapfrog the learning process, as they can avoid making the same mistake just by having me as a personal ‘guide’. I once came across a very talented associate, Jan. He got promoted because of the outstanding performance in his position, but unfortunately in the new position he was failing. 

Furthermore, I was asked by the hotel owner for an advice and after meeting with Jan, I presented my solution to the owner. I started regularly to mentor Jan, we had weekly meetings, and calls. In between a month he started to build confidence since he felts secured and somehow protected by me, that confidence helped him to open himself, and improve his leadership skills and his financial acumen. 

After six months, he was delivering outstanding performance in his new position. Today Jan still works in that hotel, he is a loyal and engaged manager, well respected by the entire team and by the owner.

The hotel, despite the initial cost of having a mentor, managed to make good saving over two years. Employee turnover was reduced, and thanks to the loyal and engaged staff, the quality of service improved. This automatically brought an increase of revenue of around 18% year over year.

Author: Emanuele Dalnodar