Hospitality Employers Tackle Skills Shortage with Innovation

Boasting some of the finest restaurants and hotels in the world, the UK Hospitality sector is a global envy. The industry is one of the UK’s biggest employers, providing jobs to seven percent of the working population. Despite unsettled economic times, business continues to be strong, and the demand for skilled staff to sate the ever increasing demand is ongoing.

In this fast paced, ever changing business, companies must work hard to recruit the right people, develop their skills and retain their valuable experience. One of the biggest problems facing hospitality employers is an undoubted skills shortage. The reasons for this are varied, but the impact is absolute. According to recent research, if enough skilled staff are not recruited, the industry could be in crisis by 2020. Companies need to utilise inventive methods to attract the talent they so desperately need.

The finest initiatives in hospitality recruitment, retention and development were applauded on 12th October 2016, at the glittering Caterer.com People Awards. TV’s Stephen Mangan hosted the ceremony at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge which was attended by almost 500 industry professionals. The evening celebrated not just the hospitality industry, but the people within it.

Best practice by employers garners best results and the winners of these prestigious awards demonstrated determination and an understanding of the industry and the people they employ.

Luxury Hotel chain, Jumeirah won two awards, Rewards and Benefits Initiative and HR Team. The judges felt that Jumeirah exemplified the category by placing their employees at the heart of their approach to recruitment. Among their many initiatives, Jumeirah developed training sessions delivered through social media, with the aim of participants acting as ambassadors for the company in order to source potential candidates. In the past year, 13 appointments have been made through this programme, with four at management level.

The Launch Campaign award went to Hotel Gotham in Manchester. As part of the Bespoke Hotels group, this company’s clever use of social media attracted staff that perfectly fit the hotel culture. Hotel Gotham created a series of on-message videos, articulating the sophistication of the brand. The success of this strategy was immediate. They received over 800 applications within 24 hours and all key management positions are still in place a year on from launch.

Durham University’s Catering Department won the award for Leadership in Recruitment, Retention and Development. The department employs over 500 staff across 26 cafes, serving more than 500,000 meals every month. They also adopted a view of ‘Recruit for Personality, Train for Skill’. As part of their new approach, traditional interview techniques were replaced with an energetic ‘speed dating’ style process. Their initiatives were numerous and the work paid off with an increase in successful inductees, a reduction in staff turnover, 82% of induction feedback was scored as ‘Excellent’.

Another Caterer.com People Awards winner was the National Theatre on London’s South Bank. The NT’s In-House Recruitment Team developed a view that focused on diversity and the values of the National Theatre. They actively encouraged applications from those with learning difficulties and geared the entire recruitment process around the individual. They continue to work closely with Action on Disability and the National Theatre have recruited 12 staff through this programme.

Indian Street Food group Dishoom were winners of the Learning and Development category. Dishoom invite staff to participate in a unique week long boot camp in India, which immerses employees in their philosophy of selfless service. 98 members of staff were internally promoted last year after successfully completing training. Staff also become experts in Dishoom’s food culture, improving the customer experience, with guest feedback scores at between 91 and 94%.

The climax of the glamorous Caterer.com People Awards ceremony was the presentation of the Ambassador to the Industry Award to the team at The Clink Restaurant Company. Started in 2009, The Clink trains up to 160 prison learners per day and successfully builds confidence and communication and team working skills, helping offenders find employment upon release. With a comprehensive support and mentorship programme, results are clear; over 200 employers now feel confident in employing their graduates,  reoffending rates of those who have been part of the training programme has dramatically reduced within one year of release. This is a landmark achievement, not just for The Clink but also for the industry as a whole.

These amazing initiatives are testament to the dedication that hospitality employers have to their businesses and importantly, their staff. Caterer.com People Awards are the perfect opportunity for employers to not only celebrate their teams and their hard work but to share with each other what they have learned, enabling this amazing industry to grow.

