For decades, the problems of turnover and attrition have long been particularly challenging for firms in the hospitality industry. In the midst of the turbulence that continues to rock today’s global economy, these challenges are likely to gain even greater attention as we look forward to the New Year.
With labor costs creeping upwards and recruitment budgets shrinking, the imperative to hang on to talented and experienced workers is front and center for HR personnel in the hospitality industry. From a business perspective, the resources that are required to fill even one position are much better spent retaining the workers that are already vetted, trained, and fully familiar with the organizational terrain. Simply put, when it comes to getting the most out of your recruitment budget, a smart retention strategy is a must.
Most firms already have a basic retention strategy in place, but not all of these organizations take the time to periodically revisit their policy and implement new changes as circumstances change and evolve. As 2009 approaches, it’s a great time to take a long, hard look at your company’s retention strategy, assess your success, and fix what’s not working.
According to recruiting guru Ray Schreyer, co-author of Recruit and Retain the Best: Key Solutions for the HR Professional, a successful retention strategy is one that combines universal principles and best practices with tactics that make sense in light of current labor and market conditions, within the unique context of your industry. What’s most important is a willingness to shift your firm’s retention strategy as circumstances change over time.
Ready to tune up your organization’s approach to retention for 2009? Use these guidelines to craft a set of policies and practices that will help your firm hang on to its most precious asset: skilled, talented, and experienced employees.
It’s an age-old truism that money talks, but experts caution us to remember that compensation isn’t everything when it comes to hanging on to your top employees. Many studies have shown that non-tangible factors like job satisfaction, perceived fairness, and opportunities for advancement and development often rank higher than pay when it comes to employee retention. Make sure your pay scales are competitive, but don’t overlook other variables.
Although retention has long been a top concern for the hospitality industry, many front-line managers have never been trained in techniques and methods designed to reduce and prevent turnover and attrition. Encourage managers to help foster an environment in which employees feel respected, valued, and supported.
One of the so-called “push” factors that often send employees scrambling for the help-wanted ads is the sense that they have no decision-making power and no room for professional growth. Devise an individual plan for each employee to maximize their scope of responsibilities and identify opportunities for development and advancement.
You don’t have to break the bank with high-cost bonuses and benefits to let your employees know that they are valued. Indeed, retention experts often say that it’s the “little things” that accrue over time to build employee loyalty. Look into low-cost but heartfelt gestures that can make your workplace a fun and desirable place to be.
Not quite sure what it will take to hold on to your high-value staff members? Ask them! Many companies that enjoy high rates of retention rely on employee focus groups, surveys, and meetings to stay on top of the factors and variables that matter most to staff members.
Hanging onto your world-class staff can mean the difference between success and failure in the service-focused hospitality industry. Use these simple tips to sail into 2009 with a supercharged retention strategy.