COVID-19 has had a huge impact, not just financially or in business terms, but on collective mental health and wellness too. Lockdowns and health risks are just two of the factors that have caused people to feel increasingly negative and depressed about the future. In the hospitality industry, which has been particularly hard hit by lockdowns, only 38% feel positive about their future in the sector and around a third are already thinking of leaving. This general sense of anxiety and malaise is creating big problems in hospitality - problems that shifting company culture to make employee wellbeing a priority could help to solve.
Putting wellbeing at the heart of your company culture can improve the experience that employees have and also boost your brand perception in the hospitality sector. However, this is not something that happens overnight and it’s not something that can be put into practice in isolation. Shifting a company culture to a more wellbeing-driven focus involves integrating this at every stage of the business, whether that is brand identity, delivery, operations or strategy. Factors to consider when it comes to integrating wellness into company culture include employee expectations about the future and their prospects, ways of using technology to make people’s lives easier and opting for a more conscious style of leadership. There are often obstacles where mental health and wellbeing conversations are concerned so it’s key to focus on creating an environment in which openness and vulnerability are valued. This needs to come from the top down and may need to include the input of mental health professionals and various support lines.
Reducing turnover and absenteeism. Happier, more engaged employees are going to show up for your business and that will translate to brand perception. If turnover rates are low then loyalty rates are high and with less absenteeism to deal with there are fewer opportunities for the mistakes and disruption that can arise from staffing issues.
Improving customer relationships. If your employees feel looked after and valued by the business - part of a culture that prioritises their wellbeing - they are going to communicate this to customers and clients in everything they do. Whether it’s a willingness to go the extra mile or patience and empathy in a conflict situation, your workforce as a whole will be more responsive and provide a more positive representation of your brand where the culture is grounded in a caring and positive approach. Many consumers today also make a point of buying from brands that prioritise employee wellbeing so this is a positive differentiating factor.
A reputation for cooperation and collaboration. Leadership style has a big part to play in the kind of culture that any organisation has, including in the hospitality sector. A collaborative and empathetic style can help to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace and that has a range of benefits, from greater innovation to higher profits and productivity. This will also translate into brand reputation and the way the business is viewed, both by those who want to buy from it and those who might want to work with it.
Putting employee wellness at the heart of company culture is a smart move, especially after the impact of the past 12 months. From improving customer relationships to establishing a positive industry reputation there are many ways in which it can make a difference.
The idea of outsourced HR services to strengthen a company culture is not intuitive, but decades of experience prove its success. Small businesses with HR outsourcing partners grow up to 9% faster than businesses that don’t outsource any HR functions.
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