When I agreed to write this column a few months ago, it’s fair to say I had a very different article in mind. Things have changed beyond all recognition since then and, while it was impossible to fully prepare for things escalating so quickly, we can now put a plan in place for when things recover – as they undoubtedly will.
A great many companies in the travel industry – my company C&M Travel Recruitment included – have placed a large number of employees on furlough. For many of us, this scheme could be the difference between having a potentially thriving business in a few months’ time and ceasing trading altogether immediately, so we must ensure we don’t waste this vital lifeline.
During this time of uncertainty, it is important we make sure our companies are in the best place they can be when “normality” resumes – both from a financial perspective and staffing point of view.
Although there are some fantastic newly unemployed people out there, for the vast majority of us, it’s still too early to be thinking about our next recruits. Now really is the time to be concentrating on our current employees and ensuring they remain active and are fully engaged whenever they are needed again.
Many may be furloughed and unable to work for the coming weeks, but they shouldn’t be forgotten about. At C&M, we have regular catch-ups, plus a Friday afternoon quiz on Zoom; it’s only a small thing, but it helps maintain morale and, besides, it’s just really great to see everyone’s faces again.
As well as this, we’re encouraging all of our team to stay engaged by keeping busy and having a daily structure. This can involve exercising and reading the trade press, as well as keeping their brain active by either doing some training relevant to their role, or perhaps learning a new language or skill. If everyone now has all of this free time, we may as well spend it productively.
Things are changing constantly, and have no doubt shifted significantly since I even wrote this, but things are hopefully moving forward for the better.
So let’s spend the next period thinking about the great staff we’ve got in our industry, and hopefully we’ll all see each other again at ITT’s rescheduled conference in September. Until then, stay safe, stay indoors and let’s help each other through this.