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How Managerial Burnout Impacts Guest Satisfaction

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Managerial burnout is a huge issue in the hospitality industry. It’s been estimated that as many as 60% of managers in the hospitality industry are affected by burnout. This has a huge impact on guest satisfaction. In this post, we’ll explore the causes of burnout among managers, the relationship between burnout and the service profit chain, and best practices for organizational transformation in the face of burnout. 

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We’ll also explore how Beekeeper is empowering frontline workers and managers, which, in turn, has a positive impact on guest satisfaction (and reduces managerial burnout).

What is Managerial Burnout? 

Managerial burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It’s characterized by three dimensions: 

  1. Emotional exhaustion: feeling emotionally drained and used up by work
  2. Depersonalization: feeling detached and emotionally disconnected from work
  3. Reduced personal accomplishment: feeling ineffective and unable to meet demands

Burnout among managers is a huge problem because it leads to absenteeism, presenteeism, turnover, and a decrease in job satisfaction. It also has a ripple effect on the entire organization, impacting employee morale, customer satisfaction, and profits.

Managerial Burn-Out Impacts Hotels, Food Service, & Travel

When managers are burnt-out they are going to be less effective managers. Their frontline teams will receive less support, less attention, less nurturing, and a reduction in the consistency, frequency, and quality of coaching, support, and feedback. This means the frontline team will be pressured to accomplish more independently.

Frontline workers doing more on their own is great when they are empowered and supported because it builds strength, independence, loyalty, and retention. When forced on frontliners, short-term guest needs may be met but may compromise workers’ resilience, loyalty, and retention while deflating their buoyancy – their ability to rise up and meet new challenges.  

In hotels, this can lead to guests feeling dissatisfied with their stay, and may even lead to them leaving negative reviews online. In food service, this can lead to guests feeling disappointed and may even cause them to avoid returning in the future. In travel tourism, this can lead to guests feeling frustrated and may even cause them to avoid using the company’s services in the future.

Theories on the Causes of Burnout Among Managers 

In the last few years, it’s well acknowledged that worker shortages resulting in constant ever-increasing cycles of hiring, onboarding, and training are having an outsized impact. But there are other factors creating burnout among hospitality managers.

The most common are: 

  • Role conflict: when the demands of the job conflict with the manager’s personal values or the values of the organization 
  • Role ambiguity: when the manager is unclear about their responsibilities or the expectations of their role 
  • Role overload: when the manager has too many demands and not enough resources to meet those demands 
  • Autonomy: when the manager feels like they have no control over their work 
  • Organizational change: when the manager is experiencing a change in their organization, such as a merger or acquisition

The Relationship Between Burnout and the Service Profit Chain 

Burnout among managers has a negative impact on the entire organization, not just the individual. This is because burnout leads to absenteeism, presenteeism, (the lost productivity that occurs when employees are not fully functioning in the workplace) turnover, and a decrease in job satisfaction. These in turn lead to a decrease in employee morale, customer satisfaction, and profits. In order to understand the impact of burnout on the organization, we need to look at the service profit chain. 

The service profit chain is a model that shows how organizational profitability is directly linked to employee satisfaction, which is, in turn, linked to customer satisfaction. The model looks like this: 

Employee satisfaction → Customer satisfaction → Employee retention → Customer loyalty = Increased Profits & Lifetime Value

Heskett (2008, HBR)

As most hospitality managers know: each link in the chain is directly connected to the one before and after it. When one link is weak, it impacts the entire chain. For example, if employees are unhappy, they’re more likely to provide poor service, which will lead to dissatisfied customers. If customers are dissatisfied, they’re less likely to return, and they’re also less likely to recommend the organization to others. 

The same is true for burnout. When managers are burned out, it leads to absenteeism, presenteeism, and turnover. This in turn leads to a decrease in employee satisfaction, which leads to a decrease in customer satisfaction. And when customers are dissatisfied, they’re less likely to return, and they’re also less likely to recommend the organization to others. 

So as you can see, burnout among managers has a direct impact on the service profit chain, and ultimately, on organizational profitability.

Empowering Managers to Prevent and Mitigate Burnout 

There are several things that organizations can do to empower managers and prevent burnout. Some best practices include: 

  • Providing managers with all the resources they need to do their job, such as adequate staffing levels, training, and budget
  • Giving managers the autonomy to make decisions and solve problems
  • Clarifying manager roles and responsibilities
  • Encouraging open communication between managers and frontline employees
  • Supporting manager wellness through programs like mindfulness training and stress management
  • Creating a culture of support where managers feel comfortable discussing their struggles with burnout
  • Implementing best practices for preventing and mitigating burnout
  • Encouraging managers to take steps to prevent burnout in themselves and their teams

Organizational Transformation in the Face of Burnout 

If an organization is experiencing high levels of burnout among managers, immediate action is needed. Some best practices for organizational transformation include: 

  • Conducting a survey to assess the extent of the problem
  • Meeting with managers to discuss the survey results and develop a plan of action
  • Creating a task force or working group to implement the plan
  • Providing training for managers on how to prevent and mitigate burnout
  • Evaluating the results of the plan and making necessary adjustments
  • Deploying tools, training, and technologies designed to improve frontline efficiency
  • Similarly, using tools, training, and tech to increase managerial effectiveness

Beekeeper Is Part of the Solution

Beekeeper is a mobile-first communication platform that connects frontline workers with the tools and information they need to do their job. Beekeeper helps solve managerial burnout because it empowers frontline workers while increasing managerial and overall team effectiveness and efficiency. Following the service profit chain we know this in turn has a positive impact on guest satisfaction.

Some of the ways that Beekeeper empowers frontline workers and managers include: 

  • Providing a single platform for all communication, so employees don’t have to juggle multiple apps
  • Giving employees the ability to access information offline, so they can stay connected even when there’s no internet connection
  • Allowing employees to share photos, videos, and files, so they can collaborate more effectively
  • Enabling employees to translate messages into their native language, so they can better understand what’s being communicated
  • Providing a built-in task management system, so employees can stay organized and on track

Beekeeper will deliver a positive impact on guest satisfaction because it’s empowering frontline workers and managers to focus on solving guest satisfaction. When frontline workers are empowered, they’re able to work together to provide better service, which leads to satisfied guests. When the whole team is empowered, managers are able to do far more with less effort. They become better coaches, have more time to resolve issues and conflicts, and ultimately have fewer hiring and training cycles because staff retention is increased. An increase in satisfied guests is the best indicator of success.

As we said at the beginning, managerial burnout is a huge issue in the hospitality industry.

It’s been estimated that as many as 60% of managers in the hospitality industry are affected by burnout

Our team would love to chat and help you fully understand the impact of managerial burnout. Discover how Beekeeper can help with effectiveness, efficiency, communications, automation of key processes, and help solve retention and onboarding issues.

Beekeeper’s product experts would be happy to give you a peek at how the system works. Schedule a call and get your free demo today.