Labor Shortages and the Future
Jackie Carpenter 4/26/19
Everywhere I turn it seems another professional is complaining about the difficulty in finding quality employees. For the first time in over two decades there are more available jobs in the US than workers to fill them. The economy is doing well right now and a lot of jobs are available. More Americans are going to college and acquiring professional jobs and more baby boomers are retiring resulting in a small pool of candidates.
Low skilled workers are the most in demand to fill positions in retail, hotels and restaurants. As the struggle to fill line-level positions increases, industries today are being forced to adapt to different modes of operation to overcome this challenge. More hotels and restaurants are integrating “people-less” systems using apps, tablets and automation to cover aspects previously assigned to employees. Home delivery is now a thing for most grocery stores, Target, Lowes, the majority of restaurant chains and others. The hope is that more people order online to save time and therefore fewer employees are needed on site.
How will clubs be impacted? Will members tolerate ordering meals from their iPhones or a Kiosk? Will phone systems become automated? Will members also want the club to deliver meals to their home? Will transactions triumph over connections?
There are clubs that are using technology and automation to fill in the gaps in member service. More clubs are transitioning to self service counters or food pickup opportunities to provide quick, low labor service.
I just find myself wondering…in an industry based on personalization, connection and relationships, how will these changes impact private clubs? Will we be giving members what they want – quick, consistent food and service or will we be diminishing the thing that makes private clubs so special?