5 Ways to Retain Staff in the Hospitality Industry An emotional attachment is greater with co-workers rather than a professional approach, it affects the company's overall operations

By Sakshi Sagaraju

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Industries, in general, are struggling from a massive undersupply of the qualified, engaged and motivated workforce. The challenge is and always will start with recruitment. Finding the right kind of person for the job is very important- Plain and simple!

Employee retention is a critical part of the hospitality industry. Yet, sadly, most owners and business operators feel powerless to stop the incredible amount of industry turnover.

Some tips on - How to stabilize employment, improve retention, and increase customer satisfaction and profitability. The points below provide an understanding of the industry and the steps taken to resolve these critical issues.

Unrecognized People Will Quit

Younger individuals who are not yet career-minded are sure to leave or quit. Chances are this is a job that individuals consider doing while in college. Basically trying to understand the career path they choose to take. In addition, a job in a restaurant is easily transferable elsewhere. Many jobs are highly substitutable: If one is unhappy with the job he/she has at an establishment, they will choose to get a different job down the street at another place. This is particularly true at entry-level jobs that do not carry a lot of benefits with them.

Hence, the key point is to sift through the resumes of candidates and evaluate their commitment before hiring them.

Flexibility Goes a Long Way

This is especially important in the housekeeping department of the industry. This is considered to be one of the roughest jobs physically. So it's really important to be flexible with the timings of the housekeeping staff when they work. Don't force them to work a continuous shift from 8 am to 4 pm, for example. If they can't do those hours let them start earlier or later in the day. Chances are it will not affect restaurant operations and they'll be more likely to stick with the job.

Workplace Relationships

Co-worker relationships directly impact the turnover and retention in an establishment. Creating a good environment results in a better relationship in the workplace where employees are less susceptible to other jolts or problems. This is because of the interactive nature of restaurant positions where individuals work alongside other people all day long. It becomes impossible to avoid individuals the employees simply don't like. This creates a higher likelihood of employees quitting or leaving their job.

When an emotional attachment is greater with co-workers rather than a professional approach, it affects the company's overall operations. So, underscoring the importance of workplace relationships can also curb turnover rate.

Focus on Training

It's not enough to train new employees by having them shadow staff for two days before throwing them into the bullring. Training needs to be done on a one-on-one and continual basis. This approach results inconsistent performance of employees allowing them to work more efficiently. Cross training is equally important for your operations, not only because it can help with successful planning but also because it exposes a team to different areas of the restaurant. It allows employees from different departments to interact with each other, understand the different operations and jobs, as well as form a mutual respect with one another.

Fun Matters

We see this approach in Silicon Valley as companies such as Google or Facebook turn their offices into fun factories with the notion that if the workplace is fun, employees are happy. The big lesson to take away is what type of leader the restaurant general manager wants to be? Someone that promotes fun and a more laid back workplace environment, or a hard-nosed taskmaster.

Restaurant businesses that include entertainment with the staff result in them having a good time! Weaving light humour and keeping a breezy atmosphere also translates multifold in staff retention.

Sakshi Sagaraju

Partner and Co-Founder, Bangalore Brew Works

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