While job satisfaction levels in hospitality have increased significantly over the last 12 months, according to a new report from research experts CGA by NIQ and Harri, providers of the revolutionary Frontline Employee Experience platform serving more than 35,000 restaurant and hotel locations and four million hospitality employees globally, labour shortages and high turnover remain major challenges.
The exclusive ‘Getting Retention Right: Insights to Navigating Hospitality’s Top Talent Challenge’ report reveals that operators and managers are looking at employee satisfaction with cautious optimism.
Pay is up and well-being is a growing priority; however, more than two in five (42%) of employees are still considering a career outside of hospitality.
Yet, despite rising costs and staff shortages, 62% of industry leaders feel optimistic about prospects for their business over the next 12 months, and two-thirds (67%) of respondents agree with the statement that ‘hospitality offers a good and worthwhile career.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of employees in the sector feel satisfied in their current hospitality job role—an increase of 13 percentage points since the last survey in 2022 – and over a quarter (27%) say they have actively chosen hospitality as their career path, which is four percentage points more than 12 months ago.
The numbers are a welcome sign that hospitality businesses are improving their employees’ experiences, and may also reflect widespread increases in pay in the sector over the last 12 months, but recruitment and retention remain major challenges in hospitality.
“It’s good to see that increasing numbers of hospitality professionals feel content and motivated—but with two in five considering a change of career path, job satisfaction in this sector remains precarious,” said Tristan Spencer, Harri’s SVP Sales UK.
“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.”
Among the potential improvements for hospitality businesses in the report are:
- Wellbeing… A third (30%) of staff say their employer supports a good work-life balance, up from 19% a year ago—but more support is still needed.
- Values… More than a third of employees say they look for honesty (41%), equality (35%), or mutual respect (34%) when searching for a job, so employers that communicate positive values can get a head start in recruitment.
- Technology… Only a fifth (20%) of employees currently think their business’ technology for staff is very advanced, and there is substantial potential to make better use of online platforms in tasks like payroll, communications, and shift and holiday management.
The report is available now and offers many more actionable insights into employees’ experience in hospitality, plus extensive breakdowns by age and place of work. It also features interviews with HR leaders across the sector, on issues including recruitment, team support, and the role of technology, including artificial intelligence.
Karl Chessell, CGA by NIQ’s director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, 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.”