Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s hospitality in the news topic: why your workplace culture may be preventing you from hiring (and retaining) workers.  

When you think about what attracts candidates to your business, what are some of the things that come to mind? You probably answered pay, flexible scheduling, or simply – “because we’re hiring.” But what you might now know is that one of the most important “perks” employees want from their next job is a “positive work culture.” In fact, a recent Branch survey of 3,000 hourly workers shows 45% want a better workplace environment.  

Workplace culture has been a popular topic lately, particularly in the hospitality industry. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve heard stories of restaurant employees being harassed for things like upholding mask and/or vaccine mandates. Even before the pandemic, restaurant industry work culture didn’t exactly have the best reputation. Complaints from employees during the pandemic only compounded the culture issue.  

How does workplace culture impact hiring?

When your workplace culture has a negative perception – whether it be from actual employees or an outside perspective – it can impact hiring and retention efforts. If prospective candidates know they will have to work in a toxic or unhealthy environment, they’ll be hesitant to apply. With so many jobs available today, especially in the hospitality industry, it’s easy to lose great candidates to your competition.  

One of the most popular ways job seekers hear about available positions is through word-of-mouth referrals. Meaning that if your current employees don’t view your culture in a positive light, they’re likely to pass that information along to friends and family, preventing future applications.  

Employee retention is closely tied to hiring. If you have low retention rates (like the hospitality industry historically does), you’ll have to hire more. If you’re having trouble hiring, you’ll be short-staffed. Being short-staffed can lead to customer complaints. Complaints can impact culture. And the cycle continues.

Ways you can improve workplace culture

If you think your workplace culture might be preventing you from hiring and retaining employees, there are some things you can do to try and improve it. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Hold an all-company meeting. Get all your employees in one place to listen to their feedback, whether positive or negative.  
  • Send out an anonymous survey. Some employees won’t feel comfortable giving out negative feedback in-person. By creating a safe and anonymous place for sharing concerns without fear of retaliation. 
  • Assign someone as a ‘culture monitor’. To get a good point of view on what your workplace culture is like, consider appointing (or hiring) an employee that closely observes your current environment and provides an evaluation of what areas can be improved.  

When asking for feedback, it’s important to take it seriously and create actionable steps to make necessary changes. If you ask employees how to improve and nothing changes, they’ll feel like you don’t take their concerns seriously and be hesitant to share the next time you ask.  

If you’re one of the hundreds of restaurants who are struggling to hire, it may be time to look at your workplace culture. By seriously assessing your environment, you can create a better, healthier place for employees to work. In the meantime, contact LGC if you have gaps in your team – we can help you create a customized staffing plan.

About LGC
Since 2003 LGC has been building connections between businesses with staffing needs and job seekers looking for new opportunities. Our range of solutions include temporary and permanent placements (and everything in between) in a variety of industries. With offices located nationwide, we can tap into a dynamic pool of talented professionals. We have a passion for creating partnerships that last and work hard every day to ensure both clients and candidates reach their employment goals.