The festive season is here. Whilst a magical time for many, it no doubt brings on immense pressure in the hospitality industry. It was reported just two years ago that hospitality staff will work around 28 hours overtime during the festive season, the majority working on five to six hours of sleep. Whilst employee wellbeing and mental health are year-round considerations, research shows that the festive period sees a peak in stress levels for many. Increased absenteeism and higher demand mean people work a lot more, and feel extra pressure trying to balance festive or family and social duties on top of the busier workload.
We all know how understaffing feels at the time – manic, run off your feet, underprepared and overstressed, not to mention the worry that your guests are noticing it too. But there are other risks we don’t often think about at the time, and ought to when you see the true threat this poses on the health of yourself, your staff, your guests and even the business as a whole.
Meta-analysis of more than 600,000 people, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, found that employees working long hours (40-55 per week) have a higher risk of stroke compared to those working standard hours (35-40). Other research has found that those who work long hours are likely to have poorer mental health and lower-quality sleep.
One of the top ways suggested to avoid workplace injuries is by having adequate staffing levels, as low staffing levels and overtime hours leads to overworked employees who are more likely to suffer from exhaustion and cut corners to exceed output. This isn’t just a risk to your staff though, if employees don’t have the time to perform their best there are increased hazards in the workplace, like not taking proper safety precautions and this can really tarnish your brand’s entire reputation.
We live in an age where people can decide to visit a venue based on the Instagram post of someone else who went there. A positive review can increase sales, with 88% of customers who read online reviews saying that these influenced their buying decisions. When you let service slip, (which easily happens if you don’t have enough staff) customers can have a bad experience, resulting in a 91% chance of them not visiting you again, and further typically telling nine to fifteen other people about their experience. It takes roughly 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of a single negative review, and it is estimated that negative reviews can cost your business £30,000 a year.
Research suggests that there is a direct impact on sales revenue when you understaff your venue. It’s not that surprising really, if you don’t have enough front of house staff, you can’t take as many orders, or turn over as many covers, let alone checking if your customers are happy with the service you’re providing. If you are low on back of house staff, it’s higher stress in the kitchen, slowing down all operations and leaving your customers with longer wait times.
Research has shown that implementing flexible work practices, where employees have control over their schedule encourages work-life balance, which has been shown to have positive effects on well-being and in their ability to manage stress levels. Using a flexible workforce not only supports your regular staff so they aren’t overworked, but when enabled by technology, temporary staffing maximises the profit of your business by allowing you to staff on demand. Control your rota by responding to peaks in demand and absenteeism is the smarter way to work.
People choose when and where they work, so when they are actually on the clock they want to be there. This leads to increased productivity and a healthier culture in the workplace, where teams work better together and employees are collectively happier, which your clients and guests notice too.
Flexible workers at Rota get holiday pay on every hour, and we encourage them to take time off whenever they need to keep healthy and motivated. Due to Rota’s proprietary technology a lot of the costs associated with traditional staffing businesses are removed from process and Rota passes this efficiency on to the candidates. This means that Partners are charged less and candidates are paid more.
You’re adequately staffed when demand peaks, but when it drops you aren’t left with an excess of employees, offering you a much more cost-effective model that traditional recruitment can no longer match.
People now want to find work through their phone because of the convenience, flexibility and transparency it offers. If you aren’t yet embracing to uprise in The Human Cloud, then you may be wondering why recruitment and retaining staff is a constant burden and cost to your business.
Innovating your hiring strategy digitally transforms your business in an impactful way, and with 55% of businesses believing they have less than a year before they start to suffer financially and lose market share from not making a digital transformation, you ought to. Read more on how you can get ahead of competitors in 2020 here.