How do you engage hospitality staff?

Amanda Poetker
 • 
Oct 2020
4 min read

Does your company boast happy, productive teams and a thriving culture? If you can honestly answer ‘yes’, then perhaps you’ve discovered the ever-elusive key to staff engagement.

The rest of you (yes, you) are probably here because you’ve been looking for ways to engage your staff, lower staff turnover and coax the best performers to join your organisation.

So what do the best workplaces have in common? Their individuality has a lot to do with it. But there are a few key elements that make hospitality brands stand out among the (hiring) competition.

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It’s in the DNA

There’s something about most workplaces that make them unique; whether it’s the people, the goals, or the traditions, individuality is far from scarce.

That doesn’t mean, though, that the ‘best’ workplaces don’t have a certain something extra, encoded into their DNA — features they all have in common.

Culture front & centre

Far from being a simple internal branding exercise, building a company culture has evolved into an essential aspect of day-to-day life in the workplace. Employees don’t just show up to get paid. They desire purpose and belonging in their work too.

Those who invest in culture and put it at the front of everything they do are more likely to have happy, engaged employees.

Trail user New World Trading Company (NWTC), for example, are well-known for crafting a culture built around the customer experience. None of the company’s twenty-two restaurants and bars are boring or drab, and NWTC’s success across multiple sites has been achieved by maintaining a consistent, creative company ethos that reaches every level of the business, and informs everything they do.

It’s no wonder that NWTC has featured in the Times’ Top 100 Best Places to Work for two years running!

Embrace technology

New World Trading Company also shares their enthusiasm for innovative technology with fellow occupants of the top 100. That’s evident enough with them using Trail, but it extends well beyond operations.

Fellow Trail users Pizza Pilgrims and GRIND have cultivated and supported a culture of their own through the implementation of operational technology, online ordering and an enviable social media presence.

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Simple working days

Recent HMRC research showed an estimated 54,500 hospitality jobs paid below the minimum wage in 2017, with arrears of £1.8million owed to employees across the accommodation and food services sector.

The act of putting employees first should be a given, but money is just one factor. The best places to work also aim to make working life easier for employees, adopting operational tools to streamline complicated processes, and constantly striving to innovate to make a job more accessible, and more enjoyable.

In the case of our users, their willingness to make life easier for employees is evident in the resources they’ve embraced, their fairness, and the culture which puts people first. New World Trading Company has introduced a few company-wide initiatives to achieve this, among them ‘Tribes’ (events and connectivity) and ‘Your New World’ (self-development and engagement).

The result is a team filled with people who are happy to be there and happy to represent the brand.

Learning from the Best

It may be time to have an honest conversation with your leadership team about where your company culture could be improved. We suggest you start with these 5 principles.

  • Be willing to innovate: embrace new solutions and technology to stay ahead and keep employees engaged.
  • Be willing to listen: your employees can tell you if they’re happy and what it’s like in your workplace. They have the answers.
  • Work on company culture: introduce positive changes to your company culture and move its ethos to the heart of everything you do. Make sure it permeates every level of the business.
  • Put people first: they’re the heart and soul of any business, and supporting them speaks volumes.
  • Let it happen organically: be patient in your rise to the top of the ‘best place to work’ list. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Introduce a few elements to the company culture and allow the team to do the rest.

When it comes to the great game that we call ‘building a successful business’, creating a workplace where your employees can thrive is a pretty great place to start.

By putting people first, employers are doing more than just competing for a place on a ‘Top 100’ list: they’re creating a legacy, and positively changing people’s lives. That’s definitely worth the effort.


Want to discuss introducing Trail to your team’s day?
Let’s have a chat.

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