Hospitality industry turnover rates are extremely high, with 70% of workers leaving their job within one year. These reasons include unpredictable schedules and chaotic working environments that make it difficult for employees to stay put - especially when there's low pay or no benefits provided in addition to lacklustre career prospects on offer from employers.
Our State of Shiftwork report also shows that anxiety is high in the industry with 64 per cent of UK hospitality workers saying they’re concerned about job security due to COVID-19 and 48 per cent being concerned because of the economy.
It goes without saying that as a labour intensive industry, the cost of unnecessary turnover is a significant burden for the hospitality industry. In a customer-facing industry having employees constantly moving on can make it difficult to meet customer expectations on a day to day basis.
Can hospitality onboarding be the answer to your retention issues?
Onboarding opens significant opportunities to connect with and engage new employees, for the long term.
Onboarding stages can be broken up into: Preboarding, Induction, and Continued Onboarding. Each stage has specific touchpoints and high notes it needs to hit in order to be successful.
Preboarding: Make a good first impression, before Day 1
Millennials and Gen Z-ers who make up 72% of the hospitality workplace are more comfortable with technology than any generation before. They are the “digital natives” that can intuitively work across multiple platforms. They expect to be able to access technology to complete employment paperwork, share and access information and develop social connections across your business.
Therefore it’s important to make first impressions count with modern, tech-based onboarding processes which streamline your onboarding and remove paperwork and manual processes.
Part of a successful onboarding process is ensuring your new employee is kept up to date before they start. Knowing how to handle the boring paperwork and where to send and find it in a centralised way before starting, speeds up the onboarding process significantly.
Your tech stack should:
Keep track of the paper trail status all within the app
Ensure each document is correctly filled in and signed
Enable employees to view, sign & submit forms on the go from the app on any device
Allow managers to request documents (e.g. driver’s licence, bar staff training, first aid certificate) from employees within the app. Including right to work docs (passport, share codes)
Create an Employee contract template, then personalise it for each new employee
Share important documents (Employee handbook) ahead of their start date
Securely store sensitive employee information
How you manage the compliance stage of the pre boarding process says a lot about your hospitality organisation.
Other tasks in the preboarding stage, include sending out that welcome email with any additional information such as your employee handbook, organisational chart, work policies, dress code and time/place/date of reporting. Ask them to share a few lines about themselves that you can forward to your existing staff to prepare for their joining.
You’ll also need to prepare your staff for the new addition to the team. Send the new member’s introduction to your current workforce so they have some insight on who’s joining. Go a step further and share their resume or LinkedIn (with their permission of course) along with their job description. Suggest to your employees to schedule one-to-one meetings with them to smoothen the working transition both ways.
Induction: Day 1 - Day 60
This stage needs to accomplish 4 key things:
Clarification: so that new starters clearly understand what is expected of them and what their role is within the team. Ensure you’ve got a clearly defined job description and share and discuss this with them in their first week.
Confidence: holding an awareness of the new employee’s state of mind towards the work and the challenges they may encounter. Check in regularly on how they’re feeling about their workload, responsibilities and shift. Our Shift Pulse feature can help with this. Set and define measurable goals for each month in their first 3 months - start with quick easy wins and supportively build up the challenge as the days add up to months.
Connection: is about the sense of belonging and the confidence new employees get knowing their colleagues value and accept them. To help achieve this, Introduce orientation week, ensure they have a buddy, set up meetings with colleagues they’ll regularly work with, do fun team-building activities with the new hire like menu taste-testing or hotel scavenger hunt, or put together an onboarding welcome kit. Also make sure you arrange training and shadowing to make sure the new starter has a solid grasp of working processes and tools used.
Culture: it's fundamental that newbies understand the organisation’s rules, values, history and ethos. Ensure those values anchor their responsibilities during their onboarding period.
Continued Onboarding: Surfing the Learning Curve and Beyond
There’ll be a bit of a learning curve till the time your new staff member is able to autonomously perform their duties. Keep a constant check and get two way feedback, so you can shorten this time period. A culture of learning should begin during onboarding. Try to keep providing growth and training opportunities to maintain employee morale and motivation. Such incentives will ensure an incredible, consistent onboarding process and will also address the roots (low pay, low career aspects etc) of a high staff turnover in the local hospitality industry and help you avoid any problems.
See for yourself the difference paperless onboarding can make
Yes, the hospitality industry is notorious for its high staff turnover rates, and recruitment and retention are perennial challenges. In addition managing onboarding forms is time consuming, tedious and a repetitive admin task that involves a lot of back and forth emails and phone calls. You might be juggling multiple software tools to manage your staff from hiring, onboarding and training, scheduling, performance management to employee document storage and payroll.
But with the right onboarding process in place, your business can make a great first impression on new starters and set them up for success. So why not trial Deputy's Employee Onboarding feature and see how it could benefit your business? With our easy-to-use platform, you'll be able to create a smooth onboarding process for your new employees that leaves a lasting positive impression.
You can try out our Employee Onboarding feature by starting a 30-day free trial. If you’re already a customer, read this helpful guide on how to use this feature.