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  • Writer's pictureDr. Keneika A. Rowe, CHE, CHIA

Are You Doing Enough To Support Your Employees' Mental Health In Your Hospitality Operation?

Overworked employee lying in front of laptop
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels

Did you know 41.6% of employees globally said their mental health has declined significantly since the pandemic?

The mental health crisis has been an increasingly trending topic post-pandemic. According to the CDC,'' mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Our mental health affects how we feel, think, and act.'' Our mental health is usually affected by the stress we face daily. The hospitality industry is known to have the most stressful and strenuous job responsibilities than any other industry. Job stress is the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the job requirements do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker, as reported by the CDC. Hospitality professionals face increased anxiety, depression, and stress from dealing with mental health challenges while exceeding guest satisfaction and expectations at work. A survey done by Qualtrics in 2020 showed that 41.6% of employees globally said that their mental health had declined significantly since the pandemic due to social isolation, unemployment uncertainty, and burnout. In addition, the top five reasons that led to the decline in employees' mental health were being less busy, worrying about losing their jobs, more stress, anxiety, and the challenges they face working remotely.

A pie chart showing the percentage of the top 5 reasons for the decline in employees mental health
Top 5 Reasons For The Decline In Employees Mental Health

40.1% of managers and supervisors also see a decline in their mental health as they are the direct contact for subordinates to communicate daily challenges.

All employees, no matter their job position, experience great stress while working long hours daily to deliver the brand promise. A survey shows that 40.1% of managers and supervisors also see a decline in their mental health as they are the direct contact for subordinates to communicate daily challenges. Damjan Jugovic Spajic reported in his article, "workplace stress makes up a significant part of the general mental health crisis and causes around 1 million workers to miss work every day.'' In an article by HotelTechReport, author Jordan Hollander reported that 23% of hotel managers encountered interpersonal tensions on workdays, while 20% encountered work overloads. Research shows that hospitality workers are faced with extreme stress 40-60% of workdays than other employees across industries.

So, what are the adverse effects of stress in the workplace?

Stress in the workplace leads to:

  • Employee burnout.

  • Increase aggression and hostility among employees.

  • Decrease in profitability and overall organization performance.

  • Decrease in employee productivity within teams.

  • Increase absenteeism among employees.

  • Increase organizational costs due to loss of productivity.

  • Increase in customer dissatisfaction.

  • Negative brand image and reputation.

What could owners and leaders do to ensure their employees get the necessary support to provide the service promised to customers?

According to an article in Harvard Business Review, authors Kelly Greenwood and Natasha Krol discussed that managers can support their employees' mental health in the workplace by:

  • Allow employees to feel comfortable sharing their challenges with their mental health.

  • Practice good self-care and share tips with your employees that you use to manage your mental health.

  • Check-in frequently with your employees to see how they are doing, especially your remote employees.

  • Provide flexibility and work-life balance for employees.

  • Invest in resources to support mental health challenges.

  • Communicate and set clear expectations on job responsibilities.

  • Modify policies and practices relating to employees' performance and expectations.

Companies like Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants are playing their part in supporting their employees' and guests' mental health. Research shows that Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants have partnered with an online therapy company called Talkspace to support their guests and employees. Over 4000 employees received a complimentary year subscription to various resources on the Talkspace platform. Survey shows that employees demand better management support, strong social office culture, and better mental health services. Training your managers to identify emotional distress among employees and providing the space and resources to improve mental health can increase employee retention, productivity, profitability, and overall guest satisfaction.

We encourage knowledge sharing on our platform and would love to hear from you. How are you supporting your employees' mental health? Please share your responses in the comment section below.

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