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News - 14 May 2004

SMEs in tourism lag behind in looking after their workforce

A recent Bank of Scotland survey has revealed that SMEs are starting to offer perks to retain staff. However, SMEs in the tourism sector are not keeping up with their peers.

The survey questioned 1000 small business owners and found that 42% offer a company car or equivalent cash allowance, while a third offer health cover or life assurance. One in 12 offer interest free loans, one in eight pay employees' personal phone bills, 6% would contribute to relocation costs and nine employers said they would pay mortgage contributions.

Looking at individual sectors the survey found professional services to be most advanced in recognising the need to look after key people while tourism and leisure employers were found to be lagging behind.

Roger Marlowe, chair of the Hotels Association in Brighton & Hove and owner of Paskins Town House commented, "It isn't just about giving perks or financial incentives. It's more about making people happy in their work. We have a very high staff retention record. All of our staff have been with us much longer than the industry standard of six months. Some have been with us since we opened nine years ago. The real key to keeping staff in this business is to look after them, to treat them well, make them part of the family and make them feel valued."


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Tourism, entertainment and hospitality
Bank of Scotland
Marlowe, Roger


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