Hiring staff members is similar to bringing in customers. Customers often ask themselves: “why should I buy from you?” and staff members often ask: “why should I work for you?”.
Fitting into a business as an employee or a new hire is important, let’s look at some concerns to ensure people want to work for you.
There is a general behavioral thread that weaves its way through a company creating a common connection or pattern in how the company conducts its business, makes decisions and how it specifically interacts with its staff members and customers, it’s called company culture.
But, why is company culture so important?
Many people at different levels are affected by the way you conduct your business. For staff members, this can include things like dress code, work-hours, how promotions in the company are achieved and often values; quality, honesty, respect, and authenticity would be good examples of this.
For an industry that is well known for its mix of genders, races, and points of view, hiring and finding the “right” fit can be challenging. Hiring someone that’s “just-like-you” can lead to a lack of diversity which might create a homogenous business culture where everybody looks alike, acts alike and thinks alike. It’s not a very fun environment to work in when it doesn’t accurately reflect the society around us.
For someone who’s looking to work for your business, some of these questions may come up for them:
- What does a typical work shift look like for me in your business?
- What are the most important values of the business?
- How easy is it to communicate with others in my work area as well as at different levels and departments of the business, in short, is there a level of trust and transparency and an effective chain of command?
- How competitive are the wages and benefits, given the nature of the business, do they make sense?
- What is the overall work environment like in your business?
- How do customers view the business, is it a happening place or Dullsville?
Understanding the answers to these questions can help identify current business objectives and the main target for the future of the company. Staff members who feel like their contribution is valued and that they work in a respectful atmosphere are more likely to feel connected to your business values and be happy in the work environment you create. Alternatively, employees that feel undervalued and their contribution not respected will look for new work opportunities which creates an endless challenge for you in terms of employee retention.
Employee retention is such a vital aspect of your business, a revolving door mentality is a one-way ticket to doom. An unstable ever-changing workforce strongly negatively affects your customers. Soon, they will be going down the street to buy from your competitors. To underscore the importance for no other reason than a financial one, retaining your staff should be a key performance metric for you as a business owner or manager. According to the Department of Labour Standards in the USA, 2013, replacing a front-line staff member costs between USD 3,000, to 5,000, and over USD 30,000 for a supervisor or manager.
The hospitality and lodging industries have some of the highest employee turnover rates with an estimated turnover in North America sitting above 58 percent.
Replacement cost, hiring, training, and underperformance all contribute to the cost of turnover. Performance-lag is often cited as one of the most expensive parts of this equation.
Understanding the effect of employee turnover and ways to mitigate it can go a long way to creating an environment where employees want to work and customers want to spend their time and money.
Here are 11 tips to ensure a well-respected workplace where people want to work:
- Maintain a professional and friendly atmosphere
- Demonstrate a shared enthusiasm for the company’s direction and mission with staff members
- By supervising in a way that you would like to be supervised, it helps maintain a professional environment and a positive company culture
- Maintain and enhance open communication at all levels, an “open-door” policy is useless if your door is half shut!
- Provide open and honest feedback to help employees build their own motivation and improve/excel in the workplace
- Help your employees succeed and advance in your business and the hospitality industry
- A small distinction: do people want to work with you or for you?
- Be flexible and understanding with your scheduling demands. A considerable amount of staff in the food and beverage industry work part-time and have other realities, like school and university to contend with
- Share a common approach to working together and individually in your business
- Support local initiatives in the industry, speak at career days and hiring events at colleges and universities, especially those with hospitality programs
- Remain open and flexible with regards to your own professional development and career expectations
These suggestions and comments should help you consider what your business is like to work from an outside perspective. It will also allow you to reframe some of your own direction and approach to developing a meaningful workplace for you, your staff, and your customers. It’s cliché but true, happy staff generally means happy customers and customers when they are happy, spend money and tell others about the great time they had at your establishment!