Tigh-Na-Mara has Found the Key to Reducing Staff Turnover

Do you believe rewards work to keep great employees in your business? Dant Hirsch, former general manager of the world-famous Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort in Parksville, on Vancouver Island, learned early in his career that rewarding staff financially may not be the only answer to keeping them.

According to Hirsch, “Job satisfaction is all about treating people well and making them aware that they are an integral part of your operation.”

Research has proven repeatedly that job satisfaction is an effective tool in reducing staff turnover and creating engaged employees. Against popular belief, rewards do not always have to be monetary in nature but rather intrinsic rewards like making your people feel empowered, cared for, and valued carry equal weight. A hotel employee recently recounted a story of how her manager rallied to her side during the purchase of a vehicle. “I have never had a boss go the extra distance for me before,” she exclaimed. “I will always work very hard for that man!”

So how can you make your employees feel like they are an integral part of your operation? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Create an environment in which people want to work. Strive to make your work environment one where friendships are cultivated and employees feel supported. Work on becoming a ‘people first’ business where employees feel they are equally important as your customers.
  2. Empower people to be creative and innovative. Offering your employees the freedom to do their jobs with some flair and creativity shows you trust them and their judgment. Ask for their input on everything from their uniforms to menu items. You’ll be surprised what great ideas come back.
  3. Offer training and development. On-the-job training, cross-training for role sharing, and further job-related education workshops are all win/win investment for both sides. Training is of particular value to someone who has little formal education and it helps to build a strong culture.
  4. Give recognition and praise generously. Random acts of praise that are sincere go a long way to boosting morale. The Fairmont Empress uses ‘Bravograms’ to recognize great work. Written by staff and customers, Bravograms ensure that not only are the front of house employees recognized but so are the ‘heart of house’ such as housekeeping and maintenance. Recipients are honored monthly at a Star Tea.
  5. Offer in-house perks. Find creative ways to let staff experience your business with free use of pool, gym, discounts on food, accommodations and other services you offer. Try partnering with other businesses such as hair salons, movie theatres and retail outlets to trade off business products and services.
  6. Practice open communication. Ensure the lines of communication are open consistently and staff is encouraged to approach your managers on any topic. Hands-on managers who work on the frontline tend to be more sensitive to the pressures of the job and will have experienced first-hand the concerns staff must face.

The number one motivator of people is appreciation for a job well done and it doesn’t cost a dime. So when was the last time you gave out a well-earned compliment to one of your staff? Find an innovative and creative way to remind everyone who works for you what a great place your business is to work.