Every food and beverage manager knows the importance of retaining good employees. High turnover saps productivity, increases costs, and hurts the bottom line. Managers need to create a culture where talented employees don’t want to leave. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Great managers know the importance of teamwork and the crucial contributions of each employee; his or her management style shows it.
Some managers know how to be a better manager seemingly by instinct. For others, managing employees might require more effort and training. Here are some tips for creating an employee-centric culture.
- Clear Company Values. To create a successful culture, first you need to know what your establishment stands for. What’s your purpose? What makes your restaurant stand out from the competition and why should customers keep coming back? Once you know the type of culture you want, it is easier to hire the talent to make it a reality.
- Hire the Right People. Culture is created by the individual people. One person with a bad attitude can drag down a whole team. Don’t forget to screen job applicants for positive attitudes and a strong sense of accountability. Hire people who are enthusiastic about giving customers the best service and will fit into your culture. Foster a sense of community and shared customer-centric mindset and values.
- Clear Communication. Lack of communication is a quick way to sabotage a workplace. Employees become frustrated and resentful if management fails to clearly communicate expectations and proper procedures. Clear communication is key and involves clarity in delegating work and articulating company goals and safety policies. Part of being a effectively managing your staff is keeping employees informed. Sharing pertinent information is crucial to avoiding mistakes and discontent. Remember to listen to employees, too. Address rumors and complaints, consider their suggestions, and provide honest feedback. This helps people feel valued and respected.
- Employee Engagement. You need buy-in from everyone on your team and continual commitment to goals and objectives. Constantly reinforce company values and brand. Make a concerted effort to engage employees with a strong, positive culture that connects them to each other and a higher purpose. Employees who feel that they’re party of a family are less likely to leave.
- Explicitly Appreciate Your Team. Employees are the talent that powers your restaurant and will keep diners coming back. Rewards systems for exceeding goals inspire employees to go above and beyond. When employees feel valued and listened to, they love their work and their productivity levels soar. Happy employees provide awesome customer service. Compliment and reward successes and offer constructive criticism for mistakes.
- A Safe Workplace. Workplace safety is one of employers’ top responsibilities. Often, employers and employees spend more time in the workplace than they do with their families. As such, workplace safety is the foundation of a positive environment. An employee-friendly culture is impossible if safety is a daily concern.
- Fairness. Managers in a positive culture are consistently competent, knowledgeable, reliable, and approachable. They hold themselves to higher standards and fairly apply company rules and policies. Managers should avoid destructive criticism, personal attacks, and an accusatory tone. Project a positive attitude and help employees develop their skills.
- Professional Development. Smart managers give their teams the tools and resources to succeed. Everyone in an establishment, employees and managers, need to improve their skills occasionally. Outline routes for advancement and encourage people to go beyond the mandatory food handler training. Courses such as Food Safety Manager, Alcohol Seller/Server, and HACCP training expand employees’ knowledge and give them the confidence to make the right decisions on the job. Employee personality forms the company’s brand culture. Strong values, great attitudes, communication, and employee engagement and appreciation will create an environment that retains the best people and creates loyal customers.