What affects employee happiness at work?


4 min read

What affects employee happiness at work?

Thomas Dibble

Thomas Dibble

Feb 15, 2024


    The Shift Towards Retention – Forward by Planday CEO, Dave Lee

    Hospitality is key to the UK economy. The industry employs around 8% of the total workforce, and contributes £93bn annually to GDP. But it’s dogged with challenges – most critically, its ability to attract and retain talent. 

    This is highlighted by the sector’s 112,000 unfilled vacancies. The problem’s so wide spread, 61% of UK hospitality businesses suffer from staff shortages, and 40% are having to reduce their opening hours to cope. So it’s hitting their bottomline.

    Something in hospitality has to give. That’s why we commissioned The Shift Towards Retention. It’s an exclusive look at exactly what’s causing staff dissatisfaction in hospitality right now, and how we can tackle those problems. What’s more, it’s about setting us up for long term success, as we focus on Gen Z in the industry. 

    We’ve broken the findings down into four, bite-sized articles. But you can download the whole paper for free.

    What affects employees' happiness at work?

    When employees first enter the hospitality industry, many join with the sense they can positively affect people’s lives. In fact, when asked why they would recommend the industry, one respondent stated, “how rewarding it is to know you’re making a difference in someone’s life.”

    But the positive sentiment quickly fades, with many employees quickly starting to feel overlooked by their employers. For instance, less than half of respondents (46%) feel fairly compensated for their role. And employers are not taking advantage of non-financial rewards to boost morale, with only 47% happy with their employee benefits, and 51% feeling valued and listened to by their employer.

    This is a deepening crisis, as one in seven hospitality workers would not recommend the industry as a career, primarily due to low pay (66%), long shifts or unsociable hours (57%) and a lack of control over rotas (46%).

    This combination of factors has a detrimental effect on employee happiness and job commitment, with 51% of respondents planning to leave their current role in the immediate future, and is why most employees in hospitality only stay in their position for an average of six months.

    Employee responses provide clear guidance on how to lower churn, with 55% (unsurprisingly) stating that better pay would keep them from leaving their role. Beyond financial incentives, other factors that could help make employees happier and keep them in their current job is a better work/life balance (29%) and better career progression support (24%).

    Work/life balance is something that Krzysztof Dudkowski, GM at the renowned Three Chimneys Restaurant, takes into account;

    Download The Shift Towards Retention for free

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