Innovative solutions for employee retention in hospitality & wellness

The top reasons people quit their jobs across industries are low pay, a lack of advancement opportunities, and feeling disrespected at work. Some innovative solutions for employee retention in hospitality.

Recruitment and retention costs time and money, things nobody can afford to waste. And yet, the hospitality industry just can’t seem to solve this pesky staffing problem.

The good news is that it is improving. According to reports, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the levels of turnover in the industry was recently hovering around 73%, which is down from previous shockingly high numbers of above 80%, but still huge. 

Why does employee attrition in hospitality remain high? 

One study found that the top reasons people quit their jobs across industries are low pay, a lack of advancement opportunities, and feeling disrespected at work. This should go without saying but paying people what they’re worth will go a long way towards solving retention problems.

Some more creative ideas for keeping your hospitality talent happy and making them want to stick around for the long term include the following:

Performance based pay

Performance based pay involves a tiered commission structure, motivating employees by increasing their earning potential as they advance. Such a pay structure not only incentivizes team members to improve their skills and client base but also contributes to business growth and saves costs of raises without ROI.

A new practitioner might start at Tier 1 and progress to higher tiers by meeting specific performance thresholds, such as acquiring new certifications or maintaining a high client return rate. This model allows businesses to reward more experienced and skilled practitioners with higher wages, while encouraging newer practitioners to enhance their skills and client lists for higher payouts or bonuses.

Implementing a tiered payout structure has multiple benefits. It increases employee engagement, as practitioners are motivated to excel and achieve the next level. It also helps solve staffing problems by offering a pathway for career advancement and financial improvement. Moreover, it aligns employee goals with business success, creating a win-win situation where dedicated and skilled team members are the driving force behind a thriving business. This approach is particularly effective in building strong teams in the hospitality sector, ready to face future challenges with a skilled and motivated workforce.

Reduce staff burnout with automation & touchless tech

Touchless treatment options can benefit staff directly. Implementing technologies like automated booking systems, self-service check-in kiosks, and AI-driven customer service tools can reduce the administrative burden on staff. This allows them to focus on more fulfilling tasks and reduces the risk of burnout. Offering touchless wellness treatments like light therapy, sound baths, aromatherapy, and more, can alleviate some workload as they can be employed without a therapist, while keeping guests happy and enthralled with new treatment and tech advancements. Training staff in these technologies diversifies their skill set, makes their work more interesting, and reduces the physical demands of the job.

In an interview with Spa Executive magazine, Magaleena Nikolov, then General Manager of Spa, Wellness and Retail at Fairmont Century Plaza, talked about implementing touchless and DIY services at the cutting edge spa. “Creating treatments like biohacking or scrub kits for the amenity space has allowed us to offer guests dynamic and effective experiences that don’t require therapists or additional space,” she said. “In fact, these are treatments or experiences that can often be offered during peak times when perhaps there is not availability for a therapist.”

Regular access to these treatments for staff, meanwhile, can also be a valuable perk that enhances job satisfaction and reduces burnout.

Get creative with employee recognition

There are those who insist that a “thank you” is more important than a raise. It’s not. But that doesn’t mean showing gratitude and appreciation isn’t important. 

Creative employee recognition ideas can be both memorable and effective in boosting morale and increasing employee engagement and job satisfaction. Some examples of unique approaches:

  • Personalized appreciation videos: A short, personal video featuring the team or management expressing their appreciation for the employee’s hard work.
  • Feature in a company newsletter: Spotlight the employee in the company newsletter. This not only recognizes them but also showcases their contributions to the entire organization.
  • Customized Gifts: Personalize gifts according to the employee’s interests.
  • Charity donation in their name: Make a donation to a charity chosen by the employee. This shows respect for their values and contributions to the community.
  • Special project leadership: Give them the lead on a special project, like a spa menu redesign. This shows trust in their abilities and offers a chance for further professional growth.
  • Recognition in a public event: Acknowledge their achievements in a public event or company meeting, highlighting their specific contributions.
  • Creative awards or trophies: Design unique awards or trophies that align with the company culture and the employee’s personality.

Remember that your employees are your internal guests and you should be focusing as much on their experience as that of your external guests.

Implement these ideas offering a mix of personalization, career development, relaxation, and public recognition, catering to various aspects of an employee’s professional and personal growth, to reduce attrition and keep your teams happy.


Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at

Image by wayhomestudio on Freepik

One comment

  1. I love the creative with employee recognition idea.
    in our Spa we do monthly recognition with value of gift and also daily star of the day for the best employee core value implementation.

    Thank’s for sharing

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