Manic Monday – Staff Shortages – What Could you be Doing Differently…

Midnight Musings from our CEO

In conversation with a number of stakeholders over the past few weeks it is clear that staff shortages continue to be a growing and escalating concern around the region. This is not a trend being experienced in the Thompson Okanagan, but is occurring throughout the province and the entire country and it is not limited to tourism but felt widely through other industries as well.

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet or panacea that will ultimately fix this situation, however, in speaking with our colleagues at go2HR they had some excellent comments and questions that businesses should be considering as this labour challenge continues in to the foreseeable future.  We encourage you to take time to review and reflect on how your business is faring and what possible changes you could make to improve employee attraction, retention and retraining. Remember, this is not a short term situation nor something that will have a quick fix, but there are businesses that are dealing with it better than others….what can you be doing to make sure that it does not happen to you?

Thank you to Arun Subramanian of go2HR for the following considerations:

  1. Despite all the talk about shortages, some employers still maintain they are okay…what is it they are doing and how can you implement similar actions?
  2. Recruitment should be a perennial activity- not something to be engaged in just when you need to hire someone- it needs to be strategic and deliberate
  3. Business is booming- in all industries- with increased need for staff; how does your business differentiate itself
  4. Demographic shift
    • Youth population has been steadily declining since the beginning of this decade and is set to plateau only by the middle of the next decade
    • A third of our industry’s workforce is youth (13% in other industries)
  5. Do you listen to your employees? Understand their needs?
  6. Do you know the profile of an “ideal” employee? Where can you find people of that profile? Target your efforts
  7. Do you offer the best you can to your employees?
    • Flexibility
    • Training
    • Growth
    • Housing (even help finding it would be appreciated)
    • Rewards and recognition
    • Positive workplace – Open communication, fairness, safe workplace
  8. Culinary- are you hiring/supporting apprentices? Engaging with culinary schools?
  9. Increasing efficiency- using technology (e.g. Online check in at hotels, like the airlines), reducing complexity (simpler dishes/menus e.g.), outsourcing (e.g. hotel banquet areas/restaurant run by a caterer)
  10. Connecting with opposite season employers


A Few Highlights from this Week’s News Centre…

Destination Canada has recently launched the Global Tourism Watch which notes that travellers planning or likely to come to Canada in the next year up from 8.73 to 9.57 million with BC ranking #1 in the country as the preferred province (read more); Have you travelled this region lately? This is a great time to show your support of our tourism industry by participating in some of the amazing events taking place around the region from Chain of Events in Penticton and area (read more) to the Mile High Food Festival at Silver Star Mountain (read more) and much much more in between. Take the time to travel the Thompson Okanagan this summer.

VOTING CONTINUES for the WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS; You can still cast your vote for TOTA in the upcoming World Travel Awards under the category of Responsible Tourism. YOU get to be the judge and help put our region in the forefront of international markets.  To register and vote for the Thompson Okanagan read more.

Read all of this week’s News Centre stories at

Keep following and contributing to TOTA’s Facebook and Twitter sites throughout the week; send us your stories, photos, events and remarkable experiences. Make sure the industry knows what is happening around our region.  Be sure to use #route97 and #explorebc when posting your tourism shots and stories.

All News