You put a lot of work into hiring the highest quality staff for your restaurant. You spend hours training them and shaping them into your company culture. Staff are an investment of time and money, and they are well worth it. Your staff shapes the experience for every diner that walks in the door, from when they are greeted to when their tables are being cleared.
You can save time, money, and stress by not just investing in efforts to acquire great staff, but also by investing in efforts to retain great staff. Below are 10 tips to create a workplace culture at your restaurant that your staff will love and will make them want to stay around!
10 Morale-Boosting Tips To Retain Your Restaurant Staff
- Reward efforts, not just results. Employees work harder when they feel recognized. Give rewards like time off, small gift cards, or lunch to employees who are putting in the extra effort. Even just an informal reward, like bringing them a coffee, shows that you care about them and you’re thankful for them.
- Mentor and nurture, don’t boss or direct. Explaining along the way provides a caring, patient environment where employees aren’t stressed into learning too quickly–and won’t get burnt out as quickly.
- Take time to understand your employees. Employees–people in general, really–are a lot like a group of dogs.They come in all looks and sizes with different temperaments, and all learn differently and at their own pace. For them to be properly trained and connect to the pack, they need to be understood. Find out what they love, what they want to learn more about, and what motivates them.
- Have an “employee of the month.” Highlight the positive attributes of that employee. Other employees will copy that employee’s behavior and strive to be the EOM themselves.
- Create memorable moments with your team. Celebrate victories (or celebrate just to celebrate!) together with a team lunch, or plan special themed days (like a luau day) that make work fun.
- Reward employee longevity. Make the employees feel appreciated for staying with you, and celebrate them publically to show other employees that you value and reward longevity.
- Host team outings and team-building events. These bring the team together on a social level. People loosen up and become more like themselves outside the work environment.
- Reward with time off. Giving employees a day or half-day off to relax works wonders for work ethic. They’ll work harder when they’re striving for the gift of a day off.
- Promote unity among employees. Do group tasks/projects to bring people together. This helps employees not feel solely responsible for a task, and you generally get better results when you have more brains working together. It also nurtures friendship within the group.
- Work as a family! Treat one another with care and respect, and be loyal to one another. Publically celebrate and reward employees who build each other up and support one another.
Of course, there are countless other ways to show your staff that you appreciate them. The key takeaway from this list is treat your staff like unique, valuable human beings, and treat them the way YOU would want to be treated. When staff are appreciated and taken care of, they take care of your diners, and your restaurant thrives.
– Lynn Kulpa, Account Manager
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