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Promoting employee loyalty

Di Job in Tourism, 27 Settembre 2002

I have participated in a round table in Rimini, organised by Itinera on the occasion of the degree-awarding ceremony. It is not my intention to write about the event in itself (I will do so at a later stage) but rather to reflect on the ideas discussed concerning human resources. Rimini is at the centre of a hospitality system which is unparalleled in the world. During the last few decades it has changed, and every time it has re-launched itself in a more assertive and attractive way; it is thus understandable that, for a system of such enormous size, human resources policies may constitute a critical aspect. During the meeting, the speakers as well as the participants from the audience repeatedly raised the issue of existing difficulties in recruiting qualified professionals, and on many occasions the discussion focused on the need to hire workers from other countries with managing functions, whether they are qualified or not to perform the tasks they are assigned to. The adequacy of the school system to provide suitable resources was debated, and it was noted that resources are often available in certain areas of the country and not in others. Also discussed were incentives to employment, even though in the context of a difficult economic situation, and the technologies that can help businesses in their activities. As often happens, however, the one topic that was left untouched on was that of employers’ active policies towards human resources, i.e. – in simple terms – what do companies do to attract the work force and promote their loyalty? Well, I believe this topic deserves greater attention than it is currently given during discussions, and it should not be somehow relegated to a corner as if it were of secondary importance. I am perfectly aware that there are companies which – commendably – invest in the professional growth of their human resources, in a relationship of great correctness; I am perfectly aware that not all companies can afford to devote to their collaborators as much as they would like to, but many do their best preserve a fair relationship with their employees; and I am also aware that certain companies have difficulty surviving, but do as best they can and manage adequate relationships within a context of legal correctness. This, however, does not imply that the topic should be ignored, as it is intimately related to the system’s capacity to respond to an increasing demand for manpower. Retaining professional resources by adequately motivating them seems to me to be a wiser policy than allowing them to disperse, and later having to seek new ones, not knowing where and how.

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