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Thu 9 Jul 2015 10:46 AM

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Staff retention continues to pose threat to hotels

Salary survey reveals that just 18.6% of hoteliers are happy in current roles

Staff retention continues to pose threat to hotels
Samir Arora, general manager, Ramada Downtown Dubai

This year’s Hotelier Middle East
Salary Survey results pointed to the fact that staff retention will continue to
pose a huge challenge across the industry in 2015.

This year’s survey revealed that
fewer hoteliers than last year are claiming to be completely happy in their
current jobs (18.6 percent) compared to last year (21.7 percent).

Samir Arora, general manager, Ramada
Downtown Dubai commented: “There’s a talent war with all the new hotels
opening: they are poaching your staff, so rates are coming down and your
margins are shrinking.”

In order to hold on to staff it will
be crucial for employers to really get to grips with what motivates staff to
move elsewhere – and what makes them stay.

When it comes to accepting a new
job, the number one deal breaker this year, as with last year was financial
incentives, with 37.03 percent of respondents saying this was the most
important factor.

“In order for you to hold on to your
quality talent, you have to make sure that you are par with the market in terms
of your salaries. And all these new five-star hotels poach your staff, offering
10-15 percent,” added Arora.

“Going forward, in couple of years,
salaries will continue to inflate and there will be a huge shortfall of quality
talent. So in order to tackle that, we as a hotel have a programme called
succession planning that shows a clear career path to our stars.”

Many of the hoteliers interviewed
about how best they retain staff agreed that staff training and development as

Southern Sun Abu Dhabi general
manager Pierre Delfau said: “In terms of all the development and training we
can do on the premises, it is focused on the employees and the associates.

“I always tell them: ‘I spend 10
percent of my time with a customer, you spend 90 percent of your time with a
customer’. So who is more important? They are.”

Le Méridien Al Aqah GM Patrick
Antaki added: “We never cut down on training. Some places reduce their training
when the hotel is not too busy, but we don’t.

“The hotel is a business and it’s
important to have sharp people, and our staff need to see that we are committed
to their development and improvement, whatever the case.”

Shangri-La Hotel Doha general
manager Coen Masslink commented: “At the end it’s not always about the basic
pay, we spend a lot of money on developing our people, training, giving those
opportunities to grow. That is, for many young people nowadays, very important

However, the survey respondents told
us that staff development is less important this year, with just 16.49 percent
citing this as a deal breaker, compared to last year’s 20.07 percent.

More important for respondents in
this year’s survey was employer loyalty (18.11 percent), whereas last year,
only 15.13 percent of respondents marked this as a deal breaker.

Antaki commented: “I strongly people
that yes, people are here for money and they need to earn and they need to
support their families back home.

“However, people work for people –
if people have a good boss, if people are looked after, and they feel looked
after, they will only move when they absolutely have to.”

The Hotelier Middle East Salary
Survey 2015 closed on May 18, 2015 and garnered 527 responses.


Click here to read more from our Hospitality Report 2015



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