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Why is stress is increasing for hospitality workers?

Toma Pagojute, chief HR officer - Quinyx UK

A new report on the UK’s hospitality workforce has highlighted how understaffing is causing stress among employees, as the industry faces increasingly tough conditions.

Data from workforce management solution Quinyx reveals that the vast majority of hospitality workers (86%) are experiencing stress as a result of low staff numbers.  Furthermore, 61% say they’re not comfortable speaking to their bosses about how work-related stress is impacting their health.

The report – part of Quinyx’s annual State of the Deskless Workforce global study of almost 10,000 frontline staff – found that unhappy staff are scoping the jobs market despite growing worries over the cost of living. Three quarters (76%) believe there are numerous job opportunities available to them, and are confident of finding another position quickly based on their skills.

When asked what would increase enjoyment of their current role, 63% said higher pay, followed by a less stressful environment (37%) and recognition for their work (34%). However, only half (51%) said they’d received a pay rise in the last year. A similar number (47%) said they’d been offered no training or help with career development at all during the last twelve months.

The report also found:

  • 62% of hospitality staff have recently thought about quitting
  • The joint biggest reasons for considering leaving were stress and low pay (44%)
  • 32% have no control whatsoever over their schedule
  • 40% say that feedback they share with management isn’t acknowledged
  • 32% feel that asking for a shift change would be perceived negatively by their employer

Toma Pagojute, chief HR officer at Quinyx UK, says: “In such challenging times for the industry, hospitality bosses are facing multiple pressures – it’s understandable that employment engagement might not be top of the priority list. Yet keeping a handle on staffing could end up being more vital than ever.

“Recruiting just one new employee can cost thousands of pounds – it’s much more cost-effective to build a loyal team who are likely to stick around. A pay rise will always be well-received – now more than ever – but our research shows that a more enjoyable, less stressful environment, and being recognised for their contribution matters hugely too.

“It’s important that hospitality leaders are transparent, and provide two-way communication for employees – staff must be able to raise any issues and feel that they’re being listened to. Flexibility is also a key issue, with more than a third of hospitality staff having no say at all over when they work. Simple steps like introducing an app – that lets staff swap shifts between themselves, and offers a platform for managers to run staff feedback surveys – can make a big difference.

“Now is the time for businesses to be really smart when it comes to staff scheduling, as understaffing is causing huge issues for employees, and affecting customer service. It might feel like a cost saving to use manual rotas rather than workforce management technology that can automate scheduling processes. But manual tools are time-consuming and often inaccurate – meaning businesses lose money. We found that companies not utilising AI-powered workforce management software overspent on average by 25% on salary costs and lost up to 15% revenue, due to ineffective staff schedules.”

Quinyx website

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