Thank you for this question Stefano, very interesting insight. Those who had been working here for many years (some people have been here for 30 years) perceived the job in the traditional way, that work is dignity, work is life; therefore, we couldn’t wait to go back to work because for us work was a fundamental part of our everyday life. From this point of view, I found some people a bit disoriented at the beginning because we went from working with great energy, to staying completely still at home, only to start off again at full speed.
It was not easy at first, but little by little we got back on track. Fortunately, the people who decided to leave the sector were only three, so we had to find other people to replace them and it was still very challenging.
The pandemic made people realise that you can have a life outside of work; they rediscovered the joys of family, the pleasure of taking time for themselves, for their passions. Having discovered that there is another life balance, people are now willing to live even with a lot less money and have quality experiences. In detail, we did an analysis to look at the priorities of employees and it turned out that the three fundamental aspects are no longer ‘prestige’, ‘salary’, etc., they are: ‘location of the workplace’, ‘working hours’, and then ‘salary’. What we can see from this data is that people are more focused on quality of life. It is up to us professionals to organise people’s work in the best possible way. In the facility, we have experienced some difficulties related to the fact that everyone wants to work until 6 p.m. at the latest. So when we have to insert certain people, at breakfast for example, who finish their shift at noon, I find them without problems. On the other hand, if I have to find staff for the evening shifts, I have difficulties, we struggle a lot. This is reflected in the number of applications we receive.
If we publish three advertisements for three positions (reception, breakfasts and restaurant), the amount of CVs we receive is in that order: for reception we receive a lot of applications, for breakfasts we receive a fair number and for the restaurant one or two. In all of these the really skilled, qualified and valid ones are, if anything, 10 per cent. As far as the customer is concerned, on the other hand, I would say that not much has changed. Guests travel more than before, they spend more than before, they have changed their booking behaviour, for example overseas customers used to book 120-180 days in advance, now they book even a week in advance, which was non-existent before. Historically in Venice we did not have last minute booking peaks, as happens in the business hotels of Milan, but now it is happening here too and this has consequences also in human resources management.