The hospitality industry demands efficiency and excellent service in a fast-paced, high stress environment. Due to this, cafe owners or restaurant managers may find themselves constantly replacing staff. However, by implementing a few key strategies, reasons why hospitality workers typically leave their jobs can be identified and corrected to ensure that turnover can be appropriately managed and reduced.

Turnover in the hospitality industry

Across industries, hospitality workers were the most likely to change jobs in the year to February 2018, with 16% of workers changing employer or business. Essentially, this means that workers in the hospitality industry changed jobs more than in any other industry.

Turnover in hospitality has a lot of implications, but in this current climate, it can be especially damaging. This is due to the fact that the cafe, restaurant and catering sector recently had a year on year growth of 4.7 per cent.

If the food industry of the hospitality sector is currently experiencing growth, losing employees at a higher rate than any other industry couldn’t come at a worse time. This is especially true since a revolving door of employees stands to affect customers the most.

Causes of Turnover

Some of the most common causes of turnover revolve around the job itself. Going into a hospitality job, many employees find themselves not knowing what they will or should be doing at work. On the most basic level, when a waitress is hired they know they’ll be serving tables, but it might not have been communicated that they may also need to shop for the cafe or restaurant’s groceries.

Employers might find that the employee resents doing tasks out of their job description, resulting in them quitting. Alternatively, the job just may not suit the person’s personality, causing them to leave for something more suitable.

Employees in the hospitality industry very rarely work a set schedule and this uncertainty may push an employee to resign and look for a job with more stable hours.

Tips to manage and prevent turnover in the hospitality industry

Employers don’t have to overhaul their business processes to keep staff. Instead, they should practice listening to their staff to provide a working environment where employees can flourish.

1. Hire the right people
By defining the role clearly, businesses can ensure that the candidate is the right fit for not only the job, but the business itself. Hiring the right people boils down to finding the person with the most suited skills and strengths, and fits into the job and company culture. Companies can determine this by asking behavioural questions in the interview. This helps to determine how the person reacts in certain situations, showing first hand if they’re fit for the role. By hiring a person fit for the role, companies can prevent turnover that stems from individuals not knowing what the job requires, or personality and company mismatches.

2. Exit people who don’t fit
Sometimes, despite going through an interview process, hospitality managers will find themselves with an employee that just doesn’t fit. This could be due to attitude or personality reasons. While firing an employee seems counterproductive to reducing turnover, it isn’t. By taking an unsuitable employee out of the equation, they aren’t left to impact the other staff with their bad attitude. By losing one staff member, companies can keep many more by removing a bad influence.

3. Keep benefits and compensation current
Employees can’t leave you for another company with better benefits and compensation if you’re constantly making sure that what’s on offer at your company is on par with others. By finding out what other restaurants or cafes in the same area as you pay their staff, you can offer competitive wages to ensure that employees leaving for better money isn’t a cause of turnover. Keeping benefits and compensation current and competitive is also a sign to employees that you respect their work, resulting in higher productivity and increased moods – all things that also stand to benefit a hospitality company’s customers.

4. Give praise
In the often high pressure environment that hospitality work occurs in, employees can stand to be given praise every now and again. In times where employees work frantically for hours on end to meet the demands of the lunch or dinner rush, they may wonder why they’re working so hard. If their manager offers words of praise or encouragement every now and again, the idea that someone is recognising a job well done will boost their morale. Employees who feel underappreciated seek out alternative employment where their contributions are recognised and celebrated.

5. Make opportunities for development and growth
A common misconception is that hospitality workers experience limited opportunities for development and growth. However, if managers recognise special qualities within their staff, they should act on this. By enrolling your staff in relevant short courses or suggesting management training, you’re showing an investment in your staff. If staff feel like they have room to grow, they won’t need to look for another job.

Smarter approach to employing for your business
Our employment services can help you hire the right people for your company in the hospitality industry to prevent employee turnover. Find out more about our services by contacting us today.

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