Supporting your team through the staff shortage

Michael Ryan
August 1, 2022

It’s no secret that the key to success for a business in any industry is in having a great team. Teamwork really does make the dream work, and hospitality businesses rely on their teams to deliver great customer service, something vital for a business to grow. As the saying goes, no man is an island, and no hospitality business can survive with just one employee! It’s the collective effort that gets a breakfast service out on time, or keeps up with a hectic lunch service.

However, the industry has always struggled when it comes to retaining their workforce with employees leaving hospitality roles at nearly double the rate of the U.K.’s national average. Furthermore, with an unprecedented amount of vacancies in hospitality today, retaining employees is becoming more difficult than ever – which makes keeping the team together a difficult task.

With employees more regularly missing shifts because of illnesses, having a contingency plan for absences is more important than ever. So, what can businesses do to keep hold of their team members for longer?


Talk to your employees – and not just about work


The easiest way to keep a team member on board is by keeping them happy – and what’s the easiest way to do this? Ask them what they want. Research tells us that companies and organisations that communicate effectively are 4.5x more likely to retain employees.

Key points of communication in hospitality businesses are in giving clear instructions, in expressing workplace standards and expectations, as well as organising working times – inaccurate rotas are the bane of any hospitality employee.

Nevertheless, these are all examples of communication coming from leadership positions to their employees. Effective communication works both ways, and many businesses would benefit by taking the time to talk and listen to their employees to see how they can make their work lives easier.

Something as simple as recognizing good work and giving positive appraisal can drastically improve an employee’s experience at work. Staff who feel listened to are much likelier to feel valued in the workplace, and businesses who can offer their employees opportunities to develop will massively boost their staff retention rates too: employees are always looking for opportunities to grow.

Employees who feel heard and valued are much more likely to feel content in their work.


Supporting the work-life balance


An increased wage isn’t the only way to keep employees on the team. If businesses cannot afford to raise an employee’s pay rate, then they should consider what other incentives they can offer their employees.

For example, paid breaks, bonuses, or giving them extra time off at celebratory times of the year, such as an employee’s birthday. Get creative with accolades – pubs across the country have been in the news for offering bed and breakfasts to their staff for £1. Employees will appreciate you making an effort to make their lives easier – valued employees know how much you appreciate their hard work.

Aside from monetary incentives, surveys tell us that the most desired factor for workers in the hospitality sector is ‘more control over work life and shift patterns.’ In other words, they want more control, and flexibility. This can be a dealbreaker for employees struggling to juggle their work and home life, especially when it comes to childcare. Offering flexibility will allow businesses to keep hold of their team for longer, plus employees with more time will come to work well-rested and energised.

If permanent employees don’t want to work tricky shift patterns, then businesses can use Brigad to find professionals for both short-term and long-term support, without reducing the standard of their service.

Brigad’s support has enabled many businesses to stay open during tough times, such as Isabel Mayfair, a latin restaurant in the heart of London. Brigad’s self-employed professionals were brought in to provide ‘a much needed break’, whilst maintaining ‘exceptional, professional service.’ They were even able to open back up to regular service hours.


Work-life flexibility – better for everyone


Using temporary solutions can mean your permanent staff are supported, without having to compromise on their plans. Using self-employed staff means businesses can save money by only bringing on board staff when it suits them best and avoiding disappointing employees with 0 hour contracts.

Not only will this allow businesses to save money on unnecessary staffing, but it will mean talents are only offered relevant shifts where they’re needed, without having to pay the costs or time to recruit and train someone new.


Reducing costs in seasonal lows 


Brigad’s talented professionals are all self-employed, with years of industry experience. But their self-employment doesn’t mean you can’t connect with the same professional repeatedly. Businesses can add talents to their ‘favourites’ list, and they’ll be offered your posted missions as a priority. The professional keeps their freedom, and the business doesn’t have to reintroduce new team members each time they need some support. It’s possible to add additional information to ensure workers always arrive knowing everything they need to know, and looking the part too!


Work with a skilled team with Brigad


Businesses can use Brigad to help build their highly-skilled and professional team, or seek relief workers to support their permanent employees. Reach out to users through the platform, connect and communicate. With both the worker and the business being transparent about pay and availability – this is the basis of the perfect professional working relationship.

Brigad makes it easier than ever to connect with people in the industry, allowing self-employed professionals to connect to businesses, and for businesses to find highly-skilled professionals for both short and long-term support. Businesses can find employees when they need them most – a saviour in a time like the staff shortage.

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