Title: Skill for future leaders post pandemic

A hospitality professional needs to have a balance of both hands-on-skills and interpersonal skill to cater to the guests, so as to win over their hea

Hospitality Industry is a 24 hour, 365 days flourishing service sector, employing more than 11 million people globally as its work force to cater to guests as service provider. The sector comprises of skilled social beings catering to needs and emotions of others to run a successful enterprise. It’s a business of helping people to feel welcomed, relaxed and fulfilled the purpose of their visit. Hence hospitality is often mentioned as a deliberate, planned and sustained effort to gain a mutual understanding between the organisation and public so as to keep up with market requirement. When talking about sustainable effort, Covid 19 pandemic has change the face of the world. There are a lot of insecurities that surround us, regarding our physical and mental health, our finance, our occupation, work environment, and when coming to hospitality these insecurities have improved. Hence all the hospitality service providers have had to relook into their systems and procedures so as to provide the highest quality of service to attract and retain the guests. When we talk about service providers in hospitality sector, the quality of deliverables depends on the level of skill the hospitality personnel exhibits during his or her service. Skills have always been the foundation of work in hospitality sector, let it be hands-on-skills like creating a dish, serving a glass of wine, making a perfect bed or interpersonal skills like effective communication, personality development, empathy, etc. A hospitality professional needs to have a balance of both hands-on-skills and interpersonal skill to cater to the guests, so as to win over their hearts and make them brand loyal. Due to this pandemic, hospitality industry has taken a big hit in its operational speed, but is slowly recovering to welcome its guests. But retention of these guests totally depends on the quality of services provided, which is directly proportional to the skill level. Hence every hotelier needs to take a step towards reskilling and upskilling, so that they can cope up with the guest’s expectation. During this pandemic, hospitality saw a revolution in service and the skill pertaining to it has become a must know. Skills like Digital Marketing, Emotional Intelligence, and Digital Communication, have taken up a major role to reach out to the gusts, where as the Standard Operating Procedures’ (SOPs) have also been upgraded to match up to the precautionary services due to pandemic. The current hospitality workforce needs to work on themselves to achieve such skills, so as to lead the team and emerge as a leader amongst the others. The responsibility of constructing a pathway to success is on the shoulders of leadership, and mastering these new skills will help you achieve the milestones. There are many allied hospitality education and training institutions who are providing assistance in upskilling and reskilling the industry’s workforce, along with online platforms like Coursera and Lobster ink. We at FHRAI – IHM are also trying to contribute to these changes by training the budding hoteliers with updated skills and by also conducting reskilling programs for people working in the industry. Many research scholars are also breaking their sweat in finding out and researching sustainable techniques that will aid to skill development in tourism and hospitality. The losses incurred by the service sector can be made up by investing in skill development at all levels and gradually the industry will return back to its previous glory.