CSR is fast becoming the norm, as forward-thinking companies are taking to the challenge – Not only to enhance their public image through helping the community, but also to attract a positive workforce by demonstrating a focus on People, Planet and Revenue. In the fast paced hospitality industry, companies turn towards eco-tourism and the like to promote CSR and enhance the environment, while living up to their customers’ expectations. However, oftentimes, companies social CSR is usually non-aligned with employee welfare.
Employee welfare includes strategies implemented by the employer for the benefit of employees in order to strengthen employee relations. Employees are the most integral part of the hospitality industry. The best way to know if you’re looking after them is by listening to, and observing them. Understanding what motivates them will help implement welfare benefits that will create an environment that enables employees to feel engaged and thrive. Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to the company, while disengaged employees will grow to resent their job and the industry, which will lead to a lack of loyalty and drive. If you find that the employee morale within the company is lacking, as an employer, you may have to rethink your CSR strategies and initiate them from the home front by looking after your employees’ welfare first.
Employee welfare is two-fold. There are statutory laws which ensure fair wages, hygienic working conditions, cafeteria facilities etc. However, it is imperative, particularly in the hospitality industry, to engage in Non-Statutory welfare schemes for the comfort and improvement of employees. Employers must keep in mind that the hospitality industry is not an average 9-5 desk job. It requires long hours on your feet and catering to varying levels of requirements at break-neck speed. If CSR initiatives fail to address employee welfare in the hospitality industry, this may lead to a break in the fabric of the business.
People are the face of the hospitality industry. An employer can direct welfare benefits which have a positive impact by providing employees with a multitude of opportunities through training and education, leadership development programmes and most importantly, providing employees with equal opportunity for career advancement in the industry regardless of their social, cultural, religious or sexual orientation. Not only will these boost employee attitudes, it will give the company a truly diverse and inclusive image in the industry as a whole. Additionally, welfare measures need not merely be in monetary forms. Employers should take into account the distance and time factor involved in working within the hospitality industry and provide day care (crèche) facilities for employees’ children, housing facilities and transport.
Looking after ones employees and their welfare is as simple as engaging in ethical labor practices. By treating employees fairly and ensuring they are not put at a disadvantage due to differences, will enhance employee performances as they have the ability to maximize their individual potential with the knowledge that their industry is looking out for them. Knowing your employees and taking steps to look after their welfare demonstrates the company’s dedication towards Corporate Social Responsibility within the organization itself, and puts you as a leader in the hospitality industry.