The hospitality industry is often ripe with employee issues, and those working in human resources are left with the responsibility of fixing them.
Turnover is a problem in the hospitality sector. According to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, leisure and hospitality had some of the highest turnover rates, with an average between 4.8 and 5.5 percent from February to June 2013. Along with construction, these figures were consistently among the top two industries. Varied schedules are the likely cause, explains Joe McInerney, president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, in an article for the Wall Street Journal. However, low pay can also contribute to turnover.
With relatively high turnover rates, it should come as no surprise that recruiting is another problem facing HR in the hospitality industry. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. Part of the problem is pre-employment assessments, explains Joyce Gioia, CEO of Employer of Choice. When an establishment fails to fully assess candidates, it increases the chances of placing the right person in the wrong role.
Also going hand in hand with high turnover are training problems, notes Hotel News Now, an online news resource for the hospitality industry. When the rate of retention is low, management tends to put new recruits on the floor before teaching them how to do the job properly. The establishment may be fully staffed, but the service is now questionable. Plus, the high turnover can increase the chances of employees moving into managerial positions before they’re ready. Well-trained managers can best develop first-line employees, notes Gioia.
While executives in the hospitality industry emphasize retention and recruitment, those in HR also note morale as a concern. Low morale has a large impact on service standards, which can tarnish the reputation of a hotel, bar or restaurant and eventually erode business. The causes of low morale can vary by business, but some of the top offenders were lack of training, unskilled colleagues, understaffing, stress and few rewards.
Shrinkage, or the loss of goods, has become an issue for many bars, restaurants, nightclubs and hotels, and it takes many forms. Unreported wastage, theft and misuse, such as providing free drinks to friends, often top the list of causes of shrinkage. Loss is also attributed to both transaction and inventory discrepancies.