We spoke with Florian Mayer about his experience with PERSENTIS:

With the FAMILUX Group, you have a strong focus on your employees. Recently, a PERSENTIS analysis was conducted for the second time. What do you see as the advantage or the special benefit?

In 2021, we approached our employees directly for the first time with a Group-wide survey. The benefit for us is obvious, of course: With around 750 MA now, it is difficult for us at group level to capture individual opinions and any currents that may arise. Thanks to the PERSENTIS survey tool, we were now able to give each individual a voice - whether GM or trainee. This has given us a broad spectrum of opinions from our employees, with a lot of praise but also numerous comments and criticisms.

What are your key findings from the analysis?

One of the most important findings was and is certainly that we have received confirmation from our employees that we have done and are doing a great deal right with our unique FAMILUX employee philosophy. We have received enormous praise for our special benefits, but also for the family atmosphere. At least as important, however, was the analysis of the remaining weaknesses, which of course still exist. We were able to identify our weak points in employee management and counteract them with immediate measures such as the FAMILUX Academy, the 4-day week or new recruiting methods, so that we are now in the comfortable position of not having to talk about a shortage of employees in any of our hotels or, as is now common practice in many places, to close parts of the hotels or to cap the occupancy rate.

Have you already been able to derive concrete measures from the PERSENTIS results? What has changed?

Immediately after the first PERSENTIS survey, we brought all hotel managers and the owner family together at one table and discussed the results in detail. As a result, we relaunched our FAMILUX Academy and launched our own management training program, the Talent Academy, which is unparalleled in the industry. Here, we train the best 3 talents per hotel in our own academy and provide them with free access to high-level education, which they are then expected to bring into management positions in their own company. We were also able to implement the 4-day week to offer our employees an even better work-life balance.

Can you already pinpoint changes in terms of figures? Has the fluctuation rate improved, for example? 

We also have a natural fluctuation, which is common in the hotel and restaurant industry. Due to the nature of the industry, this can never be completely avoided and we also have to deal with a certain amount of fluctuation. However, thanks to the measures we were able to take following the surveys, among other things, we can now look back on stable employee numbers with low fluctuation. As an example, we would like to mention the housekeeping department in our Dachsteinkönig - Familux Resort, where we have not had a single dismissal in almost a year, because the combination of a strong department manager and the FAMILUX philosophy has created a feel-good atmosphere that is second to none. In addition, we were able to open our newest resort in Oberhof in the Thuringian Forest in a structurally rather difficult region with more than 140 employees with a share of local employees of about 85%!

Some business owners shy away from asking for candid feedback from their employees. What would you say to them? What is your experience with this?

Only through open feedback can you reflect on yourself and become better. Fear or timidity are certainly the wrong advisors here. Anyone who is aware that employees are an entrepreneur's greatest asset can only use such tools for themselves and should not shy away from them.

We would never be where we are now if we had not listened carefully to our employees.

And finally, in general: What can employers in the hotel industry do now to make hospitality an attractive career field again?

For me, the key is actually simple. You have to give employees the feeling that they are just as important, if not more important, than the guest. You have to create a "world" around the employees that creates optimal conditions for them. And by that I don't explicitly mean the financial factor, which of course remains an important part of an employment relationship. Good work must always be rewarded accordingly. But above all, I mean giving employees the feeling of being "at home" at work. To enjoy coming to work, and always with the goal that employees identify 100% with the company. Coupled with future-oriented thinking, innovative ideas and a digitalized working environment, you can still find many motivated people in the hotel industry, even in times of a shortage of skilled workers.