The 2016 Caterer.com People Awards wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable help of its sponsors Fresh Montgomery, Admiral Recruitment, Cingo Video Interviewing, The Great Hospitality Show 2017, Part & Company, Core Recruitment, CateringScotland.com, Poda, HR in Hospitality and Nicholas Jon Recruitment.

To recruit the hospitality staff you need visit www.caterer.com

To find out more about the awards contact awards@caterer.com or click here.

Caterer.com People Awards 2016 Winners Announced

Last night, the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge played host to the hospitality employers industry event of the year, the 2016 Caterer.com People Awards. Hosted by TV’s Stephen Mangan, the ceremony, attended by almost 500 hospitality professionals, celebrated the very finest programmes and initiatives in hospitality recruitment, retention and development.

It was an exciting night for the shortlisted employers and the 12 winners who ended up walking away with these prestigious awards. Winners included Firmdale Hotels, Dishoom, Byron Hamburgers, Jumeirah London and National Theatre.

Neil Pattison, Sales Director for Caterer.com said, “It has been a truly wonderful evening for the hospitality industry. In our sector, recruiting and retaining staff will always be a challenge but the winners in all of our categories demonstrated an ingenuity and invention, not only in finding new ways to recruit, but in developing talent and skills and creating a workforce that is valued. Congratulations to all of our winners.”

Our Caterer.com People Awards wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable help of our sponsors and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Fresh Montgomery, Admiral Recruitment, Cingo Video Interviewing, The Great Hospitality Show 2017, Part & Company, Core Recruitment, CateringScotland.com, Poda, HR in Hospitality and NicholasJon Recruitment.

To recruit the hospitality staff you need visit www.caterer.com.

To find out more about the awards contact awards@caterer.com or click here.

Caterer.com People Awards 2016

Winners in full

Candidate Experience

Firmdale Hotels

Employee Engagement Programme

Byron Hamburgers

Emerging Talent Initiative

Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 

Learning & Development

DISHOOM

Employer Brand Campaign

Byron Hamburgers

On-Boarding Programme

National Theatre

Rewards & Benefits Initiative

Jumeirah London

Launch Campaign

Bespoke Hotels Hotel Gotham

HR Team

Jumeirah London 

In-House Recruitment Team

National Theatre

Leadership in Recruitment, Retention & Development

Durham University Catering Department

Ambassador to the Industry

The Clink Restaurant Company

 

As a hospitality employer, giving opportunities to young people should be part of your DNA, says Caterer.com

The challenges of youth unemployment are well known.   Businesses often claim the talent pool is inadequate to support their needs.  They cite lack of skills, inappropriate qualifications and unrealistic expectations from young people.  Talk of a ‘lost generation’ has been doing the rounds for more than a decade.  What’s more, although youth unemployment is down 96,000 compared to a year ago, there are still 621,000 unemployed 16-24 year olds.*

The hospitality industry has been quick to tackle head-on the challenges of youth unemployment.  As an industry founded on young people, it’s perhaps an obvious sector to embrace and nourish people starting out.  What’s more, it’s not afraid to embrace young people as ambassadors.  Dr Anne Pierce MBE, Chief Executive of the Springboard Charity explains:  “Our Springboard Ambassadors programme focuses on the fact that 16-24 year olds are most inspired by talking to other young people already working in the industry.”

Speaking at the 42nd Big Hospitality Conversation (BHC) at City Hall, London, Pierce’s charity Springboard collaborates with the British Hospitality Association, Government, Job Centre Plus, the Department of Work & Pensions and Believe in Young People to aid the growth of the hospitality industry in jobs, exports and, notably, prospects for young people.

At the heart of the BHC is the intention of Inspiring the Next Generation and creating entry to the workplace.  To date, the BHC has achieved 67,000 new career starts for 16-24 year olds, including investment, training and job opportunities.

Speaking at the event, British Hospitality Association CEO, Ufi Ibrahim, CEO said:  “There are very few industries where you can genuinely start as a pot washer and end up as CEO of a FTSE100 company, an entrepreneur or business owner.  Yet in hospitality anything is possible.”

