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How To Improve Staff Retention 


by Mason Potter, Founder of Grtfl

Retaining talent within the hospitality industry is a pain point that many businesses in the sector experience, with research finding that around 30% of hospitality workers leave in the first 90 days. With recent stats also finding that 61% of hospitality businesses are experiencing staff shortages and 42% are reducing their opening hours to account for their lack of staff, improving staff retention is increasingly critical.

Here are some ways that hospitality businesses can improve staff retention.

Offer growth and development opportunities.

Job satisfaction is a major factor in employees remaining within their hospitality role or seeking employment elsewhere. A recent report found that despite the 13% increase in job satisfaction from 61% to 74%, 42% of hospitality employees (more than 2 in 5) are still likely to consider a career change.

Hospitality businesses must not become complacent in light of the positive change in job satisfaction in the industry. As owners must make sure that this majority is maintained and potentially increased in the future.

Hospitality businesses can do this by road-mapping clear growth plans for each employee to provide an insight into how their role will progress. In doing so, owners can foster a sense of belonging among their employees and provide confidence in their abilities where a roadmap indicates their capabilities will see them employed long-term within the business and are not disposable.

Recognise and celebrate achievements.

Bringing positive attention to the achievements of hospitality staff, such as hitting a record profit in a shift or receiving a glowing review on the quality of customer service, validates the hard work and dedication of high-performing hospitality staff. Recognising their achievements boosts morale and motivation while promoting a positive work culture.

Recognising achievements can also motivate an employee to deliver high-quality customer service consistently following positive reinforcement, as well as a sense of pride and ownership within their role.

Recognising and celebrating the achievements of our hospitality staff doesn’t only encompass applauding success; it nurtures a culture of appreciation where effort in delivering high-quality customer service matters.

According to a study, the primary reason employees leave their jobs is a lack of recognition with 65% of survey participants indicating they don’t feel sufficiently recognised at work. This statistic emphasises the importance of celebrating employee achievements to ensure staff retention within hospitality even further.

Integrate flexible working.

Varying the hours and schedules that employees are working accommodates other commitments your team may have and by doing so, owners can also help prevent burnout. 31% of UK employees feel that they do not have a good work-life balance, according to research, and with this becoming an increasing priority among the UK’s workforce, the hospitality industry must make adjustments accordingly.

Proving yourself as an adaptable and agile employer demonstrates how the well-being of your workforce is a priority. Higher levels of engagement which come directly from working flexibly can reduce staff turnover by 87%.

Hospitality businesses can begin to implement this by creating varying shift patterns of shorter and longer hours and allowing employees to swap shifts if needed so commitments outside of work can still be met.

Providing these flexible working arrangements gives hospitality employees a rightful sense of autonomy over their work and an improved sense of ownership over their role. Various rota platforms can be used for this such as Rotaready, Fourth, Planday and S4Labour.

For many customers, the staff working at a hospitality establishment are crucial to the customer’s positive experience. The best talent must be retained to nurture customer loyalty, increase tips and maintain reputation.


mason potter

Mason Potter started Grtfl with two partners in 2021 out of the frustration of not having transparency around tipping in hospitality as we move into a cashless society. grtfl was created to provide autonomy for businesses and a fair and transparent tronc solution for employees, ensuring teams are motivated to go the extra mile for customers.