Rewarding Employee Longevity without Breaking the Bank

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | February 12, 2012

Though the hospitality industry is clearly in recovery, recent surveys indicate that frequent fliers’ spending on airline tickets to enjoy increased comfort has not been matched by their spending on lodging. People expect that after they have been with a property for a period of time that their compensation will increase. However, hoteliers don’t always have the extra funds to reward their valued employees with the longevity increases that they want and often expect. What can you do to insure that you minimize your high cost of employee turnover, including training, recruiting and onboarding expenses? Not to mention the high cost of rebuilding the institutional memory that often takes years.

Non-Financial vs. Financial

While it seems an easy solution to throw money at people, that tactic is seldom as effective as investing the time and effort to demonstrate your appreciation in a myriad of ways that will cost very little, if anything. Reaching out to your employees and showing them that you really care will go a long way towards helping you retain your employees without spending funds you may not have in your budget.
Moreover, there are numerous additional non-financial rewards that hoteliers around the world have found to be effective.

Non-Financial Rewards

premium parking. Some non-urban properties set aside a parking place just past the handicapped spots for their employees with over 20 years of service. If there are multiple employees with this longevity, the long-tenured employees rotate who get the spot.

meal with the boss. Another no-cost benefit that has worked elsewhere is breakfast or lunch with the general manager. Wise hotel executives use this valuable time not only to engage their employees, but also to conduct their own intelligence gathering about what’s working and what’s not. This informal opportunity offers a prime time to discover areas for improvement that won’t cost you much, but may make a huge difference in the work lives of your employees.

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