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Hospitality bosses oblivious to staff happiness, research suggests

31 Oct 2019
Hospitality bosses lack an accurate picture of how staff feel and how this affects their work, according to new research from People First who explored the attitudes of 250 bosses and 250 employees.

The research found 84% of hospitality bosses think their staff are happy and 76% believe most of their employees are fully engaged in what they do. However, the research found that just 64% of staff find their work makes them happy and only 42% are fully engaged in their work.

Mark Williams, senior vice president product at People First, said: “With so many employees in the hospitality sector wanting their experience at work improved, you have to ask if bosses really understand their workforces.

“There’s obviously a happiness gap where managers believe morale is better than it really is. They are clearly failing to measure staff engagement regularly.”

The research found men are more likely to say their work engages them (48%) than women (39%), reflecting the well-publicised gender pay-gap.

More than half of UK hospitality employees (56%) regard being rewarded for excellent work as important, while 51% of hospitality employees want more flexible working hours. 

Williams, added: “Poor productivity is a British disease which we can cure through better understanding of what motivates employees and gets them into the flow where time flies and work is more enjoyable and fulfilling.

“That’s why it’s important to rely on more than gut feeling about how happy or engaged staff are. Regular check-ins must replace the dated annual appraisal as only with regular conversations can an employer see the true picture of their employees.

“There are so many different aspects to any hospitality job, such as training, career development and flexible working, that making assumptions about what employees want is misguided. As an employer you need to know what makes your staff happy to work hard and what makes them leave.”