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor for Business for London agrees:  “Hospitality is one of the greatest, fastest growing sectors in London.  Hospitality offers employees social mobility – they can move quickly.  And fast.  Hospitality opens so many doors and opportunities.”  He concludes:  “We need to keep investing in the skills of our young people.  It should be high on the agenda for all of us.”

Reaching out to young people, it seems, is a skill the hospitality industry has cracked.  Employers are embracing a range of approaches to tap into this particular talent pool.  What lessons can other sectors learn from this buoyant industry?

  • Hospitality employers support young people by offering a wide and varied range of work placements, apprenticeships and on-the-job-training
  • Increasingly there’s more of a focus on the value of behaviours and skills over academic achievement in this sector
  • Vocational routes are increasingly offered to young school leavers in place of academic qualifications
  • An emerging and buoyant voluntary-work initiative helps to equip young people with the skills they need to enter the work place
  • Young people act as ambassadors to attract other young people into the sector.  Peer-to-peer engagement is key
  • Initiatives like the BHC open up face-to-face networking opportunities which target young people from all backgrounds

Speaking at the BHC event, 17 year old Sebastian Finsburgh is a case in point.  His two-week careers-fair work placement has led to a permanent Saturday job.  An aspiring chef who plans to own a vegan take-out restaurant, Seb has some sound advice for employers considering offering apprenticeships:  “Work experience is a good way to get your company name out there because me and my friends talk about it all the time.  Offering work experience or an apprenticeship is basically free advertising for companies, especially ones who aren’t that well known.”

Meanwhile, Jon Yates, Director & Co Founder of The Challenge sees volunteering as a pathway to employment.  His company seeks to build networks and connections between young people and businesses:  “We give young people a head start, offering them hands-on experience on a voluntary basis, and in return for just 16 hours of voluntary work we guarantee them an interview for a paid part-time job.  We work with some of the biggest names in the business, and Starbucks is one of our major partners.”

Lisa Robbins from Starbucks HR team concurs: “HeadStart opens up opportunities for young people starting out.  It trains them to a competent and confident level in the workplace so they are equipped to get paid employment.”

The routes to young people securing practical, hands-on experience are seemingly plentiful in the hospitality sector, including volunteering, apprenticeships, FutureChef, adult work placement opportunities, undergraduate student placements and apprenticeships, 12 week traineeships at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and vocational qualifications.  It’s clear that this sector is tackling head-on the challenge of youth unemployment.

The mood at City Hall’s Big Hospitality Conversation was optimistic.  In fact, speaking to young jobseekers, employers and BHC partners at the event, the word on everyone’s lips  was ‘opportunity’ – opportunity to meet potential employers, opportunity to get an apprenticeship, opportunity to inspire the next generation.

The final word goes to Simon Boyle, owner of Brigade Restaurant and founder of Beyond Food.  A culinary ambassador, Simon passionately believes that food can be used to help and support people.  His message to businesses s is simple:  “Inspiring and giving young people opportunity should be part of your DNA as a hospitality employer.”

*(source www.parliament.uk published September 14th 2016)

Caterer.com People Awards 2016, sponsored by….

There’s now less than a week to go before the glamorous Caterer.com People Awards 2016 and the excitement has well and truly taken hold. Next Wednesday evening, the finest initiatives in hospitality recruitment, retention and development will be rewarded at The Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge at what promises to be a spectacular event.

TV’s Stephen Mangan will host the ceremony as we discover just who will walk away with those coveted awards. Of course, an event such as this could not possibly take place without the support of our sponsors and we are extremely grateful to each and every one of them.

The Candidate Experience category is sponsored by Cingo Video Interviewing.  Cingo Video Interviewing is a new online recruitment platform, allowing employers to interview prospective candidates remotely.

Employee Engagement Programme is sponsored by Catering in Scotland, Scotland’s number one website and magazine, covering the catering, hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors.

Sponsoring the Emerging Talent Initiative category is NicholasJon Recruitment, who in eight short years have become a high-calibre leader in hospitality recruitment.

