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Employee engagement is key

15 February 2013
Employee engagement is key

Keep the best people and improve your profitability by focusing on four key areas of staff engagement, says Sidona Group director Anne Blackburn

The recession has driven superb talent into hospitality. The trick, as highlighted by Deloitte's "Hospitality 2015" report, is retaining and motivating this talent, and building an exceptional industry for the future. It says hoteliers must implement a post-recession strategy for talent retention if they are to avoid staff leaving once the economy improves. In hospitality terms this can be framed around the internal customer experience.

1. Build the right leadership team Invest in leaders, either by outsourcing training, or by focusing internal training on hard and soft skills as well as emotional and intellectual intelligence. Work with them to build a good employee experience and empower them to deliver it.

2. Make the team's career progression clear. Create personal development plans with obvious goals for promotion. Give employees responsibility for their own professional path and find out how they want to develop. There is a clear exchange in the mind of ambitious employees - "if you add value to my CV, I will add value to my workplace" - tap into this.

3. Have a good reward structure Set out clear expectations and let staff know when rewards are given. Peg financial bonuses to sales targets, put instant recognition systems in place, be consistent in your rewards and incentives.

4. Strive to be innovative The best people want to work somewhere dynamic and young talent in particular wants to break new ground. Being an innovative organisation does not necessarily mean having an innovative proposition but it does mean your business practices and treatment of staff should be. Collaborate across departments, embrace new technologies , break down silos, tap into staff creativity.

By focusing on your people, and building a caring and empowered culture, you will be giving your staff the skills and intelligence they need to focus on customers. They will be trained to make each guest count and, in doing so, will ensure guests become loyal advocates.

This is the secret to a long, successful, financially rewarding business - and it all starts with your people. So, plan now, before they look elsewhere.

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