If you’ve been listening to the news lately or have been trying to add new staff members to your team, you’re probably no stranger to the fact that there’s a war for great talent! Recent studies show there were 10.4 million job openings in September/October 2021. And at the same time, the number of people leaving their jobs rose to 4.3 million - that’s the highest level seen on record since December 2000! But this doesn’t have to be the nightmare scenario many have made it out to be.
Your employees play a critical role in both your day-to-day business operations and in creating exceptional experiences for your guests that keep them coming back – and telling all their friends and family about your venue. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re hiring the right talent and ensuring they are engaged with the business.
We’ve been talking to our customers, to see what creative steps they are taking to balance the operational challenges of sourcing talent, providing exceptional guest experiences without enough staff, and engaging and retaining their current staff. Here’s the top tips we heard:
Build a brand people want to work for
Ensuring you have a good reputation is essential for attracting new talent to your team. By positioning yourself as a leader in your space you’ll naturally attract prospective employees to your venue. Think about it? Most people want to work with brands they like and people they like. Ensure that your website is up-to-date, your facilities are clean and safe, and that your existing team members are greeting everyone who walks through your doors with enthusiasm and kindness.
Building relationships with your guests and existing staff shows you’re engaged in what other people have to say and that you are truly invested in your business.
Identify operational efficiency opportunities
When operating lean, consider ways to enhance operational efficiencies. Doing so can alleviate some of the pressure on you, your team and ensure your guests’ experience continues to meet expectations.
Is your POS easy to use? Are you leveraging self-service kiosks (SSKs)? What about mobile check-ins? There are plenty of opportunities for you to use technology to support your business while you look to add to your team and beyond.
Incentivize staff referrals
Who better to vouch for your business and promote it to new staff than members of your current team? Now is a fantastic time to offer your current staff referral incentives for any new team members they help bring on board. Incentives can come in many forms, such as bonuses or discounts.
But that’s not all. Getting a referral from an existing member of your team comes with a few other perks, too! That’s because referred staff:
- settle in more quickly because they already know someone on their team
- have a reliable reference willing to vouch for them from the get-go
- have added incentive to stay long-term because of their close working relationships
Provide genuine development opportunities
Your front-of-house staff are your guests’ first point of contact and your back-of-house staff keep your business running like a well-oiled machine. Taking the time and resources to invest in their development matters. But it’s not all about courses and formal training – it can be a matter of helping staff upskill their customer service talents or offering a budding entrepreneur a mentorship opportunity.
Not only does education, training, and opportunities for career progression act as a powerful retention tool for existing employees, but it signals to new starters that your business is a place where they can grow.
Our tip: Give your employees insight into what’s really going on behind the scenes? ROLLER’s reporting and analytics can help you develop your staff who want to grow their understanding of the business, industry, and your customers.
Offer a supportive environment
Building a work culture that is supportive of your employees' aspirations is vital, considering work is where the average person spends most of their time. Here are just a few quick ways to create a more supportive team environment:
- Complete an audit of your compensation and benefits packages to ensure they are competitive
- Conduct formal performance reviews to give employees an opportunity to both receive and provide feedback
- Recognize and reward accomplishments and extra effort
- Encourage team members to share new ideas and suggestions
In light of the ongoing pandemic, it’s also vital to ensure you have the appropriate safety measures in place so staff and guests alike feel comfortable and safe returning to your venue
Investing in your employee engagement efforts enables your venue to continue delivering on rising guest expectations and ultimately grow your business in the process. So if you’re finding yourself struggling to fill open roles, don’t fret. There’s still a lot you can do to build a brand people want to work for, engage existing employees and retain top talent – all of which have a trickle-down effect on your talent pipeline.