K. Parinya (Lek) Hallermann, director of HR at Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach, explains the strategy that led to the retention of 34% of the workforce going all the way back to 2006.
For those who have worked in the hospitality industry in Phuket, or in Thailand in general, it is easy to notice that employees have a tendency to move rather quickly to the competition; the general feeling of being part of a greater structure is more difficult to achieve here and your staff may decide to join another company even if they offer only a slight increase in their salary.
With an average “years of service” of more than six years per employee, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket is continually working towards improving our retention rate by implementing best practices, as well as ensuring the work environment is conducive for positive day-to-day operation.
Action: Effective training
Training is at the core of any retention programme managed by our HR team.
We believe that by providing effective training to employees and allowing them to grow in their field, we strengthen their relationship towards the company as they tend to see us not only as a company-employee type of relationship but more as a mentor to guide them in their career.
To ensure the correct training is given to each employee to help them develop in their chosen career path, cross departmental training takes on a very big role, as it offers the team members the opportunity to discover new elements of work that they didn’t know about.
This in turn strongly increases the retention ratio as they feel confident to ask for any internal moves should there be any available, rather than looking for work in another company.
Another aspect of employee retention is the empowerment of each individual. By allowing them to take the lead in certain projects and task forces, we ensure to award them with self-accomplishment once the project is over.
This also allows direct supervisors and managers to analyse the performance of each person in order to provide impactful training, if required.
Action: Get everyone together
Finally, the quality of the environment in which our team is working on a daily basis is equally important to their well-being. For this reason, we organise regular outings, staff parties, and encourage communication between all teams and departments.
A best practice in this is our Green Day Programme, which has been running successfully for three years. Four times per year, our employees have the opportunity to reserve a space in the back-office to sell or exchange a variety of things, such as food, second-hand clothing, etc.
By doing so, we are encouraging exchange between staff as well as reminding them about the importance of corporate sustainability.
Results: Longer tenures, more internal transfers
We are extremely proud that by implementing the above practices among others, a total of 34% of our current working force has been with us since 2006.
Furthermore, we have had a total of 56 inter-departmental transfers.
One of the main stories that stands out for me was a laundry attendant who realised that he loves nature and gardening. He successfully transferred as a landscape attendant in 2015 and since then has led our vegetable garden project, providing fresh vegetables to our canteen on a daily basis.