Caterers could release unknown potential in their employees if they were more flexible over working times, according to a survey from the Department of Trade & Industry.
The poll found that 40% of employees thought being in control of their work-life balance was a crucial factor affecting their productivity, with nearly two-thirds preferring to apply for a job with an employer which provided flexible working opportunities.
Jane Sunley, managing director of people retention company Learnpurple, said hospitality was a "brilliant industry for work-life balance", but not enough companies had caught on to the trend.
According to Learnpurple, offering flexible working hours helps firms attract the best people to a job and to retain them, leads to a happier and more productive workforce, and reduces costs.
The survey also found that more than a third of leisure and catering industry workers felt they were too bogged down with day-to-day detail to ever fully realise their potential, even though they wanted to be more productive.
Get more out of your employees
- Start meetings on time - 46% of those surveyed find late meetings impede efficiency.
- Stop sending irrelevant e-mails - 57% say receiving long e-mails not directly relevant to their day-to-day job are a problem.
- Praise them - 74% say receiving regular feedback and praise motivates them more than anything.
- Train your staff in manageable sizes - bite-size sessions beat whole training days.
- Agree objectives together - 60% say being asked for their opinion and having a sense of what's going on in the business motivates them.