Over 42% of hospitality workers contemplate career change CGA report reveals

Labour shortages and high staff turnover continue to pose significant challenges

The report highlights several areas of potential improvement for hospitality businesses (Photo by Negative Space via Pexels)

The new report, Getting Retention Right: Insights to Navigating Hospitality’s Top Talent Challenge, from CGA by NIQ and Harri, shows the experiences of today’s hospitality workers and uncovers how improved recruitment and technology can mitigate shortages and high turnover.

While job satisfaction levels in the hospitality sector have significantly increased over the past 12 months, labour shortages and high staff turnover continue to pose significant challenges. The report is the product of the groundbreaking Frontline Employee Experience platform, which caters to over 35,000 restaurant and hotel locations, serving more than four million hospitality employees globally.

The report with over 500 responses, indicates that operators and managers view employee satisfaction with cautious optimism. Wages have increased, and well-being has become a growing priority. However, more than 42% of employees are still contemplating a career change outside of the hospitality sector.

Despite mounting costs and staff shortages, 62% of industry leaders remain optimistic about their business prospects over the next 12 months. Two-thirds of respondents (67%) agree with the statement that ‘hospitality offers a good and worthwhile career.’ Nearly three-quarters (74%) of employees in the sector express satisfaction in their current roles—an increase of 13 percentage points since the previous survey in 2022. Over a quarter (27%) assert that they have actively chosen hospitality as their career path, reflecting a four-percentage-point increase over the past year.

These figures indicate that hospitality businesses are enhancing their employees’ experiences, possibly driven by increased pay rates over the last year, but recruitment and retention challenges persist in the industry.

The report highlights several areas of potential improvement for hospitality businesses, including:

Well-being: A third (30%) of staff report that their employer supports a healthy work-life balance, up from 19% a year ago, but further support is required.

Values: More than a third of employees prioritise honesty (41%), equality (35%), or mutual respect (34%) when seeking a job, emphasising the importance of positive values in recruitment.

Technology: Only a fifth (20%) of employees consider their business’ technology for staff as highly advanced. There is significant untapped potential for the application of online platforms in tasks like payroll, communication, and shift and holiday management.

Tristan Spencer, Harri’s SVP Sales UK, said: “Businesses know that further improvements are needed at every step of their teams’ journeys, from recruitment and onboarding onwards. Investment in digital engagement solutions can help employees feel more valued and better at their jobs while substantially reducing the high costs of recruitment.”

Karl Chessell, director, hospitality operators and food, CGA, said: “High staff shortages and turnover have been a huge challenge for the hospitality sector in recent years, but our research shows businesses are making good progress on their engagement strategies. It’s already paying dividends in improved satisfaction, and in time should help to bring down turnover and overcome some negative stereotypes to finally earn hospitality the reputation it deserves as a great place to build a career.”

Click here to access the full report: https://nielseniq.com/global/en/insights/report/2023/getting-retention-right-insights-to-navigating-hospitalitys-top-talent-challenge/

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