By Jennifer Johnson, head of retail and hospitality practice group, Kronos Incorporated
It's no surprise that there's a powerful connection between disengaged employees and those factors that have the most impact on your bottom line. For example, research has shown that unhappy workers are not as productive as happy employees, which means they don't deliver the high-quality experience your brand demands or your guests expect.
Disengaged employees are also much more likely to leave, contributing to higher turnover rates. As they do, you're on the hook to quickly find new, skilled employees capable of delivering the same high-quality service to ensure repeat business and help the company remain as competitive as possible. The industry turnover rate for the restaurants and accommodations sector is already high - currently standing at 66.3 percent, which is up 10 percentage points from the last reported period - so you really need to do all you can to retain top employees.
Clearly, increasing employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention is critical to your success, but the question remains: What can you do to truly achieve these objectives?
The first step is to make sure that you’re not accidentally disengaging your workforce. Too many foodservice companies make this mistake by failing to provide the right tools, technology, and access to information employees need to feel empowered.
Gain the edge in employee engagement
Consisting of specialized solutions for time and attendance, HR and payroll, scheduling, absence management, compliance, labor analytics, and more, human capital and workforce management technology can give you the tools you need to truly attract, hire, engage, manage, and retain a high-performing workforce.
The first major benefit comes from the power of automation. Automating key employee-facing processes can assure employees that their important information is up to date and applied correctly. For example, time and attendance and real-time data collection processes eliminate the need for paper timecards - and all the errors that go along with them - to help ensure employees are paid correctly. This alone can go a long way to reducing frustration and achieving a happier workforce.
Self-service capabilities are valuable - even on mobile devices - so workers can easily access and approve timecards, check leave balances, view upcoming schedules, and perform many other common tasks. Not only does this empower employees and drive engagement, but it helps save valuable time and effort. Now employees and managers are free to spend more time where it matters most: focusing on delivering top-notch service, increasing sales, and maximizing guest satisfaction.
Improving scheduling processes
Many food service companies still rely on manual scheduling approaches, choosing to use sticky notes, paper forms, spreadsheets, or other documents to collect information and even post the final schedule. Yet in doing so, they don't realize that these processes further contribute to dissatisfied employees and could even result in more turnover.
Why is this true? Because these scheduling methods make it difficult for employees to submit requests, perform shift changes or shift swaps, or even view the schedule before it's finalized. As a result, they often feel left out of the process and that their preferences don't matter, or worse, won’t be considered at all. And not to mention, manual processes may lack the timeliness that today's employees who are used to faster, more instantaneous access to scheduling and other information wish for.
Sophisticated scheduling applications can help overcome all of these challenges. Again, they start by automating the entire process and take advantage of forecasting and other capabilities that create best-fit schedules, which factor in employee preferences and availability but are also optimized to balance customer demand. The ideal solutions even provide advanced features such as shift swapping, self-scheduling, selecting shift preferences and availability, mobile applications, and more. All of this helps keep morale high and create a much more engaged workforce.
A true win-win
Your employees are so important to helping you achieve your most important goals, whether its generating more repeat business, improving the guest experience, or growing sales and profits. This means it's so important to make sure you're doing all you can to make your employees as happy - and productive - as possible.
Human capital and workforce management solutions provide much-needed tools to give workers exactly the framework, processes, and information they need to feel engaged, valued, and able to do their jobs better. That may be thanks enough, but you’ll benefit from increased satisfaction, productivity, and engagement - all critical in delivering better bottom-line results.