Women GMs constitute less than 10% of the total GM population in Indian hotels

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Women GMs constitute less than 10% of the total GM population in Indian hotels

A recent HR survey by The People Network throws up some interesting statistics on the hospitality industry. Anupama Jaiswal, Founding Partner, gives a sneak peek…

The hospitality sector in India is undergoing a significant transformation, driven by post-pandemic travel demand, technological advancements, and evolving guest expectations. Recent research by IBEF projects that the tourism sector in India will contribute $250 billion to the country’s GDP by 2030, generating employment for 137 million individuals, surpassing the current 35 million jobs. To navigate these changes and build a sustainable future, the sector must innovate its human resources (HR) practices to address challenges like manpower availability, high attrition, and low pay scales.

Historically, HR in the hospitality sector focused on administrative efficiency rather than strategic decision-making. While some industries have recognized HR as “Business Partners,” the hospitality sector has been slow to adopt this approach, prioritizing cost management and owner expectations over modern HR practices. To gain insights into the evolving HR landscape in India’s hospitality sector, The People Network conducted a survey involving senior HR leaders from 12 hotel companies overseeing 1546 hotels. This survey examined key trends such as compensation structures, workforce agility, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and the impact of technology on HR practices.

One notable finding is that HR leaders in the hospitality sector are increasingly being seen as strategic advisors rather than mere administrators. Many hotel brands are re-evaluating their HR strategies to align with contemporary workforce needs. However, the level of empowerment for HR leaders varies by organization.

Compensation and rewards programs play a crucial role in attracting and retaining skilled professionals in the hospitality sector. While there have been improvements in compensation structures, 61.1% of respondents believe that the sector’s compensation landscape has not kept pace with other service industries. Moreover, dynamic variable payout structures, tied to performance metrics, are mainly implemented for senior management, with only 33.3% considering extending them to front-line staff. Such structures have the potential to boost employee engagement and address low pay scales at the entry-level. Despite the sector’s dynamic nature, annual salary increases have remained stagnant at 8%-9%, primarily due to thin profit margins and budgetary limitations. To enhance pay and rewards while maintaining financial sustainability, steps like offering a five-day workweek and exploring remote work options for select roles can improve employee satisfaction and work-life balance, making the industry more attractive to talent.

Diversity and inclusion initiatives are essential for attracting a diverse pool of talent. The survey revealed that women GMs constitute less than 10% of the total GM population in Indian hotels, indicating progress but also highlighting the need for further gender diversity. Similarly, women’s representation in finance roles is lacking, with 72% of hotels having less than 10% women in these positions. Embracing LGBTQ+ inclusivity can also help attract diverse talent and create an inclusive work environment.

The use of digital technologies for HR processes is gaining momentum in the hospitality sector. Employee self-service portals and data-driven decision-making are becoming common practices. Data-driven insights are used for employee engagement, talent acquisition, turnover analysis, compensation restructuring, and succession planning. By embracing technology, the sector can optimize workforce management and create a more agile work environment.

To encourage innovation in digital transformation initiatives, the sector can explore implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning in talent acquisition, investing in advanced analytics for predictive HR analytics, and focusing on enhancing the overall employee experience through digital solutions.

The survey’s findings underscore the shared challenges and unique strategies of different hotel brands. Collaboration among industry stakeholders, including owners, operators, employees, and consultants, is crucial to showcase the sector’s growth potential, competitive compensation packages, and commitment to employee well-being. By doing so, the hospitality sector can attract a new generation of talented individuals eager to contribute to its dynamic and rewarding field.

In conclusion, the hospitality sector in India is experiencing significant changes and opportunities. To thrive in this transformative era, it must adopt innovative HR practices, address compensation challenges, prioritize workforce agility, promote diversity and inclusion, and leverage technology. Collaborative efforts across the industry can create a positive image and attract top talent, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future.


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