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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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. 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.