Will Your Employees Stay or Stray?

10 Tips for Increasing Retention

By Peter Stark Principal, Peter Barron Stark Companies | October 15, 2017

Whether you work in healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, or hospitality in a small organization or a Fortune 500 company if your organization is successful, you know that employee retention and talent management are essential to sustaining leadership and growth in the marketplace.

All current research regarded to labor indicates that there will continue to be a shortage of well qualified workers in the future. In a recent survey commissioned by Indeed, they found that over 50% of US workers are thinking of making a career change. As we approach the new year, this is one of the most frequent times that employees think about changing jobs.

Wage growth has remained relatively flat since 2005. Motivations vary, but salary is a key factor for many people, especially in lower level positions. In fact, 79% of respondents told Indeed they would be looking for increased wages. In the past few years, raises have been relatively modest. The average increase for hourly workers has hovered around 2.5 percent. But today, unemployment is below 5 percent and it is getting harder and harder to find great employees.

Our prediction is that wages are going to significantly rise over the next couple of years. Why? Because businesses continue to expand and there are more job openings. In July of 2017, employers advertised a record 6.2 million open jobs. There were 1.5 unemployed Americans for each job opening in July 2017, compared to 6.7 unemployed people for each open job in 2009. Other reasons to predict wages are going to escalate is that employers cannot find qualified workers and it is a fact that job switchers earn higher raises. Employers, to hire and retain top talent, need to be prepared to pay higher wages. According to the February 2017 edition of the Harvard Business Review, after salary, employees want health care, benefits and flexibility.

Why Do Employees Leave?

Traditionally, when employees were asked why they begin searching for a new job, the following were the top responses:

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Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.