Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s topic: post-pandemic employee retention 

Employee retention is one of the most important aspects of managing a team. High intention rates can cut down on hiring costs, improve morale, and increase productivity – not to mention that it promotes a good brand image.  

Despite seeing the lowest unemployment rates since the pandemic begin, businesses are struggling to hire. At the end of February, there were over 7 million open jobs in the U.S., with that number expected to grow as restrictions continue to loosen. With so many concerns around hiring, retaining the great staff you already have is essential, especially in an industry with such high turnover (as is the case with hospitality). Because the pandemic has had such a huge effect on employmentyou should look at how it may impact post-pandemic employee retention and what managers need to do differently to retain staff.  

Post-Pandemic Employee Retention

In order to learn the best way to retain staff post-pandemic, it’s important to consider reasons employees may decide to quit. General reasons include a lack of flexibility or training, poor communication, or inefficient leadership. Pandemic specific reasons will likely be more definitive and may include guests not abiding by safety guidelines, being burnout or overworked due to staff shortages, or decreased tips. Below, we’ll talk about ways to improve post-pandemic employee retention that address these common concerns amongst hospitality staff.  

Prioritize flexibility 

When creating a schedule for your team, it’s difficult to please everyone. But finding a way to allow for flexible scheduling could be the difference between retaining a great employee or losing them to another business who can provide what they need. Consider using a platform that allows for shift swapping, that way employees can have some control over their schedule. Also, pay close attention to when staff submit requests for time off and honor them whenever possible. 

Be mindful of call offs reasons 

An unexpected call off – especially in the hospitality industry – can throw a wrench in your operations. But remember that we’re still living in a pandemic, so employees will have concerns about their health. If someone is experiencing COVID-related symptoms or other health issues, it should be taken seriously. Think about implementing an on-call team to account for last minute call offs or other legitimate concerns that would prevent an employee from coming to work.  

Have the appropriate amount of staff 

Having an appropriate number of staff can improve retention for a number of reasons. It will help with accounting for surges in business, covering call offs, and will provide employees with the flexibility they want. Restaurants in particular are facing challenges when trying to hire, so we understand that having the right number of employees is easier said than done. Consider thinking outside the box to accomplish your hiring needs, whether that means contacting a staffing partner like LGC or finding alternative hiring channels. Reaching out for staffing help can alleviate pressure from full-time employees and is a great way to prioritize post-pandemic employee retention.

Hear their concerns 

One way to lose a great employee is by not listening to their concerns, which may have increased or changed while working during the pandemic. Think about your best employee or supervisor; why are they so valuable? It’s probably because they have their finger on the pulse of the restaurant and understand what challenges you and your team are facing. By not taking their feedback seriously, they might think you don’t trust or believe them. This lack of engagement might cause them to find employment elsewhere.  

To ensure you’re aware of employee concerns, consider the following:  

  • Holding regular team meetings to discuss successes and challenges.  
  • Have an anonymous submission box where people can share their concerns.  
  • Assign one employee or manager as the person who communicates with upper management about team morale.  

Post-pandemic employee retention involves creating a strategy that takes the employees wants and needs into account. By prioritizing their scheduling needs, hearing their concerns, and doing your best to staff appropriately, you’ll have a more satisfied and engaged team who will be in it for the long run.  


Need help with staffing? LGC’s got you covered. Contact us today to learn about LGC Now, the easiest and quickest way to request employees when you need them.