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Employee Retention Strategies in Hospitality Industry: 5 Ways to Attract & Retain Staff

| Alkimii

The hospitality industry is facing a crisis. Even before the double-whammy of Covid and Brexit hit, employee retention was a critical issue. The hospitality industry already had high turnover rates compared to other sectors. And now, in the post-pandemic, post-Brexit landscape, the challenges have only intensified. 

The price of high turnover

While staff numbers in the hospitality sector are almost back up to pre-pandemic levels, it’s a very different world. Staff turnover remains high, despite rising rates of pay. It’s estimated that around 30% of hospitality workers leave in the first 90 days on the job. This is nearly double the average rate for other industries. It’s an expensive game for businesses. High turnover rates cause extra costs in recruitment and training, along with a big drop in productivity. 


The changing world of hospitality

There are also significant changes in the world of hospitality itself. Staff now have new expectations, with the gig economy making its presence felt. Candidates from all generations are demanding greater flexibility in their working patterns, and with roles in the hospitality industry ideally suited for gig working, it’s a trend that can’t be ignored. And, in our post-Brexit economy, the make-up of the hospitality workforce continues to evolve. Official figures reveal the number of EU workers in the industry has fallen by 26%.

The solution is easier than you think

However, there is a solution to attract and retain staff in the hospitality industry, and it’s not rocket science. It’s employee engagement. The best way to combat high turnover rates is through clear communication and employee engagement strategies. Because, the good news is that although 30% of employees may leave in the first three months, the figures start to improve after that period. If you can keep employees longer than 90 days, they’re 50% more likely to stay put. 

Engaging employees on the move

Employee engagement poses an extra challenge in hospitality - because your people are always on the go. While it’s relatively easy to connect with desk-based staff, an on-the-move workforce is a different matter. That’s where Alkimii People comes to the rescue. It provides the tools to enable your staff to do their job, all within one shared platform. The mobile app means everything can be done on the move. It’s seamless, it’s instant, and it’s the digital solution you’ve been looking for. 

Five Key Employee Retention Strategies in Hospitality Industry

So, the question is, how can we keep our workforce engaged for those first crucial months? We’ve pulled together the five employee retention strategies you need to know to ensure your people remain happy and motivated for the long haul. 

#1 Keep everyone in the loop 

Communication is vital. Clear, consistent communication helps to keep teams connected and working together as one. If your employees have visibility of each other’s schedules, tasks and priorities, they’re more likely to operate as an effective team. And sharing handover over notes is an essential element of every shift-based team.  

But that’s easier said than done. Employee communication is no simple task in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry often operates around the clock, and shift work and scheduling can get in the way of the best communication plans. Add a fast-paced environment, a dispersed workforce, language barriers and high staff turnover, and you have quite a challenge. 

How to make it work:

Alkimii helps you stay in touch effortlessly. At the same time, it ensures you keep on the right side of GDPR regulations. Unlike messaging apps such as WhatsApp, employees won’t be able to see each other’s contact details, and leavers will automatically be removed. The hospitality workforce management software makes it simple to do everything from saying good morning to sharing important, business-critical information. And it’s all delivered on employees’ smartphones, so you know you’ll always be making contact.

Messaging and newsfeeds with comments and reactions are built into Alkimii People, making it easy and entertaining for your staff to stay connected. Whether you’re sharing calendar dates, delivering documents, or just saying hi, everything is in one place, wherever you are. It’s designed to be quick, frictionless, and enjoyable to use.  

#2 Ask what they’re really thinking 

Communication is a two-way street. You need to listen as well as talk. An open, two-way dialogue between team leaders and employees ensures your staff feel heard and appreciated. Workers will quickly become demotivated without the opportunity to speak out and be heard.

With turnover rates the way they are, an annual staff survey just won’t cut it. You need regular contact to ensure you listen to and act on concerns before it’s too late. A feedback channel is one of the key tools for employee engagement. It will ensure you know what your employees are really thinking and allow you to keep on top of rumours or discontent.

How to make it work:

Alkimii Surveys is a brand-new addition to the platform, and it’s a game-changer for users. The software now has an in-built survey module that allows you to collect feedback and turn insights into action. You can choose to make your surveys anonymous or transparent, but whichever option you choose, it will help you find out what matters to your team. Your surveys can be fully bespoke to your unique needs. And, there are no limits to the number of surveys you can conduct. 