Sponsoring our Learning & Development category is PODA. PODA is one of the first organisations to specialise in coaching development and HR Management as an alternative to traditional management training. They offer cross-industry experience as well as personal development training.

The Employer Brand Campaign and HR Team categories, are sponsored by Admiral Recruitment. Offering a bespoke service and a range of positions from front of house right through to management roles, for 20 years, Admiral Recruitment has forged a respected path in hospitality recruitment.

The On-Boarding Programme category is sponsored by Core Recruitment. Offering a talent pool of over 220,000 candidates and consultants who are world experts in hospitality recruitment, Core Recruitment prides itself on its guiding principles of transparency, efficiency and integrity.

Sponsors of the Rewards & Benefits Initiative category, HR in Hospitality, provide a specialist forum, and are the leading voice for Human Resources professionals within the hospitality industry.

The Launch Campaign category is sponsored by Totaljobs. Used by companies large and small, Totaljobs is one of the UK’s leading jobs boards and attracts around 6 million jobseekers every month. It features more than 110,000 live job ads at any one time and generates over 2 million applications a month.

Sponsoring the In-House Recruitment Team category and our live Twitter Wall on the evening will be Part & Company. Part & Company supply staff across all disciplines, worldwide. They relish enabling employers to make the best choices for their business, whilst allowing candidates to make the best decisions for their careers.

Fresh Montgomery is the sponsor of the Ambassador to the Industry award. With over 120 years of experience, Fresh Montgomery are leaders in hospitality industry events that include The Speciality & Fine Food Fair, The Speciality Chocolate Fair and Careers in Hospitality. They are also organisers of The Great Hospitality Show 2017, which acts as sponsor of our Leadership in Recruitment, Retention & Development category.

Thank you to all of our sponsors for their invaluable support of this amazing event. We look forward seeing you next Wednesday evening to celebrate the many incredible achievements of our shortlisted employers.

 

2016 HR IN HOSPITALITY AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE

The winners of the 21st Annual HR in Hospitality Awards were announced on Friday 30th September at the glamorous Jumeirah Carlton Tower London Hotel, hosted by Esther O’Halloran, Chair of HR in Hospitality. Congratulations to all the winners.

All finalists should be extremely proud of their achievements and the contribution they make in our sector. The awards night was sponsored by DLA Piper LLP, Davidson Asset Management, Caterer.com, Fourth, Core Recruitment, ZFL Training limited and EOH Business Solutions. We are always proud to continue our charity partnership with Springboard UK Charity and Hospitality Action and we raised over £4000 on the night. We could never achieve such a wonderful evening without our supporters, CIPD, Smile Photography, InSync AV and Cambridge Printing Solutions. Over £4,300 was raised on the night for the HR in hospitality’s chosen charities of Hospitality Action and Springboard UK – two charities that work tirelessly for the industry and its people. 

There were 8 awards on the night given to individuals and teams in recognition of the excellent work they do. Amongst the Judges for the awards were; Julia Tybura, Zenon Consulting, Richard Goldsborough CIPD, Adele Oxberry, Umbrella Training, Eugenio Pirri Dorchester Collection, Fiona Rassell, Storm training, Penny Moore, Hospitality Action and Jo Harley PurpleCubed.

The HR Rising Star award sponsored by Caterer.com and supported by the CIPD, went this year to Harriette Wolff at the Lancaster London, whom the judges felt was driven to deliver, not afraid to challenge and passionate about HR. Harriette was awarded a £2000 scholarship towards her professional development generously donated by Caterer.com as part of her award. We also had a Highly Commended in this category to Holly Dixon at the London EDITION hotel and she will receive a £1000 scholarship for her CPD.

HR Team of the Year sponsored by DLA Piper was awarded to St Pancras Renaissance Hotel where it was clear to see tactical measures linked to organisation improvement alongside strong branding throughout. Itsu were also Highly Commended in this category and were able to tackle solutions from a strategic perspective. achieved great impact by involving that in this organisation people are truly a key focus.

