Fair Work Week Laws and Employee Retention
By Kenneth Heymann Managing Director, K. Heymann & Associates | December 2023
I was at a conference several months ago and sat in on a panel discussion about Employee Recruitment and Retention.
The panel participants included a couple of CEO's from Hotel Management companies along with some HR executives.
All the participants acknowledged that the Hospitality Industry is struggling to attract and retain employees. We find ourselves in competition with both Gig employers such as Uber and Door Dash, and organizations such as Amazon and other retailers.
The participants cited various approaches to recruiting but I was most interested in their approaches to retaining employees. There were comments about the value of on-going training and providing a career path for hourly employees. One executive noted that his department heads were authorized to give small bonus payments to employees who were "caught doing something right." I was struck by the sense that these organizations were promoting a variety of tactics that would help, but no one seemed to be rethinking the vary nature of the relationship between employer and employee.
I am sure that people like getting some extra dollars when they are "caught" doing something right, but that payment is dependent on the momentary focus and mood of the manager and still, ultimately, does nothing to change the dynamic between employer and employee. The employee is still depending on the manager's perception at any given time. Being well-trained clearly makes a difference between employees who are often frustrated by a lack of clarity and employees who are confident that they know what is expected of them.
Nonetheless, most organizations recognize that well-trained, well-paid employees are not necessarily motivated employees. They're just not dissatisfied employees. And while I don't intend to turn this into a discussion about motivation, it is important to note that simply delivering on basic needs is unlikely to generate significantly improved retention. Will employees stay with you if the hotel down the street offers a higher hourly wage? Will they stay with you if another company offers better training?