Retain and Recognize: Digital Tipping as the Key to Employee Loyalty

Retain and Recognize: Digital Tipping as the Key to Employee Loyalty
Lindsey Fine
April 26, 2024

The hospitality industry is notorious for its demanding work environments. Long hours, high expectations, and staffing shortages often lead to burnout and high turnover rates. 

In fact, 80% of hospitality workers reported feeling burnt out over the past year.1

This ongoing struggle highlights the need for effective retention strategies that prioritize employee recognition and appreciation.

Photo by Liliana Drew

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How tipping apps are changing the way we appreciate hospitality staff
  • The impact of timely recognition on employee satisfaction and retention
  • Steps to implementing a digital tipping platform in your hotel

Let's look at how tipping apps can make a difference in retaining your best talent.

The Power of Recognition: Boosting Morale and Employee Retention

Recognizing and appreciating employees is more than a polite gesture. It’s essential for the success of any hotel. But, traditional methods of employee recognition won’t cut it. 

Here’s why: 

  • These manual processes are inefficient and error-prone. 
  • There’s often a delay between outstanding performance and acknowledgment. 

This type of recognition is often done behind the scenes, minimizing the motivational impact of rewards and praise.

Enter digital tipping apps and recognition platforms. A direct and impactful way for guests to show appreciation for your staff’s hard work. 

Consider how you celebrate and motivate your team. Are you making every employee feel seen, valued, and appreciated? It’s worth more than you think

The Importance of Employee Satisfaction in the Hospitality Industry

The success of any hotel depends on its staff. 

Their satisfaction translates to guest experiences and hotel performance. Prioritizing their recognition is necessary because it:

1. Boosts Employee Morale and Retention 

A simple gesture of recognition boosts morale and impacts workers’ willingness to stay. It’s a fact: 83% of employees say recognition drives their motivation to succeed.2

2. Strengthens the Guest Experience

Happy employees go the extra mile, creating memorable guest experiences. Recognition reinforces positive behavior, which impacts customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Dale Carnegie said, “People work for money, but go the extra mile for recognition, praise, and rewards.” 

3. Reduces Employee Turnover
Frequent recognition reduces turnover rates. A recent study found that 71% of employees were less likely to quit if their efforts were acknowledged regularly.2

4. Encourages Teamwork and Collaboration
Programs that celebrate team achievements promote unity and teamwork. In a high-pressure industry like hospitality, promoting teamwork is crucial for smooth operations and a harmonious work environment.

5. Builds a Stronger Brand

A positive work culture attracts more than guests — it draws in potential employees. High-caliber candidates are more likely to apply to a hotel known for valuing its staff.

"Shiny is solving the most critical issue in hospitality right now: a reason for talent to join our team and deliver on quality service."  General Manager, SpringHill Suites

6. Drives Business Growth

The benefits of employee recognition have a direct impact on the bottom line. Engaged and happy employees provide better service. Better service leads to higher guest satisfaction, repeat business, and positive word of mouth (WOM).

By integrating digital tools like tipping apps into your recognition strategy, you can realize these benefits immediately. The result: engaged employees and happy guests.

Implementing Effective Digital Recognition Programs in Your Hotel

The idea of setting up a digital recognition program might seem daunting. But with a clear plan of action, you can streamline the process and ensure its success. 

Here's a guide to getting you up and running:

Step 1: Assess Your Current Program

Start by assessing how you’re currently recognizing your employees. Examine the different methods and criteria used to acknowledge employee achievements. (employee of the month, etc.) This step is crucial for understanding whether these practices align with your goals and employee expectations. It also provides a baseline from which you can measure the effectiveness of any changes you implement later.

You may also consider sending a survey to your staff. This survey should dig into how often they receive gratuity, and how satisfied they are with the recognition they receive. 

Gathering this targeted feedback provides deeper insights into the effectiveness of your recognition practices, particularly in roles that directly interact with guests.

Step 2: Select the Right Digital Solution

With your goals defined, explore various digital tipping and rewards platforms. With these apps, guests can scan a QR code with their phone to say thank you for a tip. Opt for a solution that aligns with your operational needs and improves the user experience for both staff and guests. Consider user-friendliness, customizability, and how well it integrates with your existing systems. 

Step 3: Train Your Team

Once you’ve selected a platform, develop a comprehensive training program. Make sure every team member understands how to use the new system effectively. Good training empowers your staff and maximizes the adoption rate of the new technology.

Step 4: Integrate the Platform into Daily Operations

Work closely with your platform provider to set up the system. Define clear criteria for recognition. Establish rewards and incentives, and align the program with your hotel’s performance management strategies. Ensure that the system is accessible and easy to use for guests and employees. This integration is crucial for maintaining consistency in how you recognize staff.

Step 5: Monitor and Adjust Based on Feedback

After implementation, continuously collect feedback from both administrators and employees. Use this feedback to tweak and improve your recognition program. Monitoring its effectiveness through regular check-ins will help you make adjustments to meet your team’s evolving needs.

Build a Culture of Continuous Appreciation with Shiny

As the hospitality industry works to improve employee engagement and reduce turnover, adopting digital recognition solutions is key. 

With solutions like tipping apps, your hotel not only keeps pace with industry innovations but also fosters a supportive work environment. This digital shift allows for real-time recognition and rewards, dramatically enhancing employee morale and retention.

Shiny's tipping app lets guests show their appreciation for service excellence with just a few taps on their mobile devices, ensuring that your staff feels valued the moment their good work is done.

See why leading hotels trust Shiny to build a culture of continuous appreciation. Contact us today to see a demo. 


  1.; 9 crucial employee burnout statistics and trends
  2. Nectar; 26 Employee Recognition Stats You Need to Know In 2024