HR Challenges in the Hospitality Industry

3 Key HR Challenges in the Hospitality Industry and Smart Strategies to Overcome Them

Absenteeism, low performance, employee turnover, ineffective leadership, and other HR challenges can cripple any company in the hospitality industry.

For an industry that is customer-driven, it only makes sense to have seasoned staff who deliver exceptional service.

But a dedicated, high-quality workforce has a way of leaving your company if they’re unhappy and disengaged.

Here are some smart strategies you can employ the next time you face these HR challenges in your hospitality business.

What Challenges Do Hospitality HR Managers Face?

Poor Risk Management

Open flames, hot liquids, and a high-stress environment are not uncommon in the hospitality industry.

Your staff are prone to slips, falls, injuries and foodborne illnesses. And the last thing you need when you’re struggling with high employee turnover is a team member taking sick leave.

Poor safety measures hurt employee productivity and ruin your brand if the word gets out. Not to mention the possible lawsuits and hefty fines you’ll have to pay.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires your employees to report dangerous working conditions. In fact, workers who feel unsafe have the right to refuse to work until safety measures are enforced. If you try to terminate or punish them for standing their ground, they can file a complaint of retaliation against you.

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Under OSHA, your employees are entitled to:

  • Training on the health and safety hazards at your workplace
  • Training on the health and safety standards that must be followed at your workplace
  • Training on any hazardous chemicals they may be exposed to and how to protect themselves
  • Information about work injury and workers’ rights
  • Request that you fix OSHA violations at your workplace
  • Request the results of an OSHA inspection
  • Workers’ compensation if injured in the line of duty

Effective risk management not only results in higher productivity and morale, it also lowers your business costs. For every $1 spent on workplace health and safety, you save $4 to $6.

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How to Fix Poor Risk Management

Create a safe work environment and equipment

The best-trained employee may follow all the proper safety procedures but they’ll still be at risk if they’re not properly equipped. For instance, your kitchen staff uniform should be flame retardant and allow the skin to breathe easily.

Comfortable workwear shows your staff that you care about how they look and feel and improves their work experience. Although proper workwear is expensive, it’s durable and will save you money in the long run. It also communicates to your staff and customers that you value quality, which improves your brand perception.

In addition to high-quality uniforms, give your staff up to date and serviced equipment at all times.

Under OSHA, you are required to:

  • Provide properly maintained equipment
  • Provide a warning system to alert staff of safety hazards
  • Place government-issued OSHA posters in common work areas such as the break room
  • Maintain a detailed record of employee injuries and illnesses
  • Carry out regular inspections of the workplace

Develop a safety manual and ensure that your managers enforce it

Emphasize good hygiene at the workplace and encourage staff to report illnesses. Train managers on how to respond to these reports so that they can prevent the spread of infections.

Provide regular training to staff so they’re always up to date with health and safety regulations.

World Manager’s mobile-friendly LMS can help your staff to learn at their own pace. It encourages microlearning so that your employees can learn quickly and retain information easily.

The ACTIV authoring tools in World Manager will help you create fun and interactive courses. Because it’s SCORM compatible, World Manager allows you to upload third-party videos, audio, images and other SCORM content into the LMS.

You can make your managers’ work easier by crafting a risk management checklist like this one.

Restaurant kitchen checklist
Click to download Fire Prevention checkliste

Administer compliance training periodically

Are you and your staff familiar with all your local health and safety codes? Do your employees understand proper food handling and storage protocols?

Approximately one in six Americans become ill from contaminated food or beverages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the majority of foodborne disease outbreaks can be traced back to food service facilities. Further research indicates that poor health and hygiene of the staff play a prominent role in these outbreaks.

Keep your workspace and staff inspection-ready by providing regular compliance training. With an LMS like World Manager, tracking compliance will be a breeze. Through the checklist sign off, both managers and employees can verify that a specific area of training has been completed.

individual performance chart

Sky-High Employee Turnover

According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average turnover in the hospitality industry stands at 74.9%. This causes business disruptions and scheduling conflicts.

And replacing staff isn’t cheap – much time and money is spent on recruiting, onboarding and training. Meanwhile, existing employees are overexerted until your replacement staff achieves peak productivity.

If your best-performing employees are steadily leaving and all you’re left with are novice workers, you must find ways to increase retention.

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How to Fix High Employee Turnover Rates

Hire the right people from day one

A high turnover may make you rush the recruitment process so that you can fill up positions as fast as possible.

However, rushed recruitment may result in a bad hire – an employee who negatively impacts your company’s performance, productivity, and culture. They often leave the company within one year or cause other staff members to quit.

80% of businesses that were studied by Harvard Business Review concluded that high turnover was the result of a bad hire. To prevent your business from being a revolving door of top talent, take your time when hiring and onboarding new staff.

First, ensure that their goals and values are aligned with the business and verify their references. Once they join the team, assign an onboarding buddy. This provides context so they don’t have to struggle to understand their new role.

Lastly, use an effective learning management system to standardize your onboarding process and increase the time to proficiency of new hires.

Upskill your employees and develop them through training

Companies that train their staff stand out from their competitors. Developing your employees makes them happy ambassadors of your employer brand.

Unlock your employees’ potential and they will commit themselves to helping your company succeed.

Deliver ongoing training and allow your staff to choose their learning paths. Your properly trained employees will have the confidence to take up challenging tasks and perform at work.

Give employees challenging assignments

Keep your staff’s workday free from monotony by giving them challenging tasks. This is a good way to boost morale because your employees will get the opportunity to grow their expertise.

They’ll be more motivated to take on challenging roles when they work in a high feedback environment. This prompts them to ask for what they need, whether it’s more training or additional help from other team members.

Low Operation Standards

The hospitality industry is fast-paced, and inefficient processes can bring your company to its knees. As an HR professional, you’re required to keep up to date records of your staff from their first date of employment to their exit interview.

You also need to use data and in-depth analysis to demonstrate the return on investment of your HR efforts. This puts you under intense pressure unless you have an HR platform that does the heavy lifting for you.

How to Fix Poor Operations

Go high tech

Use an LMS that will allow you to streamline processes, train employees and track compliance all at once.

World Manager provides real-time reports on all aspects of employee data. You can export your reports in Excel or PDF and analyze performance and training in every franchise.

World Manager’s effectiveness has earned it the moniker “The LMS with food in mind”. It will keep your staff, food and service consistent and inevitably change how you do business.

Don’t hesitate to book a demo. The process is pretty simple; it starts with a 5 to 10-minute callback to evaluate product fit for your business. If you and World Manager agree that the platform would be a great fit, you’ll set up a 30-minute video call or webinar.

This video call will give you an in-depth overview of World Manager’s training, communications, operations, and employee development tools. You’ll also discover what an LMS can do for your business.

If you decide to explore this further, you can set up a 1-hour face-to-face video call focused on your needs and how World Manager could help you with a customized training and development platform.

In under an hour, you’ll explore some of the ways that World Manager can solve your training and HR challenges. So if you’re looking to drive sales and encourage repeat business, book a demo today.

Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

The best companies use World Manager to train staff, maintain standards, and set the company up on the road to success.