HR Insights
Quick Read
June 19, 2019

Three hospitality HR challenges and how to overcome them

To create memorable guest experiences, you need an engaged and efficient workforce. Leading hospitality organizations work smarter than their competition, incorporating technology into their strategies to maximize productivity and retain their top talent. Read on for more on using technology to overcome key HR challenges in the hospitality industry.


Watching great customer service unfold is like a trip to the theater. There's an effortless connection that makes you forget what happens behind the scenes to create the magic.

But exceptional hospitality organizations know that magic doesn't happen without an engaged and efficient workforce.

Creating memorable guest experiences requires that companies work smarter than their competition, to maximize productivity, retain talent, and minimize compliance risk. The right technology can help hospitality organizations tackle their toughest workforce challenges in a strategic, data-driven way to help build a team that’s ready to delight guests.

Here are three HR challenges in hospitality today, and how you can use technology in your strategies to overcome them.

Challenge: High turnover and low engagement

One of the biggest challenges hospitality organizations struggle with is employee retention. In fact, average annual turnover in the industry is as high as 74%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Constant turnover negatively affects employee engagement and makes it harder for businesses to give customers the experience they expect. It’s also expensive – according to the Harvard Business Review, the cost to replace an employee is estimated at 100% to 300% of their salary.

Solution: Boost engagement

You know your guests love a personalized, accessible experience – which is often supported by and integrated with technology – and the same is true for your people.

Empower managers to be leaders who create a great work environment for your people. Technology tools can help them rally their teams around organizational goals, develop associates’ performance, and further enable their people with self-service functionality.

For example, managers can help employees grow and build their careers with your company by providing customized training and learning recommendations. Self-service gives employees greater access to their information, and more control over their day-to-day work-life balance, with the ability to request time off, view schedules, trade shifts, and view their earnings statements via multiple devices.

Challenge: Poor workforce and labor cost management

Workforce planning is especially challenging in hospitality because businesses are under pressure to provide great customer service, increase profits, and manage rising labor costs.

Cutting back on labor spend is often the most obvious answer to increase profit margins, but that isn’t always possible when the goal is to create a competitive, best-in-class customer experience. Scheduling can become very complex when you’re balancing ever-changing staffing needs against goals like maximizing productivity and minimizing budget overruns.

Solution: Plan your workforce strategically to optimize labor spend

It’s critical to understand where investments need to be made, where spending can be reduced, and how to maximize staff productivity. Using a mix of historical data and predictive analytics helps you effectively plan labor to make the most of every dollar spent on staffing.

A workforce management solution helps you improve productivity by more accurately matching tasks with employees’ skills, so you can design a schedule that makes sense. Staff up during the busiest times, schedule non-service tasks for slow periods, and minimize budget overruns from unexpected overtime and absenteeism.

Learn more about using technology for labor planning

Challenge: Inefficient operations

Hospitality managers are often trapped in a cycle of never-ending paperwork that keeps them from focusing on bigger goals like improving customer service and employee engagement. Fragmented systems and cumbersome processes slow progress and hurt productivity.

Solution: Use a holistic platform to get the full picture of your organization in one place

It’s easier to manage operations and stay focused on organizational goals when you’re using one comprehensive platform for payroll, benefits, HR, and workforce and talent management. A solution that brings all of these areas together, and that leverages this data across other areas, can reduce the need to spend time and money building connections between different systems to get the full picture of what’s happening in your organization.

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