Armed with the feedback from Alkimii surveys, you’ll be better placed to improve retention by taking action on the key issues. And it will help you improve your eNPS. Employee net promoter score (eNPS) is a metric that assesses employees’ job satisfaction by measuring their readiness to recommend their company to others. In our beta test, eNPS scores climbed from 62% to 81%. That’s the power of listening. 

#3 Schedule regular check-ins 

You'll need to check in regularly to ensure your employees last those crucial 90 days. Your new employees will be facing a whole new set of challenges than the ones they’ve been used to. But you won’t find out about them unless you ask. 

Employee well-being is a buzzword at the moment and for good reason. Communication plays a big role in addressing employee well-being. It’s key to schedule regular check-ins, 1-2-1 sessions, and formal appraisals to allow employees to voice concerns, share challenges, and seek support. When employees feel heard and supported, their well-being improves. And that leads to the holy grail of employee retention in the hospitality industry. 

How to make it work:

Scheduled appraisals and job chats will ensure your employees feel seen and appreciated. And, regularCanva Design DAFnNbRmoPw contact and clear communication have been proven to  reduce employee churn. 
But how often is ‘regular’? Every three months is the magic number. A check-in every three months will keep teams focused. 

Alkimii check-ins make it easy to keep on top of this vital activity. The platform allows you to schedule everything for that magic three-month mark. Now you can automate job chats, 6-monthly and annual appraisals, along with personal check-ins when needed. The secret is to keep talking. 

#4 Celebrate the moments 

There used to be an idea that a job was just a job, and your personal life was not part of the deal. Not anymore. Having good friends at work leads to new levels of creativity and productivity; as an employer, you can help that happen. Birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions mean a lot to people. So why not celebrate them? 

Few things are as effective as a public thank you. Public criticism tends to trigger a defensive reaction, but public praise is a huge positive. The openness of the praise tends to lend more weight to the comment. Plus, it encourages others to emulate whatever was great. So, if you make time to celebrate the successes, it’s likely that more will follow in their wake. 

How to make it work:

Alkimii Moments is a new addition to the Alkimii People suite, and it will ensure you never miss an important moment again. It will log employee birthdays, making sure everyone is remembered on their special day. It also logs work anniversaries. Often overlooked by employers, remembering this date makes people feel extra appreciated. 

It will log all your key company events, making sure every important occasion is kept front of mind. It will also help you celebrate your team's successes, and show compassion when needed. You’ll find this simple element brings your team together better than any ‘team-building’ activity. Take the time to enjoy the lighter moments, and you’ll be rewarded with a positive company culture. 

#5 Make the boring stuff fun

It’s well-known that fun and positive work environments lead to increased morale, enthusiasm, and job satisfaction. And, as hospitality settings so often rely heavily on teamwork, it’s even more important to make work fun. It creates that all-important sense of camaraderie and encourages staff to work together more effectively. Plus, the happier your employees are, the happier your customers will be. Engaged employees provide exceptional customer service - they go the extra mile, they care about guest needs, and they offer that elusive personal touch. 

But it can’t all be fun, games and positive team spirit. Not when there’s the essential day-to-day work to be done. There’s the onboarding process to be completed, paperwork that needs to be logged, the clocking-in and clocking-out, the rosters, the scheduling… 

How to make it work:

With the right software in place, the boring stuff can be fun. Hospitality people management software can allow people to do all the dull stuff on their favourite bit of kit - their smartphones. Alkimii People lets staff do everything from onboarding to checking their rosters, clocking in and requesting time off on their mobile devices.

Alkimii even makes clocking in fun. Fast and secure facial recognition allows staff to clock in with selfies using their smartphones. Your people can clock in, take breaks and clock out, on the go. Alkimii makes all the necessary stuff quick and easy, so you and your people can focus on what matters – your guests.

About Alkimii People

Alkimii People puts all your HR requirements in one digital place. It’s a shared platform that provides all the tools your people need to do their jobs effectively, and it keeps them engaged at the same time. It makes your people happy by letting them do everything on their smartphones, and makes interaction easier, seamless, and 100% paperless. And it reduces the time you and your managers spend on people admin. Freeing you up to do the things that matter, like training, forecasting and analysis, and reducing employee turnover. 
Find out more at www.alkimii.com/alkimii-people


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Why choose Alkimii

Specialist hospitality software, built on experience, proven across hundreds of hotels.

After years of working in the hospitality industry and running his own hotel our founder Ronan McAulay knew first hand the technology challenges that the hotels face. Alkimii was built to exclusively solve these challenges.