Promoting Employee Satisfaction

The labor crisis has made it very difficult for foodservice operators to find willing workers. With this being said, they can’t afford to lose the help they currently have. With limited staff, work shifts may be more stressful and demanding than ever before, especially during peak season. Despite the circumstances, there are ways to promote an environment workers are pleased to come to each day. The right training, clear expectations, motivation and team unity can make all the difference. Keep in mind that it is actually less costly to invest in your current employees so they are more inclined to stay.

Onboarding Period

Make sure employees are prepared to communicate with and serve customers. The most effective training is hands on, so the new employee should only shadow a co-worker for so long before they participate in the work themselves. Be sure to give them constructive feedback, while always being positive and encouraging.

To-do’s during the onboarding period: 
  • Introduce all staff and everyone's role
  • Educate on all menu items you offer, along with its ingredients
  • Tell them about the most popular menu items, as well as any seasonal specials
  • Inform them on busiest hours and what to expect during these times
  • Educate them on food safety measures
  • Explain your standards when it comes to service 
  • Train them on the front of house technology or POS system 
  • Train them on how to clocked in and out 
  • Inform them on equipment usage and safety practices
  • Explain any Covid related health and sanitation practices

Motivate Them

Compensate your staff in other ways additional to a wage. Be a leader who genuinely cares about the team progress and achievements.  Be consistent with checking in on them and how they feel on the job. If your team performs well, reward them for it. Connect with your employees by asking them about life outside of work, such as what they do for fun or their aspirations. Happy and motivated employees result in great customer service, and in turn happy and loyal customers.

Examples of ways to motivate:
  • Consider creating an "Employee of the Month" to positively reinforce behavior
  • Have a staff appreciation event or activity
  • Encourage workers to show their appreciation among their peers
  • Reintroduce company goals and how they apply to each workers job
  • Add gravity to small, mundane tasks by promoting proactiveness, accuracy and consistency
  • Ensure that perks are consistent among all associates

Creating a Unified & Efficient Team

Pleased workers are less likely to leave. This ultimately reduces the heavy cost of employee turnover and its painful cycle. The longer length of time employees stay at a job, the stronger a team it creates, allowing for higher efficiency and customer satisfaction. 

Some additional considerations:
  • Feed them during their shift: allow for one meal per work day
  • Give them a say in decision making
  • Find a way to award longevity: make those that stay feel appreciated and noticed
  • Encourage staff to just be themselves: be authentically you and live by example
  • Promote camaraderie: beware of micromanaging, create a sense of mutual trust and respect, clarify roles and hierarchy and encourage socialization.
  • Offer additional training: offer to train them on a new skill on the job

Lastly, create an open and honest dialogue with employees in order to confront issues before it's too late. Ask employees for feedback on how you could improve or communicate better. If uncomfortable giving verbal feedback on the spot, allow employees to anonymously submit their responses on a piece of paper or using an online form.