Employee engagement is “dish of the day” at The Caterer HR Forum

Employee engagement is “dish of the day” at The Caterer HR Forum

Employee engagement is “dish of the day” at The Caterer HR Forum

Employee engagement was the theme running through The Caterer HR Forum yesterday, culminating in a celebration of the Best Places to Work in hospitality 2016.

Event highlights included an inspirational keynote speech from Claire Fox (author of Work-Life Symbiosis ), about the interdependence of work and life, and the power of getting more out of your work to energise your personal life. A particular gem of wisdom from Claire centred on the notion of “working hard rather than long”, and why it’s better to work hard for 4 hours than distractedly for 12 hours. She also spoke on the detrimental effect managers can have on their teams when they don’t practice what they preach by leaving on time.

There was also an excellent panel debate featuring some top HR business leaders discussing the importance of work-life balance, employee engagement, and the value of mentoring, as well as discussing the various approaches they have taken to create a positive culture for engaging staff. Gautam Sahgal, COO at Perkbox, gave a very insightful talk on how employee engagement is quickly becoming the biggest competitive differentiator in the industry.

As millennials rapidly become the largest proportion of the workforce, with higher expectations than previous generations, it’s increasingly important for businesses to offer more than just fair pay. These digital natives need attractive perks and benefits to incentivise them. These could be anything from benefits that directly feed into their personal life (contributing to that work-life symbiosis), such as fitness and travel discount schemes, through to training & development opportunities.

Employee engagement is now recognised amongst HR leaders as a no brainer, it’s just a matter of how best to achieve it. There’s a direct correlation between engaged staff and the bottom line, with engaged companies growing profits up to 3 times faster, and engaged employees 87% less likely to leave. So with Millennials citing training opportunities as one of their most desired benefits, it’s clear a comprehensive learning strategy is essential for employee engagement.

The best way to engage staff with learning is to provide it in a way that most closely mirrors the manner technology is used in their personal life. It should be accessible from a smartphone, it should be bitesize, it should be social, and it should be collaborative. Most importantly from a management perspective, it should be easy to deliver, track and manage through one platform. If the learning can be targeted to directly improve the guest experience based on valuable guest feedback data, then even better.

It was fantastic to see Lovely Pubs at number 8 in the Best Places to Work. They’ve recently begun using our learning platform, GEMacademy, to “make sure everyone has a chance to find their potential… to ensure all training and standards are high”.

Amongst our other clients, huge congratulations also go to; The Roof Gardens, Ego Restaurants, and Dishoom, all of whom came in the top 20 Best Places to Work, and Firmdale Hotels who were shortlisted for the Best Employer Catey.

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