Hospitality HR: How to create a culture of wellbeing at work

Hospitality HR How to create a culture of wellbeing at work

Many roles within the hospitality industry can be fast paced, with high pressure. In fact, studies from The Burnt Chef Project, have found out that four out of five hospitality professionals report having experienced at least one mental health issue during their career. 

According to Mental Health UK, just one employee experiencing a mental health condition can cost UK businesses an average of £1,035 annually in sickness absence, reduced productivity and staff turnover. 

Creating a healthy workplace can help to address health and wellbeing issues before they arise.  We’ve put together some suggestions for your business, to ensure your staff wellbeing is a key factor in your business growth.

  • Flexible working policies

Whilst this can often be difficult within the hospitality industry, consider ways in which you can help your staff juggling family commitments and personal appointments. Perhaps offering a shift swap notice board, or use communication tools such as Yapster or Slack

Be clear with your absence policy, and ensure there is a fair and structured process to booking annual leave. This should be easily accessible and communicated to all members of staff. 

As of April 2024, employees will now be able to request flexible working from the first day of employment. It’s therefore essential to have a policy that reflects the company’s stance on this.

  • Enforce breaks

Often working very long shifts, you should ensure your staff are taking the relevant comfort and lunch breaks as they should be. There is a minimum requirement as set by law, however it may be that more are required. 

You should also ensure there are comfortable and quiet areas within the building for staff to take these breaks. 

  • Host regular catch ups

Encourage staff to discuss their work openly. Consider regular performance reviews or catch ups. Creating an open culture where staff can talk to managers will help to reduce stress and anxiety. 

  • Set up a mentoring scheme

Match your employees to managers or staff members within similar roles who can support and guide them. Working in a fast paced environment it can be difficult to ensure regular catch ups with their line manager, particularly if they’re not always working the same shift. 

A mentoring scheme could help to empower longer standing members of the team and also ensure the more junior or newer members of staff have someone they can reach out to for support. 

  • Consider an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)

Invest in wellness programmes for staff. These could be discounted gym memberships or subscriptions or access to EAP resources offering wellbeing advice and guidance. We work with Wellness Cloud, and Hospitality Action is a celebrated EAP system specifically focused on the hospitality industry.

  • Set realistic goals and expectations

Overwhelming workloads and unmanageable goals all contribute to higher stress levels. Where goals are set for an individual, ensure they can contribute to and influence those goals. 

  • Keep a record of absence

Recording all absence can help to identify any patterns early, which may be a cause for concern. Read our full guide here on dealing with short term absences and sickness. 

  • Create a policy or training scheme on mental health and wellbeing so that all managers understand what to look for and how to support.

Train your team to recognise the signs of stress.

“The problem is, that many companies don’t think of ‘investing in mental health’ as essential and yet, we all know that prevention is better than cure.”

Sue Rosemond, Mental Health Trainer and Consultant at Simpila Healthy Solution.

Read the full case study from Sue on why it’s so important for your business here. 

For guidance on supporting staff experiencing mental health issues, look at our guide or book 15 minutes of free telephone HR support with us. Check in with one of our CIPD qualified Consultants regarding a current HR issue you may be experiencing or get an initial steer on any strategic HR projects that you may be planning. We’d be happy to hear from you.