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Recently, I was in a restaurant and could hardly believe it. Some tables were closed due to a shortage of skilled employees. Insane, isn’t it?

As someone who once worked in the hotel industry, too, I’m not really surprised. Because even back then, 25 years ago, there was a chronic lack of staff. And currently, many industries in Germany are suffering from skills shortage in general. But why does it hit some businesses harder than others?

Reasons For Leaving The Hospitality Industry

It’s no secret that working conditions in the hotel and dining industry are not fantastic. So, do employees mainly look for jobs with better pay and pleasant working hours? Surprisingly, the answer is no!

In a survey I conducted last fall among former hospitality employees, 44 % cited the lack of support for personal and professional development as the main reason for turnover. Similarly, 40 % mentioned a poor work-life balance. Subjectively perceived lack of career opportunities (35 %), and more appealing job alternatives (37 %), were also significant factors in deciding to quit the field.

Interestingly, 77 % of the respondents could imagine staying in the industry under different conditions. This is really stunning. Although employees enjoy their jobs, the lack of career opportunities leads to turnover. Particularly dramatic is that the majority of those who leave are well-educated and already in a leadership position. So, what can organizations do to retain their employees?

Three Strategies To Keep Employees In Your Organization


Identify and promote individual strengths

  • Organizations can discover the individual qualities and talents of their staff by conducting potential assessments.
  • Plus, targeted coaching and adapting the working environment will also foster employees’ skills.


Develop and offer clear career opportunities

  • Especially for ambitious employees, it’s difficult not to know how their careers will evolve. Therefore, it is beneficial to create a career plan for the next five years together.
  • Ongoing communication about the possibilities and steps for professional development provides employees with a clear perspective.


Consider the employee’s individual needs

  • Surely, working conditions and payment are relevant, but not equally important for everyone. A father presumably values regular working hours more than a single woman.
  • Regular conversations can keep an eye on the individual’s needs and take them into account whenever possible.
  • This includes flexible working hours and conditions to meet various life situations or family obligations and personal matters.

Take Away:

Staff Loyalty Is The Key To Success 

    • Although the presented strategies are not a miracle cure for skills shortage, but they will establish an appreciative corporate culture.

    • Employees whose strengths are valued and promoted, who have clear career perspectives, and whose individual needs are considered, feel emotionally attached to the business.

    • Staff loyalty  makes a job or industry change less likely—which is a crucial step in the fight against skills shortage, not only in the hospitality industry.

Are you also affected by a shortage of skilled workers? What are you doing about it?

I look forward to your comment.

What about potential assessment or coaching ?

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Andrea Seekatz

I'm a trained & certified coach (ICF) and psychologist. Don't forget: Take Care of Your Self.

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