Is Morale Low in Your Hospitality Business?

Low morale is killing your business. It costs you in productivity, in customer service, and in levels of service. In hospitality, this is all you have, which is why it is time to start addressing the problems of low morale head on finally. This could include taking out a commercial loan to renovate the break room, get equipment loans to provide a more comfortable working environment for, say, your hotel’s kitchen, and of course to just offer better benefits.

Importance of Morale

Morale is what makes the hospitality industry work because let’s be honest; customers are not the easiest to deal with day in, day out. Your employees need to be cared for, supported, and feel like their time and effort is worth it. If there isn’t that support system behind them, you will be left with dispassionate employees that don’t care and give less than stellar service to your guests.

Low morale will cost your business in one way or another. It could be in a bad reputation; it could be through high employee turnover. Regardless, you want to rectify the issue at the source and make your business one people enjoy working in.

Causes of Low Morale

There are a few causes of low morale. Each one is serious and should be taken seriously:

  • Lack of Career Progression
  • Poor Job Descriptions
  • Poor Working Environment
  • Poor Employee Benefits
  • Harassment
  • Poor Business Management

Employees need to feel like their time with you is well spent. If you offer them a pay scale (every year, they get a 10% increase in wages, for example) or a career progression within your business, they have something to work towards.

This healthy working environment is key to a good worker and high morale, so provide key descriptions of your expectations and how they can work towards a particular goal. Other issues you will need to address include caring for their health and wellbeing.

How to Know Morale is Low in Your Business

The first step to rectify the issues of low morale is to know how to diagnose it within your team. Low morale costs businesses around the USA an average of $350 billion every year, mostly in lost productivity. Low morale is incredibly costly, and that’s looking at the numbers without considering the impact this has on your customers’ experiences.

Some vital signs of low morale include:

  • Your Employees Are Slacking
  • Your Employees Show Disrespect
  • Your Labor Numbers Are High
  • You Have High Turnover
  • Your Guests Complain

You want a dedicated workforce who enjoy working for you and see your success as their success. Without this, your business will suffer in one way or another. Low productivity levels will cost you money. Poor customer service will cost you customers. While it is true that there are some bad apples out there that cannot be helped, if your whole team isn’t performing well, it is likely due to your business model or managerial style.

How to Improve Morale

To improve morale, you must first aim to better your working environment. With these changes, your entire team’s dynamic should change. If they don’t, and their morale is still low or their customer service lacking, then you can consider their poor attitude their own problem. You can either discipline them or let them go, but don’t make any rash decisions before you make these changes:

  • Provide Clear Cut Job Descriptions and Standards

    When employees don’t know what to do, they will automatically not keep up with your expectations. You need to give them a clear description of what they are expected to do. Make their tasks easy to accomplish in one day, but full enough to keep them active. You want to help them maintain a good rhythm throughout the day without wearing them down.

    It is also wise to be very clear about the standards you expect. From housekeeping, for example, provide a time scale (minutes per room or MPR) that is reasonable for the room type. How well they should clean and what areas they should focus on are also good things to know.

    Some other examples of how you can help your employees is by giving them a set of responses to provide to customers who are upset. Doing so will help them stand their ground, not get bullied, and yet provide excellent service.

  • Offer Career Advancement or Pay Increases

    Reward loyalty, because those who stick around for years upon years are the ones who know how to do their job well and can do so productively. This is priceless for businesses, so be sure to reward them. You can do so through a pay increase, with a promotion, or even just with a healthy bonus for their good work.

  • Invest in the Break Room

    Your employees need somewhere nice to take their breaks. A good environment will help them relax, feel good about themselves, and should encourage them to care for their health. This means having a small kitchenette area to make food from home, a table, television, and couch can go a long way.

    Alternatively, you might need to get business loans to reinvest in the tools your employees use. A new vacuum, a new kitchen, steam cleaner, washing machines – these will make it easier for your employees and improve productivity.

  • Offer Employee Benefits

    Some simple employee benefits include the ability to provide a cash advance when they need it, discounts with local businesses, generous holiday, flexible schedules, and even health insurance. Your full-time employees should want for nothing because you want them with you for decades.

  • Create an Anti-Harassment Policy

    Anti-harassment policies are necessary for employees and for customers alike. Your employees should never feel like they have to take harassment from anyone, be it another employee or a guest.

  • Improve Your Skills as a Manager

    Last but not least, improve your skills as a manager. Far too often low morale occurs when leadership is poor, so work on developing your own skills and ask how you can improve yourself or your business.

Charles Groome

Charles Groome

Charles Groome is a contributor to SmallBizStar. Charles is a Digital Marketing Specialist and presently serves as Director of Marketing at Biz2Credit. Having worked with established companies and startups for most of his career, Charles brings powerful insights to the challenges of succeeding in the digital marketplace. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn. Email Charles at