August 23, 2023 •

8 min reading

Improving wellbeing at work: Hospitality leaders, you need those tips!

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  • Workplace wellbeing is a determining factor for business success, especially in the hospitality industry where employee attitudes directly impact service.
  • Wellness in an organization starts at the top, with leaders who understand the needs and motivations of their employees and prioritize proactive solutions.
  • Wellbeing leadership is a learned set of behaviours, attitudes and practices that can be gained by following 360° training programs for supportive leadership.


Recent studies have demonstrated the direct relationship, both positive and negative, between wellbeing at work and productivity.

The hospitality industry is heavily impacted by these issues because it often entails irregular shifts, weekend and night work, physically and mentally demanding tasks, and high-stress situations.

These factors can create an unhealthy atmosphere for employees, which contributes to high rates of absenteeism and turn-over. Therefore, it’s crucial for leaders in this industry to prioritize the mental and physical health and wellbeing of their employees.

In this article, we’ll explore the impacts and determining factors of workplace wellbeing, plus share some tips and best practices that you can apply immediately to improve the wellness of your collaborators.

Why is wellbeing important in the workplace?

Health and wellbeing at work are differentiating factors of the most competitive companies and are valued as the best workplaces. The results of wellbeing at work programs are truly amazing:

  • They reduce work absenteeism by 70% - 80%, according to a survey by the Global Wellness Institute;
  • They increase the probability of resilience in workers by 59%. They also increase satisfaction in the workspace by 74%, according to research by MetLife;
  • They reduce production errors by 19% and increase creativity by 55%, according to a study conducted by Harvard University in collaboration with MIT.

The great ROI value and positive impact of workplace wellbeing makes it a key concept for leaders, especially in the hospitality industry. It's a win-win mentality: the employees are happy at work and companies achieve great results.

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Wellbeing benefits at work

The advantages of wellbeing at work are numerous, and they impact both employees and the organization as a whole.

Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Increased Productivity: Employees who are healthy and happy tend to be more productive. They can focus better, think more creatively, and generally accomplish more than those who are stressed or dissatisfied.
  • Lower Absenteeism: Well-being programs often lead to healthier employees, which means less sickness and fewer absences. This helps maintain a consistent level of productivity.
  • Improved Employee Retention: When employees feel valued and taken care of, they are more likely to stay with the company. This reduces turnover costs and helps maintain a strong, experienced workforce.
  • Enhanced Company Reputation: Companies that prioritize employee well-being often have a positive reputation, which can help attract top talent and potentially increase customer loyalty.
  • Employee Engagement: Wellbeing programs and initiatives can boost morale and create a more positive work environment.
  • Lower Costs: By promoting healthier habits and a safer working environment, companies can potentially lower their healthcare and insurance costs.
  • Increased Resilience: Employees who are physically and emotionally healthy are more likely to be resilient in the face of challenges, leading to a more adaptable and sustainable organization.

By investing in the well-being of employees, companies can enjoy these benefits and more, leading to an overall more successful and harmonious work environment.


Boost wellness at work?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO): "a healthy workplace is one in which workers and bosses collaborate in a process of continuous improvement to promote and protect the health, safety, and well-being of workers and the sustainability of the workplace".

Considering this general definition of a healthy, positive, and well-being-filled work environment, every leader should consider the following elements:


1. Focus on the pillars of workplace wellbeing

The concept of well-being at work has four basic pillars:

Emotional wellbeing

Emotional well-being is linked to the productivity and performance of employees. In the hospitality industry, guests can identify when a company treats its employees in a humane and responsible manner. A good work environment and employee satisfaction are reflected in the quality of guest service.

Financial wellbeing

Financial well-being attracts, retains, and satisfies top talents. Programs with economic benefits are part of good corporate policy. The hospitality industry is competitive, and top talents have many job options. CEOs need to define compensation schemes that serve as incentives for a long-term commitment within their companies.

Physical wellbeing

Taking care of the physical health of your talent network is essential for well-being and social responsibility, considering that every year 2 million people worldwide die from work-related accidents and diseases. Healthy people miss their work days less. They are more proactive and productive.

Human wellbeing

The humanization of the work environment is fundamental to achieving the satisfaction of team members. It's crucial to build an excellent work environment, where importance is given to communication, conflict resolution, and promoting healthy habits inside and outside the company. It’s also important to work on the prevention of negative influences such as bullying and sexual-harrassment, common to the industry.


2. Align organizational purpose with employee engagement

A clear and positive organizational purpose is a driver of employee engagement. It also impacts productivity, workforce retention, and is key to an organization's success. In a survey conducted by global consultancy McKinsey & Company, 70% of employees stated that their life's purpose is largely defined by their work. When the company's purpose is aligned with that of the employees, the results in terms of work engagement can be notable.

To create this alignment, leaders must communicate their purpose in a way that helps employees understand what the company aims to achieve beyond making money and profitability. There needs to be a narrative that generates empathy and motivates people, making them feel they are involved with something of great value.

To promote a specific tourist destination to the world and create job opportunities for local communities are some examples of good intentions in the hospitality industry.


How to measure wellbeing at work?

There are several different ways to measure health and well-being at work.

  • HR Metrics Analysis: One of the first steps is to assess indicators such as overtime hours, absenteeism, turnover rates, and even productivity. If these metrics do not show favorable results, it's possible that employees may not be feeling a sense of wellbeing in the workplace.
  • Employee satisfaction surveys: Internal surveys and other ways of asking for feedback from employees are also very useful, especially in industries with a large number of employees like hotels and hospitality.
  • External audits: If you’ve done the first two steps and not found a clear source for the lack of wellbeing in your workplace, then engaging with an external conslutant or auditor is definitely a good idea. Coming from outside, they may be able to identify the more insidious problems that harm workplace wellbeing such as a toxic work culture or bad bosses. Sometimes employees are afraid to open up about these factors during internal discussions and surveys.


How to become a leader with a wellbeing mindset?

Workplace wellbeing starts with the right mindset from leaders. A leader with a well-being-comes-first mindset understands the importance of this concept and uses tools, knowledge, and skills in a practical way. It's recommended to train on workplace well-being through a high-level, specialized program. This program should have a 360º perspective that integrates:

Use the latest technology

There are tools and technologies that can help improve well-being in companies. This is called wellness tech and it refers to using technology to provide better living conditions for an organization's employees. Benefit management tools and even free training platforms are examples of technologies related to wellbeing.

Take an individualized approach

It's important for leaders to know how to analyze and understand the different strengths and needs of the members of their team. This will allow them to transform individual experiences within the company and develop effective career plans for each employee.

Understand workplace psychology, emotions, and mindset

A good workplace wellbeing program also involves aspects related to a leader's human sense. A good leader works on their emotions, mindset, and attitudes to adopt a wellbeing mindset and transmit it to their team. A leadership training program should follow this same 360º approach.

Jean Gabriel Pérès, hotels founder and former President & CEO of Mövenpick Hotels, said:

“Attracting and retaining talents is one of the crucial challenges and potential risks for present and future hospitality CEOs. Health and wellbeing at the workplace is more than ever a differentiating factor, influencing the decision to select a future employer"


"Care and genuine humanity will increasingly become markers of experience for guests, and value drivers for hospitality companies in the coming years; the health and wellbeing of our associates are inherent to making it happen”.

We invite you to continue reading our materials on professional training and trends in education.