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Engagement in hospitality #3: Do your staff feel valued?

27 May 2014 - Blog

Engagement in hospitality #3: Do your staff feel valued?


People Insight has teamed up with for the Best Employers in Hospitality Awards (, which were launched in March.

Our aim is that the Awards showcase the best employers in terms of their approaches to engaging their people, and provide useful case studies and inspiration for others.

Here’s our third post in a series on how to be a best employer in hospitality: Do your staff feel valued?

Our thought-provoking series of blogs has already looked at how employers can stand out to engage your workforce, but this time we’re looking at whether or not your staff feel valued themselves.

Our research shows there is a huge gulf between the job managers think they are doing and the reality of their management style on the ‘shop floor’. A massive 91% of UK managers believe that they always or sometimes spend time coaching their team, but only 40% of UK employees agree.

How do you bridge that gap? Surveys carried out by People Insight in companies across the UK find only half of employees feel recognised for the work they do. So do your line managers notice the things staff have done well and praise them? They should, because one thing that comes up time and time again in organisations where engagement could be improved is how important verbal praise is to people. We all need reassurance and this has such a positive effect on their work environment if a manager is prepared to go out of their way to thank staff for their efforts.

If you think about it, verbal praise is one of the easiest things to do to demonstrate you value your employees. It’s free and doesn’t have to take a lot of time.

Here’s three points to help you praise staff:

Do it often – don’t wait until the annual performance review – do it right away, and do it a lot.

Be specific – Instead of saying “well done”, say something like “well done on handling that customer complaint just now. It was particularly good that you resolved it quickly and sincerely without there being a scene.” It shows that you’re really attentive, and that you’re not giving praise just for the sake of giving praise.

Be constructive – Add in some feedback in your praise to make your feedback less negative. For example, say something like “well done on handling that customer complaint just now, the only thing you might think of trying next time is to ask a few more questions to find out a bit more.”

Of course, while saying thank you can have a huge impact on a day-to-day basis, there are other things you can do if you want to take the praise further. If your team have coped with particularly difficult challenges then a team dinner is a nice way to register your appreciation. Indeed, think about formalising your recognition for certain contributions – instigating team awards at AGMs, or joining in with the national mood and giving staff an additional ‘Bank Holiday’ like many did for the Diamond Jubilee.

We all need praise, even at senior executive level, and it helps create a hugely positive culture in your business.

Tom Debenham, MD People Insight

Follow on Twitter and join in the conversation #BestEmployers2014.


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