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The hospitality industry has very high employee turnover rates which can be attributed to the nature of the job, the number of job opportunities within the industry and the skills gap in the employees entering the job market.
The turnover rates in the hospitality industry are astonishing. In fact, it has become a sort of running joke. When you’re losing 80% of your employees every year, you rack up a lot of costs. Having to train new employees every other week takes atoll on the finances and your workforce.
So, what can you do to retain more employees? Here are seven effective strategies to reduce employee turnover in the hospitality industry:
Retaining employees begins before hiring starts. When you have an open position, you need to word the job description carefully.
● What role are you hiring for?
● What does the day-to-day look like?
● What have past employees said about the tasks needed for the role?
● What skills are needed to complete the work well?
Copy-pasting a generic job description from another business will not give you the right candidates to work with. Take the time to detail what your business needs so that the right people apply. You’ll have a better pool of candidates to work with.
When conducting interviews, asking the right questions is as important as looking for the right answers. If you’re short-staffed, you may want to rush through interviews to get someone on the floor as soon as possible. Do not do this. At the very least, look for someone with a teachable and can-do attitude. They’ll be easier to teach and will learn the tasks faster.
However, you still need to craft job-specific interview questions. Even if you are not looking for experience, you will need to prove that the candidate is willing to undergo training. Don’t rush the process. It’s better to take two or three weeks to interview to find the right person than to have to place an ad again in two months.
Once you have selected your candidates, you need to invest in proper onboarding. Dumping a new employee on another one five minutes into their first day will not lead to good results. You want to engage new employees from the moment they walk into the door. They need to understand the importance of their role and what their day-to-day tasks will be.
Focus on properly integrating every new employee into the company culture. People are far less likely to jump ship if they feel like they’re a part of something. Here is how you can do that:
● Welcome the new hire openly into the business and have their team members interact with them immediately. This begins a familiarization process.
● Provide the rules and regulations that are followed in your company, making sure to give details and explanations for each one. This ensures the new hire understands the code of conduct.
● Introduce the relevant managers so that the new hire understands the organizational structure and who to reach out to in case of a problem
● Offer relevant training, even if they have worked in a similar role in the past. Every hospitality business is different and they should have time to learn how yours works
● Give plenty of opportunity for questions and room for mistakes in that first month. If it feels like they can’t question anything or make a mistake, they will likely get stressed and will quit soon.
● Check in with the new hire and the team to ensure they are getting along and integrating well
Studies have shown that offering better compensation reduces turnover in the hospitality industry. It is tempting to try and reduce costs by underpaying your workers or paying them exactly the market rate. However, this means they can get the exact pay or better anywhere else. If you pay badly, they will leave more often.
While we can try and say that people should work because they like it and are invested in the company, that is not the truth. People work to be able to afford to exist in the world. You’ll be surprised how much your turnover rate drops when you start paying competitive rates and salaries.
Another consideration is employee benefits, especially for those who stay for longer than 3 months. Things like PTO, health insurance, annual raises or bonuses, retirement, and parental leave can help you retain a lot of good workers. No one wants to look for a new job and companies do not like to spend time hiring people. The win-win solution is to pay well and offer great benefits. In the long run, you will save money by paying your employees well.
Many employees leave because they feel as if there are no growth opportunities in the hospitality industry. Offering advancement opportunities and clear promotion paths within your business will help you retain more employees. If they don’t view it as a “dead-end” job, they’ll put in more effort and stay longer.
Secondly, ensure you are giving your employees continuous training. If someone feels like they are not fully equipped to do their job and have no support, they will leave. The hospitality industry is stressful and employees can feel lost. Continuous training in customer interaction, service, and new systems can help your employees feel more confident in their performance. You can also have apprenticeship or scholarship programs for employees to take courses and certificates relevant to their job.
Turning a blind eye to your employees’ safety concerns or complaints will cost you. The right thing to do is to ensure that your employees are safe on your premises and leaving it. You can invest in a bouncer or guard for restaurant workers, active and backed-up security cameras, and police presence on rowdy nights. Furthermore, let your employees know they can and should report suspicious behavior immediately. Encourage them to defend themselves when threatened and never put a customer’s money over your employee’s safety.
Job perks can make anyone reconsider leaving their current employer. The hospitality industry needs to start offering perks to its employees. This goes beyond benefits. A competitive quarterly bonus on the best performer, a gift card to a store, a discounted loyalty program, a gym or spa voucher, holiday parties, etc. all count as perks.
You can also add free meals and drinks for every shift or up to 15 days of free stay at your hotel. It may not seem like much, but you’ll find that you’re retaining more and more employees as the years go by. And, employees with great benefits and perks tend to work better. This enhances the customer experience, giving your establishment good reviews and returning customers.
The hospitality industry is well known for breeding toxic work spaces. Ensure your company is not one of them. Enforce strict anti-bullying laws, encourage open communication, and build an environment where employees can work together. Make it easy for them to request time off and honor their schedules so that they trust you. Praise good work often and celebrate your employees’ life events. Offer conflict resolution steps and take their feedback seriously. If you make your company a remarkable place to work, your employees will stay.
Follow these seven simple strategies to reduce employee turnover in the coming year. The hospitality industry can shake off its reputation if we all band together to make it better.
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