As job applications on the first working Monday of the New Year spiked by 89%, compared to the average Monday in December*, many businesses across the country continue to face growing challenges in retaining staff, especially at this time of year. Yet new independent research from employee engagement technology firm Eko (www.ekoapp.com), has revealed that people working in hospitality are four times more likely to stay put for friendships than a pay rise. When asked to choose the top three factors that would make them stay in their job for longer, the survey found that 30% of people working in the Hospitality sector, including restaurants, bars, hotels and catering, placed friendships at work at the very top of their list. Just 7% of workers specifically cited a pay rise as something that would make them stay with their employer for longer.
COO at Eko, Robert Darling, commented on the research “It’s clear that the friendships people form in the workplace today are instrumental to employers in building happy and committed teams that are more likely to stay put. It’s also important for employers to recognise what people really value today and what makes them feel valued. People want to feel united as part of a team, to feel like they make a difference to those around them and this comes back to the importance of culture. Real culture is natural, it’s part of what makes us human and it’s certainly something that hospitality firms should be looking to invest more in and nurture over the next few years.”
Although friendship at work is a popular reason people stay in their jobs, it isn’t the only consideration when weighing up whether or not to look for a new job. The most popular reason for 33% of hospitality workers is having greater flexibility to work remotely. The study showed that those aged between 25-34 years of age valued this the most compared with other age groups, with both men and women placing equal value on the importance of work life balance.
In joint second place with friendships, 30% of hospitality workers also said they would be more likely to stick with an employer if they invested more in wellbeing, personal health and inclusion. The survey also showed that millennials in particular place high value on wellbeing initiatives. Investment in better workplace tools that not only support productivity but also make people feel like part of the wider team was also important for 20% of hospitality workers.
“Hospitality as a sector is well known for its predominantly ‘non-desk’ workforce and so building meaningful workplace relationships can prove challenging. This is why inclusion and feeling like you are part of a close-knit team, regardless of where you are based, is really significant in boosting a sense of belonging and team culture”, concluded Darling.
Other factors that keep people in their jobs for longer include, having greater access to learning and growth opportunities to help career progression (17% placed this reason in their top three) and receiving regular, two-way feedback with a manager you trust (13% also placed this factor in their top three).