Addressing staff retention in the hospitality sector

By Sam Thomas | 4th September 2018 | 8 min read

It’s well documented that the hospitality sector has one of the highest staff attrition rates of any industry in the UK. Not only does this disrupt workflow and increase hiring costs, it also damages hospitality’s reputation as an industry worth moving into.

As employee engagement and retention are ultimately the responsibility of HR, it is important this function is supported and enabled to as full great an extent as possible. That said, it’s not unheard of for businesses in the hospitality sector to shoulder this without a proper HR department.

In this blog, we’ll look at how you can free up both of these and improve your retention and engagement levels.

What is the role of HR in hospitality?

Whether you’re a HR professional or just take on HR responsibilities in your wider role, the work you have to take on in this sector is wide-reaching and often constricted by a lack of time and resources. Let’s take a look at the areas any HR rep can make a positive impact.

HR’s responsibility starts with recruitment. The hardest part of this can be finding the right cultural fit for the business. There’s a perception that the hospitality industry lacks career potential outside of “head office” roles. As such, hospitality workers tend to view their jobs as a stop gap and can suffer from low morale.

When recruiting, it’s important that you have a clear view of the business as a whole and not just for the role you’re hiring for. During the interview, find out what the candidate is looking for from their own career and see whether your business can actually support their goals. If you can, then you’ll be likely to hold on to them for much longer.

As the hospitality industry primarily draws a younger workforce, they’ll likely to be drawn to training and development opportunities. Even if promotions aren’t available, millennials and a younger work force are still likely respond to the offer of developing new skills and moving horizontally if not vertically.

In both recruitment and training staff, the key to success is listening. Encouraging feedback is important, but acting on the feedback you receive is essential. Staff who feel that they are heard are more likely to stay on at your company.

Unfortunately, finding time to listen and act in such a fast-paced industry can prove difficult.

How IRIS can help

While HR is a people-first function, the majority of HR representatives will find their time filled by administrative tasks. Last minute rota changes, holiday and day-off requests and similar admin can get in the way of taking on larger projects or employee engagement.  

This is why multiple businesses are adopting HR software as a method of cutting down on the amount of admin they need to get through in an average month. As many leading HR software solutions include employee self-service options, employee can submit their own requests and reduce the burden on the HR team.

HR software also allows you to run a series of in-depth reports to better assess staffing requirements, diversity and skills gaps so that you have a better understanding of how any new hire will fit into the business.

Other reports allow you to measure performance and update training objectives for individual employees. They can also provide data analytics that help better assess your organisation’s performance overall and identify ways of improving your HR strategy.

To see which specific features can help you improve your reporting and contribute towards higher staff retention, click here.