the Restaurateur 5 Employee Retention Tips for the Hospitality Industry June 11, 2015 Tips on improving business by improving the way you treat employees. Due to the hospitality industry’s overall sensitivity to economic changes, employee turnover rates are very high, making business notably harder for owners and general managers in the industry. In addition to the modest pay granted to most employees, long hours make most jobs less desirable. Luckily there are ways in which you can make employees feel valued in their positions and in doing so, increase customer satisfaction in your business. Employee Retention Tips Take interviews very seriously. As with any industry, the best businesses start with hiring the right people. Take a good look at resumes to make sure potential employees have supplied references. Restaurants will occasionally “binge hire” groups of people as an easy way to weed out those who are not cut out for the position, but be careful with this strategy as employees will not feel individually valued nor take the position as seriously as you had hoped. Create a unique business environment. Make sure you and your general manager(s) use strong leadership to guide employees and create a sense of organization in your business. Make your leadership role clear to employees. Create a culture that values customer satisfaction above all else, and build a sense of community among employees. Set goals for your team members to achieve and make sure they know they are a key part of making the business thrive. Reward employees for good service. Incentivizing employees plays a key role in retention. Set up a reward system for reaching company goals. Remember to pick rewards that will drive employees to better their performance. Granting hardworking team members with extra time off, freedom from cleanup duties or the ability to choose which shift they prefer can help make your employees feel more valued and comfortable in their positions. When a positive review comes in, celebrate it and reward employees for good performance. Take interest in your employees’ futures. Many employees in the hospitality industry feel that the industry does not offer many avenues for career growth. Consider “cross-training” employees to make team members valuable in other parts of the business and each department. This allows better stability in the business in the event that someone calls in sick, or quits, and you need coverage immediately. It will be remarkably useful to have people be able to easily transition from one job to the other when you are thrown into a stressful situation where a team member is unexpectedly absent. Engage employees in unique projects. Build a sense of community by forming committees for internal projects like team member dinners, or community service. People who demonstrate a high level of leadership, enthusiasm, and organization within these committees will be valuable to consider for promotions. The most important thing you can do as a business owner is to take the time to consider your employees’ individual needs. If employees are stressed and unmotivated in their positions, this will undoubtedly lead to poor performance and customer dissatisfaction. Be sure to let your team members know that their presence is needed in the business and that their individual success will lend itself to the broader success of the company as a whole. Questions? Contact any member of our Hospitality Services Group.