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Improving Employee Retention in Hospitality

Maintaining a reliable hospitality workforce is the cornerstone of customer satisfaction and operational success.

However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the hospitality sector features an annual turnover rate of 73.8%, with over 6% of employees leaving monthly.

In this blog post, we offer actionable strategies to overcome retention challenges effectively, empowering businesses to thrive despite post-pandemic shifts and ongoing economic sluggishness that contribute to the hospitality workforce churn rate.

Why Is Hospitality Employee Retention So Challenging?

Despite the hospitality industry's success, businesses have struggled with talent retention.

Let’s look at some key reasons we have discovered:

  • High employee expectations
  • Industry seasonality
  • Inadequate training resources
  • Insufficient employee support systems
  • Housing and transportation issues
  • Viewed primarily as a temporary work option
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Inefficient communication
  • Low wages
  • Limited recognition and rewards
  • Poor balance of diversity and inclusion

To overcome these challenges, hospitality businesses should take a holistic approach to employee support by offering:

  • Competitive salaries icon

    Competitive salaries

  • Flexible work icon

    Flexible work arrangements

  • Career development icon

    Career development opportunities

  • Effective communications icon

    Effective communication

  • Employee recognition icon

    Recognition of employee contributions

5 Ways to Solve Workforce Issues and Improve Hospitality Employee Retention

One glance at the above-listed reasons for turnover sheds light on hospitality workers’ motivations and needs.

Innovative retention strategies are vital for workforce stability in hospitality. A robust plan directly impacts customer satisfaction and operational success.

Here are five proactive approaches Surge utilizes to cultivate a more engaged, motivated, and enduring workforce.

Provide Training and Development Opportunities

Training and development are essential in any industry but are particularly crucial in hospitality. Offering growth opportunities fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty among employees.

Additionally, it enables them to gain valuable skills and confidence, making them more versatile in handling various responsibilities within the establishment.

At Surge, we provide a variety of upskilling opportunities to help them improve and your business to thrive, including the following blend of skills types useful in hospitality:

  • Become an Effective Leader
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Food Safety
  • Interview Skills
  • Managing Conflict in the Workplace
  • Office 365

Nurture a Positive Work Culture

A strong company culture is vital for employee satisfaction and retention. It creates a sense of belonging and aligns with personal values, creating a welcoming environment where employees thrive. Strategies include:

  • Open communication channels for transparency and collaboration.
  • Recognition programs to boost morale and reinforce positive behaviors.
  • Regular team-building activities to strengthen relationships and promote unity.

At Surge, our workforce reports increased well-being and satisfaction through participation in these activities, solidifying a loyal and dedicated team.

Offer Competitive Pay and Benefits

Fair compensation is critical to encouraging employee loyalty, reflecting the organization's commitment to its workforce. In hospitality, where unconventional hours are common, innovative benefits like flexible scheduling are crucial for managing work-life balance.

Wellness programs further demonstrate employer investment in employee well-being, increasing loyalty and retention.

Develop a Workplace Safety Culture

Creating a safety culture in hospitality is crucial for employee well-being and retention. Each hospitality setting presents unique safety challenges, from kitchen hazards to crowd control in venues like nightclubs. Implementing robust protocols and security measures, including surveillance systems, ensures employee and guest safety.

Our workforce managers take the first steps to create and maintain safe work environments when we conduct best practices-based background checks during the hiring phase to ensure quality hires for everyone’s benefit.

We also offer multiple training courses and videos to prepare our workforce to help support your embedded workplace safety protocols and culture.

Here are some ways we foster a safety culture:

  • Work with clients to identify risks
  • Conduct regular safety audits
  • Perform random spot checks
  • Execute walkthroughs and offer feedback
  • Evaluate training offerings
  • Offer custom training opportunities
  • Monitor regulations and ensure compliance

Develop an Efficient Hiring and Onboarding Process

An efficient hiring and onboarding process is the foundation of a successful workforce acquisition strategy. This process must incorporate the best practices for attracting and retaining staff—ensuring clear communication, acknowledging employee needs, and providing a warm welcome that sets new hires up for success.

Our Surge proprietary hiring and onboarding process provides everything necessary to ensure you and your workforce are on the same page. This process enables us to revolutionize workforce solutions, using talent analytics and other insights and tools to create the perfect match where every answer is yes for you, your workforce, and your guests.

Elevate and Retain Your Hospitality Team with Surge

While a hospitality manager can help cultivate workforce satisfaction, partnering with a staffing and workforce solutions provider can streamline processes.

Our skilled workforce managers focus on aligning your company's culture and operational needs, ensuring a smooth onboarding experience. With Surge, you can optimize hiring, saving time and financial resources while enhancing the employee experience.

We proudly partner with Homewood Suites by Hilton, supplying their workforce. Our contact, the location’s General Manager, recently highlighted the positive impact Surge has had:

“My Surge representative has stopped by on multiple occasions to check on staff. She reaches out multiple times weekly, and she and Surge have exceeded our expectations.”

Our team is passionate about building and nurturing a successful partnership with you. We aim to help you achieve your business objectives, regardless of your timeline.

Contact us today to discover how Surge can help you retain top hospitality talent and ensure guest satisfaction.

  1. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/jolts.pdf
  2. https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/employee-churn

Additional Resources

  • https://www.forusall.com/401k-blog/employee-retention-strategies-hospitality-industry
  • https://lodgingmagazine.com/5-ways-to-boost-employee-retention-in-2023/
  • https://www.pkf-francisclark.co.uk/hospitality-industry-employee-retention/
  • https://www.myworkpay.com/blogs/7-strategies-to-reduce-employee-turnover-in-the-hospitality-industry
  • https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/business-and-marketing/what-is-hospitality-management/