How To Keep Great Employees

Gallup recently announced their mid-year 2022 employee-engagement results. It’s no surprise that the decline seen in 2021 continues, with only 32 percent of employees being engaged, down from 34 percent in 2021. Even more concerning is that the number of completely disengaged employees grew by 1 percent to 17 percent. Combined with the number of employees leaving the service industry in the last two years, it’s been a gut punch to hotel leaders. This means that productivity is falling, and it takes more people hours to deliver adequate service, never mind meet the desire for extraordinary customer service from guests who are paying higher rates.

With the ongoing issue of staffing shortages, what are you doing to keep employees motivated and eager to come to work each day?

Creating a positive, caring, enjoyable work environment should be the goal. Cultures that embody “how things are done around here” in a positive, healthy way don’t just happen. They require prioritization and commitment by the senior leaders in the hotel to support the kind of environment that is healthy for each individual.

It’s an ongoing, daily commitment that includes checks and balances along the way to ensure the approach is absorbed into the organization’s ethos and becomes a way of operating for the entire team. Non-conformists who refuse to accept the culture will leave. If they don’t, leaders will need to take on the difficult task of asking them to go so the entire program isn’t derailed.

How do you make the necessary changes? For starters, here are the first steps:

  1. Set a commitment to make changing the culture the top priority.
  2. Measure the current culture within the hotel to understand how people are feeling and what they want to see change.
  3. Allocate the necessary resources (time and money) to make a sustainable change.

What is the culture within your organization? Is it a thriving and healthy one, where employees are happy to get up each morning and come to work?


Every organization has a culture, whether healthy or chaotic. Studies have proven that organizations with a poor or unhealthy culture are less productive and profitable and struggle to find and keep employees.[1]

Your competition is always waiting. Keep them at bay by ensuring your great employees don’t want to leave.


"Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees." – Tony Hsieh ("Zappos Milestone: Q&A with Tony Hsieh." Footwear News interview, May 4, 2009.)

Take the Next Step Now

Need help changing your organization’s culture? Contact Jo-Anne at
[email protected].

About Jo-Anne Hill

Jo-Anne is an industry expert who founded JH Hospitality Consulting to help hotels around the world dramatically improve revenue and profitability in creative ways. Her strategic thinking, skill, and practical approach to problem-solving come from hands-on experience at companies such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, the Mandarin-Oriental Hotel Group, the Dorchester Collection, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.

Jo-Anne’s recently published book ‘Cultivating Leadership: How great leaders make a difference, one hotel at a time” dives deeper into the equation: happy staff = happy guests = more revenue.

[1] Companies where the majority of employees are disengaged saw their operating income worsen by 32.7 percent. Lisa Chatroop, “The High Cost of Unhappy Employees,” accessed March 11, 2019,

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