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IELTS Cambridge 17 - Test 4 - Part 2 (Listen and Read)

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As many of you here today have worked in the hotel industry for some time,
I'm sure you have experienced the problem of high staff turnover in your hotels.
Every hotel relies on having loyal and experienced members of staff
who make sure that everything runs smoothly.
If staff are constantly changing,
it can make life difficult for everyone.
But why do staff leave frequently in many hotels?
Of course, many hotel jobs, such as cleaning, are low-skilled and are not well-paid.
A lot of managers think it's this and the long hours that are the main causes of high staff turnover -
but what they don't realise is that it's the lack of training in many hotel jobs which is a huge factor.
So, what kind of problems does a high turnover of staff cause?
Well, having to recruit new staff all the time can be very time-consuming,
and managers may have to cover some duties while waiting for new staff to arrive.
This means they don't have time to think about less immediate problems
such as how to improve their service.
When staff leave, it can also severely affect the colleagues they leave behind.
It has a negative effect on remaining staff,
who may start to feel that they too should be thinking about leaving.
So, what can be done to change this situation?
Firstly, managers should stop making basic errors
which leave their staff feeling upset and resentful.
When organising shifts, for example,
make sure you never give certain staff preferential treatment.
All staff should be given some choice about when they work,
and everyone should have to work some evening and weekend shifts.
If you treat staff fairly,
they'll be more likely to step in and help when extra staff are needed.
Keeping staff happy has other tangible benefits for the business.
Take the Dunwich Hotel as an example.
It had been experiencing a problem with staff complaints
and in order to deal with this,
invested in staff training
and improved staff conditions.
Not only did the level of complaints fall,
but they also noticed a significant increase in the amount each customer spent during their stay.
They have now introduced a customer loyalty scheme
which is going really well.
Now I'd like to look at some ways you can reduce staff turnover in your hotels,
and I'll do this by giving some examples of hotels where I've done some training recently.
The Sun Club received feedback which showed that staff thought managers didn't value their opinions.
They weren't made to feel they were partners who were contributing to the success of the business as a whole.
This situation has changed.
Junior staff at all levels are regularly invited to meetings where their ideas are welcomed.
A year ago, The Portland recognised the need to invest in staff retention.
Their first step was to introduce a scheme for recognising talent amongst their employees.
The hope is that organising training for individuals with management potential will encourage them to stay with the business.
At Bluewater, managers decided to recognise 50 high achievers from across the company's huge hotel chain.
As a reward, they're sent on an all-expenses-paid trip abroad every year.
Fun is an important element in the trips,
but there's also the opportunity to learn something useful.
This year's trip included a visit to a brewery,
where staff learned about the new beer that would be served in the hotel.
Pentlow Hotels identified that retention of junior reception staff was an issue.
In order to encourage them to see that working in a hotel could be worthwhile and rewarding, with good prospects,
they introduced a management programme.
These staff were given additional responsibilities and the chance to work in various roles in the hotel.
Green Planet wanted to be seen as a caring employer.
To make life easier for staff, many of whom had childcare responsibilities,
the hotel began issuing vouchers to help cover the cost of childcare.
Louise Marsh at The Amesbury has one of the best staff retention rates in the business.
Since she joined the company,
she has made a huge effort to achieve this by creating a co-operative and supportive environment.
For her, the staff are part of a large family where everyone is valued.
OK, now I'd like to...
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