Innovative Recruitment sponsored by Core Recruitment was awarded to Hilton Worldwide who included tangible financial results in what the judge’s felt was a sophisticated entry. Employee Engagement sponsored by Fourth was awarded to Firmdale Hotels, where they ensure their people are engaged throughout their entire employee journey.  

For the second year of this category Embedding Company Culture, sponsored by Davidson Asset Management, was awarded to PPHE Group, the judges felt that Park Plaza hotels really went out of their way to make connections between values and growth potential. Building Capability sponsored by ZFL Limited, continues to focus on the learning and development that happens in an organisation and this year was awarded to Jumeirah London. The judges felt they had a different approach and way of thinking and efforts to improve were very well evidenced.

We actively work with other organisations to promote career in the hospitality sector and the award for Promoting Careers in the industry, sponsored by EOH Business Solutions was awarded to The Dorchester Hotel. This organisation constantly looks at new ways to encourage people to enter the industry, they do not rely on the power of their brand name and they get involved and make a difference. We also had a Highly Commended in this category for PPHE Group who have created a sustainable programme through their You:niversity initiative.

During the evening a special award is also given to a line manager who is not necessarily in HR and this is the Tom Crowley Award. A beautiful bronze statue is given to the winner of this individual award as chosen by the judges was given to Armand Sablon at Café Royal, he promotes recognition in the workplace, takes time to celebrate success with his team, hs team will go that extra mile for him.

It was a truly inspirational evening to celebrate 21 years of recognising excellence in HR in the industry. The HR in hospitality committee would like to extend its congratulations to all its worthy winners, highly commended and shortlisted organisations, thanks to everyone who attended the evening and a huge gratitude of thanks too, to all our sponsors and supporters. 

If you require further information please contact Esther O’Halloran on 07957 313477 or email esther@eohbusinesssolutions.com

Simon Rogan Named AA Chef of the Year

 


Congratulations to Simon Rogan on winning the coveted AA chef’s chef of the year award. There is no greater honour than to be recognised by one’s peers and Caterer.com is extremely proud to have sponsored this award. Simon is a singular talent and truly deserves this accolade. We applaud his success in realising his unique culinary vision and hope that this win serves as an inspiration to young, up and coming UK talent.

It was a night of great celebration for Simon Rogan last night when he was named AA Chef of the Year, sponsored by Caterer.com at the AA Hospitality Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.    This is a unique award that is one of the restaurant industry’s most sought-after accolades as it is presented to the chef voted ‘number one’ by their peers from over 2,000 restaurants with AA Rosettes.

Simon Rogan is a British chef who rose through the ranks with stints under Marco Pierre White, Keith Floyd, Jean Christophe Novelli and John Burton-Race.  Simon established his flagship restaurant L’Enclume in 2002 in Cartmel in Cumbrian which holds 5 AA Rosettes.  He is well known for his ‘foraging’ technique, which has been central to the success of L’Enclume along with the fruit and vegetables, chicken, sheep cattle and bees which are bred and cultivated on his own 12-acre farm.

Following the success on L’Enclume, Rogan went on to turn his adopted town of Cartmel into ‘Roganville’ through a series of other ventures which include Rogan and Company and the Pig and Whistle.  He also opened Roganic, a pop-up restaurant in London, The French and Mr Cooper’s House and Garden in Manchester and Aulis which is his research kitchen.

Simon Rogan has worked at an unprecedented level of innovation and technical skill for the past 15 years, and continues to strive for perfection, pushing the boundaries and exploring tastes and textures.  He is one of the most creative and dynamic chefs working in the UK today and his food has made an indelible impression on the country’s food scene, his influence is far-reaching.

