Na een samenwerking van 10 maanden met Marc van den Bos, zit zijn stage bij Toerisme Alliantie Friesland erop. Wij bedanken Marc voor zijn toewijding en bijdrage aan de TAF. Marc heeft tijdens zijn stageperiode onderzoek gedaan naar werknemersretentie in de Friese gastvrijheidssector, genaamd: ‘Retain or Regret: Unlocking the secret recipe for employee retention in the hospitality sector of Friesland’.
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With the findings revealed by the study, the problem statement can be answered, “How can the hotel and catering industry in urban areas of Friesland increase the retention rate?” The study found the key factors influencing employee retention in Friesland’s hotel and catering sector.
Employers have shifted toward more selective hiring practices, often involving trial days to assess anemployee’s suitability for the company. Additionally, word-of-mouth referrals have a high value for employers and employees.
Motivational factors play an essential role in retaining staff. Firstly, it is vital to have a well-structured onboarding process. This process helps to motivate and engage employees and improves new hire retention. Furthermore, the intrinsic motivators, such as personal interactions and the industry’s dynamic nature, contribute to employee satisfaction. However, extrinsic motivators, such as acknowledgement and appreciation, are crucial for employees. Employers acknowledged this need for appreciation, but there appears to be a gap that highlights the challenge of providing consistent recognition within the industry. While wages are essential, they are often constrained by the collective labour agreement. Nevertheless, after-work gatherings and staff parties are highly appreciated, though they are often considered standard rather than extra benefits.
Growth opportunities, or the lack thereof, also significantly impact retention rates. The study highlighted that employees have limited growth opportunities within the industry. Also, the need for more structured career advancement plans appeared. Employers acknowledged the importance of professional development but often stated that there is a challenge in providing clear paths for growth within their organizations. Commonly, natural growth appears in the industry, resulting in employees not seeing the hospitality industry as a real career.
Lastly, effective communication emerged as a critical factor contributing to employee motivation. Both employees and employers value clear, open, and well-organized communication channels. However, the use of WhatsApp as the primary communication tool raised concerns about its effectiveness for standard communication. Employees stated that a separate platform for all communication would be useful.
The findings answer the problem statement of how the industry can increase the retention rate. The industry should focus more on acknowledgement and appreciation to lower the gap between employees and employers. Employers should not overlook onboarding as this process is important to motivate employees and improve new hire retention. Also, growth opportunities seem to be a key to retaining employees; therefore, employers need to invest in more structured career advancement plans. Lastly, effective communication remains critical for creating a positive work environment and retaining valuable talent. Therefore, employers should investigate other communication methods rather than WhatsApp, for example, one platform. By addressing these aspects, Friesland’s hotel and catering industry can move towards increasing its retention rates.
Recommendations for Business Practice:
In light of the research findings, it is evident that there are several areas where the industry can improve employee retention and overall workforce satisfaction:
1. Structured Onboarding: Consider reevaluating the onboarding process to make it more structured and comprehensive. This could involve the creation of onboarding checklists, formal training modules, and clear guidelines for new employees and their supervisors. Even a general platform could be one of the possibilities. A robust onboarding process can significantly contribute to higher retention rates.
2. Improve acknowledgement and appreciation: Employers should investigate how they can improve their appreciation towards their employees. This could be as simple as creating more time and expressing their appreciation.
3. Career Pathways: Explore the possibility of establishing transparent career advancement plans within the organization. This would provide employees with a more precise professional growth and development roadmap.
4. Communication Platform: Improve internal communication by introducing a general platform. While WhatsApp is widely used, it may not be the most effective tool for official communication. Implementing a platform can enhance information flow, reduce miscommunication, and ensure essential updates reach all employees. Communication seems to be an important factor in maintaining the work atmosphere, influencing retention rates.
Recommendations for Further Research:
In addition to recommendations for practical improvements, there are opportunities for further research that can expand on the insights gained from this study:
1. In-Depth Career Development Study: Conduct a more extensive investigation into career development opportunities within the Frisian hospitality industry. Explore the types of career paths available, the requisite skills for advancement, and employee perceptions of their growth potential within the industry.
2. Construct a survey to validate the outcomes: A comprehensive survey that directly addresses the outcomes of this study could validate the outcomes. Such a survey should encompass all the key dimensions explored in this research, including recruitment and selection practices, motivational factors, growth opportunities, and communication strategies. By designing a survey that directly aligns with the findings of this study, the industry can determine if the outcomes are valid and that the placement company could start projects on these subjects