The Great Resignation and the Hospitality Industry


The Great Resignation has produced employee exits in multiple industries as we’ve never seen before in our history. Specific industries have been impacted more than others, and the hospitality sector leads the pack among exiting employees.

Many of these exits can be blamed on the layoffs that happened during lockdowns because of travel restrictions. Another is the need for vaccines among many businesses – the resignations result from employee pushback.

Multiple employees decided to switch industries and upskill because of the uncertainty associated with the hospitality industry. To put it simply, people need more stability, and the volatile tourism industry, while experiencing recent surges, is anything but reliable.

The age with the highest amount of exiting employees is that of the Millenials. Employees between the ages of 30 and 45 experienced the highest turnover, while this honor usually belongs to the demographic between the ages of 20 and 25.

The Impact of Losing This Demographic

Why is this age group leaving in such high numbers? According to data, 21 percent of millennials have reported changing jobs within the last year. They show even less initiative to remain at their current positions.

What’s the reason for such high exit numbers? This is especially detrimental for the hospitality industry, as some of the most vital employees among corporations fall into this age group.

To put it simply, millennials demand relevant, meaningful, and challenging work with high pay and a sense of satisfaction. In the hospitality industry, the retention rates are higher among the older demographics.

Millennials aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and they certainly don’t hesitate to talk about the truth about employers on social media platforms. If they feel there’s a negative balance between work and personal life, you’ll hear about it.

Additionally, low compensation levels have also led millennials to leave in droves.

They’re seeking managers who challenge them but care about their well-being and the quality of the work environment. Co-worker collaboration is critical to them as well – they crave a healthy corporate culture and a certain level of pride in their organization. Personal development is high on the list, as training and education opportunities mean a lot to this age group.

The significant impact of losing high numbers of employees is damaging enough. However, in the hospitality industry, the millennial demographic contains the most key players. We’re talking about managers, sales directors, sales managers, financial planners, and plenty of other vital positions in the daily hospitality grind.

Losing employees in these types of positions leads to the following challenges:

  • A lack of leadership can end up leading to a lack of direction in any given location experiencing these losses
  • A lack of an efficient hiring manager
  • This age group also makes up a large part of the food and beverage team. This industry was already suffering along with the hotel sector. The two combined have seen disastrous results.

So what can be done to stop the bleeding for hotel owners? Are any of these employees able to be retained?

Hopes of Retaining

Are there any hopes of retaining some of these employees? Naturally, you’re not going to be able to keep them all, regardless of the age group.

However, what you can do is increase the health of your work environment. Start making it a point to listen to your team members.

When you promote a healthy relationship between employees and management, this can give you a true advantage to retaining new employees as well as recruiting the most talented individuals in the industry. Another critical element for improving the sudden resignation of hospitality workers is placing new attention on performance management in regards to employee goals and growth.

Focus On Satisfaction, Not New Hires

Your current employee satisfaction is currently the bread and butter of your organization. During these turbulent times, your veteran employees are one of your most valuable assets.

Instead of focusing on hiring a handful of newcomers, focus on keeping your current team happy. Send a clear message that shows you’re focused on their goals and growth outside of work as well as inside.

Helping them level up and investing in teaching them new skill sets that you plan on keeping them for the long term. It shows a certain level of compassion that’s needed in an industry where all too recently, employees were just placed on the backburner during lockdowns, with many not knowing how their rent or bills were getting paid.

Organizations must also be careful when choosing not to hire and focus on retaining current workers. When this happens, most likely, you’re giving your existing employees extended hours.

For most people, this isn’t a bad thing, as it nets a higher paycheck. However, after some time, employees can get overwhelmed with work or burnt out because of repetition. It’s important that you afford them a healthy level of the work/family dynamic.

One of the most important elements currently, if you ask most employees, is focused on their mental health and well-being. The top three areas of concern for the age 20-35 group are as follows:

  • Work/life balance
  • Supporting physical and mental health
  • Supporting the development and helping employees be the best version of themselves

These points directly toward the most important strategies: Proper respect for personal elements, concern for wellness, and the need for a collaborative environment.

New Hires

When it does come to new hires, the development stage is critical for retention. Leadership programs should be adopted that give fresh employees a certain level of guidance.

Not only does this benefit new team members, but also boosts engagement and promotes loyalty for your organization.

The current battle for top-level talent in the industry is fierce. Because of recent financial struggles, increasing pay isn’t a realistic option.

Any strategy that includes retaining and recruiting new talent should be data-driven, as this gives all organizations the edge in making the most informed decisions. Regardless of what the specific strategy is, owners must start putting more effort into combatting the pitfalls of the Great Resignation.

It’s been estimated that the sharp decline and exiting of employees can cost an owner up to 30% of their revenue over the course of a year. This is a huge negative outcome for something that could be remedied with the use of some simple strategy changes and upgraded attention toward human resources.

Taking a final look back, the most effective ways to approach the Great Resignation in a proactive manner include:

  • Improving manager/employee relationships
  • Show a renewed focus on employee wellbeing and personal goals
  • Increase the overall collaborative environment of the workplace
  • Give employees the opportunity to learn new skills

In the end, the solution is fairly simple. Treat employees like they matter – like they’re a name and not a number – a human being and not just a worker. These are basic needs and wants of most humans – it’s amazing what happens when you give them the proper attention.

Hotelogix Editorial Desk
Hotelogix’s team of researchers and writers are constantly innovating to share the latest trends from the travel and hospitality space. Got suggestions? Write to us on editorial@hotelogix.com.

80 DAYS Benchmark
80 DAYS Benchmark

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