Covid has left the hospitality industry badly understaffed across the board. International visa-holders who returned home in droves during the pandemic have yet to return, and we saw many local staff make a move to less locked-down industries such as construction. 

Now, as Australia reopens, one of the key concerns for the sector in the coming months is being able to adequately staff up to meet demand, according to Deputy, the maker of software that helps venues better manage their shift workers.

Furthermore, thanks to the growing imbalance between staff supply and demand, business owners face the additional risk of losing existing staff to other workplaces with a more enticing offer, such as those offering above-market wages or better conditions. 

Against this challenging backdrop, it’s critical that business owners start thinking about how to continue to be a business that their staff want to work for. With this in mind, Deputy has outlined four simple things venues can do today to make sure they’re creating the best environment for their team.

Create a space for open, easy communication
If it’s been a while since you’ve worked together, or you’re bringing on new staff, having a central place to keep everyone up to date and feel connected with one another can be invaluable. While Deputy offers a centralised news feed for this, it can be as basic as using a WhatsApp or Facebook group to make sure that everyone knows where their updates are coming from.

Take a look at shift fairness and equality
Are the same people consistently working the unsociable hours? Can a ten-hour shift be split between two people? Is everyone getting the shifts that suit their personal life? In an industry that has made it commonplace for staff to work long hours on their feet late into the night, managing these small rostering changes can make a huge difference to the motivation of your team.

Start talking about mental health

While the industry has not had a good track record when it comes to supporting mental health, the last 18 months has called for a renewed focus on how we can better support the mental wellbeing of hospitality workers. As a manager, this can seem like a daunting task, but it can be as simple as just starting the conversation and making it a part of your culture to genuinely check in with staff. 

Other practical steps you can implement include avoiding rostering staff on ‘clopening’ shifts that don’t give them enough time to rest and recover, or introducing a code phrase like ‘I’m going to do the dishes’ when a staff member might need a break from the floor. 

Invest in the right technology
These things can be hard to do manually, but with the right technology you can easily and efficiently make your pub or a bar a place that staff want to work, because of the culture you’re able to build. 

Technology can support you in paying your staff fairly, making sure they’ve got the work-life balance, and even help to remind you to celebrate the small things like birthdays and ‘workiversaries’.

All of these things can contribute to creating a great team culture by increasing trust and transparency between management and the team.

Try Deputy for free today by clicking here.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.