Work-life balance an important asset to hospitality jobseekers
“Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
While this quote sounds good in theory, it doesn’t hold up in practice. According to the latest stats on work-life balance, around one-third of full-time workers struggle to keep their professional lives from dominating their personal ones.
That’s not just bad news for your hotel staff—it’s also bad news for you as the employer. Two out of the top five reasons people quit their jobs are related to a lack of work-life balance.
On the bright side, if you can promote work-life balance within your team, you’ll have a huge edge over your competitors. Not only will you receive more applicants for jobs, but those you’ve already hired will stay in their positions longer (and ideally, bring in more referral candidates!)
Let’s explore some of the reasons work-life balance is so critical to the hospitality industry specifically.
Unlike most other businesses, hospitality establishments usually operate around the clock. Operating 24/7 requires many employees to work non-standard hours: not just through the night, but on the weekends and holidays as well.
Unfortunately, shift work is positively correlated with marital and familial conflicts. Even those without partners or children struggle; after all, it’s hard to maintain normal friendships when your schedule keeps you busy at night and free during the day, or changes frequently and unexpectedly.
The hospitality industry is also plagued by “presenteeism,” which was first defined by researchers John Cullen and Andrew McLaughlin. Presenteeism is an “overwhelming need to put in more hours.” Hotel employees are usually strongly attached to their team, and they feel obligated to be there for emotional support. Going along with that, many employees think of themselves as the face of the establishment. Because of presenteeism, the researchers say employees end up staying “far longer than is necessary or required,” which eventually leads to burn-out, and unsurprisingly, an almost nonexistent sense of work-life balance.
How to Encourage Work-Life Balance
As we previously mentioned, promoting work-life balance definitely pays off. But you might be wondering how you’re supposed to do that.
First, try giving your employees more flexibility around when they work. It’s probably not possible to let your hourly workers choose their hours, but you can definitely extend this perk to many salaried employees. Almost 70% of people say having some freedom with their schedule is important to them.
Next, figure out and share schedules as far in advance as possible. If someone knows he’ll be working the graveyard shift a month or even a couple weeks in advance, he’ll have plenty of time to figure out how to make that work with his other plans. But if you post the schedule at the eleventh hour, your employees will have to scramble to adjust.
Lastly, consider providing free or subsidized child-care for your employees. This benefit is proven to reap huge dividends comes to recruiting, retention, engagement, productivity, and of course, employee well-being!
Although work-life balance is harder to achieve in hospitality than other industries, it’s not impossible. Design a healthy workplace, and your employees (and your bottom line) will thank you.