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3 Keys for Employee Retention in 2023

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The past few years have presented numerous challenges to business owners, including an ongoing labor shortage. The hospitality industry certainly isn’t immune to the struggles of employee retention.

“For a long time, the hospitality industry has relied on having an abundance of applicants even if some of those were not well-qualified. Now we see a problem with both the quality and quantity,” said Amanda Belarmino, professor with University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ College of Hospitality, in an interview with The Food Institute.

“With everyone talking about competitive pay, positive working environments, and flexible schedules to attract and maintain labor, the fact that restaurants aren’t able to find workers is far too real for most operators today,” said Sam Zietz, CEO of GRUBBRR.

“Baby boomers have left the workforce, birth rates are declining, and tight immigration policies have (left) a limited labor pool of candidates, leaving restaurant owners searching for answers.”

When everyone is struggling with employee retention, it begs the question, what can be done to improve workplace atmospheres? Recently, the National Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers had a conference that addressed this issue. Here are a few tips that the conference provided, according to Restaurant Business.

Get Creative
Think of new and creative ways to find employees instead of sticking to help-wanted ads. One example was a company that joined a Facebook group that included people they’d like to work for them.

Support is Key
Employees want to feel like humans, not just workers. Treat your current employees with respect and find out what they need to be successful in order to retain them. Perhaps they want more flexibility in their hours or help with childcare, Restaurant Business noted.

Alleviate Stressors
There are certain tasks that can be outsourced through technology. Find out if there are any that are giving employees headaches or creating bottlenecks and take that burden away. Zietz suggests using self-ordering technology like kiosks and online ordering to help restaurants run with a smaller staff. This can benefit employees in multiple ways, Zietz said, including increased tips that can be split between fewer team members.

Belarmino offered additional tips to The Food Institute. She suggests looking at marketing and doing a better job of communicating your company’s specific benefits in order to differentiate yourself from the competition.

The UNLV professor also suggested considering retirees who are looking to supplement their income.

“Finally, I would encourage employers to look beyond their own surveys for satisfaction and examine online review sites like Indeed and Glassdoor,” Belarmino said, “to find out if there are issues they’re not addressing that could help to retain their team members. Responses to these reviews also demonstrate to job seekers that this is a desirable workplace.”

The Food Institute Podcast

Click the play button above to listen to the episode.

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