Employee turnover is a major concern no matter what industry you work in, but it’s especially pronounced in the hotel industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, annual turnover in the hospitality industry is 73.8 percent — that’s one in 16 employees that will leave every month.
For every one of those employees, you’ll need to hire and train a replacement. In the meantime, you’ll have to work your existing employees harder, possibly paying them overtime pay. You’ll need to spend money and time to find a new employee, and you’ll have to spend the money to train them.
According to some estimates, replacing an employee costs a company six to nine months of their salary. That’s a lot of resources dedicated to compensating for turnover. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help reduce turnover — or at least reduce the impact of replacing your staff.
Acknowledge that Turnover Happens
The first thing to realize is that you can’t possibly get turnover rates to zero. Like food service, the hotel industry has a lot of entry-level jobs that people are only pursuing as a stopgap before they move on to something else. Hotel work is easily transferable — an employee unhappy at one hotel can easily move those skills to another — and it can be highly seasonal as well.
Be Flexible With Hours
Some hotel jobs are more physically demanding than others — maintenance and housekeeping generally top the list. Luckily, those jobs are also the most flexible. As long as the rooms are getting clean and maintenance tickets are being addressed in a timely fashion, a strict 8-to-5 schedule isn’t necessary. Granting your staff a little more flexibility with when they work won’t make a difference to hotel operations, and it’ll provide a good incentive to stick with the job.
Make Job Expectations Clear
Lots of employees leave their jobs when they find that their day-to-day expectations aren’t what they were led to believe in the hiring process. Sometimes the job is harder, sometimes the hours are longer or they weren’t expecting to be on call this much, or sometimes it’s simply less fulfilling than they thought.
By clearly communicating both the duties of the job and what to expect from a typical shift, you’ll be able to hire and onboard people who are better prepared for what the job expects of them.
Empower Your Staff With Technology
One of the things that causes turnover in any workplace is frustration over inefficiencies, miscommunication, and generally wasted time and resources. Employees will pick up on the fact that your processes and procedures aren’t optimized, and it’ll affect morale.
VoIP technology will make a huge difference in the efficiency of how your hotel operates. For the front desk staff, it will free them up from tedious, repetitive tasks like setting wake-up calls and checking guests in and out, allowing them to engage with guests directly.
For housekeeping and maintenance staff, a VoIP system will allow you to integrate all your hotel’s systems, notifying them exactly when and where work is needed. No longer will they waste time wandering hallways only to be faced with “Do Not Disturb” signs — by connecting your PBX system to the internet, you can let guests set their room status instantaneously.
Furthermore, a VoIP PBX system will save you thousands in monthly expenses, allowing you to spend that money on other improvements that will keep your staff happy — competitive wages, shorter shifts, and incentive systems.
In general, a hotel that runs on the latest communications technology will be more efficient, more productive, and a better place to work — and that’s ultimately the best way to retain employees in the long term.