In this COVID-19 era, jobs in the island’s hotel industry will expand and workers will have to take on more duties in addition to their traditional functions.
Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association president Mary Rhodes said job duties in the hotel industry’s workforce are going to change and people are going to take on more responsibilities than they normally have, especially in the area of health and safety.
“With the new protocols, it’s going to be everybody’s responsibility not just housekeepers or custodians or general facilities employees. It’s going to be everybody’s responsibility to understand safety and health protocols,” Rhodes said during the recently concluded GCC Workforce Opportunities Reimagined Conference (WORC).
There will also be a need to get more hotel employees certified, not just with the regular health certificates, but also other more specialized certificates like pesticide training and others related to health and safety.
“So we need to make sure that you’re able to train and educate people and get them certified and properly licensed, if we’re going to add those job duties for them. I think that it’s very challenging already, where people are dealing with a stressful situation that we need to ensure that people understand what it is that they’re doing well on the job, and especially if we’re adding additional job duties and responsibilities for them,” Rhodes said.
The GHRA president added that improved and better communications will also be very important in the COVID era. “Communication is very important in how you not just set your culture within your organization but also how you maintain it and sustain it through various changes.”
She also stressed that hotel employees — whether they’re new employees or incumbent workers, — have to reassess their positions and managers need to determine what new skill sets need to be taught to upskill those employees.
“Make sure all of the employees understand the plans that are in place and that they know that on a daily basis,” Rhodes said.
In addition, Rhodes said there is a need to constantly validate and test hotel protocols.
“You need to walk through your protocols. How many businesses are actually practicing their pandemic plans or going through contract tracing? We need to look at staggered schedules and knowing when employees are going to have to address their schedules so that they can remain operational, even if somebody, you know, says that they’re getting appropriate tests,” Rhodes said.
She added: “If you don’t have an HR department, you need to be able to organize all of that so that everybody understands what your protocols are.”