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Employee Retention: Why Prioritizing Mental Health is Crucial for Employers

In today’s work culture, it’s not uncommon to see job postings that require employees to “multitask” and “work well under pressure”. This expectation can lead to constant stress and pressure, particularly in the hospitality industry. According to research, up to 85% of hospitality workers in the UK have experienced symptoms of poor mental health within the last year. This has resulted in many employees leaving their jobs due to the work environment and tricky working hours.


The Shift Towards Retention, a survey conducted by Planday, revealed that 36% of shift workers in the UK wished to receive better support for mental health from their employers. The survey also revealed that employees wished to have more balance between their work and personal life. For instance, having enough days off and access to work schedules earlier would significantly improve the lives of hospitality workers.


The Burnt Chef Project, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2019, aims to reduce staff turnover and improve recruitment opportunities by creating a culture of care and compassion through tools, services, and education. One of its primary goals is to remove the taboo surrounding mental health issues and to banish the stigma attached to it.


Improving Work Conditions


According to Kris Hall, the founder of The Burnt Chef Project, work/life balance and rota management are among the top things that employees want to see from their workplace. The Shift Towards Retention confirms that mental health is being impacted by lack of work/life balance, long hours, and inadequate communication. This is exacerbated by the skill gap shortage caused by high turnover, leaving new managers with little time to develop skill sets around culture, performance, retention, career progression, and advanced rota management to support their teams.


The Burnt Chef Project's study revealed that up to 46% of respondents would not feel comfortable talking about their health concerns with their colleagues. Although there is a need for better support, there is still a strong stigma surrounding mental health in the hospitality industry.


Improving Work/Life Balance


Data is key to improving work/life balance. Having more information about your business makes it easier to make smarter, data-driven decisions. Tools like Opsyte's Insytes help hospitality businesses get insights about which days of the week tend to be the busiest, what menu items are most popular, and when and how bank holidays and weather can affect table bookings and staffing needs.

To improve work/life balance, employers can take the following steps:

  1. Plan ahead and provide employees with their schedules earlier.
  2. Use data to make smarter decisions and improve staffing needs.
  3. Prioritize mental health and remove the stigma surrounding it.
  4. Encourage open communication between colleagues and employers.
  5. Offer support for employees who are struggling with mental health issues.



Prioritizing mental health is crucial for employers in the hospitality industry. It is important to create a culture of care and compassion and remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Using data-driven tools can also help improve work/life balance and reduce stress and pressure. By taking these steps, employers can improve employee retention and create a happier, healthier workplace.







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