When hospitality businesses like restaurants, hotels, and casinos offer employee training they can expect to reap some huge rewards. What hospitality business wouldn’t want easier employee recruitment, better employee retention, enhanced customer experience or greater profitability overall?
Hospitality is an industry that has its fair share of challenges, particularly when it comes to employment. In fact, data published by the U.S. Department of Labor, suggests that the leisure and hospitality industry currently has the absolute greatest employee turnover rate of any other industry! To make matters worse, according to Trading Economics the United States is experiencing unemployment rates less than 4%, this means that hospitality businesses have to compete to hire employees from a shrinking talent pool. The National Restaurant Association also claims that not only is the talent pool shrinking, but the employment dynamics are changing. Older adults are assuming roles in hospitality while the teen labor force is shrinking. With turnover rates greater than 70% and a dwindling talent pool, the hospitality industry has its work cut out for them in terms of hiring and retaining talent. Despite these challenges, hospitality businesses can have much to gain by developing some solid recruiting and retention strategies. When positioned correctly, employee training programs can contribute greatly to the success of these employee recruiting and retention strategies while also having a positive impact on customer experience and a company’s bottom line.
Easier Employee Recruitment
Hospitality is a service-based industry, and as such, many positions in this industry are sometimes thought of as dead-end jobs with lower pay, long hours and poor working conditions. It’s unfortunate that these preconceived notions exist, but it’s also no wonder why hospitality recruitment is so challenging. However, this insight is incredibly valuable as it gives hospitality businesses the perfect opportunity to differentiate themselves from the masses. You have the potential to change that dead-end job mentality to a position of future growth and opportunity.
Employee candidates are increasingly looking to see how companies will help them grow professionally. Boasting a comprehensive employee training and development program that provides a well thought out plan for employee advancement shows that you’re investing in your employees’ futures. To that end, your training and development programs should target all levels of employees, focusing on developing role-specific skills while broadening employee experience across different disciplines within your business. By promoting this plan during recruitment, you’re likely to attract employee candidates that are looking to learn and grow with your business.
Better Employee Retention
Clearly, with the dramatic turnover rates in the hospitality industry, employee retention is a hot topic. When it comes time to decide whether or not to stay with a company, employees are apt to look to the benefits they’re receiving to help them make their decision. Professional development and training opportunities are benefits that can’t be ignored. According to a study conducted by Better Buys, employees with professional development opportunities are 34% more likely to stay at their jobs than those without.
Part of what attracts an employee to their position is in knowing that the job they’re doing is important to the success of the business and that the business, in turn, is investing in the employee to ensure their success in their role. Employees need to feel valued, no matter what their role in the organization. Providing employees with the tools and resources they need to be successful is a key aspect of employee retention. Furthermore, creating a culture that allows your employees to do their best work so that they feel in turn that they are creating a positive contribution is beneficial on many levels.
Enhanced Customer Experience
In an industry where service and reputation are measured, rated and posted on social media sites and mobile apps, your customer experience needs to take center stage. A well-trained staff is paramount in creating a positive and memorable client experience. It is through employee development that you gain highly engaged customer-focused employees. It should go without saying that if you’re developing employee training and development programs to help with your recruiting and retention efforts that customer experience would be included as part of your curriculum. Therefore, enhanced customer experience is an added outcome and benefit to your training program.
Employee turnover is expensive. Turnover costs thousands of dollars per employee, and the higher the employee is on the managerial scale, the more expensive the costs. Hospitality businesses lose thousands, even millions of dollars every year on employee turnover costs including paying overtime to cover shifts, recruiting, hiring and onboarding expenses, etc. Therefore, employee retention directly correlates to profitability. The more employees you retain, the more positive impact on your bottom line.
Reducing turnover costs is only one way that employee retention impacts your bottom line. There’s also plenty of value to gain culturally. Higher employee retention rates directly influence the culture of your organization. As such, the more satisfied your employees are, the more satisfied your customers will be. Having satisfied customers is priceless as they determine your company’s success and contribute to your overall profitability.
In an industry wrought with challenges like high employee turnover and low employee retention rates, providing clear cut career paths and professional development opportunities can make a significant impact on hospitality employers. Empowering people through training helps to alleviate many of the top challenges hospitality service providers experience while driving tangible rewards and benefits.
If you’d like to get started, our Pro Services team can help you design and develop a training program or learning solutions customized to your unique needs. Already have a program in place? You might be interested in using our LMS technology to manage and deploy your training with consistency and ease across all of your employee locations.
Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations, and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband, Steve, and her Siamese cat, Elvis, and with family and friends.