Behind every great customer experience lies an even greater group of people. And this is especially true in the hospitality industry, where employees are often directly delivering the customer experience and are therefore instrumental to business success.

But this sector often struggles with a very distinct set of challenges: seasonal peaks and troughs, attracting and retaining staff, developing, motivating and engaging teams.

Some businesses have handled this extraordinarily well.

Tom Ross from the highly successful Pig Hotel Group has spoken openly about the importance of recruiting staff with a passion and interest for the wider business, and of offering development opportunities including kitchen apprenticeships and an innovative internal entrepreneur programme.  “We take training really seriously and focus on what we call craft skills,” he explained. “The business wants someone who isn’t only a waiter, but wants to know about food, wine and the art of service – not just writing an order down and bringing out plates.”

The luxury Headland Hotel has grown its headcount fast, which can present challenges. MD Darryl Reburn’s leadership style is all about listening, engaging and giving staff a voice and responsibility, resulting in a more up-skilled and motivated workforce. “I don’t have time for command and control leadership, which is all tell and no ask. I enjoy a collaborative approach that involves drawing out of others and solving problems together.” Putting ideas out there and “sowing seeds in a collaborative environment”, as he put it, helps shape big ideas.

June Donnery from Haven Perran Sands knows the challenges of seasonal recruitment only too well. Her attitude-based approach to recruitment, and culture of positivity and trust, has led to staff wanting to return year after year. “We allow our teams to fail and succeed. We’re creating a culture where people are not frightened to talk about what didn’t go well. We want our people to look forward to customer feedback whether it’s good or bad. Because feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

Serving up industry insights and expertise

The next in the series of Be the Business’s highly acclaimed, free-to-attend Hospitality Masterclasses*, focuses on People and Team. With hospitality industry leaders addressing arguably some of the most difficult and pressing issues business owners face, this is a practical workshop where delegates will leave inspired and empowered to step up their people development and performance strategies.

The masterclass will explore the environment, culture and leadership that fosters high performing workforces. Sector experts will look at the importance of embedding learning and development into business practice and how this can be done through online tools. There will also be a focus on how assessing and understanding employees’ personalities, skills and aspirations can positively impact recruitment and retention.

Leadership well-being is also on the agenda. After all, looking after yourself and managing your time effectively can have a huge impact on the culture and performance of the whole business. And if your business employs a lot of Generation Z employees, you’ll learn how to engage and communicate effectively with this young, digital savvy generation.

Book your place at www.bethebusiness.com/masterclass

*Upfront cost £25.00 (£22.65 ticket price + £2.35 booking fee). £22.65 price refunded upon attendance and completion of the post-event survey.