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INSIGHTS PEOPLE 1ST Have we entered the performance and talent revolution? Martin-Christian Kent, Executive Director at People 1st explains how their research shows that many are having a rethink on how to maximise staff value. It’s a challenging time to be dealing with HR issues in the hospitality industry, but with those challenges come opportunities. Research we’ve conducted with 40 leading hospitality companies shows that many are rethinking the way they maximise value from their staff. Central to this are interventions to increase retention and performance. Many businesses describe themselves as being “on a journey”, and that journey signals a break from the ways things have been done in the past. For many, the focus on staff retention and performance is a logical response to rising staff costs, recruitment difficulties and changing employee attitudes. In essence, the old ways are no longer working effectively. Most hospitality businesses would argue that they have always focused on retaining talent, but our research clearly highlights that they are now doing so on an unprecedented scale. While businesses’ retention strategies differ, they are increasingly broad and far-reaching, including rethinking how to have a genuine, two-way dialogue with staff and tailor contracts, hours and benefits to suit different needs. Businesses are harnessing technology to facilitate this engagement, allowing staff and employers to communicate with one another in ways that were unimaginable a decade ago. At the same time, businesses continue to invest heavily in effective people management skills to ensure staff are fully engaged and motivated. Businesses are also looking to make their progression opportunities more transparent by promoting both vertical and horizontal opportunities. Through interactive maps, staff can also access appropriate training and pay increases are often linked to the successful completion of appropriate training. This is something we have seen our clients value very strongly. In addition, the apprenticeship levy and reforms have led many large businesses to rethink how they can maximise apprenticeships. We’re seeing a clear shift to higher-level apprenticeships that are used to support retention and progression, rather than simply being used as an entry route. For many years, People 1st has highlighted the strong link between high labour turnover and skill gaps, and how they are undermining productivity levels within the industry. Businesses are now much more likely to focus on staff retention, training and development to increase performance than they have been in the past, but some are also looking taking a much wider view. A number of businesses are looking afresh at their HR strategies as part of a wider reengineering of their customer journey and experience. Technology is changing the way a business interacts with its clients and, as part of this, some are looking at ergonomics, job design and their processes to increase customer satisfaction, spend and return business. Whilst doing so, they are also placing more emphasis on increasing productivity. As many employers acknowledge, this rethinking of HR approaches is a journey. Some are further along than others and it may take a while before the industry reaches its destination. However, not only will these changes deliver real benefits to a business, they should have a positive impact on the industry overall. Hospitality is likely to reduce its demand for labour as a result of better retention, as well as becoming a more attractive career destination. Both will be critically important as unemployment continues to fall and we prepare to leave the EU, making the labour market even more competitive. This break from the past is likely to continue to have positive repercussions for the effectiveness of HR approaches in the industry. There has probably never been a more challenging time to work in hospitality HR – and it has certainly has never been under so much scrutiny and measurement – but, equally, its impact on business effectiveness has never been as fully appreciated as it is today. In other cases, businesses are beginning to ask questions about whether they need to start thinking differently. 26 | Insights & Action | July 2017
NUTRITION & WELL-BEING KATE TAYLOR The risk of unregulated nutrition Nutritionist Kate Taylor explains why the need for regulation of professional in the world of nutrition has never been more important. Who should we trust, where is the protection for consumers? Nutrition has been on the agenda for a while now, it’s not new. However personally I’m still constantly contacted by those who aren’t sure who to gain advice from, which health professional is the right one and who to believe. As the importance of good nutrition and therefore good advice is paramount for performance I wanted to use this as an opportunity to clear a few things up. While at the Natural & Organic Food Show last month, at seminar hosted by the founder of a certain organic chocolate brand, the importance of nutrition, really came to light. Said host proceeded through their presentation, which was interesting up until the quote “we shouldn’t eat breakfast because it interrupts the fast”. Now there is some truth here, because that’s the point of having breakfast, in fact that’s the meaning of the word. So, in a room full of people, some of which are health professionals who will take the science view, as I did, some whom are the general public who will be leaving thinking about trying this, I was concerned. I raised my hand and asked the question – what evidence this was based on? This was answered, however the studies referenced weren’t quoted and therefore I was left unsatisfied and slightly annoyed. This example quite clearly highlights the importance of qualified advice. But in case it’s not enough, here’s a few others: n Australian Belle Gibson who faked her cancer diagnosis and got an Instagram following of 200,000 claiming she was curing it consuming whole foods. Her lies were exposed in 2015. n A popular UK newspaper article last month headlining “The very surprising foods top nutritionists say they’d never touch” – when in fact none of these were qualified or had any evidence supporting them. n Dr Robert Young, in the USA, claiming by visiting his ranch and adopting the alkaline diet you will be healed of disease. He’s recently been arrested. Food isn’t a medicine, they are two different things. It can and will certainly have an impact on our way of being, there is no denying that. However medicine, the treatment of disease, cannot be solely achieved by the diet we consume from food and beverages. So, what’s the difference between a dietitian, a nutritionist and a nutritional therapist and how are those who practice regulated? Dietitians generally work in a clinical setting and with individuals who have diagnosed medical conditions, a lot of the time in hospitals or clinical settings. Many dietitians are also qualified registered nutritionists too and in addition they may work in education, media, research and industry. A university degree is needed to practice as a dietitian and the title is protected by law. This is regulated by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPP) and the British Dietetic Association (BDA). Nutritionists provide information based on scientific research about how food and nutrition impacts human health and wellbeing. Nutritionist is not a protected title by law however is voluntarily regulated by the Association for Nutrition (AfN). Nutritionists commonly work in industry, education, community and also freelance with clients but rarely work in clinical settings. A university degree is needed for both human and animal nutritionists. Nutritional Therapists work more holistically with their patients and will use many different tools to assess one’s health. They follow the Functional Medicine Model and they are also not legally protected. They are voluntarily regulated by the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT). Currently, due to lack of lawful regulation, anyone can set up and practice as a nutritionist, meaning there is no real protection for consumers. Parliament have responded to the recent government petition to say it will be debated once it reaches 100,000. epmagazine.co.uk | 27