Warm Workplace Relationships: How to Retain Hospitality Employees

Mooney, S
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Journal Article
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School of Hospitality & Tourism, Auckland University of Technology

This article addresses the significance of workplace social connections for hospitality workers. When examining high turnover in hospitality, the focus is generally negative, such as shift work and low pay [1]. Surprisingly, for a sector that employs one in 11 people [2], little attention focuses on the positive aspects. In New Zealand, hospitality work is considered inferior, to be endured while waiting for more exciting opportunities [3]. Yet a recent New Zealand study shows that hospitality employees at all levels are fulfilled by being recognised as professionals and from the variety, challenge and growth possibilities of their work. The study drew from boundaryless career theory about the social competencies that enable career success for individuals [4]:

knowing ‘why’ they are engaged in this career (individual motivation and identity); knowing ‘how’ they are supposed to perform (skills and expertise); and; knowing ‘who’ – significant networks (relationships and reputation).

In the qualitative study, data were firstly collected through focus groups with hospitality professionals who had left the industry after working there for at least 10 years. Then, interviews took place with current hospitality employees in a variety of roles, from general manager to kitchen porter with an average of 25 years’ experience. Thematic analysis was carried out separately on each study before results were combined.

Hospitality Insights, 3(1), 12-13. https://doi.org/10.24135/hi.v3i1.43
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