Employee Recognition Hospitality

Why Recognition is so Important for Employees in the Hospitality Industry

Zoe Brankin
Zoe Brankin
October 5, 2022
5 min read

The hospitality industry is one of the largest sectors in the UK, from restaurants and bars to hotels. It’s also an incredibly important industry as it creates local jobs and new tourism opportunities. 

Hospitality has always been a popular choice of employment. However, employee retention in the industry has always been challenging due to the fast-paced, high-stress environment with irregular schedules, long hours and a lack of appreciation. A study found that the annual turnover rate for hospitality is 30%.  

So, what can your hospitality business do to change and avoid the many negative consequences of constantly replacing your staff? Take the time to recognise your employees.

It’s only human nature to want praise for a job well done, especially in hospitality. But sometimes, managers are hard-pressed to remember to praise employees. 

Why is employee recognition important?

Employee recognition programs have the power to impact many aspects of a business, like engagement, turnover, productivity and morale. 

When your workforce is engaged, they are more connected and committed to the company. Turnover is costly, with additional expenses in recruitment, onboarding and training. Investing in your company recognition program can save you a lot of hassle and help retain the great people you already have working for you. In fact, 53% of employees say they would stay longer in a company if they felt appreciated. 

Despite the great stats, many employees still think that employee recognition isn’t a priority for their organisation. 

What are the benefits of employee recognition? 

A simple “thank you” can go a long way in the hospitality industry and help keep your employees motivated and engaged. Here are just a few benefits of employee recognition: 

  • Higher productivity and efficiency as well as higher output. Employee recognition can improve morale, and in turn, this can impact how employees treat their customers. 
  • Higher job satisfaction and happier employees. Employees who feel connected to the company and believe that their role matters will strive to do their best work. People naturally want to feel valued. Recognising their achievements and hard work doesn’t take long and has a huge impact on how they feel about their job. 
  • Motivated employees. Happy, motivated employees naturally will naturally be more productive. These employees are motivated and feel good about their work, are willing to help their team and always want to take good care of their customers. 
  • Lower turnover rates are another benefit of having an employee recognition program. Poor employee morale contributes to low retention, and recognising employees for their effort gives them a more tangible reason to work harder and stay longer. 
  • Improved guest satisfaction is a side benefit of employee recognition programs. Workers who are recognised for their hard work feel a connection to the company and are more likely to enjoy their work, and your program will help them stay true to your mission and goals. They will also work as a brand ambassador, which may even work to attract more talent to your team. 
  • Improves culture. By creating a culture of recognition, you build trust and security among your team. Recognition consistently emerges in studies on improving workplace culture and has proven to be a primary driver in engaging and motivating employees to do their best. 

Strategies to help make your employee recognition program a success 

Recognising hard work

Employees and managers are most commonly recognised for their hard work, which includes recognising their day-to-day achievements, going above and beyond for a customer or receiving positive feedback from customers. This type of recognition should be frequent, but you need to also ensure that it’s specific to what that employee did to warrant the recognition. 

Recognising people 

Recognition doesn’t have to just be workplace-focused, including celebrations for significant life events (engagement, new home, new addition to the family), birthdays or maybe attaining a new professional certification. Taking the time to recognise personal achievements can help build a rapport between coworkers and demonstrates that working relationships extend outside the workplace. 

Recognising job dedication

Employees who continuously go above and beyond should be recognised frequently. Whether it’s for a customer or guest or taking the time to help another colleague out, these employees work as team players and constantly go the extra mile to ensure everything they do succeeds. 

Recognition for positive guest reviews

If one of your people has gone above and beyond for a guest and gets name-checked in a Tripadvisor or Google review, be sure to recognise them to incentivise this positive behaviour. 

Make recognition inclusive 

Workplaces will inevitably have certain employees who consistently shine. While it may be tempting and feel natural to recognise these employees all the time, doing so can breed resentment and resignation among those who barely receive recognition. Diversifying the parties responsible for recognising and rotating the responsibility can help avoid this. 

Give recognition promptly and regularly 

Don’t wait too long after a positive behaviour or performance to recognise your employee because the connection between their contribution and the recognition they receive for it will start to fade. This diminishes the cause-and-effect reaction that is so important for motivating employees. Give recognition in the moment! 

People’s attention spans are short, especially in the digital age we currently live in. If you let too much time pass between the action and recognition, you risk them becoming disengaged.

Don’t make it hard to recognise someone

All too often a ‘recognition program’ consists of a pile of thank you cards locked away in a general manager’s office. If you want to give out a reward, the process is often even more laborious. This type of recognition program is hard to access, time-consuming to use, and the level of effort required (and the time delay between the positive behaviour and the eventual thanks) may just mean that people don’t use it. Instead, use a tool to automate the process for you. 

Encourage peer-to-peer recognition

Recognition doesn’t have to be solely top. It’s also essential to encourage peer-to-peer recognition. It offers another way of forging those essential bonds between team members, making it easier to work together and offering opportunities for personal fulfilment and growth. 

Setting up a peer-to-peer recognition program provides a framework for team members who want to congratulate and support each other but might be short on time or unsure how to do it correctly.

Transform your culture with Mo

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How can Mo help your hospitality business?

Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help hospitality leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits and encouraging people to celebrate success, communicate effectively and appreciate colleagues.

With Mo, hospitality leaders can automate and centralise their recognition activities, including employee recognition, physical and virtual rewards, and awards such as ‘employee of the month.’ You can offer TripAdvisor and sales incentives along with gathering employee ideas and suggestions to enhance guest satisfaction. 

At the same time, we will help you to enrich communication, increase positive feedback and create a culture that attracts, inspires and retains great talent. Book a demo with our team today.

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