PRLA Restaurant & Lodging Matters Spring 2022

10 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • Spring 2022 said, by judging receptivity to employee needs and stress reducers with an assessment of their cost. “Most organizations waste between 10% and 20% of their employee benefits budget by giving employees what they don’t actually appreciate,” Glowa added. Glowa shared that in one major national food chain, it was uncovered that many employees worked multiple jobs to provide more money to create opportunities for their families. By offering employees a tuition reimbursement they could use both personally and pass on to immediate family members, this benefit addressed the opportunity that higher education could yield for their family. The benefit was also highly differentiated in that it was not offered by competitors. Furthermore, their employees assigned greater value to this benefit than it cost the company—a company costsaving benefit. From our State of Work in America survey, we know the single greatest driver of stress for employees, no matter what the industry, is personal debt, which is front-and-center for many employees in the restaurant and lodging industries. An innovative company can use this information to implement cost-effective ways to reduce this stressor on its employees—support for credit card payments, utility bills, professional budgeting or money management assistance. Organizations that identify these types of employee stressors and offer benefits to help alleviate them differentiate their employee value proposition in a meaningful way in the eyes of employees, adding to attraction and retention efforts. Culture and Values “Not everyone is going to fall in love with a company that just offers them a job,” Morelli said. “Employees have their personal values and ways of living and working that they will bring to the job—it’s important for management to look at a company’s reputation and what the organization stands for as part of their talent attraction and retention strategy. Many employees, particularly younger ones, care deeply about the culture of the company that they work for, Morelli said. Employees want to align themselves to companies that outwardly demonstrate the same beliefs that they have. Many also want to feel a strong connection to their community and want to work for companies whose charitable involvement aligns with their values. In many cases, leadership that demonstrates clear company values can be a high-risk/high-reward strategy, especially if a company value aligns with a particular social issue or political belief which may both strongly attract and strongly repel quality employees. A company can show trust and accountability by how they value community service and charitable work, and particularly by ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion are demonstrated values and not empty declarations. Companies must be able to demonstrate that its workplace ensures that day-to-day interactions of employees are conducted with respect and that opportunities for advancement should be quantifiable, shown by employee surveys and programs. For example, many employees in the restaurant and lodging industries are required to work overtime hours that they don’t want to work, mainly due to the staffing shortages mentioned earlier. One way to help with both recruiting and retention is to clearly state in company policies that employees won’t need to work an undesirable number of hours—or that concrete steps are being taken to reduce those hours soon. Addressing all three of these strategies—career development, compensation, and rewards and culture—requires a level of transparency and engagement about company matters that can be uncomfortable for some leaders. To effectively manage employee attraction and retention efforts, corporate communications and leadership should be clear and consistent, including clear expectation-setting. If any change is to occur, employees should feel like they are part of the change instead of it just happening to them. “When you introduce a sense of uncertainty or potentially remove the sense of control from employees you insert a sense of fear,” Morelli said. “Most individuals will begin to create their own narrative around what the future will be and unfortunately most of the time it’s inaccurate and at times negative.” Through openness and frequent communication, a company isn’t adding roadblocks to what employees are doing, they are helping employees navigate those roadblocks, understanding why changes are happening and preparing them for the future state of the organization. “Good employees are going to respect and appreciate that approach, and they’ll want to stay for the company’s journey because they are a part of it,” said Morelli. • Source: Grant Thornton blog, first published on October 14, 2021 (www. maximizing-hospitality-industry-talent-retention.aspx)