May 4, 2022

Avoid Burnout and Help Retail & Hospitality Overcome Labor Shortages


As the labor shortage in nearly every industry in the U.S. continues, no one is feeling it more than retail and hospitality. In fact, hospitality has the highest quit rate of all at 5.6%, compared to the average quit rate of 2.8%. Leisure and hospitality (L&H) accounted for 11% of pre-pandemic U.S. employment but represented a staggering 73% of all jobs lost in February 2022.

It’s time to face the music. There aren’t enough unemployed people to fill the open positions, and the unemployed people who are seeking work have raised their standards. Nobody wants to see a high turnover rate during a labor shortage. For employers to overcome this hurdle, they must figure out how to avoid employee burnout.

So, what can organizations do to prevent turnover, avoid employee burnout, and overcome the L&H labor shortages? Level up employee scheduling practices and tools to create schedules that keep management and employees alike happy.

Burnout risk is high

Out of all positions left unfilled after the pandemic, retail, leisure and hospitality took the greatest hit. Over two-thirds of positions still unfilled are L&H jobs. Many employees in the industry work multiple jobs or are also in school, which further complicates workforce scheduling for employees and employers alike. Employees who feel the effects of the labor shortage may be at risk for burnout. HR managers can navigate this hurdle with careful scheduling that prevents employees from feeling overwhelmed.

Employee engagement is low

Engaged employees are more productive. In fact, Gallup’s research shows that companies with higher employee engagement were 21% more profitable than those with lower engagement. The happier your workers are, the more dependable they are.

L&H jobs tend to be stressful and emotionally taxing. Sociologists have a term for this– emotional labor. It refers to “a situation where the way a person manages his or her emotions is regulated by a work-related entity in order to shape the state of mind of another individual, such as a customer.” While this is a common cause of low engagement, there are steps you can do to help employees manage their complicated hours and limit the job’s emotional toll:

  1. Intentionally show appreciation for the emotional labor your employees are putting forth.
  2. Give employees more say in when they work.
  3. Adopt better workforce scheduling practices to avoid understaffing or booking an employee during their scheduled off time.

Something as simple as arranging an employee carpool service or a slight schedule change could make all the difference. If one of your employees has a nasty run-in with a grumpy customer, give them the time and support they need to emotionally recharge. Understanding and accommodating your employees’ needs can go a long way toward higher engagement rates and lower turnover.

Not enough employees to fill open roles

Another major issue is the fact the leisure and hospitality job openings grew from 5.7% to 9.9% throughout 2021. For comparison, the overall US economy has an openings rate of 7%. 1,046,000 unemployed people are expected to fill 1,676,000 open positions. There are simply not enough unemployed people in the hospitality industry to fill the open positions.

This leaves many retail and hospitality businesses understaffed, forcing employers to stretch the employees they do have. Employers who don’t want to lose team members to burnout must find a way to meet the necessary demand without overworking their staff.

Here’s how we can help

Avoiding employee burnout requires meticulous, demand-driven and employee-centric workforce scheduling. Here are a few features of TCP’s Humanity Scheduling app to help make that happen at your organization:

  1. Availability ManagementInstead of racking your brain every week to remember who has a second job, who has class, and who has to pick up their kid in the afternoons, use our availability management feature to give your employees the ability to proactively outline when they are and are not available in the app. That way, when you go to build schedules you are only looking at workable hours. This helps avoid conflict when employees have prior obligations and eliminates the need for constant schedule changes.
  2. Demand-Driven SchedulingThe Humanity Demand-Driven Scheduling feature is designed to recommend staffing requirements according to your business metrics. It’s a rule-building mechanism that converts metrics like foot traffic and staff-to-customer ratio into staffing requirements to ensure proper staffing levels.
  3. Auto-Scheduling FunctionThe auto-scheduling function combines your employees’ availability data with the Demand-Driven Scheduling data to create a conflict-free schedule that accommodates your needs, your staff’s availability, and any other rule vital to the success of your organization.

Choose smarter scheduling

One key to avoiding employee burnout and lowering turnover isn’t flashy benefits or astronomical wage increases. Instead, it’s all about understanding your staff and creating a schedule that accommodates their availability AND your organization’s demand. Show your employees you care about their personal obligations and keep them from being overworked with smarter employee scheduling.

Want to learn more about keeping employees happy with smarter scheduling?