A recent study shows 83% of Hotel executives claim the single greatest challenge they have in managing the workforce is their organization’s inability to retain good employees and managers. With the average retention period consisting of 6 to 8 months, it takes $6,000 to $11,000 to replace a regular employee. Replacing managers cost even more. Cost of high turnover in the hotel industry runs in the millions of dollars each year, affecting the survival of businesses. A study conducted by the Incentive research Foundation found that, when employees think highly of their work, and are engaged in the company’s vision and objectives, it’s hard to miss the mark on retention. Hotel companies who instill a bottom-up engagement style, often increase motivation levels, and reduce employee turnover up to 53% on average. Here we present five strategies hotel industry leaders can use to improve employee retention in their organizations.
The number one reason why employees leave their job, is the relationship with their first-line supervisor. In the hotel industry, this reason is also coupled with working hours. While much may not be able to be done about the latter, industry leaders can definitely invest in their line managers and supervisor’s development to ensure they are aware how their actions and decisions affect employee turnover. A critical aspect of an effective retention strategy is ongoing awareness. Managers should be given the skills, tools, and knowledge to help them understand how their actions directly affect employee retention in the organization.
At DFRI, we are strong advocates of intrinsic rewards. The salary and benefits offered are necessary to attract employees. In the hotel industry, many employers may very well be leading the market in terms of salaries. While this is important, people continue to have a need to feel proud for the work they do, and feel appreciated for it. Most employees do not see much difference in their pay after deduction from a taxable raise or bonus. Creative ways to reward employees are more memorable and have a bigger impact than cash.
Of course as a rule of thumb, managers should always pay attention to the big picture and details regarding the service they provide. Good leaders in the hotel industry seek to engage and care about both, service and employees. They smile often, they lighten up, their employees get a lot more done because they enjoy being at work. When employees are happy, they become committed, they are open to share their ideas and that give them a sense of ownership towards the end results. Creating a culture of ownership in which managers and employees share common goals and work together to meet them can boost a company up and even keep it from facing the common turnover problem that exist in the hotel industry.
Provide employees with what they want and need. This may be easier said than done. Especially in the hotel industry when it comes to line managers and supervisors, don’t simply assume that they all have the tools, training, and support they need –check in with them and find out. This tactic helps with designing the right reward programs, and retaining skilled workers.
In general, it’s far easier to focus on employees who need improvement than those who are performing to standards, or exceeding them. In such case, high performers are often forgotten and begin to look for opportunities elsewhere. Skilled employees will not remain in a job if they see no future in their position. To eliminate the feeling of being in a dead-end job, every position should have an individual development plan.
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