Industry Update
Opinion Article 6 November 2018

High Turnover Rates In The Hospitality Industry: A Challenge From Hotels To Spas

By Madelyn Tyler , Bachelor Student at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College

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The high turnover rates in the hospitality industry is a challenge every sector from hotels to spas combats every day. Industry leaders are often quick to speculate that the reasons lie within the idea that long hours and high stress. While these ideas are most certainly key factors in some people withdrawing from this industry, these statements are the go-to scapegoats every hospitality entity uses when a person quits.

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I will not lie about having extensive knowledge about the industry I plan to earn two degrees in. The truth of the matter is that I have seen very little of the industry with only obtaining internship e xperience at various hotels and brands. One thing has always remained the same at every property, several members of the management staff at all levels have shown a lack of being able to cope with stress.

Associates quit their bosses, not their jobs. This most often will result in the "boomerang" associates, those who leave the hospitality industry or company then return at a later date. Boomerang employees are often seen as being valuable in their sector because it is an accomplishment to have a person come back after being deterred.

Management stress can come from a variety of other factors that can be properly taken care of if time and expenses were to be properly allocated. Lack of schedule flexibility with work hours often results from understaffing or by not having a proper proportion of full-time and part-time employees. Not having the right amount of staff members can cause higher performance expectations, thus creating negative reactions to the str ess levels. Money allotment is largely going towards amenities and guest satisfaction rather than going to workplace improvements and ensuring a smooth environment with little irritants.

Being able to function easily in a high stress environment is not an easy task; with a small percentage of the population being able to preform flawlessly. My personal experiences have shown me what it looks like to have a general manager have a mental breakdown and a front office manager refuse to speak to anyone because they were too frustrated. Situations like these have led associates to have anxiety attacks or not return to their job the next day. Front of the line associates are the most prone to handling high amounts of pressure from the management staff. Unfavorable work environments are typically why people discontinue working for their employer, not a coincidence when realizing that the hospitality industry has the largest turnover rates.

Preventing a dysfunctional high stress environment we must help management staff who struggle with stress and anxiety to relearn and understand the ideal behaviors that would be improving the performance of their associates while fostering positive engagement. Without the support of management staff, associates will not be able to vocalize the preventative friction that can make their jobs more difficult. Unless leaders are able to cope with the stress of their jobs, it is difficult to anticipate the same for front of the line employees.

Madelyn Tyler

Madelyn Tyler is currently pursuing her BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College. She is also the Director of Student Outreach for the Eta Sigma Delta University of Houston Chapter, The International Hospitality Management Society.

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