Best and Next Practices in the Service Sector Workplace

By Grace Kaucic Associate Marketing Manager, TDn2K | March 18, 2018

Co-authored by Joni Doolin, CEO & Founder, TDn2K and People Report

Attracting and retaining enough qualified employees has become one of the most pressing issues facing the service sector today, particularly the restaurant industry. With the national unemployment rate reaching its lowest levels since 2001, the constricted labor market is placing great strain on operators trying to recruit and hold onto their skilled employees. 

Employee Retention - Why is it a Problem?

Employee turnover rates for both management and hourly restaurant employees have now reached record highs. Over 70 percent of all restaurant employees, including front-of-house, back-of-house and management employees, are leaving voluntarily. Furthermore, the top reasons for voluntary termination are job dissatisfaction and opportunities for higher pay elsewhere.  

This level of turnover has proven to be extremely costly in more ways than one. The latest data shows that turnover in the restaurant industry now costs over $2,000 per hourly employee and over $15,000 per management employee. Additionally, TDn2K research also shows how high employee turnover in a restaurant can have a seriously detrimental effect on sales and traffic. In fact, the worst performing chain restaurants, in terms of sales, reported over 20 percent higher management turnover and over 25 percent higher hourly turnover in the second quarter of 2017.

Best Practices Awards Highlight Performance

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.