In the current landscape, the hospitality industry is focused on both the good news and the bad news. The good news is the summer travel season is around the corner, and based on the summer travel numbers from last year, leisure travel will be up again this summer. The bad news is the labor shortage has hit the lodging industry hard, with the leisure and hospitality sector is leading the way. Knowing why employees are dissatisfied and how to create a positive culture is critical to retaining current staff and hiring for open jobs.
Any company—including hotels—should be interested in corporate culture and work environments because corporate clients need to have happy workplaces to have satisfaction among temporary workers. Here are four areas to focus on for attracting and retaining talent:
Pay rates are a hot topic that has been discussed and addressed throughout 2021. For business owners and managers, the idea of paying more means taking a tough look at the budget. The good news is that paying well can increase retention and engagement.
Budget decisions are difficult for a business owner. In general, inflation rates are rising. Assuring employees can pay their bills with a little extra cash means they will most likely stay with their jobs.
Hospitality workers might want flexibility in their schedules. Because many hotel jobs are customer-facing, hoteliers need to think creatively to give their employees what they want. Many hospitality clients use apps and software tools that give employees control to swap shifts without going through management processes and approvals. It gives the work team ownership over the schedule and gives the manager one less task.
Consider using a staffing company to give full-time employees a break when needed. When teams feel appreciated, in control of their schedules, and have a positive work environment, it drives empowerment and satisfaction.
Closed doors equal nervous employees. The past two years have been difficult. Employees shouldn’t be left to wonder what management is discussing.
Transparency coupled with clear and consistent communications creates trust. If that closed-door meeting was about holiday planning, tell the staff. Hospitality leaders who plan for major holiday or peak travel customer surges create an upfront employee expectation with plenty of advance notice. This allows staff time to plan for personal holidays and travel schedules. Then, after busy times, give employees appreciation, like an after-shift meal or a post-holiday employee party.
Some companies choose to bring in a temporary team to fill gaps during busy times, so management should share why those employees are alongside of the team. Transparent communications provide not only an explanation but also a positive work environment for temporary staff who may consider returning the next time extra help is needed.
Knowing what employees expect and want creates a culture of empowerment, leading to higher employee satisfaction.
If an employee has been hired for 20 hours per week, honor that schedule. Too often, a manager will think adding in a shift won’t be a big deal, but to employees it is. Many employees need the job, so they will work the shift even if it means sacrifices on their part. Then, resentment begins to build. Let employees work together to swap shifts, as needed, without management involvement.
Clear communication of excellence and standards gives staff guidelines to follow as they make on-the-job decisions, which, in turn, drives customer satisfaction. And say thank you to your employees; appreciation takes just a moment, yet the impact is infinite.
About the Author
George Lessmeister is CEO and founder of LGC Hospitality.