Employee Experience

Transforming the Employee Experience in Hospitality

Here’s How the Frontline Feels
Harri Insider Team
February 3, 2023
Table of Contents

Our latest report with CGA shows that employees are no longer a second thought for service-led industries and hospitality. The employee experience is top of the agenda, and employees are speaking out about what they want to see and what they need in the workplace. 

The employee experience drives greater employee performance, which is essential to guest satisfaction and creating a greater customer experience. A greater customer experience in turn is the catalyst for increased sales and revenue. In other words, the employee experience drives customer experience — and your guest experience will never exceed your employee experience.

All of which is why hospitality businesses that strive for innovative, engaging recruitment and retention strategies now will be the ones most likely to be the industry’s top performers down the road. That’s one of the 10 key takeaways in “Transforming the Employee Experience in Hospitality,” a 2022 survey of hospitality employees by Harri, the frontline employee experience platform, and CGA Consulting, a market analyst firm.

Transforming The Employee Experience In Hospitality: Recruitment

If your recruitment strategy isn’t highly focused on digital channels, you’re not throwing your line into the broadest and deepest pool of available talent. Our survey found that nearly 70% of hospitality employees today searched online for their new jobs.  A full 41% used social media. (This is another key takeaway from our study.)

Meanwhile, don’t forget the power that your employer brand and employee engagement can have on your recruiting efforts. Almost one in three employees we surveyed said they used recommendations from family or friends to find work, and just over one in five used networking.

Your employees are critical brand ambassadors in every aspect of your business. They can significantly affect the quality of your hiring — another reason to have effective people strategies to improve the employee experience.

Transforming The Employee Experience In Hospitality: Engagement

Nearly half of hospitality employees think the industry is less appealing now than before the pandemic. The key factors cited in our survey were:

  • Insufficient pay raises
  • A lack of appreciation from employers
  • A lowered level of support from the public and government for hospitality overall
  • A decrease in tips

Of course, you can’t be expected to make much of a dent in some of those perceptions. But if you can improve satisfaction in one area of the employee experience, odds are good that you’ll have a positive impact on another area — and on the customer experience and the success of your business.

Transforming The Employee Experience In Hospitality: Retention

As you work to find and hire great job candidates and improve employee engagement, you need to also keep an eye on retaining your best people; our survey discovered two areas of the employee experience that bear calling out to improve retention. Above all else, hospitality employees today want to know:

  1. They are valued for doing their job well
  2. They are getting fair pay and benefits

Beyond that, retention strategies need to include other kinds of support, like improving scheduling flexibility, doing more to help cover staffing shortages, reducing unsociable working hours, and providing wellness and work-life benefits that go beyond basic medical, dental, and vision.

Equally important (and one more of the 10 key takeaways from our study), employees want better use of technology. They want a more consumer-like employee experience. It’s one easy way to show you value your employees.

The bottom line: New strategies for improving how you recruit, engage, and retain top people is the winning trifecta for improving the people experience, the customer experience, and the business for hospitality on the road ahead.

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