Putting People at the Heart of Your Business

Whether you talk about your staff being the heart of your business or see them more as its backbone, there can be no argument about how vital good people are to the hospitality industry. If the last 18 months has taught us anything, it is the value of human interaction and the importance of a welcoming friendly environment — be it a pub, restaurant, or hotel — is to a customer’s health and well-being. Dissatisfied employees can sour that experience. 

But there are more tangible downsides. Hospitality’s turnover of 20% costs the sector around £2.7m per year—costs none of us can afford coming out of the pandemic. 

Additionally, we all know hospitality is in the midst of a recruitment crisis. According to Indeed, in the six weeks leading up to the April 2021 reopening, there was a 280% increase in job postings for front of house versus an applicant decrease of 55%. These recruitment challenges can only get worse if disgruntled employees take to social media to publicly criticise poor working practices.

Having an active policy of putting your people right in the centre of your business can mitigate some of these issues.

Make the Right First Impression

The idea that people are at the centre of your business should thread through every stage in the lifecycle of an employee from application until exit interview. 

Before a candidate ever completes an application form, they should already know what kind of workplace they could be entering. An authentic Employer Value Proposition (EVP) or Employer Brand will provide potential candidates with a picture of the culture and values of the company. This will enable the right talent to see themselves within that organisation and, equally, should dissuade unsuitable people from applying. 

Use Harri’s Career Story Pages to highlight your EVP, bringing forward your ethos, culture, and values helping attract the most suitable candidates to your openings. 

Tools such as Harri’s Career Story Pages can highlight your EVP by bringing your brand alive in an attractive and interesting way to attract the most suitable candidates to your openings.

Part of that authenticity means being honest about the role on offer. 

There needs to be a balance between the inspirational language of values, salary, and benefits and a realistic set of expectations about the roles themselves — that’s because a significant proportion of leavers cite inaccurate job descriptions as their main reason for quitting. 

Making a good first impression is important for businesses too, as the onboarding experience sets the tone for the employee’s overall experience. Harri’s onboarding module can create a smooth transition for employees starting in your business and improve your chances of retention by making sure they get off on the right foot.

We Are All Individuals

Having a people-centred business is about recognising that we are all individuals who are diverse and unique, and should be treated as such. Looking for flexibility in a job is fast becoming the new normal. For some the idea of always working unsocial hours is a turn off – for others working nights and weekends fits in perfectly with their lifestyle. Whatever the preference, it’s important to look at how our businesses can accommodate these nonstandard patterns of working.

Avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach also applies to the benefits offered to those operators keen to put people at the heart of their business. The idea of a sabbatical after a period of long service sounds fantastic, but an increase in annual leave after the same time period might work better for others. Working with and listening to your staff can ensure you develop the package that keeps them invested in your business. Harri’s communication module is a great tool to keep staff abreast of all the great things happening in the business which will benefit them individually as well as a team.

Finally, not everyone’s life works like clockwork and the need to know that you are in a job that can accommodate those times when you need flexibility can be a strong selling point. Harri’s unique scheduling module can help you flex rotas at the click of a button. There’s even a mobile solution, the TeamLive app which enables team members to swap shifts on-the-go and stay up to date with changes and communications within the team.

Listen to All Voices, Even the Quietest

Much of what is set out here is about listening to what your people want and being willing to respond. Having that listening culture is a critical component of people centred businesses. Mental health has become a real talking point over the last couple of years and the better employers recognise the need to actively manage the mental health and wellbeing of their staff. There should be processes to ensure junior staff feel both safe enough to report issues including those that involve their immediate line management and believe that their concerns will be heard. Businesses should have a growth mindset open to hearing and learning not just problems but also ideas from all staff; they, afterall are often at the frontline of your business. 

The listening shouldn’t stop just because people are moving onto new roles outside your organisation. Commiting to and engaging in a process of exit interviews can identify important people management issues that can be resolved for those people still working within your business.

Harri Helps Managers Put Employees at the Heart of Your Business

Technology is at the heart of talent attraction and retention. Harri’s unique and extended suite of hospitality HR tools and resources will enable operators to put people right at the centre of their businesses, giving them the flexibility they need to help them feel a sense of belonging. Harri will help you enhance the message of your Employer Value Proposition, showcasing you as an Employer who puts people at the heart of everything you do.

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