A CHANGE in staff culture at a York hotel has seen its team win two awards and top numerous league tables in its national group.

The last 18 months has a series of changes introduced for the team of 80 staff at the Hilton York in Tower Street.

The shift in culture has been spearheaded by general manager Martin Bradnam, and culminated in Hilton York winning the People and Culture Award for the UK regions at the global hotel brand's latest national awards, beating competition from more than 60 Hilton establishments outside of London.

A particular focus on staff retention has seen figures at Hilton York reduce year on year from 60 per cent turnover to 15 per cent.

Mr Bradnam said: "We have really focussed on our staff retention. Our attention on that kicked in at the beginning of 2017. We really saw the results of that come through last year.

"Hospitality is a very high staff turnover industry, there is a culture of moving from property to property. It is one of the challenges our industry, and 15 per cent is really low for a hotel so we are really quite proud of that.

"We now have the lowest turnover for any Hilton in the UK and Ireland region, and reported the biggest improvement in staff retention.

"That was quite a headline figure for us coming out as a result of our change in culture."

The culture change has centred around improving conditions for staff at the 131-bedroom hotel, which included an investment in the hotel's back of house, which Mr Bradnam refers to as "heart of house".

He said: "We've updated the staff areas and invested in new office space. We realised it was important to bring everyone together, so we moved the office functions to the basement where we could make it open plan.

"We are all in one area now which is great because it allows us to create a really positive culture."

The hotel has seen particular success in its Sales and Events team, which took bookings for 11 weddings last year, more than quadrupling the previous year's figure. The team, which welcomed Theresa May during her campaign in the last general election, has achieved business conversion rates of 67 per cent, which is the highest figure among the regional Hilton cluster of hotels.

Alongside winning the People and Culture Award, the latest Hilton Awards also gave the Hilton York team the Safety and Security Hotel of the Year title after the team achieved a score of 95 per cent on the internal rating system - the highest of any Hilton in the country.

Mr Bradnam said: "We are always looking at what we can do next, how we attract people, how we retain them and how we develop them."