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Lack of staff commitment threatens future profitability for travel firms

LONDON, April 8, 2020

Industry wide, travel companies are making staff adjustments to stay operational during this coronavirus-induced existential crisis, putting staff commitment under considerable strain, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. 
 
A de-motivated workforce will jeopardize the service level provided, in turn affecting the reputation, return on investment (ROI) and the financial performance of a company, it said.
 
Freezing recruitment, reducing working hours, decreasing pay, furloughing workers and, in some cases, redundancies have been adjustments undertaken by companies across the sector. Staffing adjustments have been the most common action undertaken by travel management so far to ultimately save costs.
 
The ethical standards of a company can reflect on the treatment of the workforce and, as more drastic measures are taken, employee wellbeing should not be forgotten. GlobaData’s Global Q4 2018 Consumer Survey found that 81 per cent of the global traveller community are ‘always’, ‘often’ or ‘somewhat’ influenced by ethics. Thus, post-Covid-19, employers that have mistreated their workforce in any way may be shunned by the public but also by their own workforce, significantly affecting their operational performance.
 
Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, said: “This has now gone beyond freezing recruitment as the number of companies taking drastic measures increases dramatically day-by-day. Larger travel players such as TUI, Hays Travel and even the likes of online travel agents (OTAs) such as Booking.com have had to make substantial staff adjustments in order to save on costs during a time where cash is vital."
 
“However, among smaller independent companies, management are looking to form more creative solutions to ensure their workforces remain motivated and in-cohort at this time of uncertainty, whether by aiding the community or developing relationships. TailorMadeTravel, for example, introduced a virtual call centre for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK."
 
“Even though staffing adjustments are vital for many a company to stay in operation, ethical standards and employee wellbeing must still be considered. Conclusively, in a post-Covid-19 world a committed workforce will be a key differentiator in the operational efficiency and productivity of one company over another,”  Bonhill-Smith said. - TradeArabia News Service



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