Career Progression and Staff Retention in Hospitality

This is an emotive subject, it has always been the case that good staff are hard to find. As we have all experienced, the unmitigated disaster of Brexit and the post-COVID world has changed many industries, none more so than hospitality.

We at Lumiere and our partners in business have spoken many times on what needs to change in hospitality and how to make it an attractive working environment. It's not enough to just throw money at people, it has to be about training, progression and instilling a sense of pride.

Our Thoughts on Career Progression in Hospitality

Why should employers offer training programmes? Training programmes offer a number of opportunities to both the employer and employee.

  1. Retaining staff is the most obvious one. A clear strategy of learning will engage your team and they will stay to gain their WSET qualification or NVQ, as an example.
  2. Training them to do the job that you have employed them to do. It is unrealistic to believe that someone can just walk in and understand your business immediately. Work with them to deliver what you want.
  3. Better customer experience; an engaged employee performs better
  4. Better staff morale (for all of the above reasons)
  5. Standing out from other employers. Many staff will be more motivated by progression than money. Restaurant groups that impart knowledge and training have much better chances of recruiting from a smaller pool than those that simply pay a salary and leave their staff to simply get on with it.

Recruitment Strategies

As mentioned in the previous paragraph and in earlier blog posts, a training and mentorship scheme will help a restaurant, hotel, nightclub, or any hospitality venue stand out in a challenging world of recruitment. Listening to what employees are looking for, it is frankly less about money and more about career progression. Many hotel & restaurant groups have their own internal training and mentorship programme. At Lumiere we assist many businesses with the development of such culture and the training programme itself. Read more here

  1. Meeting evolving guest expectations: The hospitality industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies, trends, and customer preferences emerging regularly. Upskilling ensures that teams stay updated with the latest trends and are equipped to meet the changing expectations of guests.
  2. Enhanced guest experience: Upskilling enables hospitality teams to deliver a higher quality of service, which can lead to improved guest satisfaction and loyalty. Whether it’s learning new communication techniques, mastering new technologies, or gaining knowledge about different cultures, upskilling helps employees provide a better overall experience for guests.
  3. Increased employee engagement and retention: Investing in the development of employees through upskilling demonstrates that the organisation values their growth and professional development. This can lead to higher levels of employee engagement and satisfaction, ultimately reducing turnover rates.
  4. Improved operational efficiency: Upskilling can lead to more efficient processes and workflows within the hospitality organisation. Whether it’s streamlining check-in procedures, optimising inventory management, or implementing cost-saving measures, upskilled employees are better equipped to contribute to operational excellence.

Integrating upskilling into recruitment strategies in the hospitality industry requires a multifaceted approach:

  1. Prioritise skills development in job descriptions: Clearly communicate in job postings that the organisation values continuous learning and development. Highlight opportunities for upskilling and career advancement within the company.
  2. Offer training and development programmes: Develop training programmes that focus on both technical skills (e.g. customer service techniques, software proficiency) and soft skills (e.g. communication, problem-solving). These programs can be offered during onboarding and throughout an employee’s tenure with the company.
  3. Provide opportunities for cross-training: Encourage employees to explore different roles within the organisation through cross-training initiatives. This not only broadens their skill sets, but also increases their versatility and adaptability in various work environments.
  4. Support ongoing learning: Offer financial assistance or incentives for employees to pursue further education, certifications, or workshops related to the hospitality industry. Provide access to online courses, workshops, and industry conferences to facilitate continuous learning.
  5. Recognise and reward skill development: Acknowledge and reward employees who actively engage in upskilling activities. This could include promotions, bonuses, or recognition in company-wide communications.

By integrating upskilling into recruitment strategies, hospitality teams can attract top talent, retain employees, and ultimately provide exceptional guest experiences that set their organisation apart in the competitive hospitality industry.

Written in partnership with Lumiere Consultancy

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