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Engagement in hospitality- a post by Tom Debenham, Managing Director, People Insight


Engagement in hospitality #2: Do staff feel proud of your values?

People Insight has teamed up with for the Best Employers in Hospitality Awards(, which were launched in March.

Our aim is that the Awards showcase the best employers in terms of their approaches to engaging their people, and provide useful case studies and inspiration for others.

Here’s our second post  in a series on how to be a best employer in hospitality: Do staff feel proud of your values?

Our research points clearly to the influence of company values, or ‘how we do things around here,’ as a clear driver of employee engagement. With the lines between work and life more blurred than ever, our identities are wrapped up in the organisations we work for.

If your workforce’s and your company’s vision are aligned, you’ll not only be on the radar for new and talented job-seekers, you’ll also hang onto them once they start.

But how can you help your staff be proud of your values in the first place?

1. Evaluate what your business stands for

At one end of the scale, staff at Prêt à Manger know that they’re helping the homeless across the UK by distributing unsold sandwiches to charities helping those who live on the streets. At the other end, Claridge’s lineage of great service and commitment to quality means they often find themselves employing successive generations of the same family .

2. Ask your staff what they think of your values

Can they articulate them, does everyone say the same thing, do they agree and are they inspired? Asking these questions will identify how clear and simple they are, how well communicated, and how effective, enabling you to take action if necessary.

3. Practice what you preach by living your values

Do your leaders demonstrate your values? Are your values reflected in the way your company operates and conducts business? Marriott Hotels is a great example by ensuring that provision of opportunities and giving people the chance to grow and succeed is part of its DNA. Its Marriott Culinary Apprentice Academy to train young people to a minimum NVQ Level 2 in culinary and guaranteeing a commis-chef position to every apprentice that completes the course is part of its hand-on-heart commitment to tackling youth unemployment.

People Insight has worked with organisations in the hospitality sector for more than 20 years and knows how important values can be. Whether it’s supporting the community, putting the customer first, or being innovative, organisations that build values into their culture can create a great place to work.

For more information on People Insight, click here

To enter the Best Employers in Hospitality Awards and find out more about your employee engagement levels, free of charge, click here