Work-life harmony is key to attracting and retaining great staff

Lee Price opinion on modernising outdated work patterns for staff

Related tags Social responsibility Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators Tenanted + leased Freehouse

The new year got off to a grim start with my four-legged shadow closing his eyes one final time.

He was not only the best birthday present ever but an incomparable canine companion who always had my back and I will miss him every single day until we cross the bridge.

In the days following, my work phone fell completely silent. Senior team members stepped in to shield me from the annoyances of the day-to-day and made sure my time could be spent grieving the loss of our furry family member.

When thanked for their appreciated support, it prompted a collective moment of reflection and quickly became as clear as the notes of a cavalry bugle that the treatment of personnel has never been more important. Investment in care and consideration for their own physical and emotional wellbeing paid dividends at a time when I needed it most.

Evolution in attitude

There have been moments when I have wrestled with the dangers and disadvantages of leniency destabilising operations and spoiling standards but compassion and compromise will always trump command and control. Scientists have discovered that going softer as you get older is difficult to avoid but the new-found flaccidity of my character is not a by-product of increased feel-good hormones coursing through my veins, rather a necessary evolution in attitude to ensure employees find their best fit.

Pliable patterns of work are not a consequence of leniency but a necessary approach to safeguard the retention of our very best people. The simple truth is that unless you adapt your processes and attitude towards workers, they will begin the search for greener grass.

A labour-intensive operation needs to retain a motivated, focused workforce in order to secure the foundations for success. Respect the team and provide them with what they need to be happy and fulfilled in both their professional and personal lives. The better people feel about what they do, the more they want to do it well, and if hospitality is to stand any chance of overcoming its recruitment crisis, it is more necessary than ever before to cross swords with the lure of lacklustre livelihoods.

What matters most

Millennials and Gen Z workers will consciously choose a job with lower pay if they see development opportunities, reward for results, and genuine concern for what matters most to them. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution but outdated work patterns must be scrapped for stretchy schedules and greater emphasis placed on work-life harmony.

I am not surrounded by the highest paid people in the land but kindness, respect and recognition for a job well done has delivered a loyal, faithful team whose personal circumstances and work flexibility are just as important as their pay cheque.

Long story short, money can buy you a fine dog but only an abundance of love will make it wag its tail.

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