Giovanna Grossi, AA Group Area Manager said, ‘I am delighted to see Simon recognised by his peers for this much sought after prestigious award. Simon is an incredibly talented, passionate, hardworking chef. What he has achieved up in Cartmel is truly amazing and to go on to develop two more outstanding restaurants in two fantastic hotels in key cities, allows so many more people the opportunity to sample his fantastic and unique style of food. The creation of a research and development kitchen where guests can actually enjoy new dishes as they are created, was ingenious and added to that the development of his farm near Cartmel has been a fantastic way to ensure a consistent standard of produce across all his operations. By winning this award, voted for by fellow Rosetted chefs, it is clear that Simon has not only inspired many up and coming younger chefs but he has also earned huge respect from his more established peers.’

Guests at the AA Hospitality Awards, hosted by Hugh Dennis, were treated to a gastronomic menu created by the 2015 AA Chefs’ Chef, Daniel Clifford.

All the winners will appear in the latest edition of the 2017 AA Hotel, Restaurant and Pub Guides which were launched at the event. You can view all images of the night, here.

Caterer.com People Awards – Will you #BeThere? Book by September 30th

The menu has been chosen, the wine selected, the shortlists confirmed, and hundreds of tickets have been sold…

….all we need now is you!

The last remaining tickets are now available for the 2016 Caterer.com People Awards, taking place on October 12 at the spectacular Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge. It’s the hospitality employers event of the year when the great (and the even greater!) will gather to celebrate the very best initiatives in recruitment, retention and development.

Ours is an industry built upon delivering superb experiences, and our Caterer.cpm People Awards are no exception. Besides discovering just who will walk away with the coveted trophies, you will be treated to a fabulous three course dinner, designed to delight gourmands along with wines picked to complement that menu to perfection.

Together with his talented team, Executive Head Chef of Banqueting at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, Olivier Ruiz will bring you a seasonal menu featuring a Courgette Ricotta and Lemon Roulade with roast Pumpkin followed by an exquisite Confit du Canard with Roasted Winter Vegetables. Vegetarians will enjoy a luscious Mushroom Wellington with a Spinach and Stilton insert. Dessert is a trio of temptation – Assiette of vanilla and raspberry tart, chocolate and praline mousse and small religieuse.

We’ll have a fresh Lucien M, Macon Villages 2015. a vibrant Alto Molino Malbec to accompany the meal, and since you can’t celebrate without bubbles, you’re sure to love the Moutard Père & Fils, Méthode Traditionelle, Blanc de Blanc we’ll be serving at the drinks reception. Cheers!

We’re hugely excited about our host for the evening. It’s the hilarious Stephen Mangan (Episodes, Have I got News for You, Green Wing, Adrian Mole, Green Wing) who we know will deliver the awards with unique style and keep us entertained throughout the presentation of the 12 awards. He’ll be accompanied by our favourite voice over heartthrob Alan Dedicoat (Lotto, Strictly) who returns again this year to help guide us through proceedings.

And…as if all of this were not enough, there’ll be plenty of chance to enjoy the bar and the dancefloor until 1am, with the help of DJ B-Trix Kiddo.

If networking is your thing, you couldn’t hope to be in better company. Almost every employer from our shortlist will be in attendance amongst the 500 guests, with recruitment and HR teams from employers including The Dorchester Collection, Jumeirah London, Marriott, Hilton Worldwide, Rezidor Hotel Group, Leon Restaurants, Be At One,  Ask Italian, Café Rouge, Elior UK, Pod Food and National Theatre.

We’d love you to join us. There are very few tickets remaining before our booking deadline of 30th September. Tickets are £200 with limited tables available at £1800. Get in touch now to secure your place awards@caterer.com

Admiral Recruitment sponsoring Caterer.com People Awards 2016

It’s wonderful to welcome back Admiral Recruitment, as a sponsor of this year’s Caterer.com People Awards.

For the sixth year in a row, Admiral will be joining us in rewarding all that’s best in hospitality, recruitment, retention and development and this year they will be sponsoring two categories, HR Team and Employee Brand Campaign.

With a background in sales, events and hospitality, Paula Rogers founded Admiral Recruitment in 1995 and has seen her company go from strength to strength. As well as specialising in corporate hospitality, pubs, bars and restaurants, Admiral provides commercial and business services and is a niche player in the market. They also offer a diverse range of temporary and permanent contracts, senior positions, chefs, expert reception staff and concierge positions.

