In a time where competition is high, and opportunities are plentiful, companies and managers need to offer more than 'just a job' to retain staff.
Dissatisfaction, unhappiness and a lack of development and appreciation are reasons why I have previously left jobs, and I know it is the same for a lot of people. Hospitality suffers more than most industries with high turnover. Some of the reasons are beyond its control; seasonal work and students working just for the summer are some. That being said, employers could do far more to retain staff and keep people satisfied and happy in their work.
My advice to management is this:
1. Know your team
Managers should have regular, meaningful conversations with their team. Everybody develops at a different pace and wants different things at different times from their job. Knowing what level they are at is vital to be able to support them.
2. Make sure the right personalities are in the right roles
Not everyone is meant to be a leader; not everyone wants to move into management, and not everyone enjoys working with the public. Losing a great member of the team because they are in the wrong department is down to poor management and is a waste of resources, time and money.
3. Offer regular training and development opportunities that develop different skill sets
As a trainer, there is nothing more satisfying than introducing someone to my world of coffee and seeing a passion ignited. It has also allowed me to bring in previously unseen talent that otherwise would have been lost to my team and me.
. Give feedback
Good and bad. Saying 'thank you' and 'nicely done' take moments but are so valued by those receiving them. Find ways to help somebody succeed if they are struggling, instead of punishing them for not doing a good enough job. Often people start to underachieve in work because of inadequate training or lack thereof. This is not their fault; managers need to understand this and be better.
5. Be gracious and happy if somebody in your team decides to leave
Try and get them to stay if you can, find out why they are leaving, but wish them well and thank them for their hard work. Always leave the door open for them to return.
6. Make the day as fun as you can
In stressful situations or environments, having fun is vital. Build a team where personalities mix well and friendships can develop.
7. Pay people well and on time
Good staff are often hard to come by, so they should be rewarded appropriately. Bartenders, baristas and waiters have a lot of knowledge and skills that take years to develop. That should be rewarded by a decent level of pay, alongside training and development opportunities and recreational benefits.
My list could go on, but in reality, companies and managers need to understand they are dealing with people at the end of the day. Being humble and open to feedback themselves is vital, alongside being empathetic and attentive to their employees.
To sum up, what I think would help most with improving staff retention, I would say 'communication'. We need to do it more and be genuine about it. It's good to talk.