Fáilte Ireland reveals Employer Excellence initiative

Fáilte Ireland’s new Employer Excellence initiative will champion the best employers in tourism industry.

Fáilte Ireland has today launched a new, first of its kind industry wide Employer Excellence initiative that will provide tourism businesses with a competitive edge as they recruit and retain staff in a highly competitive employment market.

The initiative will help to drive improvements in employment practices across the industry and provide businesses with tailored action plans and a trusted symbol that denotes a rewarding and appealing workplace.

“The initiative is a key element of Fáilte Ireland’s strategy to ensure businesses can retain and attract the staff it needs immediately while also building a future pipeline of skilled employees”

Welcoming the initiative, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin has described the programme as “a step change in acknowledging businesses who make tourism a rewarding place to work and sets a new industry standard for the sector.”

Changing work environments

According to Fáilte Ireland research, tourism businesses are making positive changes to their work practices. The recent research shows that over 70% of the businesses surveyed who are recruiting are offering increased pay while 69% are offering more stable work patterns. Fáilte Ireland’s Employer Excellence initiative will build on this positive momentum. 

“My department and Fáilte Ireland have been collaborating with industry and other government departments to ensure that there is a coordinated approach to addressing the labour and skills shortages,” Minister Martin added.

“Employer Excellence has been devised by Fáilte Ireland to help tourism businesses demonstrate their commitment to creating rewarding and appealing workplaces. This initiative is a central element of the National Tourism Development Authority’s strategy to support the industry to rebuild the staff and skills lost during the pandemic.”

Participating businesses will obtain the Employer Excellence mark on completion of the programme. The mark will become a recognised trusted symbol for tourism businesses denoting a quality workplace for employees.  Managers of participating businesses will have the opportunity to undertake a new Best in Class People Management Programme, which has been developed by Fáilte Ireland as part of this initiative. Areas covered include Best Practice Recruitment and Induction, Probation and Performance Management and Building High Performing Teams.

“All over the world, tourism is fundamentally a people business but nowhere more so than in Ireland where our greatest asset as a nation is the Céad Míle Fáilte provided by tourism staff and businesses to our visitors,” Fáilte Ireland CEO Paul Kelly said.

“But to attract and retain the best people to work in tourism, we need to consistently ensure we provide quality workplaces. Our new Employer Excellence initiative has been designed to do just that. Through the initiative businesses will continuously improve their work practices to make tourism a great place to work for employees. The initiative is a key element of Fáilte Ireland’s strategy to ensure businesses can retain and attract the staff it needs immediately while also building a future pipeline of skilled employees.” 

From today (12th September) tourism businesses can sign up to join the initiative here. Businesses with fewer than 20 employees, can take part in the Employer Excellence programme from early 2023, with a bespoke process being developed.

“There are excellent employers and great workplaces in our industry and our recent research shows that businesses are implementing changes to improve their workplaces. Fáilte Ireland’s Employer Excellence initiative will put the views of the employee front and centre,” Jenny De Saulles, Fáilte Ireland’s director of Sector Development added.

“These insights will help support businesses to retain staff, but more importantly employers can achieve improved employee engagement and satisfaction that will drive the long-term repositioning of the industry as an appealing place to work. The programme is open to all tourism and hospitality businesses with more than 20 employees.”

Main image: Minister for Tourism Catherin Martin T.D., and Paul Kelly, CEO, Fáilte Ireland, with Michelle Carolan, Alan Fanning and Ruby Conroy, The Westin Hotel

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.