Editor’s note: Since we released this hospitality culture report, COVID-19 has disrupted the hospitality industry. While these trends reflected what was happening in the industry at the time, some of these trends may have been impacted by the pandemic.
The hospitality industry is facing some serious operational challenges. Labor shortage, rising operating costs, and growing concerns with labor laws are just a few of the hurdles top hotel brands will have to gracefully leap over in order to stay competitive in 2020.
Since the mounting labor shortage issue is becoming a bigger concern, the world’s top hotel brands are laser-focused on building an attractive company culture where employees will be more engaged, productive, and less likely to leave in search of greener pastures.
Company culture just became the new competitive edge in the hospitality space.
So Beekeeper teamed up with the data analyst gurus from effectUX to see if it was possible to actually measure the effectiveness of company culture within the hospitality industry.
About the Report
For the very first time ever, Beekeeper is releasing an internal report on top hospitality trends, based on survey data from 1,166 respondents who shared their perspectives on what hotels can do to create a strong company culture.
The survey included 49 questions covering various aspects of culture, such how likely employees were to recommend their company as a place to work, as well as open questions about what employees liked and what they would improve about their workplace.
The questions covered 14 categories: Communications, Growth, Flexibility, Incentives, Individual Capabilities, Technologies, Leadership, Management, Measure and Insights, Process and Structure, Productivity, Purpose, Trust Development, and Workspaces.
While we can’t give away the good stuff like which hotels excelled in company culture scores (you’ll have to download the full report for that) we can outline some overall trends we saw in the data.
Trends in Positive Culture Enablers
Here are just a few trends in positive culture enablers for hospitality companies.
Many respondents reported that they “felt like they were part of a family.” They cited the strong relationships they enjoyed with their co-workers as a big part of building a strong company culture.
Respondents cited that leading by example and showing respect was crucial to creating an inclusive company culture.
Respondents felt that it is important for management to be encouraging and show appreciation to their team.
Surprisingly, respondents cited perks such as professional development and a flexible work environment as important in how they view their company culture above more tangible perks like higher pay.
Trends in Culture Detractors
Our survey didn’t just reveal what hospitality employees liked about their hotel’s company culture, we also dove into what employees didn’t like.
Colleagues at All Levels of the Organization
Interestingly, the very same top trend in positive culture enablers was also a top trend in culture detractors.
In short, the people they work with can either make or break a hospitality employee’s perception of company culture.
Lack of Team Events
Respondents reported that a lack of team events to increase employee bonding contributed to a negative outlook on their hospitality company’s culture.
Lack of transparency and poor internal communication also detracted from how respondents viewed company culture at their hotel.
Pay and Growth
Not surprisingly, respondents reported that when pay is not on par with best practices, and career growth is limited, it negatively impacted how they view company culture at their hotel.
Company Culture Is More Important Than Ever in Hospitality
As the travel and tourism sectors continue to grow, recruitment and retention will become an increasingly important area of focus for hotel operations and HR leaders. With the rise of the gig economy luring hourly workers away from entry-level jobs and record low unemployment levels, hotels are struggling to maintain minimum staffing levels to keep the doors open.
If hotels do not act fast to implement a game plan to retain their frontline workers, eventually the consequences of anemic staffing levels will trickle down to travelers.
A recent article in the New York Times writes,
“For travelers, the labor shortage might mean lines at the front desk, rooms that aren’t ready at check in, hotel pools without lifeguards, delayed maintenance and fewer on-site dining options.”
While decreased staffing levels will surely impact the guest experience, it will also take a toll on the hotel’s current frontline employees.
As open shifts remain unfilled due to staffing shortages, many hotel workers report feeling pressured to work overtime to make up for the gaps in shift coverage.
One redditor recently vented their frustrations around being understaffed responding to a Reddit thread with,
“We currently have no GM (but a corporate lady filling in) and my AGM has to pick up the rest of the slack.
I’ve already covered 2 extra shifts this week on top of my normal shifts and it’s not getting any better.
It’s just getting ridiculous. I’m close to quitting myself unless they hire people.”
Don’t let this happen to your frontline hotel staff!