Any manager or recruiter in hospitality will tell you: hospitality has one of the world’s highest staff turnover rates. With the ever changing team structures and fluctuating market, recruiting is always an ongoing challenge, especially during economic downturn and labour shortages. It takes a lot of time, resources and money to recruit and train, and during this process, hotels also experience a dip in quality because of the large rotations. This affects the customer experience, ratings and ultimately, the bottom line. This is why it is much more desirable to retain hotel staff. We compiled a list of 5 top tips to engage, motivate and retain hotel staff.
5 best practices to retain hotel staff
1 – Don’t rush to hire
In other words, hiring the right people (or the wrong people) will have a huge impact on your team’s culture and work environment. Be thorough with your hiring process, make a checklist, and probe red flags or things you’re unsure about with every candidate. When you’re short-staffed, you feel the pressure to hire quickly, but rushing to hire can result in worse outcomes than to begin with. A bad seed(s) can grow, affect others, and cause higher turnovers which in turn, increases costs in hiring and training again. Hiring the right people will ensure that they will have a positive impact at the workplace and help to retain hotel staff.
2 – Develop an engaging work culture
Understanding what your employees value is the key to developing a workplace culture that is engaging. Especially in light of the recent pandemic, people joining the workforce value work-life balance, and place an importance on global social issues. They want to know that they can achieve these things at their work-place and that it is adding value to their job, not just a pay check. We wrote about it in an article about hotel staff recruitment. People want to feel happy working, the happier they are, the more productive they are and likely to stay.
3 – Motivate your team by challenging them
There is no one way or easy way to motivate a team member. Every individual is different. However, there are common themes in reasons why people leave their organizations. One of these themes is that they aren’t challenged enough in their current role. This complacency turns into de-motivation and ultimately boredom, and that’s why these individuals seek new opportunities that challenge them and keep them engaged.
People like to feel like they’re working towards something and this is a great way to retain hotel staff. You can achieve this by continuously providing opportunities for education and training, whether formal or informal. Instead of setting goals for your staff, having open communication about what areas of interest your staff have help them form their own goals within the organization and stay accountable to working on them. Be clear with available career paths at the property and discuss opportunities, expectations and requirements with your teams. Then introduce checklists as part of a development plan to help your employees level up with their skills – this helps their development and helps your business thrive.
And remember: there are many other ways to reward and recognize great work behaviour and achievements then just money or a promotion.
4 – Recognize your team
People make or break a business. From entry level positions and into management and more, every team member makes a difference, has an impact on the business, and is integral to a successful hotel. The cost to hire and train can be looked at as an operational cost, however, it’s also important to view that cost as an investment that will improve the customer experience and ultimately increase the bottom line in the long run. The time and effort spent on yoru staff, especially in the beginning of their employment will produce an ROI, sometimes tangibly, most often, intangibly. Not treating your employees as just ‘number’ is the right approach to retain hotel staff. Ensure to reward your team, recognize them for their efforts and achievements, and focus on the growth and development.
Their success is your success.
5 – Gracefully accept departures
It is inevitable that, due to the nature of the business, there will be people who choose to leave despite your efforts. There are many reasons why an individual will choose to leave, but actually taking the time to ask and understand is a great way to gain insight on improvements and other things you can work on to retain hotel staff. Ensure their off-boarding process is just as smooth as their onboarding, and if they are great, let them know the door is always open.
During times of unstable market conditions, recruitment may seem like the hardest job ever.
Remember: it is much easier to retain hotel staff than to continue to hire.
Some key things to keep in mind:
1 – Never rush to hire and risk a bad decision
2 – Value your staff and focus on motivating them through development and growth
3 – Learn from people who choose to leave on why they chose to leave – this will help you gain perspective and be able to improve.