Staff turnover continuously plagues the hospitality industry. In August 2021 alone, 892,000 hospitality workers quit, mainly because of dissatisfaction with financial and work-life balance support during the pandemic.
To counteract this trend, we will show you how to reduce staff turnover in the hospitality industry with unique tactics. Frustration can be high in hospitality, but employee retention is still possible.
Main Reasons for People Leaving the Hospitality Industry
People get their motivation from various sources: money, a good work environment, an easy commute, etc. And if they don’t feel fulfilled at a job, they will leave sooner or later. These are some of the main reasons people leave the hospitality industry.
Problems With Management
No one is happy at work if they don’t get along with their boss. A manager that doesn’t communicate well, doesn’t appreciate their team’s work, and doesn’t treat people with respect and consideration will contribute to the high staff turnover.
Low pay is typical across the hospitality industry. If employees feel they’re not being properly compensated for their efforts, they will leave, especially considering that they don’t have set schedules and are expected to work during weekends and public holidays.
No Career Prospects
Part-time and seasonal work is standard in the hospitality industry. Therefore, employees don’t see these jobs as long term. Management often treats them as easily replaceable, and there’s no investment in their professional growth.
How to Reduce Staff Turnover for Hospitality Companies
Learning how to reduce staff turnover in the hospitality industry is essential for large companies and startups vying for success. More money gets spent continuously recruiting and onboarding new talent than maintaining employee retention.
Recruiting new hires could take thousands of dollars, depending on business size and resources. Instead, retain your employees so you can save money from not having to post listings on job boards and take the extra time to recruit new talent.
Smooth Onboarding Process
If you need new hospitality workers, a smooth onboarding process will help them learn about the company culture and its mission and values. Take one step of the onboarding process at a time without overwhelming the new employee. Here is a breakdown of what the first few days should look like for a new hospitality worker.
- Complete onboarding paperwork before their shift starts.
- Have the team greet the new employee in a staff meeting before a shift begins.
- Pair the new employee with a seasoned co-worker for shadowing.
- The main goal for the employee on day 1 is to learn the basics of their position.
- Have the employee continue to shadow their co-worker.
- Add new skills to the basics for the employee to learn.
- Let this be the first day they work the position independently.
- Encourage the recruit to ask questions if they are unsure of something while working.
Training does not stop after the hiring process. Give new and seasoned employees pointers on their performance as you provide them with continuous training. Critiques can go a long way in helping them to improve their overall work performance and productivity.
How to reduce staff turnover in the hospitality industry is as easy as offering company perks. Some company perks you may want to consider offering include:
- Discounts on company products or services.
- Food discounts for restaurant workers
- Travel agency service discounts for Travel Agents.
- 10% off on bar drinks and eats for bars.
- 10% to 15% off room rates for hotel workers
- Employee bonuses for excellent performance each quarter.
- Employee appreciation events such as potlucks and each person receiving recognition for their work in the company.
- Networking events every couple of months to meet high-echelon professionals in the hospitality industry.
People desire a personal life outside of their daily jobs. The hospitality industry can be taxing and demanding with longer work hours. However, you should provide flexible schedules whenever possible so that they have time to recharge at home with their families for more productivity when they return to work.
Examples of Good Leadership
Whether a person is a Lead Dishwasher, Housekeeper, Sous Chef, or Bartender, leadership is essential for every position. It does not matter what tier an employee’s position is in the ranking hierarchy in the company. Each employee should take leadership and accountability for performed work.
Transformational leadership is the best tactic to pursue when working in the hospitality industry. Leaders work with lower-ranking employees to change how they think about their work. Hence, everyone in the company follows the same goal and can be a leader in their everyday actions.
For example, rather than letting the dishes pile up, the Lead Dishwasher can start on dishes right as they arrive from the kitchen. At the same time, the Assistant Dishwasher gets the dishes away into their proper areas throughout the kitchen. If the Head Chef or Sous Chef does not have any food to cook, they can help the Dishwashers get the cutlery and plates clean.
Offer Career Advancement
No worker wants to feel stuck in the same mundane job. Give your workers raises to compensate for the company’s loyalty. Do bi-annual or annual performance reviews to know their current performance quality.
Offer internal hiring when new positions open to advance current talent. It is easier to train someone who has been with your company in a different job than it is to hire a completely new individual for the open position.
Team Building Activities
Hospitality workers will be more willing to stick with their current position if the company culture feels like family. This can be done by doing team-building activities.
Try to rotate people in different positions for one day per week. This will build an appreciation for the various positions in the company while learning new skills. For example, have Dishwashers help with food expediting within reason and have Assistant Chefs help with the dishes throughout the day.
Partner individuals with people they do not typically work with. Exposing everyone to different workers can build team skills with individuals of diverse strengths, weaknesses, and skill sets.
Outside of the work shift before opening or after closing, here are some other team-building ideas to do with your hospitality team:
- Have everyone help one another cook a dish or a dessert in the company kitchen or break room.
- Host a trivia night where each team must “buzz in” to answer the question correctly first. They can collaborate as a team to determine the answers to the questions.
- Hire a team-building company to help suggest different activities to bring your hospitality workers closer.
Be Specific in Job Advertising
When you do job advertising, communicate everything that recruits need to know about the position before they apply. If you try to give them tasks unrelated to the advertised position, they may want to leave because they will feel they are being overworked.
When you make a job listing sure to include:
- The official job title.
- Listing of all responsibilities for the position.
- Qualifications such as education, skill set, and certifications to be a quality candidate.
- Hourly or annual pay.
Even if it is time for a performance review, check in regularly with new hires and seasoned employees. Ask them how they are faring with their tasks. Inquire if they need anything from you for them to be more successful in their position, whether something physical or verbal.
Especially if an employee is having trouble completing tasks or receiving constant customer complaints, institute a check-in meeting. Rather than scold your employee, ask them if anything in their personal life is affecting their work productivity. Work with them to accommodate their needs so they can remain a member of your company’s team.
Institute an Employee Referral Program
Reward your current team with a monetary benefit if they recommend qualifying talent to your company. For example, you may reward the recommending employee and the new recruit both $100 to $200 each.
Employee referral programs go a long way in employee retention. A reward system shows that you appreciate your current talent’s efforts to harvest new talent and advance your company further.
Final Thoughts On Reducing Staff Turnover in the Hospitality Industry
Employee retention is possible if you check in with your team, encourage team building, and offer motivating company perks. Of course, there will be times when employees will want to pursue better opportunities beyond your business. That’s okay! At least you know you have done what you could to reduce staff turnover in the hospitality industry.