Reduce High Turnover, Absenteeism & Low Productivity: Steps Every Hospitality Employer Can Take Now

By Alliah Sheta, Program Director, UnitedHealth Group

“If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers—and your business will take care of itself.”
– J W Marriott

Turnover, absenteeism, and low productivity represent a significant cost to you, the hospitality business owner. Indeed, the labor shortage may be the most significant pain point hoteliers and restaurateurs experience in today’s hospitality industry. A wide variety of studies on this topic indicate that these three challenges cost hospitality employers thousands of dollars per employee annually. That’s the bad news.

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The good news is that there are simple actions every hospitality employer can take now—no matter what size—to turn this around and control costs. Simply listen to your employees and take the first step in offering health care benefits and creating a culture of wellness at your workplace.

Employees are looking to their employer to provide access to a range of health care benefits and wellness options to meet their needs. Countless studies indicate that employers who listen to their employees and partner with them to create a healthier workplace ultimately create a more loyal and healthy team. This boost in positivity increases retention and productivity, which naturally yields happy and loyal customers.

In fact, 8 out of 10 employees say health insurance is a “must have” according to recent studies.*

You know that the business owner pays the price for high turnover, absenteeism, and low productivity. So what can you do, then, to address these issues and lower your costs? It is widely accepted that employer-sponsored health benefits are the top priority for most employees. What may not be so obvious is the array of simple and inexpensive solutions at every employer’s disposal to start creating a culture of wellness today.

Below is a variety of free or low-cost ideas to put you and your employees on a path to wellness. Keep it simple. The important thing is to start somewhere:

  • First, talk to your team; anonymous surveys work well for most. Find out what is important to them and focus your wellness campaign on their interests and needs. Is your team interested in exercise, weight loss, or smoking cessation? Once you know, there is something for everyone.
  • Consider how you will communicate, educate and foster accountability and team work.
  • Many employers use social media or other on-line platforms. Others use break room boards.
  • Offer a variety of voluntary benefits to employees at no cost to you, the employer.
  • Consider providing a low-cost Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help your employees with any number of work and personal issues.
  • Continue to communicate: keep the dialogue open so you are able to continue to offer solutions to meet your team’s needs as they change.

When employers make health and wellness a priority by listening to their employees, everyone wins. 

UnitedHealth Group is proud to partner with the California Hotel & Lodging Association to offer exclusive health benefit solutions to members. To take advantage of the programs, please visit:

*Source: 2019 Study, MetLife.

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