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What Encourages & Discourages Hospitality Staff?

  • Fin Murphy
  • 13th February 2019

A key principle of our platform is workers having autonomy over their job scheduling. Seeing that many of our Syfters become regular workers at venues, we wanted to find out why.

Conducted during September last year, we surveyed over 400 Syfters on what encouraged and discouraged them from taking up repeat shifts at a venue. We’d like to share these insights and feedback with you on how, as an industry, we can act together to recruit and retain dedicated hospitality staff.

When asked ‘What motivates you to take on shifts at the same business/client repeatedly?’, the top three ranked responses were:

‘I enjoy working with the permanent staff’ (181/400)
‘I feel more comfortable in a familiar environment’ (179/400)
‘I feel valued by the managerial team (of the client)’ (178/400)

When asked ‘What discourages you from taking up repeat shifts at a business?’, the top three ranked responses were:

‘It’s a difficult location to commute to’ (193/400)
‘There’s no break / The break is not paid’ (150/400)
‘I don’t feel valued by the managerial team’ (148/400)

As a UK-wide staffing platform, many of our quizzed respondents may live outside of urban areas and not have access to a private vehicle or reliable public transport. The top response may also be influenced by the unusual hours hospitality workers can be given, limiting their ability to get around. A common theme in worker feedback was a focus on ‘unfriendly permanent staff’ and ‘incompetent managers’, plus breaks not being given during long shifts.

Quotes on ‘What motivates you to take on shifts at the same business/client repeatedly?

I enjoy working in new places and meeting new people as much I like returning to previous clients. A warm and welcoming staff, good organisation skills, clear and coherent instructions and familiarity with tasks and environment

Working as a hostess… regularly was great as I got to know the staff and looked forward to work each weekend!”

When you get on great and are encouraged & recognised, I stay on.

Quotes on ‘What discourages you from taking up repeat shifts at a business?

The only break given is 20 minutes, not told when it is, and there isn’t the time to actually relax; you are forcing food down your throat as fast as possible because you are starving and need the energy. Not allowed to sit down during the shift at all either.

Not enough information stated on the job description as to what we are required to do at the shift.”

When the job description is different from what you are actually doing during the shift.”

Syft Co-Founder and CEO Jack Beaman comments on the survey results, “The social factor remains hugely important for hospitality workers; one of the industry’s great aspects is the ability to become acquainted with new people and places all the time. However, workers also want to be treated fairly and respectfully, which isn’t always the case when you’re a temporary staff member.

Syft offers our workers the best of both worlds. With our app’s worker pool, top-rated staff can pick up repeat shifts at a business in just a few swipes. Our platform doesn’t force workers to take up shifts; if they don’t enjoy being at a venue, they don’t have to return. The app enables employers to mark breaks easily, reducing complaints about completed hours. Today’s hospitality workers can become valued team members in quality venues across the UK.”

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