The first meeting of the Get Onboard Now! People Action Group addressed hot topics relating to employee and passenger wellbeing in the sector and highlighted allergy awareness and accountability, talent retention across the sector, future training options and youth recruitment as being pivotal to assisting recovery post-pandemic.
The group recognised that cutbacks across the onboard hospitality industry in the past year mean the sector is having to do more with fewer people. Numbers are down, the talent pool has decreased and there is a need to strengthen the knowledge pool while also remotivating and mentoring those who have persevered through the hard times, and collectively to work on attracting young talent to join our sector.
Our experts highlighted a new global focus on personal wellbeing in both the work and leisure spheres and identified allergy awareness and special meals provision onboard as currently a weak link in the hospitality offer. They identified a need for better, simpler training, more accredited and mandatory certification of hygiene and food service delivery, and raised the possibility of near-miss reporting on allergy issues. Special meals categories and labelling need a particular rethink and emphasis.
The group also agreed it was crucial to gain a better understanding of the needs, values and expectations of the Next Gen traveller, and proposed the development of an Onboard Hospitality Youth Panel to support and provide encouragement for more young talent joining the sector. This was seen as the best way to expand the understanding and discussion on changing demographic onboard.
Having established a collaborative and aligned set of objectives for the campaign, the group will now work to support proactive debate and share insightful case studies which reflect these. These will also look at recruitment methods, organisation structures and training as key to building momentum back into the recovery. Organisations will need strategies that bind employees together, give them purpose and the opportunity to make a difference and demonstrate resilience. The group was also keen to develop and share strategies around support for leadership, succession planning and building empathy within the business structures and the passenger experience.
Attending the kick-off session were Cindy Lam, Clip , Caroline Benjamin, Food Allergy Aware, Sandra Pineau-Boddison, The Hayward Partnership/ IFSA Foundation, Sinje Wojahn, LSG Group , Marc Warde, Niche Free-from Kitchen/ Libero Special Meals, Michael Pooley, The Hayward Partnership, and Julie Baxter and April Waterston Onboard Hospitality Magazine
To share your People stories and support the Get Onboard Now! Campaign contact Onboard Hospitality Editor Julie Baxter at firstname.lastname@example.org