Bojo's pandemic blunder fuses a toxic relationship between the nation's managers and their employees

By Andrea Tamba · Jun 23, 2022

The UK’s economy suffered a great loss during the pandemic, and the incompetency of the government may have just cost businesses their young workforce. 

Students and young people under 25 claim to have felt mistreated when lockdown was enforced and businesses had to shut down. The government’s reported mishandling of the pandemic has meant managers nationwide have to bear the burden of the resulting strained relationship with their young workforce, as they are currently dealing with a mass refusal to return to work.

If there is one thing businesses should know about this current Gen z workforce, it’s that they are very pro job hopping, changing jobs at a rate of 134%. Gone is the idea of ‘working it out’ for the sake of job security, as this generation will see to it that they have a brand new job by the following Monday, should an employer misbehave.

Gen zers have an unprecedented awareness of industry politics, and are bold as well as unrelenting in the assertion of their values. Simply put, they take up space in the workplace.

So it’s no shock that businesses across the nation are on the receiving end of a mass refusal to return to work. With vacancies at a record high of 174,000 in the hospitality industry, young people should be running to fill these positions, but confusingly businesses are facing a recruitment crisis instead.

Now where did we go wrong?

Students have pointed to their ex managers as the culprits. 

According to a student intern at e4s, managers suddenly adopted a change in tone towards their employees post pandemic crisis, with ‘optimistic texts,’ after they had “sacked [them] as a means of avoiding the wage supplementation of the furlough scheme.

What can the Hospitality industry do to get ahead and repair its relationship with its young workforce?

Invest in the digital.

The industry is lagging when it comes to investing in the digital. The need to rectify this is even more pressing now that we’ve spent the better part of the last two years communicating through screens. 

To put it simply, your recruitment crisis ends once you’ve shown that you’re willing to invest in your workforce in a way that is engaging to them. The free snacks and M&S vouchers office perks mean nothing to a generation that values transparency and are looking for flexibility; a reported  42% of workers would rather have a flexible working environment than a 6-20% pay rise, according to a study by IWG.

Invest in the digital as a means of communicating to your Gen Z workforce that you’re willing to invest in them. 

At gigl we are currently pushing for the use of video applications in an effort to mend this relationship between businesses and and the future Gen Z workforce.