Harri in The Morning Advertiser: 45% of hospitality staff find jobs less appealing than before pandemic

Under-pressure hospitality workers want more flexibility and appreciation, revealed a new survey by employee experience platform Harri and insight consultancy CGA.

Front-line teams in hospitality are feeling under increased pressure as the sector emerges from the COVID pandemic, with industry staff shortages a major contributor.

As a result, many workers have become less satisfied with their jobs with nearly half (45%) saying their employment is less appealing now than it was previously.

The findings come in a new survey-based report, Transforming The Employee Experience In Hospitality, from workforce experience platform Harri and data and insight consultancy CGA

The survey also shows that teams would welcome more and better-implemented technology in the workplace, with digital clocking-in and out, smart scheduling and shift management highlighted as areas that technology could help improve their work experience the most.

Unhappy staff

Unsociable hours (cited by 54%), increased workload (49%) and pay not matching the job (47%) were the top reasons given by employees to explain current staff shortages. 

This slots in with what apprentices told The Morning Advertiser was needed to attract young people to the industry: higher pay, better advertisement of roles, and clear paths for career progression. 

Harri’s commercial director Pete Willis commented: “Employers can’t do a great deal to fix some of the employees’ challenges such as unreasonable guest demands, but it is possible to tackle other bugbears like ineffective communication, lack of flexibility and pressure from managers.”

By addressing these, he believed businesses could make a significant difference to retention rates. 

However, some 61% of hospitality employees remain satisfied in their current roles, enjoying more flexibility (54%) and greater appreciation (42%). Those that saw their jobs as less appealing highlighted insufficient pay rises (72%), a lack of appreciation from their employers (53%) and a decrease in tips (34%) as key reasons.

Improving use of technology

CGA’s director of hospitality operators & food, EMEA, Karl Chessell said the research provided “fascinating intelligence” about the attitudes of current and potential staff, and emphasised how COVID-19 has made them think much more about wellbeing, flexibility and long-term career paths.

When considering accepting a job, pay (stated by 63%) and flexibility (49%) were the main deciding factors, the survey found.  Almost all those surveyed agreed that employers could make better use of technology to improve their work experience, with nine out of 10 saying technology needed to improve within the workplace and 38% believing technology was more important to their role than it was pre-COVID.

“It’s abundantly clear that as hospitality builds back and battles some fierce headwinds, businesses that can deliver good experiences for their employees will have a huge advantage,” said Chessell. 

Overall, employees saw staff shortages, mentioned by 58% of respondents, as the biggest challenge in hospitality now, followed by unsociable hours (51%) and inexperienced staff (37%). 

You can download the full report here.

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