Tourism businesses reported a greater focus on training and development
This guest blog post is provided by the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council, whose goal is to improve the quality of the Canadian labour force and to assist businesses to be more flexible in meeting changing competitive demands.
Last December, the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council invited you to participate in the 2010 compensation study. Every two years, the Council conducts a comprehensive analysis of human resource practices, compensation, and benefits in the tourism sector in Canada. This study has grown over the years and now reports on 31 tourism occupations by industry group, region, and employment status.
For the 2010 study, 1,962 tourism businesses representing over 62,000 employees across the country were surveyed. Participants provided data on the median wages and/or salaries of their employees as well as the starting wage, maximum wage offered and total cash (wage plus bonuses) for each occupation. Information on gratuities, benefits, perquisites, special programs and work arrangements offered by Canadian tourism businesses was also collected. This data has been compiled, analyzed and reported on in the now available 2010 Tourism Sector Compensation Study (link no longer valid).
Recognizing that non-cash elements such as training and development, career growth, organizational effectiveness and a balanced and engaged lifestyle are important to the workforce, the study examined how different human resource practices affect attraction and retention. The report found that participating tourism businesses had focused their human resource efforts on initiatives such as providing competitive wages, basing employee advancement and recognition on job performance rather than seniority, and investing in job coaching and training for employees. Notably, 84% of respondent organizations in 2010 offered training and development to their staff compared to 50% from the 2008 study.
It was also found that businesses which pay the same or better than other businesses had reduced voluntary and involuntary turnover and increased profitability. The reduction in turnover was particularly notable amongst businesses in the recreation and entertainment industry and travel services industry. Among other findings, the study also noted that investments in coaching and mentoring programs increased attraction, decreased turnover and increased profitability.
Understanding these trends in compensation and benefits can help tourism businesses, operators and managers plan their human resource needs in the face of increasing labour shortages as the Canadian economy gains strength.