3 Ways to Promote Restaurant Staff Communication
Restaurant staff members are like family, and as such, they act like family. That means they love each other, but they can also have moments of serious conflict. Any restaurant owner or manager knows how easy it is to succumb to the “family life” in the restaurant business. But no owner wants to play the parent when things go sour. Here are some ways you can start promoting a professional atmosphere without losing the family feel that makes working in the restaurant business so much fun. One of the most important things you can always work on in the restaurant world is promoting lines of communication between staff, BOH and FOH, and managers.
1. Pre-Pop Meet-Up
You know the busiest times for you restaurant. Sometimes the most helpful way to promote healthy staff chemistry is by looking ahead for trouble. When servers and cooks are the busiest, that’s when they are most likely to make mistakes. By gathering the back of house and front of house for pre-pop meet-ups, you’re acknowledging as a manager that things are about to get busy, but you should take the time to ask your staff, “what do we need to get through this busy shift as a strong and capable team?” By doing this you’re making everyone feel involved and ready to take on the busiest points of their shift. Also by coordinating these pre-shift meets, you’re creating an atmosphere of professionalism in the workplace.
2. Open Door Policy
One of the reasons the restaurant business can feel so much like family is because more often than not staff, managers, and owners all work in the same space. The “open door policy” that most corporate offices have, doesn’t really work the same way if you’re manager doesn’t have a “door”. Even if you do not have a private office for staff members to come and speak with you at any time of any given work day, you can help by setting aside a set time each week for staff members to feel invited to come and speak with you about any issues. It’s also helpful to give your staff members a more private way to request a meeting with you. Consider posting a phone number, email address, or even anonymous text information poster in the staff room, anything that will help a staff member talk about issues, before acting out on them while on your floor.
3. Strategic Scheduling
You know your restaurant employees. You know who works best with whom, and that means from the kitchen to the front of house staff to the managers. Consider carefully when you put together the work schedules for the week. How can you make the most of the staff you have? Consider if there are some people who enjoy each others time more and work well together. Consider if there are some employees who could use more help during peak rush hours and perhaps that individual should be scheduled with someone who can help that employee during the shift. There is much to consider when scheduling for your restaurant, but by choosing whom you schedule and when carefully, you will make a more productive and enjoyable shift every time. Use What Time Do I Work for your scheduling needs to help you clear your lines of communication!
Company Morale: How to Keep Your Employees Happy
Employee turnover and the effort required to hire new employees can take a huge chunk out of a company’s budget. Hiring new employees is expensive since it requires training, significant time on the part of the hiring manager, and there is no guarantee that a new hire is going to pan out. New hires cost the company in terms of recruiting, training, workplace integration and other factors that go into hiring. Companies that view their employees as investments and valuable assets tend to have better overall financial pictures. By keeping your employees happy, you can avoid a high turnover rate and significantly decrease your hiring expenses.
The Cost of Added Value
When you consider the average company spends $1200 per year on training employees, it becomes clear that it’s more cost-effective to keep existing employees than hire new ones. A well-trained employee saves your company money. One of the ways to increase employee morale and save for the future is by adding incentives that make it enjoyable for a company to stay on at a particular company. Facebook, Google and Adobe all have unprecedented company benefits from free food to flexible work/life balance initiatives. These programs cost very little compared to the overall cost of hiring and training new employees each year. When you consider that only 12 percent of employees quit due to salary, it becomes even more important to provide some of these basic programs to help improve employee morale.
Make Employees Count
Taking your employees thoughts and needs into consideration is a great way to improve employee morale. Set up weekly or monthly meetings where employees can voice their concerns and suggest ways to improve the company. Listen to your employees and take action when necessary when an employee has a complaint. A simple review of the information available at Glassdoor.com shows that many reputable companies simply don’t take their employees concerns seriously. For example, ASEA reviews indicate that most employees are happy with the company, but they still desire more opportunities for advancement and growth. Create opportunities within your company, and give employees a chance to shine in their respective roles within the company.
Benefit and Insurance Packages
Employees that have good benefits and insurance packages often find that their employees are happier. Having the ability to take time off work to see a doctor, take care of their mental health and be with family is an important perk to any job. By offering flexible work schedules and good vacation pay, employees are more likely to stay happy and loyal to a company. Adobe is a premiere software company that lets employees take as much time off as they need provided their work is completed. While this isn’t possible for every company, it’s an example of how the company looks at its needs and provides benefits based on those needs. Adobe focuses on production, and as long as those needs are being met, an employee doesn’t need to be sitting in the office when they could be taking care of life issues.
Don’t Focus on Salary
More money isn’t always the solution to keeping your employees happy. Offer a system where employees can get discounts with local businesses, or find ways to increase benefits while keeping salary capped at a certain amount. Minor benefits can make a difference in an employee’s happiness. Free coffee, discounts on gym memberships, life insurance, disability and other major incentives make it less likely that an employee will become disgruntled and leave for another company.
Treat your employees with respect, listen to their concerns and create programs that add real value to their lives and you will see your company thrive. Happy employees work harder and take more responsibility for their roles in the company. By taking care of your employees, you’re feeding the machine that helps your company to reach higher profits, produce better results and you can feel good knowing that you’re making your employees lives better.