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Forget About a Career Path. Get Me a Warm Body - By John Hendrie

Yes, sir, that is what I need to get me over the hump - that warm body. Make sure they are breathing, not too many tats or piercings and can speak a little English. I do not care what color or culture they are. So what if they have dreams and ambitions. Have them here at seven AM.

LRA Worldwide Yes, sir, that is what I need to get me over the hump - that warm body. Make sure they are breathing, not too many tats or piercings and can speak a little English. I do not care what color or culture they are. So what if they have dreams and ambitions. Have them here at seven AM.

And, the revolving door goes “woosh”, once again.

Few in Hospitality think about turnover. It is a given and for many hovers conservatively around 50-65% percent, annually. For a new hotel property or restaurant, consider over 100% first year. I cannot think of another industry which would accept that! Human capital and investment just scattered to the wind – high turnover is an accepted expense and tradition. And, here are some startling Stats for you, courtesy of CareerBuilder and Inavero, who surveyed 1,078 full time workers across the US and Canada and all industries. 53% felt that they only had a job, not a career. Further, 69% said that a job search was part of their regular routine, while 30% said it was a weekly endeavor. No surprise, 79% of “Millennials” actively searched or were open to new jobs, as compared to 67% for “Baby Boomers”.

There is a lot of movement out there.

Just think what would happen if we spent a little more time with our recruiting, were a little more precise in our hiring practices, a little more communicative, more generous with our benefits and pay scales and lastly, more thoughtful about how to retain our talent, rather than letting them seek passage elsewhere. We are very labor intensive and bound by the bottom line, but just do the math for replacement cost of that one body and extend that by your turnover percentage and you would be shaking your head, yet still ready to accept that warm body, again. This is short term thinking, especially with a “Buyer’s Market” out there now. This is indeed the time to recruit and retain talent for your future but with a new perspective on “how to make it worth the employee’s while”.

Retail is all about part time employees, short shifted, fewer hours, perhaps, multi-employers. But, there are that 10% must keep group and the other varying percentage that you need, as well. This composite group needs to have more, and it starts with a conversation, individually. You know your constraints and organizational parameters. The dialogue begins with matching their aspirations with the company realities. In your toolkit, you have many options – training programs, mentoring, exposure to other company areas to name a few. You can also survey your employee population to surface not only concerns but also opportunities. Some may only want to be a server, a housekeeper, a cashier or desk clerk. That’s fine, you need those spots filled with capable, performing folks. But, for those who have the promise, you must begin their growth chart, filled with choice, challenge and opportunity. Create that Career Path, reflecting what they must do and how you will support that effort.

What a shame to lose a driver of your future. Start the conversation now.

LRA Worldwide is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.

Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, servicing our clients from offices and resources in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions and helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the National Football League, Avis Budget Group, Madison Square Garden, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit us at www.LRAworldwide.com.



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