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11 & 12 MAY 2021


Tackling turnover in hospitality

Hospitality’s struggle with turnover isn’t a mystery. Sorting out poor management and employee engagement is at the heart of the problem.

Hospitality is one of our largest employers and continues to grow ahead of most industries in the UK. The current workforce numbers at  2.5 million and a further 1.3 million employees will be recruited by 2024.

But it has a weak spot, one that is accepted unconsciously: the turnover rate in the industry is chronic, one of the worst in the UK.

Traditionally this has been explained away as the fault of the employee: transient workers, who are met with physically demanding tasks and long working hours. However, this is only part of the picture. In reality, mistakes made by employers have the greatest impact on talent retention

We recently ran a survey of 2000 UK-based employees to explore the state of employee engagement. The questions highlighted the main sources of tension between workers and their employers and how they might be addressed moving forward.

Here are the five most prominent causes of turnover it uncovered:

1. Bleak career opportunities

A fair wage and additional benefits will only go so far in your bid for retention. Talented employees tend to be the most ambitious and will chase opportunities for development and career progression within their role.

A clear and delineated career path is a vital component in your EVP, and something that needs to be communicated and nurtured consistently.

 2. Poor leadership

Typically, over half your workforce will have fundamental issues with those in charge. The employee-manager relationship will always be prone to stresses and strains, but the way we address these problems needs adapting.

If your company hasn’t undergone some form of management training, our study suggests it might be me to make the first move. In addition, frequent dialogue through feedback surveys or informal conversations is a good way to uncover what’s causing frustrations.

3. Uninspiring company vision

Increasingly, employees want to be part of a culture that’s driving towards something incremental. Achieving this means encouraging your workforce to think beyond their personal and team objectives, towards a wider company movement

Use internal channels to promote the brand’s progress towards achieving its goals to give direction and focus. With a mobilised team working towards shared objectives, businesses can execute strategy faster and with more agility.

 4. Lack of recognition

Almost two-thirds of employees surveyed agreed that regular personalised benefits – such as cost-saving perks, free meals, and gym memberships – would be appreciated as recognition for their loyalty and personal investment.

The key is to align any reward programmes with your organisation’s goals. The most successful programmes contain a blend of instant recognition, leadership buy-in, and personalisation.

5. Lack of communication

An absence of clear communication frustrates employees even more than poor leadership. If an organisation fails to articulate its requirements on both an individual and a collective level, employees will lack direction and drive.

The most practical solution to work-related frustrations is open dialogue; to candidly discuss issues as they arise. Regardless of the industry you’re in, employers need to engage with their people.

A final word is that great company cultures are the product of leaders with emotional intelligence, stakeholder experience, employee engagement, and benefits. To succeed in any business, employers need to make stronger emotional connection with their stakeholders and bring purpose and value to work.

Perkbox is a platform that provides a unique employee experience, enriching the personal and working life of employees. It offers a suite of products including a platform with access to best in class Perks, Perkbox Medical, Perkbox Recognition and Perkbox Insights. It serves companies of all sizes from SMEs to large companies such as Whole Foods, Nando’s, Caffe Nero and Levi Strauss & Co. Headquartered in London, with offices in Sheffield and Paris, Perkbox has raised over £11.0 million in funding from the leading European venture capital firm Draper Esprit
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