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Hotel turnover is every hotelier's nightmare. From lost productivity to increased costs for recruitment and training, it often leads to decreased morale among employees who stay behind. In what is by nature a high-turnover industry, it's crucial to increase employee retention to avoid the negative impacts of constantly changing staff.  

Let's dive deeper into hotel staff turnover and explore the best strategies for keeping your employees happy.


What is hotel staff turnover? 

Hotel staff turnover occurs when employees quit or when you need to let team members go. When voluntary, the employee usually leaves the hotel because of a better job opportunity, a problem at work, and a lack of motivation.

Involuntary turnover happens when you, as an employer, must let an employee go due to structural changes, poor performance, or bad behavior.  

How to calculate the employee turnover rate

The number of employees who left during a given period / the average number of employees during that period * 100.

The rate can help you better understand how you're performing as a business.

what is hotel staff turnover

What are the causes for high employee turnover in hospitality? 

Employee turnover rates in the hospitality industry worldwide are between 30-73% and are much higher than in other sectors, which are around 12-15%.  


One of the reasons for the high turnover is seasonality. In this profession, many employees get hired during the high season and then let go in the low season. The seasonal nature also attracts students to hospitality, but it also results in a flux of people constantly moving between hotels and not staying in one position.

Read more about one of the most significant challenges in the hospitality industry.

Lack of job growth 

One of the huge drivers of high turnover is the lack of a clear growth plan. If employees don't see room to advance, they're not likely to stick around. Develop a clear plan for career development and assign mentors who can help employees grow at work or transition into new roles. 

Bad communication 

As hospitality is a customer-facing business, communication is king. Keep your team well-informed about the VIP clients coming to the hotel, upcoming events and meetings, and any other information that helps them do their job.  

It's best to have regular meetings – try a daily stand-up per shift to share expectations and discuss the accomplishments from the previous day. Management should be involved in these meetings and address any issues at once. After all, inadequate management and bad communication with supervisors is one of the leading causes of quitting. 

Organizational issues 

Organizational issues usually revolve around pay, promotions, scheduling, and non-transparency. Since the hospitality industry is an around-the-clock job, scheduling should be fair to all your employees. Late and weekend shifts and working during holidays should be rotative and paid accordingly.  

Not doing so will jeopardize your retention levels.

causes for high employee turnover in hospitalityHow to increase hotel staff retention? 

Once you know the reasons for low staff retention, you can find ways to fix it. Moreover, improving retention levels will help you reduce operating costs, so let's look at the best ways to achieve it. 

Employee engagement 

There are many strategies to engage employees, and one of them is promoting transparency. Being transparent, even in challenging situations, promotes open and healthy communication. Another way to boost employee engagement is to reward excellence. When someone does an excellent job, be sure to recognize their effort.

Other engagement strategies could be team building, promoting professional development, and creating a collaborative environment where change happens both bottom-up and bottom-down. The more present your team is in different organizational changes and improvements, the more engaged they'll be. 


Training your staff is another way to increase retention levels. If your employees see that you value their growth, they'll be inspired to become even better. They'll also want to stay in their jobs to keep growing. It's a win-win.

Regular satisfaction surveys 

You probably use satisfaction surveys to learn more about your guests' happiness and find room for improvement. Did you know they're also a fantastic tool for measuring employee satisfaction? Surveys keep them engaged and unveil recurring problems, which helps you address them before they affect your retention rates. 

Valuable benefits and compensation 

While benefits like free medical coverage, generous time off, a gym pass, and mental health programs are all ways to stand out from the competition, there's nothing like boosting the average pay to keep your staff happy. Fair compensation decreases turnover rates, especially when vying for qualified professionals. 

Create a harmonious workplace 

Create a more aligned workplace by arranging a team building where your staff can get to know each other and work as a team. You may consider organizing “a day in the life of...” where staff change roles to see what it’s like to work across different apartments. That way, they can better appreciate their colleagues and their work. 


We’ve looked at the most efficient ways to increase employee engagement and lower hotel turnover rates. It’s all about motivating your employees to be more productive, happier and dedicated to creating top-notch guest experiences. The lower your turnover, the better it is for your bottom line.


Download our guide Empower Your Teams

Empower-your-teams_Hero - 1245x1014-8Ready to discover the secrets and benefits of smarter working, including improved operations, happier staff and a better guest experience?

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