Nic Young
28 February 2018 00:00


Employee engagement and the power of people is central to business success, especially at the NEC Group. Below, Emma Cope, HR Business Partner for Amadeus, talks tactics on how to keep your staff engaged and reflects on how different businesses use different strategies to keep employees engaged.

It’s no secret that hospitality leaders have struggled to recruit the talent the sector needs in the past – figures indicate over 900,000 workers need to be recruited in the next five years to sustain the growing industry.

Working in the catering industry is both extremely rewarding and extremely challenging – the long, and often unsociable working hours, can deter people from a career in hospitality. That’s why employee engagement is so important for Amadeus to both attract and retain staff.

We keep our staff motivated in a range of different ways including staff recognition schemes, development and training and regular staff surveys where the board implements changes based on feedback.


What works for your staff will be different for every company. Here are some examples of businesses that do employee engagement in brilliantly unique ways:

  • Best Western UK’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’ staff recognition scheme asks visitors to award ‘jewels’ to outstanding members of staff who go above and beyond their day jobs. In turn, these staff are rewarded with hotel vouchers redeemable across the Best Western group. A simple scheme that can get people giving 110% every day.
  • Innocent smoothies re-evaluate employee’s job descriptions every six months so that staff never feel undervalued and opportunities for advancement are plentiful. There’s also the Innocent scholarship fund of £1,000 that staff can bid for to fund personal projects like climbing a mountain or trips round the world.
  • At Ben and Jerry’s, their motto is “If it’s not fun, why do it?”. Laughter and humour are a key part of the company and its founders aren’t shy of experimenting with things like bringing a clown into the office to boost morale. They also give a percentage of their profits to NGOs – a feel-good factor which helps staff to feel they are contributing to society.

 Whether putting a 50 ft slide in the centre of the office like Google, building Lego break out zones at Lego’s head office, or giving staff unlimited holidays like LinkedIn, businesses need to think creatively about how to keep their employees engaged. Only then will businesses see staff happiness and productivity increase, and – no doubt – revenue rise as a knock-on effect of this.