It seems as though we’re almost in the clear after the global pandemic shut down the world in early 2020. Easing restrictions, vaccines, and more willingness to travel has signified the hotel industries’ recovery. However, there is a lingering problem within the industry: hospitality employee turnover rates are at an all-time high and the outlook isn’t looking too positive.
Hospitality employee turnover has always been a challenge for hoteliers. Managers constantly find themselves short staffed and always recruiting to keep up with the demands of the industry. This issue of hospitality employee turnover was especially magnified during the labour shortage that followed the onslaught of the pandemic’s mass lay-offs in the industry.
In a recent survey by Joblist.com, 58% of 13,659 restaurant and hotel employees intend to quit their jobs by 2022. If this projection proves true, another ¼ of hospitality workers will follow suit and leave for good.
The main reasoning is due to the worker’s growing dissatisfaction with their positions. The number of unhappy hospitality staff has doubled during the pandemic and now makes up ⅓ of the labour force. This is compared to 15% of dissatisfied employees before the pandemic. In contrast, the percentage of people who stated that they were satisfied with their positions dropped from 64% pre-pandemic, to 42%.
This indicates that these current levels of employee dissatisfaction will likely lead to a wave of resignations. The labour shortage that is already affecting the hospitality industry is likely to get worse before it improves as increased hospitality employee turnover rates are already a burden to employers.
In the survey, 25% of the respondents were former hospitality workers and were asked what was the main reason they left:
- 56% stated low pay
- 50% desired a new career
- 39% stated lack of benefits
- 38% stated difficult customers
- 34% stated rigid schedules
- 23% potential exposure to COVID-19
Not all hope is lost though.
⅓ of respondents said they would reconsider leaving their current jobs if their employer addressed even some of their sources of unhappiness. Also, with many schools re-opening, employee’s schedules will ease up because 40% of respondents stated that their schedules and lives were heavily affected by supporting their children’s remote learning.
Improve hospitality employee turnover
Knowing the main pain points will give employers a place to start when looking to improve working conditions to ultimately retain staff. Given the list of reasons above, here are some tips on how to implement solutions today, and improve overall hospitality employee turnover in the long-run.
1 – Low pay & benefits
We get that during a recession, most businesses can’t afford to just hand out raises. If you happen to be in the situation where you can, consider what a fair wage in your city is and match that in the least. However, there are many ways to incentive employees that aren’t just pay. Thinking about benefits packages, even in the most minimal form, adds great value to their positions. People are wanting jobs that provide security, flexibility and work-life balance – all things that hospitality is not known for. Knowing this, shape your organization to achieve these things.
2 – Rigid schedules
The hospitality industry naturally operates under different hours to your typical 9-5 businesses. This is due to the busiest times occurring when the majority of the working population (9-5 workers) are able to visit establishments. So for hospitality workers, this means working evenings, weekends, and holidays. A major draw of working hospitality is its flexibility of shifts however, this is also one of the main reasons for staff wanting to leave. With their complex operations and unpredictable nature of hospitality, workers can be cut or called in at the last minute, stay extra late, cover extra shifts if other workers can’t come in, and more. It can all be very exhausting.
Although you can’t change the nature of hotel schedules, you can change the way you manage your staff’s schedules and introduce more flexibility. Consider part-time hours, compressed work weeks, hybrid work from home + property (if appropriate), weekends on and weekends off, and on-site child care options. Being able to improve this aspect of your business will greatly improve your hospitality employee turnover.
3 – Desire for a new career
People desire a new career when they aren’t being fulfilled at their current one. Maybe it’s the lack of recognition, minimal growth opportunities, toxic environment or all of the above. Investing in your people is investing in your business’s growth and future. It starts from onboarding. A well onboarded employee is much more likely to stay and excel in their jobs for a long time. Simple as that.
One of the reasons for high hospitality employee turnover is that people are simply not recognized for their efforts. They feel replaceable, overworked, and taken advantage of. Sometimes it’s a simple thank you that goes a long way.
People want to know that the place they work at values the same things they do. They want to work at an organization that is transparent, who they can trust, and has an impact in society and makes a difference. People want to feel engaged, and empowered to do well and move up. Fostering this type of environment starts from the top and is definitely not a short term fix.
These issues stem deep within a company’s culture and management. From the people at the very top stemming all the way down to Jane, the new hire. The global pandemic has made many issues in the world come to light. It’s a kind of “it’s now or never” time in the world. If you were looking for a sign to let you know it’s time to face the music and assess the health of your workplace culture, this is it.