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Keeping Your Team Happy: Employee Retention in Hospitality

July 31st, 2019

min read

Keeping Your Team Happy: Employee Retention in Hospitality

Employee retention is important in any industry-but especially in food and hospitality. These service jobs have an annual turnover rate of 73.8%, and over 6% of employees leaving monthly. A study by Cornell University’s School of Hospitality Management also notes that turnover rates in the lodging industry specifically are at close to 60% annually for line-level staff and 25% for managers.

High turnover is a big deal for hospitality revenue, too. According to the same Cornell study, turnover can cost lodging businesses over $5,500 per lost employee. For high-complexity positions, this cost nearly doubles, costing your hotel around $10,000. When turnover is high-those numbers really start to add up. And with cost impacts like this, it’s important to take time to consider retention strategies.

Sure, you have to accept that some amount of turnover is going to happen. But there are several things that you can do to mitigate turnover risks. By cultivating the right environments and opportunities for staff, you can help to reduce major costs, boost retention and create all-around better working conditions for you and your team.

We’ve put together a few tips to help you get started.

Ensure Work-Life Balance

A top pain point for many employees-especially busy hotel staff-is a lack of work-life balance. Occasionally this source of stress can be lessened, or even eliminated, with competitive compensation that balances out with an employee’s time and effort. But there are other ways to ensure your staff is not feeling burnt out by a hectic hotel work schedule.

A little flexibility can go a long way toward providing coveted work-life balance. Offer family-friendly schedules when possible, and add the option for flexible work hours where you can. At a busy hotel, consider staggering staff hours to ensure that every shift is covered, and every guest is taken care of, while employees have the wiggle room to enjoy their lives beyond work.

Recognize Staff Wins

When people feel like their work doesn’t matter, they’re more apt to quit. In fact, 79% of employees who leave their jobs cite a lack of recognition as a major factor. Taking the time to acknowledge the hard work your team has done lets them know you value their work and their presence at your property. Additionally, when people feel valued, they’re more productive, which is better for your organization as a whole.

There are some very easy ways you can let your team know that their work is valued. For example, something as simple as writing an encouraging note demonstrates that you’re thinking about your employees’ contributions to the team. With our tool, you can directly acknowledge team members using in-app messages or shout out employees across departments hotel-wide using memos!

Offer Opportunities for Growth

More than 70% of “high-retention-risk” employees consider leaving because they don’t see see opportunities for future advancement in their current job. When employees feel stagnant in a position, they’re more likely to seek advancement elsewhere. To remedy this, ask your employees about their career goals and discuss how they might get there. It doesn’t have to be a straight climb up the ladder, it can be as simple as providing learning opportunities.

Perhaps offer chances for team members to shadow more experienced employees or learn from someone in a different department or field within your organization. Give your team the direction needed to learn and grow in their position, even if it’s not unilaterally. This will give them goals to strive to, which will engage them more in their jobs.

Curate a Positive Work Culture

Company culture includes your organization’s values, beliefs, work styles, management strategies, employee development and benefits, and more. We talk a lot about culture and values at Quore-it’s very important to us as a company. But it’s not just technology companies that should focus on culture.

More than 50% of executives reported that company culture affects everything from productivity and profitability to firm value and growth rates. To top that off, staff members are 24% more likely to leave within a year if they’re not happy with company culture. To see how your employees feel about your company culture, conduct anonymous surveys and offer opportunities for feedback and suggestions. That in and of itself will ensure your team feels heard and instill a culture of communication and clarity.

To reduce turnover as a result of culture, make sure that you’re hiring employees that are a good cultural fit from the get go. Then revisit your culture periodically-and take stock of how your team feels about it as it grows and evolves.

Encourage Good Working Relationships

We spend a lot of time with the people we work with, so encouraging positive employee relationships can make all the difference in reducing employee turnover. If your team enjoys working together, they’re more likely to stick around.

Hiring to fit your company’s culture will really help with this. But you might also consider things like organizing team-building activities beyond a workplace setting. Offer your staff opportunities to get to know and understand each other better. Giving your staff a chance to relate to one another also helps improve cross-departmental communication, which in turn improves productivity and clarity.

Communicate Clearly and Effectively

Better communication across your property or properties can lead to more employee engagement and reduced turnover. Organization-wide clarity makes everyone’s jobs easier. And improving working relationships isn’t the only thing that can help your staff relate more clearly to one another. At a busy hotel, it can be hard to communicate effectively across departments when everything feels segmented, but, with evolving hotel technology, there are many tools that make things clearer.

Systems like Quore enable team members across your hotel to instantly get in touch with one another digitally. Plus, Quore goes beyond messaging, allowing everyone to see everything that’s going on at the hotel at any time, from work orders and guest requests to pool readings and event notices. Your entire team is able to find necessary information in a flash, so you never have to run around the hotel to track down what you need. Solutions like Quore allow for a new level of conveyance that keeps everyone involved and engaged in hotel happenings.

Sometimes People Still Leave-and That’s Ok

Even utilizing all the retention tactics, people still leave for various reasons. Sometimes their careers have gone as far as they can at your property. Sometimes they decide they want to do a different kind of job entirely. Occasionally, people just need to move on, and it’s not always something you can control. But it’s important to understand when it is and when it isn’t!

Conduct research when people leave your hotel-host exit interviews or surveys that give you the opportunity to get to the bottom of why team members leave. Understanding the reasons behind someone’s decision to move on can help you determine an appropriate course of action.

For more industry tips, check out the Quore blog. And to learn more about our hospitality solutions, visit our website.

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