Why it pays to be a great place to work

29th May 2024

The Sunday Times recently published its annual list of the Best Places to Work. 22 of the 92 firms that received the award in the Big Companies category – almost a quarter – were in hospitality. Among these it was fantastic to see a number of our clients listed, including Flat Iron, Red Engine and Oakman Group, and we at haysmacintyre were thrilled to be recognised too. With both hospitality and accountancy having faced their own talent crises over recent years, it is positive to see businesses’ hard work being recognised with this list for making their workplaces enjoyable places to be for their staff.

Pressures on hospitality
According to UKHospitality, while job vacancies in hospitality have fallen since last year, it will take a while for them to reach pre-pandemic levels as the effects of Covid-19 linger. Meanwhile, tightening immigration restrictions, especially post-Brexit, has restricted the supply of hospitality workers. These pressures on the supply of talent for hospitality businesses – like with accountancy firms – have forced them to adapt. As with any businesses competing for a shrinking pool of people, they have had to find creative and innovative ways to attract new employees and keep existing ones. Initiatives by hospitality businesses recognised by The Sunday Times include well-developed career progression, discounts at company restaurants, and championing diversity and inclusion.

The wage conundrum
An excellent workplace that provides ample opportunities for learning and development has become more important than ever for hospitality businesses – especially against a challenging economic backdrop which makes it difficult to attract and retain staff purely through attractive wages.

With the National Living Wage increasing salaries across the board, further adding to the financial and talent pressures on hospitality, businesses have to find new ways to entice staff to them. One effective method is providing excellent routes of progression and effective learning and developments programmes, as demonstrated by Red Engine.

Tapping into the motivations of today’s workforce
Attitudes in the workforce change with each generation. Young adults today feel that having a sense of meaning is essential to their happiness at work and overall well-being. They are naturally much more loyal to employers that engage with this desire. As such, providing benefits and perks that allow hospitality staff to volunteer or give back to the community have a tangible impact on drawing in talent and keeping it.

At haysmacintyre, we help our staff feel their work is meaningful by giving them a volunteering day to assist local charities and they are able to opt into a carbon reduction plan to help them calculate their own emissions and contribute to restoring forests to do their part for the environment. They can also give back to the community through workshops to help students in deprived areas across the UK develop the essential business skills.

Workers today also prioritise work/life balance when choosing an employer – and while hospitality roles are naturally limited in their ability to allow staff to work remotely, many, like our client Oakman, have found ways to give back to loyal employees, by offering rewards from a hotel stay and dinner on the house to personal life experience vouchers. These measures allow staff to augment their lifestyles through their work.

Facing continued recruitment pressures, it is positive to see so many hospitality businesses responding to the challenge by making themselves fantastic places to work. If trends continue, we may see even more on The Sunday Times list next year.

See more on our offering to the hospitality sector here, or get in touch with your haysmacintyre contact.

Emma Bernardez

Partner, Head of Hospitality
+44 20 7969 5603
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Andrew Ball

Senior Hospitality Partner
+44 20 7969 5530
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Awards and Accreditations

Accounting Excellence Large Firm of the Year 2023
eprivateclient top accountancy firm 2023

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