5 Things That Make or Break Hospitality Staff Retention

by Sarah Niderost, 4 minutes read
HOME blog 5 things that make or break hospitality staff retention

Over 1 million people left the hospitality industry in 2021, which has resulted in ongoing staff shortages this year. The term “staff retention” is a hot topic in the industry, and it’s challenge business owners and managers are still grappling with.

So, what are the best ways you can navigate staff retention and turnover? Continue reading for five things that make or break staff retention in the hospitality industry.

1. Job flexibility

From locally-owned cafes to renowned fine dining restaurants, staff members know they need to be flexible in order to adapt to their workplace’s needs. But they also need flexibility for the room for their personal lives outside of work too. With busy nights, large bookings, and morning rushes, it’s not uncommon for schedules to quickly change.

Sure, changes in demand require your staff to have a range of availability. But that shouldn’t mean they should sacrifice time for their personal lives. Here are some ways you can give your employees flexible schedules:

  • Allow your team to swap shifts. If someone is no longer able to work their assigned shift, they can swap theirs with another coworker in a similar role. This saves you time from all the back-and-forth of last-minute work changes and saves your staff from the stress of needing their shift covered.

  • Help employees pick up conveniently scheduled shifts. Some of your team members are working parents, students, and people with side hustles. Allow them to dedicate time to their other priorities by using your scheduling app to offer open shifts to all available, qualified staff, send out mobile alerts, and receive an update when it’s filled.

2. Staff recognition and appreciation

It can be hard to give employees credit where credit when credit is deserved with the hustle and bustle of your work environment. But giving your staff the recognition and appreciation they’ve earned can not only retain them, but it can improve their morale too.

The relief of finishing a great shift can easily get lost. But that doesn’t mean your team should lose the opportunity to be congratulated for all their hard work. Here are some simple ways you can show your staff some appreciation.

  • Acknowledge their accomplishments. Whether a new star barista has made their 100th cappuccino, or your host has their first work anniversary, celebrate their little — and big wins.

  • Write them a “thank you” note. Though this seems like a low-effort way to recognize your employees for all of their work, it’s really the thought that counts.

3. Staffing

When too many employees are working, it can be costly to your business. When too few employees are working, it can be costly to your team and can result in them overworking. Don’t overwhelm your team with an overbooked restaurant or a caffeine crowd lined up outside your doors.

Here are two staffing tips to help your team, and your business out.

  • Use a demand forecasting app. You can lower labor costs and optimize your staff’s schedule coverage with the right tools. And always knowing when your business gets busy will help you create efficient schedules that aren’t a burden to your team.

  • Know when your employees aren’t available to prevent understaffing. Make sure you have written documentation of when and when not to assign shifts to your staff members. With a scheduling tool, you can show your employees’ agreed hours to ensure their work-life balance, and cure your staffing headaches.

4. Employee Burnout

With staff shortages, demand influxes, and holiday rushes, employee burnout is very real — especially in hospitality. Working in an environment that tends to be stressful can weigh a lot on your team’s well-being. And without support, your business is at risk of turnover.

But it doesn’t have to be. Here are two ways you can prevent burnout at your workplace.

  • Have open communication. If your employees have limited ways to contact you and talk about their concerns, you lose employee engagement, and possibly an employee. With great communication, you can stay on top of staff support, and your team will feel heard. Use an all-in-one communication app to stay connected to your staff.

  • Know the signs of burnout. If your staff feel a lack of control at work and feel like they’re overloaded with tasks, check in with them and see how you can alleviate some of their stresses. With task management software, you can ensure staff is completing important tasks and procedures without assigning them tasks they can’t take on.

5. Growth opportunities

If you want your employees to stay future-focused at your business instead of finding career development opportunities at your competitors, you need to give your team the possibility to learn and grow.

Here are some tips to give your staff growth opportunities.

  • Provide tools, resources, and channels for motivation. If your star barista wants to enter your cafe in a local latte art competition, show them your support. Give them time to practice their craft. In return, you’ll retain them, and they’ll grow. Maybe you’ll even have an award-winning barista as a result too!

  • Let employees lead staff onboarding and training. A great way to allow growth in your staff’s leadership skills is by teaching new hires their role responsibilities. After all, your employees know their roles best.

Your staff are going to be happy that they stayed

Keeping your staff happy and heard at your business is crucial to your efforts in retaining them. With the right tools, communication, and staff support, you’ll be on your way to ensuring your stay.

Want to learn more about how new tools to keep staff happy? Sign up for a free trial of Deputy today.