What sets Admiral Recruitment apart from other agencies is the forging of their close relationships with clients, relationships of trust and honesty. They never compromise on quality and pride themselves on their ethics.

The 2016 Caterer.com People Awards is a deserved celebration of initiatives designed to provide the best solutions for both employers and employees and Admiral Recruitment share that view.

Paula Rogers said, “This award programme shines a light on the companies, teams, individuals and initiatives that continue to make the UK hospitality sector such a dynamic and successful one. This is about acknowledging the many unsung heroes at every level of the recruitment process and the great work they do to raise the bar for others. For over twenty years Admiral Recruitment has been nurturing and developing talent, so as sponsors of the Employee Brand Campaign and HR Team categories, we are delighted to support the 2016 Caterer.com People Awards and the fantastic work they do in celebrating and rewarding excellence.”

We look forward to welcoming the team at Admiral Recruitment and their guests to the awards at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on 12th October. To book tickets visit here now.

 

 

10 questions to help you gauge employee engagement

For hospitality businesses, the customer comes first. But the satisfaction of employees, who are arguably a company’s prime advocate, should never be neglected. And yet a 2015 poll by Gallup revealed that a mere 13% of employees worldwide felt engaged and emotionally invested in the organisation they work for – meaning 87% of them are not. 

That’s far from ideal, especially for an industry in which people (and working relationships) are of particular importance. But what is engagement? It’s a relatively new concept that is based on the work of William A Kahn, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Boston University. He carried out in-depth interviews that uncovered the fact that employees were more engaged emotionally if they had the following:

  • Psychological meaningfulness: the sense that what they were doing was making a positive difference.
  • Psychological safety: a feeling that they were working in a positive environment in which they were valued and respected.
  • Availability: the sense of feeling secure and confident in their work. 

So why is employee engagement important? A report for the Institute for Employment Studies, ‘Employee Engagement: a review of current thinking’, revealed that engaged employees are more likely to stay with an organisation, perform 20% better than their colleagues and act as advocates for the business. And that isn’t all: employee engagement can enhance bottom-line profit and improve efficiencies within a business.

So, in the absence of a scientific study of your own, how can you effectively gauge how your employees feel about their jobs and the business? Or understand how engaged your employees are in working with you? You could invest in a comprehensive employee engagement programme, and this may be the best route for you. But to begin with, asking your employees these 10 questions should provide a snapshot of what’s making them tick and highlight some immediate areas of improvement for you…

1. Do you enjoy your work?

Why go around the houses? The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, so it’s important to find out whether they are having a positive or negative experience doing so.

2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you in your work (1 being extremely dissatisfied, 10 being extremely satisfied?)

This question includes a numbered scale to allow people to quantify how good or bad their experience of work is. Aggregating these scores provides a broad picture of general satisfaction across a business.

3. Would you recommend your place of work to a friend or family member?

Answers to this question will reflect the satisfaction of your workforce, an important metric impacting on retention rates and employer brand.

4. Do you have a clear understanding of your career or promotion path?

This will help you ascertain whether a member of staff knows where they are headed within the organisation. According to the Gallup poll, employees who have the opportunity to continually develop are twice as likely to stay at a company, so if the response you receive is below par, you’ll need to start offering developmental opportunities to avoid losing the people that matter.

5. How frequently do you receive recognition from your manager?

According to the ‘Employee Engagement: a review of current thinking’ report, ‘inspiring leadership’ is one of the seven most commonly referenced drivers of engagement. Inspiration often comes from recognising the achievements of others. This question will help identify whether employees are receiving what William Kahn identified as ‘psychological safety’ (the feeling of working in an environment in which you’re valued). If the majority of workers say it’s been more than two weeks since they had any direct feedback from management, there’s a good chance that morale is sinking faster than a sagging soufflé.

