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March 22, 2018

Retaining Hospitality Employees

Did you know the employee turnover rate in the hospitality industry has reached a record high of 95%? For this reason, one new job opens up in the hospitality industry every 2.5 seconds. With such an influx of new jobs, you might think that finding employees to fill the jobs is easy. Unfortunately, it is not. Even though the hospitality is the number one employer in the United States after government positions, it also has a lower than average retention rate that is affecting workers within this industry.

It is becoming increasingly more difficult for hotel managers, restaurant owners, and travel agencies to retain talented employees. Talented team members have a greater capacity to be more efficient, bring value to their companies, and can continuously evolve in their area of expertise while expanding on new skills and talents. They are the drivers behind successful hospitality operations that ensure guests will return to a property.

Retaining hospitality employees can be a challenge. Here are some best practices to help along the way.

Lead by example. Managers of hotels, travel agencies, and other hospitality industry businesses need to set the example for what it means to be engaged in the workplace. If you are not making the effort to be actively engaged in the company, your employees will not be either. Maintain a positive, team-focused environment by hosting various engagement activities.

Encourage open communication. Managers should have an open-door communication policy to ensure employees always feel heard. Hold office hours that employees are welcome to come in and discuss things that affect their jobs. Listen carefully and consider their suggestions.

Good managers communicate through positive feedback. Be sure performance evaluations are constructive and don’t solely focus on the negative. Frame reviews from the positive side to reinforce and encourage the continuation of great work.

Employee engagement surveys are another way to promote open communication. These surveys will provide invaluable feedback on employees’ attitudes toward their jobs. They also give teams a chance to suggest changes that may be helpful to consider when looking at operations.

Not everything is about money. A lot of people think the only way to retain employees is to look at the dollar signs, but that’s not always the cases. Employees also want to feel valued. By showing employees you value their work, you improve their morale and they are encouraged to continue. There are several ways to show employee recognition without issuing large monetary bonuses. Simple on-the-spot recognition goes a long way when an employee needs a boost. Go one step further and implement a hospitality recognition program that rewards employees for the work they do while also allowing them pick the incentives they prefer.

Be flexible. A great work/life balance will work wonders for employee retention. Hotels are a 24/7 business, so balance can be challenging sometimes. Keep in mind that your employees are not meant to work 24/7. Employees become disengaged and quickly burnout when they are scheduled to work long hours without a break. Employees need to be able to take care of themselves and shouldn’t be afraid to ask for flexibility on doctor appointments or time off for family issues. A liberal paid time off policy that encompasses holidays, sick time, and personal time can work well for hospitality retention.

Train your team to be the best. Training employees is about more than just getting them ready for the job they will do day to day. It’s about preparing them to be the best at their jobs. Training needs to be done on a one-on-one and continual basis. Having a hospitality engagement program in place to track employee progress, future training opportunities, and rewarding them for participating in cross-training opportunities can help employees to feel more equipped to do the job. If employees are not trained properly and thoroughly, the guest experience will suffer and unhappy employees will look elsewhere for work.

Happy employees are employees who stay with their companies. In the hospitality industry, it is pertinent to employee retention that managers allow communication, flexible scheduling, and offer thorough training opportunities to keep employees engaged in the workplace. Employers should recognize employees for the great work they are doing by offering incentives and rewards. Studies have shown that higher levels of employee retention lead to higher guest satisfaction scores and a greater bottom line.

Levy Recognition offers an array of services designed to help managers recognize their employees for the hard work they do each day.

Contact us to learn more about how our recognition programs can help your hospitality business improve employee engagement and retention rates.

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Written by Anita Hawkins

Anita is the Digital Marketing Specialist at Levy Recognition. She loves helping people discover the custom awards process and teaching them about the methods and materials used to create custom awards and trophies. She has spent the majority of her career in the Marketing Industry, gaining experiences in areas such as Inbound Marketing, Journalism, and Web Design. While Digital Marketing is her primary job function by day, Anita also enjoys watching sports, competing in trivia events, and spending time with family and friends.
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