Engagement and fairness: improving retention in hospitality

When we talk about labour management, our minds tend to run straight to the cost of labour in terms of weekly P&L. With the cost of staff wages increasing, we are right to be thinking about how much we are spending each shift on staff, but paying your staff is not the only increasing cost to manage when it comes to labour. The cost of replacing staff is another major controllable cost for operators, and the solution is found in providing engaging and fair workplaces for teams.

High staff turnover levels remain a major concern for hospitality businesses. In 2023, UK Money reported that the industry has the highest turnover rate in the UK, with an average of 37.6% of employees leaving jobs each year. And, when you consider the actual cost of recruitment (especially if you are using an agency), as well as the cost of induction and training over a number of months, high turnover really poses a big obstacle to stability and growth. However, evolving legislation and innovative solutions are pathing a promising pathway for tackling the struggle of retention.

Improved communication and engagement will keep your teams happy

In order to foster an environment of loyalty and satisfaction, hospitality teams need to feel engaged and supported in the running of every shift. Knowing when they are working, who with, and what they are expected to achieve in each shift are key first steps in setting a good standard of communication. Another big driver of retention is also in knowing there is open communication with managers, particularly regarding holidays, ‘not available’ hours and swapping shifts.

In March, S4labour released S4 Connect – an app designed to bring together everything hospitality staff need to be their best and stay productive and engaged every shift. Read more about S4 Connect here: S4 Connect

With S4 Connect, employees can look after their own data and documents, view and book holidays, and see shifts and shift briefs, all in one place.

Team members do not need to access any desktop version, instead, they can manage documents such as P45s, contracts and RTW from their mobile. Shift briefs set out all the information they need to be fully engaged and productive, including slack tasks, incentives, and specials.

Holiday management is taken care of, with functionality that lets employees request new holidays, see accrued holidays, and track upcoming holiday requests. For any particular day, staff can also see employee holiday count, so they know not to request days that are already taken.

S4 Connect also allows staff to notify managers of ‘not available’ shifts for half or full days. Shift swapping is built in, so an employee can request to advertise one of their shifts, and a team member of the same role can offer to pick it up, with managerial approval.

How Grtfl supports Engagement and Fairness

True long-term retention hinges on fair reward systems for hardworking teams. This is where Grtfl excels. In a recent study, 49% of millennials said they would, if they had a choice, quit their current jobs in the next two years due to a perceived lack of fairness and transparency from their employers. This indicates that nearly half of young workers prioritise fair treatment and transparency over other benefits. As of recent reports, Gen Z accounts for around 30-35% of hospitality workers, with Millennials comprising about 42%​ (Hotel News Insights)​​ (Hospitality & Catering News)​. This demographic shift highlights the importance of engaging younger employees effectively to enhance retention and job satisfaction. Grtfl’s platform offers a modernised approach to what has historically been a labour-intensive, and concealed process. The platform is designed to give teams more transparency than ever before on their tips and automate the process for businesses. Giving the team real-time earning updates throughout the period, can reduce shift latency and pave the way for a better-motivated workforce. Implementing people-first initiatives that ensure fairness and transparency will not only provide a direct ROI but also incentivise people to stay within the industry.

The Grtfl and S4labour partnership is a game-changer for the hospitality industry and is an excellent example of how businesses can utilise technology to attract and retain talent in the industry. By integrating fair and transparent reward systems with robust management tools, hospitality businesses can boost engagement, reduce turnover, and foster a loyal, motivated workforce. Look after your people, and they’ll look after you.

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