RBH Talent & Retention
Recruiting and retaining talent in the hospitality industry has always been challenging but now, post-pandemic and Brexit, it is more vital than ever.
Staff shortages can have a devastating impact on hospitality, where customer service is central to success. New talent management strategies are required to attract employees with negative perceptions of the sector. Beyond opportunities for career progression, staff are now seeking flexibility, purpose, wellbeing and collaborative styles of working. It is key that hospitality adapts to provide an environment in which potential employees find these elements.
RBH is proud to have a strong record in staff retention with many employees moving across the business and up the career ladder in the numerous different roles. A career at RBH is agile and dynamic with staff wellbeing at the heart of the business. The strategy is to grow the business from the inside, looking after its people along the way.
We recently caught up with RBH’s Talent Manager Nicola Orr on the importance of company culture and internal development for a hospitality business to grow.
How important is it to foster internal growth within a business and how does RBH do this?
In the current market – particularly hospitality – it's never been so important to retain and develop our people. At RBH, and as a people industry, this filters through so much of what we do day-to-day.
Communication is key – ensuring our teams are engaged and aware of the opportunities available. From clear communication from the top to our Great Conversations, it’s important to maintain an open dialogue with our teams.
We also offer a wide range of Internal development opportunities, including our employee development program, Pyramid, a fast-track talent development scheme which aims to promote candidates into senior roles. Out-with Pyramid, its common to see our employees move through the ranks quite regularly - that’s one of the great things about hospitality – the opportunities to learn and grow are endless.
It's not only important to foster professional growth, but personal too. More than ever our next generation of employees are focusing on how companies can add value to their lives, through health and wellbeing, flexible working and diversity & inclusion in the workplace – we have an ongoing focus on each of these attributes with the main aim of retaining and developing top talent.
As we know, recruitment is a tough market across every sector, and our focus should be on retaining those great people we do have and showing them what a career in hospitality can offer. Within RBH alone, we have so many examples of people who have progressed through hospitality, perhaps starting as a waiter and who are now General Managers or Operations Directors. The RBH portfolio is also so diverse in terms of brands, service levels, concepts and geography, therefore offering our team members a wide variety of opportunities.
How key is RBH’s culture in retaining great talent?
Our people consistently feedback that our culture is one of the best things about working at RBH. We believe we have an open, friendly and transparent culture – like a family. Our communication is clear and professional from the top, and we give our teams the confidence and the autonomy to be creative and innovative. But importantly, we believe that listening to our employees then acting based on their feedback is key to making RBH a great place to work.
As a result, we have seen retention improve by 4% in our offices over the last year, reaching a high of 84%, whilst improving by 6% within our hotels, which is particularly positive at a time when talent retention is proving difficult within hospitality. Furthermore, we have also seen our portfolio’s 90-day retention rate improve from 93% to 96%, indicating the success of our induction process, in which we outline the importance of staff wellbeing with an introduction to our various campaigns and lines of support, all of which are core parts of our culture.
Given RBH’s recent internal GM appointments, what makes a great General Manager?
All our General Managers are experienced professionals, but what makes them great is their ongoing commitment to the industry and RBH. Since June, we are proud to have internally promoted Mark Winter to GM at Holiday Inn Blackpool (opening late summer 2023), and Louise O’Reilly to GM at Courtyard by Marriott Sheffield (opening summer 2023), marking both their fourth General Manager positions within the RBH portfolio. In addition, Raffaele Ruocco was promoted from Deputy General Manager to General Manager at The Westin London City.
Retaining great General Managers continues to be key, and therefore we’re proud to see that the average length of service at GM level is currently 5 years 6 months, with some having been with RBH for as long as 14-years. This positive trend is also evidenced by our GM turnover which sat at 16.3% for the past 12-months.
Whilst also demonstrating their commercial and operational acumen, they have all demonstrated true passion for the hospitality industry and promoting our sector as a great place to work. They really buy into our culture and brand values and have been able to filter that same passion through to their teams, in turn helping to retain and develop our people. Not only does their passion shine through everything they do, but so do their individual personalities which is key for such a people-focused industry. We are delighted to have seen each of these GM’s not only develop themselves, but the people around them. That is what we believe makes a great leader.
Hospitality is an ever changing fast paced environment, with endless opportunity, so it's important that those we place in leadership positions have the drive and passion to consistently deliver and develop – in turn showing that our industry can be a fantastic place to grow professionally.
News & Updates
RBH Hospitality Management shares top trends and predictions for the hotel industry in 2024
5 December 2023
RBH's ExCo share their top trends and outlooks for the hotel industry as we look ahead to 2024.
RBH Owners’ Conference 2023 delivers key forecasts for the year ahead
29 November 2023
RBH hosted its hotel owner partners for its 2023 conference, hearing from top industry experts
RBH’s Martin MacPhail wins People Manager of the Year at prestigious Hotel Cateys
14 November 2023
RBH’s HR Director Martin MacPhail has been recognised with the People Manager of the Year award at the Hotel Cateys
RBH to manage its first AC Hotels by Marriott property
14 November 2023
This week sees the launch of AC Hotel by Marriott Glasgow, the first to be managed by RBH
RBH launches its talent development programme for 2024
31 October 2023
RBH has launched its Pyramid Programme for 2024 – a fast-track talent development scheme for hospitality professionals showing great promise.