Posted  |  Written by Elaine Materise

Every hospitality manager hates turnover. It’s incredibly costly, and an inconvenience to your customers, the business, and the staff left to fill the void. The last few years of historic unemployment have been even more frustrating for hospitality employers, because the pool of available skilled workers is much smaller.

We know that three industry trends can impact our turnover rate, including:

  1. Employment of a high percentage of younger workers that are new to the workforce. If this is their first or second job, they may be more interested in greener pastures.
  2. Employment of students is standard in the hotel industry, but often these workers can’t handle a full-time or full year’s schedule.
  3. Seasonal staffing causes cyclical turnover.

How can hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry overcome these trends and improve their turnover rates?

Try These Three Things to Improve Hotel Turnover

The challenge of hotel industry turnover will likely never go completely away. However, here are three things you can do right now to make a big dent in your employee retention numbers:

1. Start by hiring the right people.

There is always an element of guesswork in every new hire. When your team is short and you’re feeling the pressure, it’s easy to grab warm bodies as quickly as you can. But the likelihood of employee retention is a characteristic that you should screen for during the interview process, no matter how desperate for help you may feel. Look for candidates who stay in positions for more than two years; otherwise you may find yourself right back in the interview chair far too quickly. Consider older workers who have solid employment history and will be eager to get to work. Look for crossover skills like empathy, creativity, and an eagerness to learn, even if the candidate lacks specific hospitality experience. It will be soft skills like enthusiasm, reliability, and a love of people that keep these employees on the job longer.

2. Support your employees to retain them longer.

You already know there is competition for skilled workers in the hotel and hospitality industry. That’s part of the reason turnover is high. But the answer for hotel management is to engage your workers, give them positive feedback, and opportunities to excel. Offer competitive wages that will help retain workers long-term. Reward both small and big wins and show your employees how much you appreciate their efforts to create the best customer experience possible. These rewards can be monetary, certainly, but even small tokens of your appreciation, or programs like employee of the month, can show workers that you appreciate them. But you should also challenge workers to keep them interested. If your workers are disengaged, they’ll look for other opportunities. Consider charting a growth path for employees in your organization that will allow them to grow into management roles. If your workers know they have a path for advancement, and you’ve hired the right people, they’ll work to get there.

3. Take care of your workers by encouraging a positive work environment.

Hotel work is physically and mentally demanding. Our hours can be long and many times irregular. This means employees have less time with families. Initiating work/life balance could be as simple as recognizing that life happens when an employee is late due to a family issue. But you can also encourage a better work environment by monitoring and training your managers to take better care of their teams. Workers still quit jobs when they have a conflict with their manager. Are your managers promoting the kind of work environment that will retain workers? When was your last management training? Do your managers have the communication, empathy, and active listening needed to improve the work environment?

Try these three things to help improve retention at your organization. If you’re still struggling to find talent, the hospitality recruitment experts at Gecko Hospitality can help.

Gecko Hospitality

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