Niche Hotels combats high staff turnover with recognition and reward

The leisure sector has earned a reputation for high levels of staff turnover, and when Niche Hotels, a collection of four boutique hotels in Cardiff, the Cotswolds, London and Newcastle, was set up, it was something that co-founder and sales and marketing director Alison Corlett was determined to avoid.

She says: “We only employ around 200 full-time staff, so implementing a formal benefits scheme wouldn’t be cost effective.” Instead, the company turned its modest, close-knit workforce – and the appeal of the industry sector – to its advantage. Under the group’s ‘Never Say No’ staff recognition and reward scheme, cash awards of up to £150 are made to the peer-voted award of Employee of the Month, in bronze, silver, gold and platinum categories.

Every 12 weeks, an extra £1,000 is presented to the Hotel of the Season, and a further £2,000 to the Hotel of the Year, which staff can spend on themselves however they wish. “We also offer a family and friends discounted rate of £25 to stay at our own hotels, which has been extremely popular,” adds Corlett.

She explains that Niche Hotels doesn’t offer pension contributions due to limited interest among its staff. However, for those who decide they want to start a pension, it invites financial advisers and pension providers to come in and offer advice.

Corlett says: “Allowing people to have the main say in their perks engages them.” Niche Hotels caters to interest