What does Employee Engagement need to be in 2022?

January 17, 2022

As we dive into the start of 2022, we continue to see the business world discussing the “Great Resignation”. And senior dining operators have not been immune. But a deeper understanding of what is driving the employees and what they are searching for can help to refocus efforts in keeping the best, and attracting the best. A few interesting facts about employee engagement in 2021:

  • Within the US workforce, only 33% is engaged, 16% is actively disengaged, and the remaining 51% is “just there.” (Gallup)

  • Businesses with highly engaged employees see a reduction in absenteeism by 41%. (Gallup)

  • Building a workforce that is highly engaged and enabled can improve a company’s retention by up to 54%. (Hay Group)

  • Just 17% of executives consider increasing employee engagement to be a top priority. (The Predictive Index)

  • 24% of executives, 15% of managers, and 10% of individual employees report being engaged. (ADP Research Institute)

These are all troubling statistics, and if senior dining operators are going to ebb the flow of employees leaving, there is going to need to be a change in our approach to the engagement process. Here are a few things that you can begin with as you look to develop your own employee engagement program:

Personal Recognition. Even the smallest of recognition can improve motivation by up to 37% (Great Place to Work). Add in activities such as peer-to-peer shout outs during pre-service meetings, hand write notes of appreciation, or even do a “family meal” to simple do some team building.

Manage Employee Burnout. Careerbuilder found that currently 61% of workers are burnt out. Sixty one percent! Simple things that senior dining managers can do is encourage the use of vacation/PTO time, make health & wellness a priority, and foster an environment that supports work/life balance.

Build On Employee Strengths. In foodservice, we can tend to focus on the negative feedback and comments as we work to improve upon each meal service. Teams that are led by managers focusing on weaknesses/failures are 26% less engaged (Gallup). Take a few moments after each service to find success and highlight an employee’s strengths.

Be Relentless about Using Feedback. As hospitality professionals, we are taught that the only way to improve our operations is to hear the feedback from our residents & guests. The best operators utilize that information to make decisions and changes on the fly to improve service. Take that same approach with your employees. Being an employer that acts on employee feedback can increase your employee engagement by up to 80%. (Qualtrics)

The focus on the employee is not going away any time soon, and will be a primary focus of managers and leaders throughout the new year. Now is the time for you to take action and implement strategies to keep and engage your current employees, and build a culture that will entice job seekers to come to your doors.