Punk Rock HR Episode 113:
The hospitality industry has suffered tremendously because of COVID. The jobs the industry provides, well, they’re the backbone of American families. This week, Jim Knight joins me to talk about the recession, staying motivated, and being resilient in hard times. We go deep into the retail, hospitality, and foodservice industries because that’s the area of the economy that Jim knows best.
Jim Knight is a training and development veteran with over 30 years of experience. He trains people to be their best. While I find the term ‘rockstar’ often overused, Jim Knight is a rockstar in every sense. I hope you enjoy my conversation with him.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- Jim breaks down what is going on in the hospitality and foodservice industry today, how many within the industry are discovering what it means to be resilient.
- Tension around wages, earnings, and unionization; Jim shares his take.
- How safety and engagement are related.
- With more and more foodservice workers going on unemployment, what are incentives to go back to work, especially if an organization doesn’t have a plan to handle guidelines or a policy in place for COVID-19?
- Jim shares some of the organizations he believes are doing right by their employees during COVID-19 times – those who are communicating who they are and how they’re keeping not only their customers safe but their employees safe as well.
- Some ways in which we can help the food and hospitality industries and its workers.
- We discuss essential workers and what the future holds for them.
HOW IS THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY RESILIENT IN HARD TIMES?
Here is Jim Knight’s take: “The restaurant, hotel, retail industries have been hurting. If you know anything about their background, it will bounce back and probably quicker than most other industries. When it comes to resiliency, you’re already starting to see many states open up as if COVID19 didn’t even happen. And that might be okay. In some states, I’m sure it freaks out some others. I live in Florida, and we’re starting to see about 75% back open, but here’s what I love about it. Even at its absolute worst, when we were all in quarantine and locked down, I was still able to get some takeout to help support the industry that I love.”
HOW WILL SAFETY CHANGE IN THE INDUSTRY FOLLOWING COVID-19?
According to Jim, he believes the industry is going to see a lot of change. Whether you’re going to see sanitation solution stations all over the place, whether you see employees start to come back in as part of their opening checklist, and probably people are going to start getting their temperature checked. There may be a lot more regulation, whether it’s from the city, the county, the state, or the nation, saying there are some things that you got to put into place. Safety and how guidelines are followed (or not) will also affect employees’ decision-making; if a company keeps them safe and engaged, they’re going to decide where they go to work or not.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP THE FOOD AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRIES AND ITS WORKERS?
Donations to various organizations can go a long way. Some of the organizations Jim mentioned included: No Kid Hungry, Feeding America, GoFundMe pages if you know somebody specifically, or individual local charities in which you can donate.
Resources from this episode:
National Restaurant Association