Last Tuesday, the U.S. Labor Department released the stunning results of its November survey of job openings and labor turnover, known as JOLTS: More than 4.5 million people voluntarily left their jobs, the highest monthly figure since the government began keeping track 20 years ago.
Many of the people setting the new records are quitting low-wage jobs—and plenty are leaving the hospitality sector. This underlines the need for planners to negotiate hotel contracts that include performance guarantees related to service levels and operational success. (Here’s one strategy from meetings industry attorney John Foster.)
However, a shortage of hotel workers is just one area of concern for meeting professionals through this “Great Resignation.” Meeting-department staff departures are also a threat, as knowledge workers look for flexible opportunities, higher pay, and less stress. Undoubtedly, the winter omicron surge has renewed many employees’ challenges around balancing work, childcare, and safety.
Staff departures in an events department can be disruptive, demoralizing, and threaten the smooth execution of an organization’s critical meetings and conferences. But planners, like other employees, are less likely to quit when they feel valued and part of a team. This sense of shared purpose can be especially difficult among remote teams. Conducting high-quality weekly or monthly department meetings, whether in-person or online, is an important step in keeping a group together and moving in the same direction. This article from the Harvard Business Review focuses on 10 tactics that can help meeting leaders and attendees communicate effectively and in ways that feel supportive of the group.
Good internal meetings won’t solve the labor crisis, but they might help you hang on to an employee who needs a reason to stay.