Talent retention in the hospitality industry is a fundamental challenge in a competitive and constantly evolving environment. Keeping employees competent and engaged is essential to guest satisfaction, hotel reputation and productivity.
At a time when hospitality faces a shortage of qualified staff, it is crucial to implement effective strategies to retain talent. Throughout this article, we will explore various techniques and strategies to achieve this.
TALENT RETENTION IN THE HOTEL BUSINESS
Talent retention in the hospitality industry is defined as the set of strategies carried out by a hotel to keep its employees. Generally the objective is to retain those employees who have demonstrated good performance in their jobs. Additionally, talent retention seeks to foster a work environment that is reflected in the professional growth of staff.
Effective retention techniques are those that prevent unwanted voluntary departures. That is, they do not focus on low-performing employees.
IMPORTANCE OF TALENT RETENTION IN THE HOTEL SECTOR
Guest satisfaction, loyalty and hotel reputation depend largely on the competence and friendliness of the staff. We could say that the staff or employees are the backbone of hotel establishments. Therefore, the importance of hoteliers retaining their most competent employees is clear.
Furthermore, in an environment as competitive as hospitality, it is essential to determine why some employees should leave and others stay. This is key on the one hand for business results and, on the other, identifying what works and what doesn’t.
On the other hand, when key employees leave, this affects the morale of the entire team. Therefore, talent retention helps create a much more pleasant work environment. And this, in turn, supports the motivation of staff when doing their tasks.
Keeping the best employees at your hotel, resort or apartment complex is key. Well, in the end, their performance indicates that they understand the operation of the establishment better than anyone else.
THE PROBLEM OF LACK OF QUALIFIED PERSONNEL IN THE HOTEL BUSINESS
In recent years the hotel sector has been facing different challenges and one of them has been the lack of qualified personnel. This problem intensified during the covid-19 pandemic. During this time many people left the sector and ventured into other areas. In many of these areas they found better salaries and greater flexibility. Added to this was the increase in remote jobs.
It is estimated that by 2021, the hospitality industry lost 17% of its employees. Consequently, there is a real need for personnel. Such is the point of the problem, that some hoteliers have declared that the few staff that arrive are poorly qualified.
Then we can get to work to promote talent retention. And speaking of retaining talent, below we will talk about some techniques and strategies for this.
STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE TALENT RETENTION
OFFERS ATTRACTIVE WORKING CONDITIONS
Offering attractive working conditions plays a fundamental role in a person’s decision to accept or leave a job. While things like competitive salaries, benefits, flexible schedules, health insurance, and a positive work environment are standard in many businesses, standing out requires an approach beyond the conventional. And this can be key to retaining talent in a hotel.
In the hotel sector, cleaning, reception or catering areas cannot opt for teleworking. However, it is possible to provide alternatives that provide greater flexibility and meet staff expectations. This can include things like flexible shifts, job rotation, days off, and a day off on your birthday.
Additionally, there are other factors that can help retain staff. An example is offering discounts on hotel services, such as accommodation and restaurants. These initiatives not only improve staff satisfaction, but also strengthen the relationship between employees and the hotel.
IMPLEMENT VARIABLE REMUNERATION
Variable remuneration is another technique that can be effective in retaining talent in hotel establishments. This program is based on providing additional financial compensation that varies according to the individual and collective performance of the employees.
Performance criteria include metrics such as guest satisfaction, meeting sales goals, service quality, operational efficiency, and effective resource management.
The implementation of an incentive program directly influences the work environment and the employees’ sense of belonging. The right balance between incentives, performance, and individual skills allows employees to feel valued and satisfied with their work.
This, in turn, promotes core values in the hospitality industry, such as productivity, commitment and responsibility.
HIRE PERSONNEL ALIGNED WITH THE SECTOR
Ensuring talent retention at your hotel begins with the right choice in the hiring process. It is crucial to select candidates who are passionate about service and have a career path in line with the hotel industry. It is true that these days there is a shortage of this type of employees. But you should always look for this profile.
Onboarding these candidates increases the likelihood of retaining them long-term. It has been estimated that passionate employees are more committed in the long term. On the other hand, those without this passion often seek out new opportunities quickly.
PROVIDES A STABLE WORK ENVIRONMENT
Promoting job stability is essential for retaining talent in hotels. A Harvard Business Review study indicates that job instability reduces productivity and causes worry.
To achieve stability, it is crucial to clearly communicate goals and strategies, provide feedback, listen to employee concerns, and allocate appropriate resources. These actions contribute to a stable work environment and improve staff retention.
OFFERS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Recognizing and valuing our employees means offering them opportunities for growth and development in a constantly evolving hotel industry. You can encourage this through training programs, mentoring, challenging assignments, and a clear career path.
These opportunities not only enhance the skills of employees but also highlight their importance in the organization. It motivates employees to know that they have room to grow and develop.
Before looking for external candidates, consider internal employees who may be ready for new roles with a little training. Avoiding bringing in external personnel for roles that could be filled by workers who have demonstrated their commitment is key. This helps prevent frustration and, on the other hand, promotes a positive work environment.
KEEP OPEN AND TRANSPARENT COMMUNICATION
As an employer, it is essential to cultivate open and transparent communication for talent retention in your hotel. Listening to your employees’ ideas and concerns shows respect for them. Additionally, this can drive improvements in operational processes and the work environment.
On the other hand, it is inevitable that some employees leave the company, whether by choice or due to involuntary circumstances. In these cases, conducting exit interviews is essential to understanding their perspectives on the company and the reasons for their departure.
These interviews allow us to identify trends and patterns that management can address to prevent future exits. Effective communication at all stages is essential to maintain a healthy work environment and continually improve.
Talent retention in the hospitality industry is not only a challenge, but also a prevailing need in a sector that is constantly transforming. Guest satisfaction and service quality largely depend on the commitment and competence of employees. In a world where employee turnover is high, strategies that promote retention become essential.
Retaining your best employees not only benefits the hotel, but also builds a positive and motivating work environment for the entire company. This in turn translates into a superior guest experience and sustained success in the hospitality industry.