How to create a positive work environment

Whatever industry you’re in, there are many reasons to create a positive work environment for both you and your employees – and this is especially true for those who work in hospitality.

This field can be demanding, often requiring long or unsociable hours, a relentless pace and busy surroundings, sometimes resulting in a high staff turnover.

With recent data showing that over a third of the UK’s hospitality sector is at risk of failing in 2023, due to rising costs, it’s now even more important than ever to invest in creating the right environment for employees to enable them to stay motivated and continue to deliver outstanding customer service.

Photo by Israel Andrade on Unsplash

There are many ways in which this can be achieved:

Listen to your staff

Taking the time to listen to employees’ requests, suggestions and feedback is crucial to maintaining good working relationships. Keeping communication open is vital to ensure that staff feel valued, involved and respected.

You don’t need to implement every suggestion that’s made but giving them time to relay their feelings and thoughts on certain aspects of the business can improve the workplace atmosphere.

Stay professional

While it’s important to have positive, friendly relationships with your staff, it’s also key that you remain professional and set clear boundaries.

Organise rotas in advance, implement a HR process and ensure that each employee is aware of all health and safety considerations in the workplace, offering regular and formal training. It’s also a good idea to check your pub insurance, which could offer protection if anything were to go wrong.

Invest in hiring

View hiring staff as an investment in your business. Consider a potential employee’s attitude, social skills and ability to use their initiative, as well as their bar skills. You’ll need a team who’ll work well together, are excellent at customer service and who can also be responsible for managing their own tasks.

It’s also important to take on staff who are reliable, punctual and motivated.


While it’s important to flag any issues with your employees, it’s just as crucial to reward them and celebrate their achievements. Whether this is simply through offering great feedback, organising an event or giving small bonuses, it all helps to create a positive work environment. You may also find that staff are more receptive to criticism if they feel that their good work is also recognised fairly.

Encourage team building

In the hospitality industry especially, teamwork is the backbone of a well-functioning workplace. Encourage occasional get-togethers outside of work, celebrate business achievements together or organise team-building activities. Better still, ask for suggestions from your staff for what they’d like to do or take part in.

While processes are unlikely to run smoothly all of the time, by giving your employees a voice in the workplace and investing in their wellbeing, you’re more likely to promote a positive environment for everyone.

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