How Emotional Intelligence Can Help With Hospitality Retention

by Isioma Daniel, 6 minutes read
HOME blog how emotional intelligence can help with employee retention

According to our State of Shift Work report, unpredictable schedules, lack of control over shifts, negative health impacts and chaotic working environments make it difficult for hospitality employees to stay put - 70% of hospitality workers leave their job within one year.

 So if you're a cafe, restaurant, or bar manager, then you know that retaining employees is key to running a successful business.

But what if there was a way to improve employee retention without spending tons of money on training and development programs? 

Believe it or not, tapping into emotional intelligence (EI) is one of the most effective ways to keep your staff happy and engaged.

 In this blog post, we'll explore how EI can help with employee retention and give you some tips on how to develop EI in your team. Read on to learn more!

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage both one’s own emotions and that of others. It is widely acknowledged that emotional intelligence can be broken down into four core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness or social skills, and relationship management.

When leaders work to enhance EI, they're more likely to have the tools to nurture a motivated workforce. Establishing a positive workplace culture where empathy and understanding are central will encourage employees to perform their best.

4 Emotionally Intelligent Retention Strategies You Can Implement Now

1. Improving manager/employee relationships

According to the 2022 State Of Shift Work report, an annual survey of thousands of shift workers, 86% of employees can identify ways to improve their work environment. Yet, while most shift workers feel supported by their managers, over two-thirds of shift workers still hold back in sharing their opinions at work. Read the full report here.

Understanding the mood and engagement levels of your team, can help underpin emotional intelligence.  With Shift Pulse™, staff can provide insightful feedback at the end of each shift so you can address any issues — and keep your teams happy and engaged.

“As a business owner, I have a lot going on, and Shift Pulse helps me focus on my team with a quick read on how they are feeling. As I see changes in the shift score, I can reach out to my team, understand what’s going on, and see how I can help. Overall, using this tool has helped start more conversations and kept me more in tune with what is going on with my staff.”

- Vince Rukstalis, owner of Papillion Animal Hospital

When your staff clock out, they can rate how they were feeling. They also have the option to leave an anonymous comment for their manager.

Using the engagement dashboard, managers can see in real-time as shift ratings and comments flow in, and spot trends week over week.

“On days where we have hundreds of customers coming through, the staff ratings and comments help me gauge the schedule coverage and how the team was feeling. Shift Pulse is a really valuable feedback loop for my staff’s workload and to ensure my team feels supported.”

- Brandon Jacobs, Operations Manager at Quarry Park Adventures

Armed with insights into your team’s morale and shift performance, you will be ready to make the next shift better. Look into adjusting staff coverage to lighten the load, updating tasks and procedures for smoother operations, or simply posting a shout-out to the team in the News Feed.

Combining Shift Pulse™ with Deputy’s intuitive mobile apps, you can put the power in your team’s hands. Enable fast, clear communication and make it easy for your team to feel motivated at work. 

2. Show a renewed focus on employee wellbeing and personal goals

The best way to combat high turnover rates in the hospitality industry is by meeting your staff on a regular basis and having discussions with them about their career expectations

What skills do they want to learn? Where does each person see themselves next within his or her current role, as well as long-term goals for both short term satisfaction and future milestones that can help you reach those bigger picture targets faster! Offer support resources like training courses so people are able take advantage when opportunities arise while still being supported along their journey

You’ll also want to understand how your team feels about theirschedules. Is there enough flexibility with their shifts to accommodate time to study? Practice managers can offera mobile app to help their team tailor their work schedules around classes

3. Increase the overall collaborative environment and emotional health of the workplace

In “Awakening Compassion at Work” authors, Monica C. Worline and Jane E. Dutton, define compassion as a felt and enacted desire to alleviate stressors inside and outside of the workplace - stressors such as family or personal illness, divorce, financial pressures, restructuring, downsizing, change processes and performance pressure. It involves a four-part process that starts with attention, interpreting the stressful events, felt empathetic concern and action to alleviate the impact of the stressor.

You can develop organisational emotional intelligence by working on individuals first and then looking at the social architecture of your hospitality business.

 A good starting point is to ensure the following:

i. Organisational awareness: Make sure your workforce understands the business's capabilities, values, and limitations.

ii. Administrative management: By this, we mean, leaders need a firm grasp over employee behaviour, goals and processes, and company culture.

iii. A motivated workforce: Ensure employees are motivated, eager to please, and believe in the company's vision and purpose.

iv. Customer awareness: Your team needs to understand your customer's needs and be proactive by being one step ahead.

v. Customer skills: Make sure you hire those with high levels of EI and that these skills are developed once they're hired; this works wonders for enhancing the customer's overall experience.

4. Give employees the opportunity to learn new skills

Have you considered providing opportunities to upskill your staff? This is where you allow your staff to learn new skills through extra training. Your team can take courses, online classes, self-study, or certificate programs.

 For example, your team might want to take courses to learn more about the latest hospitality skills and trends.   

Cloud-based learning systems like Attensi andEloomi are great options for hospitality staff to pursue advanced learning. 

Retaining staff in the hospitality industry is notoriously tricky. While most shift workers feel supported by their managers, over two thirds of shift workers still hold back in sharing their opinions at work. With lingering labour shortages this year, you can find new ways to support your team.

High emotional intelligence is essential for building a strong team that is motivated to give its best, whether in the kitchen, the dining room or at reception. In a team where feelings are valued and there is a culture of empathy and understanding, employees are more likely to feel and perform at their best. Not only does this make for a better guest experience, but it should have a significant positive impact on employee retention levels and absenteeism.

Our Shift Pulse feature allows you to tap into how your team is feeling so you can provide them with the support, encouragement and praise they deserve. 

Get started with Shift Pulse™

Shift Pulse™ is included at no extra charge for Deputy Premium and Enterprise customers. Learn how to turn it on in your account. If you are new to Deputy,start your free trial today and try out Shift Pulse™ at your business.