Given how difficult it has been to recruit and retain staff in the hospitality sector in recent years, a lot has been written about how to retain staff is an easier option to recruitment.

But why should it be a consideration now?  Surely it should have always been a number one priority?

After a long career leading and developing teams of up to 140 diverse individuals,and retaining a large proportion of them it’s the mundane stuff that matters!

These are my key tips that attributed to my success and meant I was able to retain staff and keep my teams operational.

It isn’t achieved through gimmicks, and I’ve seen them all ☺️: Table tennis tables, dress down Fridays, bean bags or free fruit?

Gimmicks always lose their shine so they’re short-term and often costly.  For me, I found retaining my teams was down to a few core factors:


  1. Management

 Managers need to be consistent in everything they do, they need to lead by example, listen to and trust their team.

As a manager, I always listened to everyone – you never know where the next great idea will come from.

Every team member comes with a wide array of experiences, and one might just be what you are looking for.

As a manager you lead by example, don’t show favourites and whatever is good enough for your team is good enough for you.

If you pay someone to do a job, give them the tools and knowledge and then TRUST them to get on with it.

In 25 years, I can count on one hand where an employee has taken the p*** out of my trust.

It happens far less than is believed.


  1. Team Involvement

Giving your team a voice to air their opinions and concerns will help them to listen to yours.

We all get it wrong at times, and if the team know it’s safe to tell you when they disagree, they will trust you when they are not sure.

By involving them and delegating to them, your team will rise to the challenge.

I haven’t been proved wrong very often! It also helps you identify unexpected rising stars.


  1. Communication

Always be asking, talking, and learning. Showing you care and are interested goes a long way.

I always, when visiting one of my pubs, would walk around the building and speak to everyone working before I then sat down with the manager.

I remember working in one venue where the manager would walk past me and not respond when I said hello – just no excuse for basic courtesy!

I wanted everyone to know I appreciated them and their work, and a simple ‘hello, how are you doing’ is so well received and you may just start an unexpected conversation that can lead to improvements.


  1. Team Development

Most people enjoy learning, and being given some responsibility and new skills is motivating.

Within every team, there will be those who want to progress but have never been given a voice.

Being given that voice can bring pride, empowerment, motivation and satisfaction.

And from a selfish management perspective, it brings succession planning, and an easier time managing the business.


  1. Respect and Trust

I think these are the threads that run through all the other factors.  Respect everyone and the job they do.

Everyone is on their own journey, and we are all as important as each in making the business a success.


So, in short, it isn’t the headline grabbing gimmicks of slides between floors or games rooms, it’s more mundane than that.

It’s managers that are people people with human qualities such as approachability.

Honesty and integrity, openness and the ability to genuinely listen and care.

Trusting and empowering leaders that provide clarity, consistency and freedom for employees to be their best selves.

But most of all, it’s about TRUST.

Trust in yourself, trust in your team, and trust that we all want to work somewhere we are proud of.

As an experienced coach and mentor, I can support your managers towards retaining their teams.

Which in turn leads to reduced costs of training and recruitment, better customer service, better sales and consistent standards, repeat customers and increased profits.

Easier said than done?

Let’s find out together as I mentor your managers to be their best selves focused on their people.