Employee Retention Masterclass – Driving employee retention through learning and development


4 min read

Employee Retention Masterclass – Driving employee retention through learning and development

Sofia Ellmén

Sofia Ellmén

Feb 28, 2024


    Employee Retention Masterclass – Driving employee retention through learning and development

    Anyone who works in hospitality knows talented staff are hard to find – and harder to keep hold of. Why? And why should we prioritise employee satisfaction? If the numbers for the business look good, then surely that means you’re successful, right?

    The thing is, you can’t have one without the other. Not in the long run anyway. 

    Just like you can’t make guests happy with poor customer service, you can’t deliver long-term business success with unhappy employees. If you keep losing employees to competitors and the team that does stay is unmotivated, odds are your brand won’t be very attractive for new recruits. 

    A bad employer reputation can become very costly, as you’ll need to spend more on marketing open positions and rebuilding your brand. That’s before the high costs associated with hiring, onboarding and training just one new employee come in... 

    In The Shift Towards Retention, Planday studied the habits and work priorities of 2,000 UK shift workers, and found that 53% of respondents plan to leave their current role in the near future. Some of the responses were obvious and tied to low pay and long hours – but the rest were surprising. Like almost half of the respondents mentioned not feeling valued or listened to as a source of unhappiness. Up to 45% did not feel that they had a clear professional path or the training needed to progress to the next level.

    Space to grow and recognising talent

    So what is it you as a business owner can do to improve job satisfaction and offer development opportunities to existing staff?

    Career development does not always have to be a move upwards – not everyone wants to be a manager, and not everyone is suited for that role either. Maybe you’re a waiter, who wants to become a star barista – or you might want to make a move from front of house to back of house operations. Offering employees opportunities to both upskill and/or re-skill gives them the chance to make upward and sideways moves inside the business. The wider the training opportunities and the clearer the career path, the more likely you are to end up with motivated employees who like coming to work. 

    Besides having the chance to grow within the business and learn new skills, employees also need to feel that their work matters. The Retail Retention Guide, by Planday Partner Learningbank, highlights the importance of receiving and giving recognition at work. As humans, we need to be validated. That’s why receiving recognition for a job well done is so important. And it doesn’t need to be a big gesture. Something as small as a “I really appreciate you staying 15 minutes longer today” from a colleague or manager can mean a lot. Receiving genuine praise regularly, no matter how small, can boost both your mood and job satisfaction. 

    Another tip from Learningbank is to focus on innovation and influence. What type of culture do you have today? Are you open to receiving ideas from your team or are you reserving that for your top-management? Fostering a culture of open innovation not only gives employees a sense of power and influence, but it also benefits you as a business owner. Receiving ideas from the people who work closest to the end-customers can be invaluable, as they know what’s really going on on the ground, and they’re the ones getting the immediate feedback from guests. Giving your employees an opportunity to drive change makes them feel valued and more likely to stay with the company. 

    Who said learning can't be fun?

    Now that we know what the people in the industry expect from their employers, how do we make sure that we meet employees at eye-level and create development plans and training that suits them?

    In the hustle and bustle of a restaurant or shop, training often needs to happen on the job – possibly even with customers. This means that the materials need to be easily digestible and also available on mobile phones. Planday partners All Gravy and Learningbank have developed smart learning platforms where team members can receive on-the-go training, in a fun and interactive format. 

    "What we often hear from customers is that they, thanks to using the onboarding of All Gravy, get new joiners through the door, who already know the basics on their first shifts. This means time saved in getting them up and running and that in turn leads to better guest experiences. Guests get the same consistent quality across locations, and employees feel like they've been taken care of from their first day - leading to higher retention rates." - Jonathan Rasmussen, CEO and Co-Founder, All Gravy

    Learningbank and its longtime customer McDonald’s Denmark have created a tailored onboarding programme for McDonald’s employees. It starts before the employees’ first day – with an invite to the McWelcome Universe. As part of the universe, they have co-created an onboarding programme called The Orientation Game, where employees can get to know their workplace through a mobile game. 

    "One of the biggest challenges of creating training for employees is finding the time to create it. This is where a proper learning platform designed for your workforce comes in handy. Also, ready-made content that can be plugged and played directly in your learning platform can be a big time-saver. With automation and AI you can also release time to strategize and think long-term or upskill the workforce by having your learning platform handle more of the tasks for you." - Alba Kejser, Senior Adoption & Learning Manager, Learningbank

    Sliders, a client of Planday and All Gravy’s restaurant customers, has been successful with its mobile approach to onboarding. Moving over onboarding and training to All Gravy’s L&D platform has helped them improve training of new employees, staff communication and the overall happiness among staff. Another All Gravy customer, UK-based LeBab restaurant, says that managing training for their staff across eight locations would never have been this easy and well organised without it. LeBab founder, Stephen Tozer adds that they are saving time compared to before and can also see an improvement in guest satisfaction. When the staff is more informed and better trained it shows both as better service but also in their overall happiness. 

    Employees, who are happy to come to work, who serve guests with a smile and who are experts in what they do, are without a doubt your company's most valuable asset. After all, you wouldn't go back to a restaurant or hotel where you got bad service, now would you?

    Learn more about Planday’s many partners

    Head to our integrations page and find out more about Planday partners in the employee engagement space and how they might help in improving employee retention.

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