5 Benefits of an Employee Experience Strategy for Travel & Hospitality

A front desk employee collaborates with the hotel manager

Discover the top benefits of employee experience, including reducing employee burnout and driving cost savings, revenue, and employee productivity.

Employers across industries have a wealth of employee insights right at their fingertips, if they take the time to ask their workers for their feedback and capture employee signals, like PTO usage, performance reviews, and customer feedback about employees. Gathering these insights can shed light on ways to achieve important employee and business outcomes. 

“But the truth is, a large majority of travel and hospitality organizations are still trying to wrap their heads around employee experience,” says Geoff Ryskamp, Vice President, Sector Head, Retail & Hospitality for Medallia. “Many are still dipping their toes in the waters, checking in with their employees a few times a year with annual or quarterly engagement surveys. As a result, organizations miss out on the chance to uncover opportunities to improve employee performance, engagement, and satisfaction on an ongoing basis.”

But that doesn’t have to be the case for your travel or hospitality brand. 

Here are the top benefits of employee experience that brands can expect to enjoy by engaging in employee listening efforts that move beyond annual check-ins, capturing real-time employee feedback to pinpoint your employees’ most pressing needs — and discovering the most effective ways to address them. 

Why Travel & Hospitality Brands Need to Invest in Employee Experience

1. Reduce employee burnout and employee turnover

Travel and hospitality employee retention is a real challenge, one that’s only been exacerbated by upheavals within the industry as a result of the pandemic, according to a recent study we conducted of 1,250 of travel and hospitality workers across the United States and Europe:

  • Nearly 59% of US hospitality workers say they’re working with less staff than before the pandemic
  • 48% of hospitality workers say that their organization’s handling of the surge in travel has been “just OK”
  • 38% of hospitality workers around the globe are considering leaving — or already have plans to leave — the industry within the next three months

That said, focusing on employee experience — listening to employees, gathering key employee insights, and implementing changes to the company’s policies and day-to-day practices as a result of employee feedback — can help travel and hospitality organizations struggling with turnover.

According to author Jacob Morgan in the book The Employee Experience Advantage:

  • Employee experience leaders have 40% less employee turnover compared to their competitors

2. Drive cost savings and revenue

Brands that fail to stem the tide of employee turnover in the hospitality industry are up against significant costs related to recruiting and onboarding replacements for employees that leave. According to Gallup, this adds up to $1 trillion for businesses across the U.S. and: 

In addition to saving money, brands that drive employee engagement by improving the employee experience can actually make more money, too. Our own researchers have found that:

  • Companies that are employee experience leaders are 12 times more likely than laggards to indicate year-over-year revenue growth of more than 20% 

3. Maximize employee performance

According to our study on understanding why employees are leaving their jobs, more than half of salaried (56%) and hourly (64%) workers say their company asks for feedback once a year or less, or does not ask for feedback at all.

That’s to these organizations’ disadvantage, as ensuring employees know their opinions and feedback matter is an incredibly powerful way to encourage worker innovation and engagement.

According to Salesforce:

  • Employees who feel their voice is heard are nearly 5 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work

4. Be seen as a great place to work

Not only do travel and hospitality brands fall short on gathering employee feedback, less than a quarter (21%) of travel and hospitality take action on the employee feedback they do collect, and that’s something that can impact their reputation as employers.

As part of our Medallia Institute research on employee experience, we found:  

  • Only 28% of frontline workers whose companies DON’T ask for feedback would recommend the company as a great place to work
  • Only 25% of frontline workers whose companies ask for feedback but DON’T take action based on the feedback would recommend the company as a great place to work
  • 80% of workers whose companies who DO ask for employee feedback and then DO act on that feedback recommend the company as a great place to work

“These are just staggering statistics that illustrate how critical it is to not only collect feedback, but really act on it,” says Lorena Kurtjian Hernandez, Senior Director, Solutions Principal, Travel, Hospitality, and Restaurants. 

“Employee experience leaders do more than collect data — they take action,” she adds. “They conduct predictive analyses. They route feedback to the right teams, the ones who can truly address the employee concerns in the moment. They create alerts, they assign ownership of issues to those teams who can take action quickly. And when they make changes based on employee feedback, they communicate that back to their employees, so their people know they’re being heard, they’re valued, and their voices really matter.”

5. Outperform the competition

Effective employee listening programs enable employers to determine what their employees need to be successful and do their best work every day, and that can yield a huge ROI. According to Gallup:

  • Companies with highly engaged employees outperform competitors by 147% in earnings-per-share and have 21% percent higher profitability

Realize the Benefits of Employee Experience in the Travel & Hospitality Industry

Recognizing the benefits of employee experience, savvy brands are doubling down on their efforts by integrating employee experience into their overall corporate strategy and involving the entire organization in employee experience mission and vision.

Want to learn about employee experience best practices that can help your travel and hospitality brand drive employee retention and maximize employee performance? Check out our on-demand webinar, Employee Experience In Hospitality & Travel: Rebuilding the Employee Experience to Attract and Retain Talent.