6. Do you see yourself working here one year from now?

Answers to this question reveal a lot about retention rate, which is a real problem for hospitality employers generally, and an issue that is more pressing than ever. According to Gallup, millennials (who by 2020 will form 50% of the global workforce) are the most likely generation to switch jobs, with six in 10 open to hearing about new opportunities (15% higher than non-millennials). So if the majority of employees are saying they don’t see themselves working at your company within one year, then making key changes to up engagement can be a safeguard against attrition.

7. Do you believe you’ll be able to reach your full potential here?

The more the opportunities for growth, the longer staff will stick around. Two-thirds of millennials believe it is management’s job to provide accelerated development opportunities that will encourage them to stay, finds Gallup.

8. Do you think your manager can name your work-related strengths?

According to the Gallup poll, employees who believe their managers can name their work-related strengths are 71% more likely to feel engaged and energised, while teams led by managers who focus on their weaknesses are 26% less likely to be engaged.  

9. On a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable do you feel giving upwards feedback to your supervisor?

A hostile or suppressive work environment tends not to be productive and certainly won’t help your retention rates or employer brand. Employers who enable and encourage employees to provide feedback to their manager and offer suggestions for improvement will benefit from inspired and engaged teams who in turn give back to the business.  

10. Do you feel that co-workers respect each other?

A primary aim for successful employers is a culture in which people respect one another – not one in which they lock horns. This question delves into how employees truly feel about their co-workers. If they are not supporting one another, it might be worth investing in a team-building day out, or a deeper assessment of your working culture.

With so much evidence pointing towards the fact that happier, more satisfied employees equal a better working environment and increased business performance, employee engagement isn’t something that hospitality businesses can afford to ignore. According to the ‘Employee Engagement: a review of current thinking’ report, aside from inspiring leadership, the other most commonly referenced drivers of engagement are: the nature of the work, the transparency of the work and its purpose, opportunities for development, receiving timely recognition and rewards, building respectful relationships and two-way communication. If your business isn’t measuring and addressing all or some of these metrics, you may be causing serious barriers to your attraction, recruitment and retention strategies. It’s worth asking your employees these important questions (and listening intently to the answers) in order to get a clear view of engagement levels. The results may surprise and inspire you.

The Great Hospitality Show Sponors Caterer.com People Awards 2016

We are pleased that The Great Hospitality Show 2017 will be sponsoring the Leadership in Recruitment, Retention and Development category in this year’s Caterer.com People Awards.

The Great Hospitality Show will be one of the major highlights of the Hospitality calendar next year. It’s the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of food service and hospitality in the UK and the only show concentrating on the business of the sector. The event will be held at the NEC Birmingham between the 23-25 January 2017 and will be the number one destination for the industry to meet, network and witness the incredible innovations being made.

Over the two days, visitors can discover and learn more about every aspect of the industry, from the finest food & drink, equipment, interior design and technology to uniforms and other specialist attire, everything you need to assist you in running your restaurant, hotel, pub or catering organisation will be found at the show.

Unique to The Great Hospitality Show will be the participation of Business Mentors, who will be providing free one-on-one advice to help you with any queries or current business concerns. The Business Mentors will also be taking part in the insightful panel discussions on the special Business Briefing Stage

One of the main attractions of The Great Hospitality Show will be the Salon Culinaire, which promises to be the largest and most prestigious chef competition of the year. The Salon Culinaire will include a restaurant, La Parade des Chefs and the special Skills Theatre, where up and coming young chefs can hone their skills in the heat of competition.

Toby Wand from The Great Hospitality Show said, “The shortlist for Leadership in Recruitment, Retention and Development at this years’ Caterer.com People Awards is a strong one and is evidence of the invention and commitment that these companies have, not just to their own businesses, but to their people. We are delighted to be sponsoring this category.”

Caterer.com People Awards would not be at all possible without the help and sponsorship of The Great Hospitality Show and we are very grateful for their support.

The spectacular Caterer.com People Awards 2016 will take place on October 12 at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge. Tickets are available here.

 

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